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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

The #ItalianFWT Preview, a Much-Dreamed Of Steak Dinner, and One of Sicily's Noble Reds

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

To kick off the year, the Italian Food Wine Travel bloggers are taking a look at the wines of Sicily and I am hosting. You can read my invitation: here.


This weekend is the first #ItalianFWT event of 2023. And we will be trying out a different way of connecting. Instead of a Twitter chat, we're meeting up on Facebook live. I have never participated in a Facebook live - much less hosted one - so, it will be a trial by fire! Same time - 8am on the first Saturday of the month. We'll see how it goes.


Here's What's Coming...


In preparation for the event, I poured quite a few bottles of Sicilian wines and will be sharing them throughout the week. First up...


Dreams of a Steak Dinner


Years ago R's godparents served us a steak dinner. My boys had never had a steak all to themselves as I usually cook one steak, slice it, and divide it between all four of us. They have been dreaming about that dinner ever since. And, thankfully, Jenn and Mike agreed to do an encore performance for our All-iday 2022 celebration. All-iday is the Gonzalez-Mann celebration of Christmas, New Year's, and D's birthday all rolled into one. I was fortunate to have several friends invite us to dine with them during the holidays. I didn't have to cook; so I offered to bring the wine pairings. Done!


One of Sicily's Noble Reds


To go along with the heavy meat dinner, I brought the 2018 Sul Vulcano Etna Rosso from Donnafugata. The Etna Rosso DOC is made from two types of Nerello grapes: a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese and a maximum of 20% Nerello Cappuccio which is also called Nerello Mantellao.


Nerello Mascalese is one of Sicily's noble red grape varieties; its name is derived from the black hue of the fruit along with the name of the plain - Mascali - from which it is said to have originated between Mt. Etna and the coast.


Donnafugata - referring to the Tomasi di Lampedusa novel, Il Gattopardo - is literally 'donna in fuga' or woman in flight. It's the story of a queen who found refuge in Sicily. The Donnafugata estate is made up of a family cellar in Marsala that dates back to the mid-nineteenth century; an estate at Contessa Entellina planted with wide variety of grapes; and a third cellar on the island of Pantelleria. All three sites embrace sustainable viticulture techniques. In fact, Donnafugata was one of the first wineries in Italy to rely completely on solar energy and, in 2015, Pantelleria was conferred UNESCO certification for its unique vine-training methods.


The wine poured a pale ruby red. On the nose, the wine was a bouquet of fruits and florals with some underlying notes of warm baking spices. On the palate, the wine was beautifully balanced. It was simultaneously delicate with elegant tannins, but strong enough to hold up to the steak pairing.


Stay tuned for more inspired pairings of Sicilian wines with food from the group.

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Wendy Klik
Wendy Klik
Jan 04, 2023

Thanks for hosting Cam. My post will be going live tomorrow.

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Camilla M. Mann
Camilla M. Mann
Jan 04, 2023
Replying to

Looking forward to those stuffed artichokes!

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