Good wines make you feel alive.
Great wines taste alive.
Like they know things.
And will whisper them in your ear if you stop to listen.
The gnarly vines grown along the sandy, dark ashen slopes of Europe's highest active volcano, Sicily's Mount Etna, look as wise as Yoda.
Because phylloxera, that pesky louse that annihilated Europe's vineyards in the late 1800s, can't move through sand, many of the vines have lived--precariously perched--a third of the way up the 10,952', lava-spewer for over 100 years.
Two grapes, Nerello Mascalese and the slightly stouter Nerello Cappuccio, make the region’s red wine, or Etna Rosso.
In it, wild strawberries, sweet anise, and tamarind suggest themselves; however, it's the wine's intense yet eminently likeable character--plus its nimbleness with food--that are most evident.
You get the perfume and earth of Burgundy for a comparative song--and none of the cellar time.
According to the United Nations, Mount Etna is one of 16 volcanoes in the world whose eruption would threaten lives and damage property.
Etna Rosso clearly recognizes its own mortality, living each day as if it’s its last.
Its other secrets are for you to uncover.