Phoenicians were most likely the first to make wine from Sardinia’s native grapes and the Catalans later introduced Spanish varietals to the island. But less than 20 years ago Sardinia was still lucky to be deemed worthy of more than a paragraph in a book on the wine regions of the world. It produced quaffable whites for the tourists on the Costa Smeralda; heavy, often oxidative, reds drunk by the locals; and bulk wine to add weight to those made in cooler regions. Today Sardinia is hailed as one of Europe’s ‘emerging wine regions’ with 19 wines with DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) appellation and 15 with IGT (Indicazione Geographica Tipica) status, among the most of any Italian region. The three most common appellations are Isola dei Nuraghi IGT (which applies to the entire island, nuraghe being the megalithic buildings found throughout Sardinia), Vermentino di Sardegna DOC and Cannonau di Sardegna DOC, made from Sardinia’s most popular white and red grapes respectively.
I’m delighted to have sourced the following six Sardinian wines to match our Month of Sardinian recipes, along with a nip or two of grappa from Bassano (the home of grappa, in Veneto) and an aperitivo that all the cool kids are drinking in Europe this year! Learn more about the Sardinian grape varieties we’ll be sampling on the right.
Serra Lori Isola dei Nuraghi IGT Rosato 2020
With Lombrichi alla Carlofortina (Hand-rolled Pasta w/ Tuna & Pesto) – made from a blend of indigenous Sardinian grapes (cannonau, monica, carignano and bovale Sardo), this bold rosato has a deceptively pale peach colour, fruity nose and slight bitterness that balances our full-flavoured Carlofortina pasta beautifully.
Aragosta Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2020
With Galletti Ripieni con Pinoli e Erbette di Campo (Spatchcock with Pine Nut & Herb Stuffing) – the fragrant herb stuffing in this dish needs an equally aromatic wine, like this delicious vermentino with its perfumed nose, tropical fruit flavours and good acid length.
Le Bombarde Cannonau di Sardegna DOC 2018
Bistecca Tagliata con Burro di Bottarga (Steak w/ Bottarga Butter) – the chocolatey notes and grippy tannins of this classic cannonau (Sardinia’s most popular red wine) marry beautifully with the rich bottarga butter and potato bread served with this simple steak.
Nardini Grappa (2 x 30ml)
Bianchini – these traditional Sardinian meringues are sweet and rich with toasted almonds and aromatic lemon zest, so a little goes a long way. I ration myself to one each evening with a nip of Nardini grappa as the perfect way to end my evening!
Nardini Mezzo e Mezzo (2 x 200ml)
Primo Sale con Abbamele – the bittersweet herbal notes of Nardini Mezzo e Mezzo aperitivo marry beautifully with the sweet abbamele and creamy cheese … a great start to any meal!
Cantina Santa Maria La Palma Ràfia Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2018
Trota alla Rosmarino e Olive (Rainbow Trout w/ Rosemary & Olives) – vermentino, Sardinia’s most popular white wine, is a great match for this dish (especially if you use a little in the cooking). I like Ràfia from Alghero which is aged on lees for 12 months, giving it a smooth, complex flavour with great length.
Cantina Santa Maria La Palma Cannonau di Sardegna DOC Riserva 2016
Sella di Agnello con Insalata di Fregola e Olive (Baked Lamb Rump, Fregola & Olive Salad) – the rich flavours of lamb, rosemary and green olives call for a smooth bold wine like this aged cannonau from Santa Maria la Palma in Alghero.
Argiolas Angialis 2014, Isola dei Nuraghi IGT (500ml)
Seadas (Deep-fried Cheese-filled Pastries) – I’m excited to share this rare Sardinian dessert wine with you. Made from nasco, a white grape indigenous to southern Sardinia where there are now only 40 hectares under vine, this aromatic, mouth-filling wine has a semi-sweet finish that marries beautifully with the honey on our classic Sardinian dessert!
Please call Roberto Dessanti on 0420 904 255 with any questions.
Prices include GST. Euro Concepts Sydney supports the responsible service of alcohol and therefore all deliveries are to be received and signed for by a person of 18 years of age or over. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. Licence No. LIQP770010259.
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