Three Volcanic Wines under $35
Volcanos are one of the most destructive forces on earth but create a foundation for one of the world’s most complex terroirs in the world – volcanic soil. In the US market, there has been a growing interest in volcanic wines for over a decade. Consumers are demanding wines that are intriguing, food-friendly, and easy on the wallet.
What to Know about Volcanic Wines
- Volcanic terroir is only 1% of the Earth’s surface
- Volcanic soils can include lava, ash, basalt, volcanic alluvium and more
- Wines tend to be renowned for their absolute elegance, minerality, and delicate complexity.
- Volcanic wines pair well with a large range of dishes, ideal for wine lists and by-the-glass offerings
- For off-premise retail, volcanic wines pack a wow factor while remaining budget-friendly
Why are they good for On-Premise?
For restauranteurs, the food-friendly nature of volcanic wines makes them a natural fit for wine lists. Bracing minerality and balanced acidity complement a wide variety of dishes, both Italian and otherwise. Volcanic wines also have the complexity to stand on their own, ideal for a by-the-glass happy hour wine. Try pairing Nerello Mascalese with chicken braised in red peppers, tomatoes, and Mediterranean spices.
What are Volcanic Wines?
Volcanic terroir represents only one percent of the earth’s surface. However, the soils produced by these volcanos and the grapes grown can vary widely. Soils can include lava, ash, basalt, and volcanic alluvium, and more. Volcanic wines tend to be renowned for their power, minerality, grit, and complexity.
In regard to volcanic wines from Sicily, Nerello Mascalese is one of the most prominent grapes in the region. It is highly regarded for its bold red color, fruity and herbaceous flavors, and is an excellent reflection of its terroir.
Why are they good for Off-Premise?
For retailers, volcanic wines pack a wow factor while still remaining within reach of most consumers’ budgets. For grocery stores, stocking volcanic wines near prepared foods is a great way to upsell products. Smaller, independent wine shops can boost sales by educating their staff or offering in-store samples. Either way, consumers can enjoy trying wines that offer superb value for money and sample wine zones they are unfamiliar with.
Grape: 60% Nero d’Avola, 30% Alicante and 10% Nocera
Volcano: Monte Felci and Monte Porri
Last Eruption: 2005
Altitude: 1,300 feet above sea level
Soil: Calc-alkaline basaltic
Very rich, fragrant bouquet of wild berries, sweet spice, tobacco and chocolate with earthy notes characteristic of dry soil
Pair with flavorful and slightly spicy dishes or fish with capers
Grape: 70% Nerello Mascalese and 30% Nocera
Last Eruption: –
Altitude: 820 and 1,215 feet above sea level
Soil: Calcareous clay & sand
Aromas of small red berries, floral fragrances as well as carob, licorice and spice. On the palate, the wine has fresh acidity, rich fruity flavors, mineral notes, and vibrant tannins.
Pairs well with grilled meat, roasts, game and aged cheese.
Grape: 100% Nerello Mascalese
Volcano: Mt. Etna
Last Eruption: 2021
Altitude: 2,625 feet above sea level
Soil: Stony, light sandy loam
Notes of berries and brushwood; elegance, minerality and excellent persistence on the palate.
Pair with red tuna, caponata, white meat and cheese
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