This month I received a unique sampling package of the 2014 Cusumano Nero d'Avola ($15) packaged with a pizza making kit. The obvious message is that this Italian red wine from Sicily pairs well with America's favorite food. The Cusumano Winery is operated by brothers Diego and Alberto Cusumano with the vineyards for the Nero d'Avola located in the dry and hot climate of southern Sicily - the grape's historic homeland
The Cusumano Nero d'Avola is a palate pleaser with it's strength due to its relative simplicity. You will not be overwhelmed from any one characteristic; instead the simple and straightforward nature of the wine works wonderfully. The nose is fresh and jammy, the palate red fruit and leather with light texture, and the tail comes across with light and tannins. And the wine's relatively high acidity provides the bond to pizza - cutting through the cheese and tomato. Here's W. Blake Gray explaining why at WineFix.
Sarah Jarosz had a big last week when her fourth album, Undercurrent, was awarded the 2017 Grammy for Best Folk Album. (Jarosz was awarded a second Grammy for Best American Roots Performance as well.) I immediately downloaded the album and soon realized that, like the wine, the strength of this release is also in it's simplicity. Most of the song's are simply Jarosz and her guitar, showcasing her sweet vocals and picking skills. When the electric guitar appears, it is present, but not overwhelming. My favorite tracks are House Of Mercy with Jedd Hughes, Everything To Hide, and Still Life with I'm With Her band mates Aoife O'Donovan and Sara Watkins providing exceptional harmonies. All songs worthy of a Grammy. Cheers.