Sicilian Cassata, a typical dessert of the Mediterranean island symbolic of Easter, is a torte made of soft sponge cake, filled with luscious ricotta cream enriched with candied fruit and chocolate chips, topped with an outer rim made of green almond paste garnished with sugar icing and colorful whole candied fruit. So which wines pair well with this rich sweet? Here are some suggestions from Italian Sensorial Wine Analyst Luca Maroni.
Sicilian Cassata with a Malvasia Passito
Malvasia Passito Carlo Hauner
“As the tenor of both softness and fragrance rises, the great extractive richness of Hauner’s wines is increasingly brought to bear.”
Among the wines proposed by Luca Maroni for pairing with cassata is Malvasia Passito Carlo Hauner from the Aeolian winery Hauner. To the eye, it expresses a great brightness of a true golden yellow-green. It has an excellent texture with rich, tight, heavy bows. Exemplary on the nose, the vinification and aging in wood have developed impressive tertiary aromas. A note of honey and overripe apricots is distinct. Its palate is fine and enveloping, almost salty; and it presents a perfect balance with an almondy, lingering finish.
Sicilian Cassata with a Passito di Pantelleria Doc
Ben Ryé Donnafugata
“Such is the treasure in the sweet essence of the grape of Donnafugata’s Ben Ryé that the rays of the sun that ripened it, their warmth still disperse in its fiery, luminous perfume. Golden fruit and citrus, peach, pineapple, and saffron are spherically united. Yes, despite its fabulous juiciness in extractive sugars, it is sweet wine for which it makes sense to deductively invoke the term souplesse. A levity that is balanced, a harmony that is not elision, a proportion that is cohesive fusion. Such a mix of acidity, sweetness, and alcoholic power that the resultant is the mellow essence of grape pulp.”
Sicilian Cassata with a Salina IGT
Malvasia Tenuta Capofaro Tasca d’Almerita
“The work and fruit of Lucio Tasca, of his Sicula purity, shine forth in Tenuta Capofaro Malvasia in the sweetest essences of the grape. Its color of gold bears intense, auburn tones of sun-ripened grapes of accomplished maturity. The bouquet has vigor, clarity, and a stainless bloom that expresses its superior concentration. Its first notes are of apricot and then grape, followed by the most intense plum, with a touch of tropical pineapple. This Malvasia presents the most aromatic, deepest, liveliest reminder of the fruit.
Great persuasiveness on the palate, with alcohol and acidic fragrance balancing all the persuasive viscosity of the taste. Smooth in enological executive clarity, still well fragrant and turgid, lasting in the aftertaste and in the bottle, like the best passito wines of international value. A sweet wine of utmost depth, majestically powerful in the impression and expression of its dazzling, floral flavor.”