The Da Vinci Code for Wine

Milano Wine Week recently gave me the excuse to flit through Via Montenapoleone dressed to the nines and sip vintages while taking in the view of fancy pants fashion-conscious wine lovers. From the Duomo (left) to Via Montenapoleone, it's all a catwalk! A lot was going on during this Wine Week, from workshops to master…

A Brunello For All Seasons

One of Italy’s big B wines (Brunello, Barolo, Barbaresco, maybe even Bolgheri) that command universal respect, Brunello di Montalcino is perhaps the most exquisite expression of that versatile grape Sangiovese. Of course in this area of Tuscany, the grape itself is called Brunello, whereas in nearby Montepulciano, it goes by the name of Prugnolo Gentile!…

Much Ado About Something

Nestled into the hills of Chianti is a magical place called Vignamaggio. The name has nothing to do with the month of May (Maggio in Italian), but is rather a direct reference to its prominence as a vineyard (vigna) that is the best (maggiore). Lucky me that I got to visit it on a balmy…

Three Cheers for Cirò!

Calabria is off the beaten path, which may be why I don’t know it as well as I should. But the wines have long intrigued me… so that and the sirens’ call of the Ionian Sea made me venture there late this spring. Is it any wonder that Ulysses was lured here? After all, Scylla…

Carpe diem, and visit Basilicata!

On a recent trip to taste Aglianico del Vulture, I discovered the birthplace of Horace, that fun-loving Latin poet who coined the phrase Carpe diem! Or Seize the day! My suggestion: take his advice and hurry up and visit the region of Basilicata. The lovely piazza dedicated to the monumental poet, Horace, in his birthplace,…

Chillin’ in Chile

Italian Grapevine took a vacation, to explore other grape-growing, wine-making terroirs, this time going quite a distance... all the way to the New World! My trek to the Maipo Valley, so near to Santiago, to visit the Undurraga winery, one of Chile's most important wine estates, was nothing short of idyllic. And such a welcome!…

Seeing Stars

As a lover of good wine, I am – quite obviously – also a lover of great food. So in my meanderings around Italy, this year I decided to start making a point of visiting Michelin starred restaurants, especially those of young, up-and-coming chefs. The ones with the stars in their eyes. First stop: Umami,…