Handcrafted by Geoff Hardy 2013 Nero d’Avola, $30
I always maintain that Italian food tastes better with Italian varietals. I guess there’s a synergy born out of years of culinary co-habitation. So when we dined at our friendly local, Marcello’s, it was a good time to open a bottle of this new addition to the Handcrafted by Geoff Hardy range. I love this range for its innovation and wonderful drinkability, and I’m pleased to say the Nero d’Avola is no exception. This is a variety that seems to do really well in McLaren Vale, perhaps because the climate is not unlike Sicily, where it is the most widely planted red. Geoff Hardy’s is lighter and softer than I expected, with sweet red berry and cherry notes. The company notes describe it as a “playful” wine and I certainly did a little happy dance as I scoffed it with my linguine with Moreton Bay bugs, avocado and chilli. Others in the range include Montepulciano (also new), Teroldego, Primitivo and Graciano. Keep an eye out for them.