This bottle of wine is significant for a few reasons. First, the outstanding portrait on the label is important to discuss. It is of an unknown man, believed to be a wealthy merchant from Lipari Island, one of the Eolian Islands. It was painted by renowned Sicilian artist Antonello da Messina (1430-1479) in the mid 15th century. The painting now resides in the Museo Mandralisca in Cefalu’. Apparently, no one knew it existed until it was “discovered” in the 19th century on Lipari, where it was being used as a cupboard door in a pharmacy. Thankfully now, it’s being appreciated! Speaking of appreciation, there is, of course, the wine, which is named for Antonello da Messina. The wine is made from Nero d’Avola, Sangiovese, and Corinto Nero grapes grown on Salina and Vulcano islands. Carlo Hauner is the winemaker. Now that I’ve written this post, I can open the bottle and enjoy it!
Thank you Chef Melissa of New York’s Bar Eolo who gave it to me as a gift.