Couillaud Gamay Rosé ($10.99)
Loire Valley, France
Gamay is the grape best known for making Beaujolais, so it's a little different to find it as a varietal Rosé, but am I happy to have stumbled across this gem! It's from the Loire Valley in Northern France, so the style is a little juicier than what you get in Provence or Languedoc. There's a lot of fruit on the palate, but the light freshness keeps it vibrant and easy to drink. This would pair well with salads or ham, or you can enjoy it as an aperitif.
Prodigo Nero D'Avola ($10.99)
From the producer:
"The grapes come from selected vineyards harvested later than usual, towards the beginning of October, to get a level of maturation such to have a high sugar level and good alcohol content. Grapes are naturally dried on vines for about 15 days. After the hand harvest, grapes are pressed and the fermentation starts; the skins are left in the must for a period to extract flavor in temperature controlled vats between 25 -27 °C. It is left in oak for 5-6 months.
Made from partially dried Nero d'Avola grapes, the wine's bouquet is slightly spicy, and has notes of dried figs and ripe fruits, like blackberry and boysenberry. The finish is round and velvety, with notes of vanilla."
This is a luscious, smooth wine with dark fruit flavors and soft tannins. It is a great introduction to Nero D'Avola, and to Sicilian wines in general.