2008 MandraRossa Syrah - I.G.T. Sicilia

This wine is really an exceptional value for around ten bucks. It's made from 100% Syrah grapes that are hand picked and stainless steel fermented. I love the value that is available in Sicily, especially with warm weather grapes like Syrah and of course Nero D' Avola.

On the nose I get aromas of blackberry, plum, black pepper, and a touch of earth. There is nice fruit purity here and because of the way it's made (Stainless Steel Fermented) I think the fruit shines through nicely.

On the palate the wine has a nice full texture and shows flavors of mixed berry, pepper, and hints of dark chocolate. It's a very nice and easy drinking wine and has enough complexity to make it more than just your every day table wine.

Average Retail: $10-$12
Vino Blog Rating: 7/10


Provolone Cheese

Although it's produced in other parts of the world Provolone is an Italian cheese that originated in Southern Italy. It's still produced in a variety of different shapes but the most common is a thick sausage type shape like seen in the photo. The most important Provolone production region is currently Northern Italy in the regions of Lombardia and Veneto.

Provolone is a whole-milk cow cheese that is semi-hard and varies in taste a flavor profile based on the style it's made in. Dolce (mild Provolne) is aged for two to three months, and it is supple and smooth with a thin waxed rind. Provolone Piccante is aged for six months to two years, it is darker with small holes and a spicy flavor.