Sicilian Wine Dinner with the wines of FIRRIATO

Monday July 9th 2012 at 7pm we will host a Wine Dinner that will feature the food and wine of the beautiful island-region of Sicily. For the occasion we chose the wines from the producer considered to be the best in the region by the Italian and America wine critics, FIRRIATO.

FIRRIATO is a relatively new winery that was founded in 1985. They have quickly gained the attention of the wine enthusiasts and the press. Their philosophy is to employ highly qualified international winemaking consultants from Australia and New Zealand and combine them with the talents of their wine maker Giuseppe Pellegrino. This team has been charged with the duty of making wines that express the uniqueness of the Sicilian terroir using up to the minute technology. The intention is not to make an Australian or New Zealand styled wine but to make soft and expressive Sicilian wines through the experience of the team with the resources that abound in their sub region in Western Sicily near Trapani. They are making some of the most dynamic wines in Sicily today.

For this Wine Dinner Gino Palma Esposito worked on a menu that will feature typical dishes from Sicily. Maurizio Farro instead paired each dish with the perfect FIRRIATO wine. Traditional food and wine from one of the most famous Italian islands in the world, SICILIA!


Here is the menu and wines paired for each course:

Insalata di Mare

Cold Octopus Salad With Lemon And FIRRIATO Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Paired with: Ansonica “Chiaramonte”, FIRRIATO


Paccheri al Ragu di Alici

Ragú Sauce Made With Fresh Imported Anchovies Served With Paccheri Pasta

Paired with: Grillo “Altavilla della Corte”, FIRRIATO


“Spitini” Siciliani

Skewered Beef Filet With Caciocavallo Cheese Served With Sicilian Style Sautéed Eggplant

Paired with: Nero d’Avola “Chiaramonte”, FIRRIATO


Castrato alla Brace

Grilled Sicilian Marinated Lamb Served With Fried Baby Artichokes

Paired with: Etna Rosso “CAVANERA”,

Nerello Mascalese & Nerello Cappuccio, FIRRIATO


Cassata alla Siciliana

Sponge cake with ricotta cheese, chocolate and fresh crystallized fruit paired with:

L’Ecrù, Zibibbo & Malvasia, FIRRIATO



FIRRIATO featured for the evening are made with native grapes such as Grillo, believed to be brought by the Phenicious to Sicily, it is now their indigenous grape. Also, Ansonica, Nero d’Avola, Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cppuccio, Zibibbo.

CAVANERA, one of the wines we will taste for the event, is made on the Etna volcano and was awarded by the prestigious wine magazine THE WINE ADVOCATE as one of the best wines from Sicily. There is no doubt FIRRIATO is the real expression of Sicilian wines today.

This is what THE WINE ADVOCATE wrote about FIRRIATO:

The 2007 Etna Rosso Cavanera (Nerello Mascalese-Nerello Cappuccio) possesses wonderful richness and depth in the mid-weight style that is the hallmark of the wines of the Etna. Succulent red cherries, raspberries, licorice, tobacco and sweet spices are some of the nuances that emerge from this beautiful, harmonious wine. Sweet, candied notes add a sense of lift on the finish. This is a remarkably polished, complete wine from Firriato. With a little better use of oak, this could be an even more expressive and complete wine, a frightening prospect considering how terrific it is already. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2019. 

I have to say I was deeply impressed with the wines I tasted from Firriato this year. Across the board this is a very solid line-up, which is particularly impressive considering the estate’s production is now nearly 5 million bottles per year spread across numerous properties in Sicily. Firriato is among the new entrants in the Etna, and those wines are among the highlights.

Antonio Galloni








FACCI RESTAURANT AT  (301) 604-5555.



Facci Wood Fire Pizza and Wine Bar

7530 Montpelier Road

Laurel, Maryland 20723

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