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Italy, Land of Chocolate!

It is too hot to talk about wine. So let’s turn our thoughts to something cool… Gelato! When I am in Milan’s Central train station, I often stop to have a Venchi gelato. Venchi is better known for its chocolates; take a look! Delectable, no? Chocolate is one of those things (like wine) that is […]

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Che mondo sarebbe senza Nutella? or A world without Italy?

When we were children, there was an ad: Che mondo sarebbe senza Nutella? Would it be a world worth living in? I guess the question I want to ask, along with the fabulous planners of the Italian Pavilion at Expo, is: Is that even conceivable? A visit to the Milan Expo – which, by the […]

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Writing About Wine… Since 1300!!!

Sunday was the big Cantine Aperte event: throughout Italy, vineyards opened their doors to the curious and the thirsty, and explained their production to the masses. For those of us who were urban-bound, events like the presentation of a reprint of Arnaldo da Villanova’s Trattato sui vini: Liber de vinis delighted the mind and the […]

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A University with Taste

I finally made it to Pollenzo the other day,to the famous Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche, a.k.a. l’Università del Gusto (Taste University)! What better pilgrimage to prepare for today, May 1st and the opening of the Expo in  Milan dedicated to the theme of Feeding the Planet (more about that in a future post!) I toured […]

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Would I Lie to You, Honey?

You know I tell the truth here on Italian Grapevine. The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth … on matters of Italian food, wine, culture and dolce vita living. I am la bocca della verità. Back in the Eternal City… What is the magic of this place? Could it be that you […]

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All That Jazz!

Warning: this is a post with a soundtrack, so crank up the volume! Altro che 3 Tenorini! as we would say. Italians love the number 3: remember Dante? So once upon a time, there were the 3 tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras). Then came the 3 Tenorini (actually one is a baritone), now called Il Volo. […]

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When Life Gives You Lemons…. Make Limoncello!

As often happens in late winter/early spring, friends showered me with their ‘untreated’ lemons, meaning these were the real McCoy: pure, unadulterated lemons.   So I get a ‘gift’ of 6 lemons here, 8 lemons there …. What to do with a fridge full of lemons? Limoncello! I peel the zest only off of 14 […]

I, Sommelier

It’s official: Today I became a sommelier. The crowning glory of over 2 years of study with the AIS – Associazione Italiana Sommelier. It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t supposed to be. Memorizing grape varieties, vintages and wine-growing regions across the globe… Bad enough, Italy has 73 DOCG and over 330 DOC wines: you have to know […]

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Class is Not Water

Or so they say in Italian (La classe non è acqua!)  Maybe it’s Brunello, or Amarone, or Chianti, or Prosecco, or Furore. See what I mean? That phrase could have been the caption for Wednesday night’s super gala dinner for Le Donne del Vino (the Women of Wine Association). The event is called Finitaly, a play […]

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Forever Young!

The last day of Vinitaly (Wednesday, March 25) was filled with excitement. As you may remember, the day before, we participated in the Young to Young tasting. A late evening phone call informed us that Italiangrapevine.com was chosen for best communication of that event. Hip, hip, hooray! And the winners of each of the three […]