“There are journeys that have no other purpose than going on discovering more and more beautiful things.”
This is a red wine which hails from the island of Sicily. If you look at a map of Italy, Sicily is located right at the toe of this boot-shaped country, and it looks a little like the island is being kicked out into the Mediterranean Sea. In a way it is kind of appropriate because of the Italians’ love of soccer, their football. Sicily is also the home of the Cyclops in Ancient Greek Mythology. The most famous of these is Polyphemus, who lived in a “covo” or a lair. Polyphemus is a giant of a being, bold, brash and really evil. A legend about him is that he became so vicious due to an unrequited love. In Homer’s Odyssey, he is fooled, blinded and killed by the hero Ulysses (Odysseus), but not before he had eaten several of Ulysses’ men. As you can see, the Cyclops had no idea of hospitality.
Il Covo comes from only the finest grapes grown on the island. It is a blend of Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet with each grape giving the wine its own distinctive but varied flavor and aroma. The crop is warmed by the gentle Sicilian sun and fed by the breezes off the Mediterranean to produce a wine that I can best describe as gentle and sophisticated.
Historically though, Sicilian wines have been really looked down on. They are rather unique because of the soil, the climate and the overall attitude of winemakers here. Mostly bulk-produced wines have given Sicilian wines kind of a mass-produced reputation. But, more recently, these wines have enjoyed a transformation of sorts and have become more popular, largely because they have been discovered as excellent wines and excellent values. In fact, a part of their transformation is to make wineries more visitor friendly so they can better compete with wineries on the mainland.
As with most Sicilian wines, this is not a very complex beverage. Like the locals, it is pretty direct in its aroma and taste. Allowing the bottle to aerate for a while will release a scent of freshness, with hints of ripe grapes and some plum. In the glass it is a medium red as compared to say a chianti, with an equally light flavor. It does have the spunk to last a while on the palate with a good, dry flavor accenting the grapes, but with some hints of vanilla, leather and dried berries. Good quality always comes through in any product and this is no exception. This is a very well thought out, well planned wine that can alter your opinion of Sicilian wines should you feel they are not higher end products.
We paired this wine with pork ribs and a spicy sauce and it stood up very, very well. We also had some grilled eggplant and zucchini as sides and all the flavors melded into an excellent meal. Il Covo proved to be a perfect choice and I think it would go just as well with spicy dishes like paella, for example, or pasta sauces.
I discovered this bottle at a local store near me here in the Carolinas. With an attractive bottle and a price to match I picked it to give it a try. I was not disappointed at all and plan to buy it again. My guests and I found it to have the taste and body to make it one of our regular wines when we get together. For myself, I would give this a rating of 8.0 grapes out of an unattainable 10 which is more than respectable. As I said above, quality always shows and this is no exception.
Price – about $14
Alcohol – 14.5%
A blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Cabernet and Syrah