If I were a big fan of The Sopranos, I might throw a Season 6 Premier Party. Naturally I would serve vino Italiano. My crew wouldn't get none of them B's - Barolo, Barbresco, Barbera. Rather, I'd head to 'the family's' Island - Sicily. Why should one look to Sicily (just don't stare) for get-together wine? Two words: cheap wine. Now hold on a minute. It aint so bad.
Sure, Sicily's vino past is a bit cloudy. With its hot summer temperatures, the island produced generations of highly alcoholic, color-intense wine, which was used as blending juice. In fact, it's a dirty little secret that many French vignerons bought 'protection' for their weaker wines from La Cosa Loro.
More recently however, a few capos decided they would have more success conquering the wine world with style rather than brute strength. These cerebral Sicilians focused on quantity over quality. And believe you me, you should have no problem with that. Nowadays one can procure high fallutin' Sicilian vino at boutique prices (you don't even have to know a guy). One may also, if one is so inclined, track down rosy pink wine from the island (I happen to know a guy).
Luckily it seems that a few vino consigliori even persuaded their boss to produce good. cheap. wine. To the folks at Feudo Arancio, I offer a hearty hug of gratitude for two Sicilians that should be at every wiseguy get-together on March 12.
A unique white wine full of lemon zest, cucumber, romaine and white pepper scents. This wine is great with pork chops or baked ziti. It's even solid enough to stand up to a slice (either New York or Chicago).
'Nero' (Feudo Arancio Nero D'Avola 2003 - $7)
Nero is the current holder of the vaunted Basic Juice 'best damn red wine under ten bucks' title. Now don't expect the earth to move after sipping this wine. But as a spicy-fruity sipping beverage to nurse as you watch Tony, Christopher and Carmela wrestle with inner demons, Nero is just the ticket. And yes, it will pair perfectly with mama's spaghetti or a leftover slice.
Feudo Arancio Nero D'Avola: It's big at the Bada-Bing!