Masterpieces of Taste

'Tis the season... to be running from wine exhibit to anteprima to wine fair. Whether you are a producer or a taster, February kicks off the new vintages and it's hard to keep up! A new addition to the Calendar is Wine and Siena: Masterpieces of Taste (the subtitle is new too!), a 4-year old…

Southern Hospitality: Women Winemakers in South Africa

Italian Grapevine likes to head to warmer climes when the frost falls in Italy... So here we are to report on two fabulous encounters with South African women winemakers whom we were lucky enough to visit. Don't you love how women and wine and travel all go together? I met Marinda Kruger-Claasen (left) of Elgin…

EUR at the Center of Italian Wine

The last weekend of October, Rome was a hotbed of activity for the maximum in Italian wine. On Saturday, October 26, the Italian Association of Sommeliers (AIS – Associazione Italiana Sommelier) presented its guide, Vitae, at the prestigious Nuvola Convention Center designed by famed Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas. The Maximum in wine and architecture! And…

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!…

Wine, Women and Summer

Over the past few weeks, I've been sipping and tasting with the lovely Italian Women of Wine in Liguria. Le Donne del Vino in Italy numbers over 800 members, with winemakers, restaurateurs, sommeliers, journalists, wine shop owners, etc. Two restaurants hosted special events to feature the wines of Emilia-Romagna paired with Ligurian cuisine. Get out…

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,…