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 […]


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 […]


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. […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 was chosen for best communication of that event. Hip, hip, hooray! And the winners of each of the three […]


Those Boots were Made for Walking!

And that’s just what they’ll do. You know you are in Italy when you see fabulously dressed and hoofed women in vertigo-inducing high heels, with smiles on their faces after ten hours of balancing on stilettos.     How many Americans (or Brits, or Germans, or you-name-it-nationalities) would hoof around a trade fair like Vinitaly […]


Super Tuscans!

They never cease to amaze, these Super Tuscans. I met two in my hotel here at Vinitaly. They need no introduction: Tenuta San Guido, Bolgheri, Italy. Ring a bell? Sassicaia – the Super Tuscan by definition. These people not only make Sassicaia (they invented it, for Pete’s sake!), but they also make superb Sardinian wines. […]


Young to Young Reaches Out

I made my way to the 1st floor of Pavillion 10 this morning to participate in a tasting. Rising above the often very crowded floors of the Vinitaly fair, one gets a different perspective on the business of wine. Serious business, this tasting of wine. This morning at 11:00, we took our places in one […]