Arrivederci Verona!

And another Vinitaly - celebrating its 50th anniversary - comes to a close. By all accounts, this year was a success; producers big and small sold more wine to more markets than in the past. And that's what it's all about, right? Wrong! It's about people, personalities, communication, sharing, spreading the passion for the grape,…

To Life, To Life, L’Chaim!

Today I participated in the Young to Young tasting for up-and-coming winemakers. It was a morning filled with emotions. Three heavy hitters: a Brunello di Montalcino, a Barolo and an Amarone. All this before noon! At this 50th annual Vinitaly, we've been talking about traditions and family and the land (more than the 'terroir'). This…

La Famiglia, and the ABC’s of Winemaking

Here at this 50th annual Vinitaly, I am reflecting on family, traditions, values, and the land that is Italy. Let's face it, this country is one of the world's most industrial, and it has a unique model to propose: the small- and medium-sized business. There are 4.4 million companies in Italy with less than 250…

Now That’s a Vintage!

When they say it's wonderful to age like a good wine, do they really contemplate a wine that is 50 years old? Today, the Donne del Vino - the Women of Wine - held a unique tasting: 10 women producers presented their wines. First, a recent vintage, something we all might buy at the wine…

Super Tuscan Superstar

Stars are born, and stars are made. Lucky us, to have lived to see the meteoric passing of winemaker Giacomo Tachis who died last week at the age of 82 in San Casciano Val di Pesa outside Florence. Crazy thing is, I'd passed through San Casciano myself, just two days earlier. I never had the pleasure of…

The Must is a Must!

It's that time of year... When driving along country roads, drinking in views of castles and spent vineyards, you reflect on the summer that was and the fall that is, and the wine that will be... And it's a time to taste the must. I know, the white looks like chicken soup, but it is going…

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…

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…

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…