Wine review: Duca di Castelmonte Notorius 2007

Anyone who appreciates cheap wine should appreciate Sicily. The island at the bottom of Italy produces quality inexpensive wine from grapes most people have never heard of. What more can one ask?

The Notorius (about $10, available at Central Market) is made with the grillo grape, which is native to Sicily and apparently has been used to make wine since before the birth of Christ. It’s most widely used to make marsala, but is increasingly showing up in table wine.

The Notorius is richer than I thought it was going to be, with more of a soft lemon flavor and not the usual harsher citrus common to poorly-made cheap Italian wine. That’s from a bit of oak aging, which gives the Notorius a richer mouth feel and more complexity than the usual cheap Italian wine. Highly recommended, especially for Mother’s Day chicken, fish and shellfish. This would really impress Mom if it’s served with grilled shrimp marinated with garlic, rosemary and olive oil.

After the jump, a few wine notes:

• Four Dallas wineries have put together a wine trail — just like in California. The Dallas Wine Trail includes Times Ten Cellars, Inwood Estates, Calais Winery and Fuqua Winery. The first event is May 23 and will be held at Times Ten in Lakewood, featuring wines from all four wineries. Tickets are $45 in advance and can be purchased at the wineries or through the Dallas Wine Trail web site.

• A shameless plug: I’m part of a group called DrinkLocalWine.com, which will hold a conference in Dallas in August featuring Texas wine. Details are on the web site.

• Mother’s Day wine events: Check out LocalWineEvents.com, which lists almost two dozen this weekend.


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