Monday, July 25, 2011


Cantine Russo Uve D oro Nero dAvola

When we go to Disneyland, my wife and I often make California Adventure our first stop.  If it's time for lunch, we head for Wine Country Trattoria at the Golden Vine Winery.

For the uninitiated, they actually grow grapes right there in the theme park.  It's a real vineyard in the same sense that Disneyland's Frontierland is actually the Old West.  But it does make me think of Napa Valley, which is the intent.

A site called All Ears - guess who's ears - has an interesting tidbit to share:
"Anaheim was actually a grape-growing area with a number of vineyards.  But in the 1880s a virus called "Anaheim Disease" destroyed the grapevines, and the growers eventually turned to citrus instead.  This virus still persists, and the vines at the Golden Vine Winery have to be re-planted as they fall prey to it."

The restaurant features nice Italian food and, of course, wine.  The outside area makes a great place to dine and offers a good view of the World Of Color water and light spectacular in the evening.  They say reservations are a must if you want that vantage point.

The Wine Country Trattoria's wine list has some nice Italian offerings in addition to the expected California pours.  I usually pick a California wine, what with Mickey's smiling face looking down from the ferris wheel in the midway.  This time, I chose an Italian vino.

The wine, Uve D'oro Nero d'Avola, is from Cantine Russo.  The 2005 Sicilian red hails from vineyards in Sambuca di Sicilia and has an alcohol level of 12.5% abv.

The dark purple color suggests some rich flavor, and the nose gives it away with black fruit spiced with anise and clove.  On the palate, the flavor of black tea layers over the dark fruit.  It's a very aromatic wine and it tastes simply and rustically beautiful.

While I enjoyed it with the lasagna I ordered, I found myself wishing I had opted for a Sangiovese instead.  I especially like the way Sangiovese pairs with tomato-based food, but this Nero was certainly serviceable.  My wife liked the pairing more than I did, and I have the utmost respect for her sensibilities in pairing flavors.

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