Nero d'Avola, Sicily's most important grape, is often compared to Australian Shirazes. And while they share a warm climate with plenty of sun and little rain, this comparison usually doesn't work for me, especially at the everyday level. I find most Nero d'Avolas more balanced and food friendly than the aforementioned Australian wines, whose flavors run much more to raisiny over-ripeness and high alcohol. This version, another fine product of Polaner Selections, cost me an affordable $11.99. Produced by Valle dell'Acate, a winery now under 6th generation management, this graceful red delivers the goods. A beautiful translucent ruby color yields delicate raspberry, maraschino cherry and a stony minerality on the nose. The mouth filling yet somewhat high toned medium-bodied flavors run toward tart cherry and pomegranate with bracing acidity and a long, smooth finish. This paired very well with pasta with escarole and basil from the garden and cannellini beans. I'll take this over Australian Shiraz any day. Cheers.