Nero d’Avola is a full-bodied, dry red wine from Sicily that pairs best with lasagna, meatballs, pizza, red meat and lamb tagine.  Known for its bold black cherry, blackberry, raspberry and plum flavours, Nero d’Avola is high in tannin with medium-high acidity.  The combination of high acidity and tannin makes it exceptional with meaty dishes containing tomatoes, such as lasagna, veal Parmesan, pasta Bolognese, spaghetti and meatballs or pizza.  The high tannin also makes Nero d’Avola with meaty dishes such as lamb chops, steak, and venison stew.

Nero d'Avola Profile


What Is This?


What Is This?


What Is This?


What Is This?


What Is This?


What Is This?

On top of the refreshing fruit flavours, you get some earthy herbal notes, as well as mocha, spice, mint, licorice, violet, vanilla bean and espresso.  These earthy notes make Nero d’Avola exceptional with earthy black bean burgers, beef stroganoff, mushroom steaks, and Mediterranean dishes loaded with capers, olives and herbs.

While big and robust in tannin, Nero d’Avola is also soft on the palate, making this an easy red wine to drink on its own, as well as with food.  Styles of Nero D’Avola also vary. One wine producer might create an elegant red wine with restrained fruit, while another might create a fruit bomb with a long finish.  If the wine is labelled DOC, it must be at least 85 Nero d’Avola, however, other grapes such as Frappato, Nerello Mascalese, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon may be blended in.

Notable producers of Nero d’Avola include Villa Pozzi, Planeta Noto, Abbazia, Corvo, Donnafugate and Terre Nere.

Best Food with Nero d’Avola

Nero d'AvolaFarsumagru
Nero d'AvolaVenison Stew
Nero d'AvolaOxtail Soup
Nero d'AvolaBeef Stew
Nero d'AvolaGrilled Tuna
Nero d'AvolaLasagna
Nero d'AvolaPasta Bolognese
Nero d'AvolaBeef Stroganoff
Nero d'AvolaMoussaka
Nero d'AvolaPasta Puttanesca
Nero d'AvolaSweet & Sour Rabbit
Nero d'AvolaGrilled Lamb Chops
Nero d'AvolaGrilled Pork Chops
Nero d'AvolaRatatouille
Nero d'AvolaNY Strip Steak
Nero d'AvolaKangaroo
Nero d'AvolaGrilled Veal
Nero d'AvolaPizza
Nero d'AvolaMeze Platters
Nero d'AvolaBruschetta
Nero d'AvolaVeal Parmesan
Nero d'AvolaTimpano Pantheon
Nero d'AvolaArancini
Nero d'AvolaLamb Tagine
Nero d'AvolaSteak
Nero d'AvolaPasta with Venison Red Sauce
Nero d'AvolaLamb with Tzatziki Sauce
Nero d'AvolaPrime Rib Roast
Nero d'AvolaGnocchi con Pomodorini e Basilico
Nero d'AvolaBaked Gnocchi with Meat Ragu
Nero d'AvolaBeef Carne Asada
Nero d'AvolaVeal Chops
Nero d'AvolaPasta with Meatballs/Meat Sauce
Nero d'AvolaPasta with Tomato Sauce
Nero d'AvolaLamb Gyro
Nero d'AvolaGrilled Hamburgers
Nero d'AvolaBlack Bean Burgers
Nero d'AvolaShitake Mushrooms
Nero d'AvolaRibeye Steak
Nero d'AvolaAsian Cuisine
Nero d'AvolaThai Cuisine
Nero d'AvolaPenne alla Vodka

Nero d’Avola & Farsumagru Pairing

Farsumagru is a Sicilian dish that is a large roll of beef, stuffed with a mixture of bacon, sausage, prosciutto, ground beef, cheese, and hardboiled egg.  With so much protein and fat stuffed inside, you can imagine how dense this dish is.

The bold and robust flavours of Nero d’Avola, along with its high tannin, can cut through the heavy meaty flavours with ease.  The high amounts of tannin also break down the protein molecules, making all the meaty flavours taste even more delicious.  Meanwhile, the tannin of Nero d’Avola softens further, flooding your taste buds with delicious flavours of cherry pie, candied blackberries, prunes, and strawberry jam.

Nero d’Avola & Venison Stew Pairing

The candied and stewed fruit flavours of Nero d’Avola help mask the gaminess of Venison stew that not everyone appreciates. Meanwhile the earthy, herbal and spicy flavours of Nero d’Avola complement any mushrooms, herbs or vegetables within your stew.

High in tannin, Nero d’Avola loves meat, and the chunks of venison will give the wine something to bite into.  The tannin breaks down the venison even further, making it taste softer and more tender.  Meanwhile, the venison softens the wine, allowing more of its mint, earth, black peppers, licorice, leather and smoke flavours to shine through.

Nero d’Avola & Hamburger Pairing

Nero d’Avola is excellent with a juicy grilled Hamburger loaded with cheese, mushrooms and bacon.  The heavy proteins and fat give the hefty tannin in Nero d’Avola something to chew on, while the medium-high acidity of Nero helps wash away all the greasiness from the meat and cheese.  This allows each bite of the burger to taste as glorious as the first.

The earthy flavours of Nero d’Avola complement the bacon and mushrooms on your burger, while the long finish of the wine ensures you’ll taste both the burger and refreshing fruit flavours of the wine in perfect harmony.

Nero d’Avola & Pizza Pairing

Wines high in tannin often don’t mix with dishes that contain tomato, as the high acidity of tomato clashes with the tannin and making the wine taste flat and metallic.  Fortunately, Nero d’Avola has medium-high acidity to synchronize with the tomato sauce in pizza, ensuring the wine stays vibrant and fresh.

Nero d’Avola is also inexpensive, so if you are on a budget, this is an affordable red wine that packs a lot of value for the cost.

As far as Pizza toppings go, Nero d’Avola will get along great with olives, mushrooms, beef, bacon, sausage and herbs with its complementary flavours.  The refreshing notes of strawberry, plum, raspberry and cherry mesh perfectly with the tart tomato sauce as well as contributing their own delicious flavours.

Nero d’Avola and Lamb Gyros

In my youth, Lamb Gyros were always a Saturday night staple for me after an evening out on the town.  The bold fruit flavours of strawberry, cherry, plum and raspberry help mask any gaminess in the lamb, while the herbal and spice notes of Nero d’Avola complement any creamy sauces on your Gyro.  Finally, Nero d’Avola’s flavours of earth, smoke, tar, tobacco, black pepper and leather blend in nicely with those classic Gyro flavours.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nero d’Avola Sweet or Dry?

Nero d’Avola is a dry red wine. There is a perceived sweetness as it showcases many fruit flavours, however, Nero d’Avola is not a wine you would pair up with desserts. With its high alcohol content and high tannin, Nero d’Avola has a long, dry finish.

How much does Nero d’Avola Cost?

Nero d’Avola is relatively inexpensive.  Most good bottles cost under $20.  However, as you venture to the $10 range, quality may suffer.

Is Nero d’Avola a Grape?

Yes, Nero d’Avola is a grape, and it grows all over Sicily.  Wines labeled Nero d’Avola DOC must contain a minimum of 85% Nero d’Avola.  Meanwhile labelled Cerasuola di Vittoria DOCG permits up to 60% Nero d’Avola.  Marsala, a famous fortified wine from Trapani can include up to 70% of the Nero d’Avola grape.

What does Nero d’Avola mean?

Nero means “black” in Italian, so Nero d’Avola translates to ‘Black of Avola’.  Avola is a city in Syracuse Sicily.