Altadonna is a project by the well-known father & son winemaking team of Stefano and Niccoló Chioccioli. Their portfolio is a line of pan-Italian wines sourced from northern to southern Italy. While such projects are often sub-par and blandly corporate, the Chioccioli family manages to maintain both quality and personality in their wines.

This wine is their Sicilian bottling. Nero d’Avola is directly translated as “the black grape from the town of Avola,” which is an apt description for both the grape and the wine it produces. With its thick skins and high sugar content, the grape tends to produce highly extracted and rich wines. This particular bottling was fermented and aged in stainless steel, one of the reason its price is so reasonable for the quality. Sometimes, oak does nothing more than increase the cost of winemaking. It’s an appropriate tradeoff here.

This is a great option for a house wine, for a sommelier or a casual quaffer. Notes of dark plum and ocean breeze are followed by rich dark fruit and asian spices. Full bodied and velvety, this is the wine equivalent of blackberry jello  — possibly even Teddy Ruxpin  — and I mean that in the best way possible. Super fun and unpretentious.

For pairings, I suggest pulling out the grill or hitting a local BBQ joint with this in hand.