People Who Need People

Back in the saddle, sipping again! Last Saturday I had the great good fortune to attend Wine Spectator’s pull-out-the-stops event, Opera Wine 2021 live and in person in Verona. This was one of the first live tasting events since the pandemic, and it brought together – as is tradition – producers, buyers, journalists from around…

Dante’s March

On March 25, Italy celebrated the second Dantedì (Heaven forbid we use English and call it Dante’s Day, Dante would roll over in his grave!). This important celebration marks the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death in 1321. I hear you: “Why the Inferno March 25?” As recognized by most scholars of the Divine Comedy, on…

Tuscan Quintet Part V: Tenuta Il Corno

Welcome to Tenuta Il Corno Tenuta Il Corno sits on a ridge in the Tuscan countryside just outside San Casciano Val di Pesa. The first time I visited the estate was on a dark and rainy January late afternoon. Struck by its austere and impressive façade, with a medieval bell tower to boot, the place…

Tuscan Quintet: Part III Conte Guicciardini

Once upon a time... there was Castello di Poppiano Organization and method: that is what I found at Castello Poppiano, headquarters of the Conte Guicciardini winery. And history, vast history. And a touch of romanticism. A perfect blend that seems to have found its way into each carefully crafted bottle that bears the family crest.…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

Lambrusco Renaissance

Adhering to the 'Just say Yes to life' philosophy, I recently accepted an invitation to visit Rinaldini Vini, near Reggio Emilia. A lovely spring day awaited me, and the sunshine and the warm welcome reminded me that this region is known for its hospitality. And great food - but I'll get to that part in…

Our Ladies of Loreto

On my odyssey through the world of Italian wine this summer, I was able to visit producers whose wines had intrigued me, but whose terroir I had not yet been able to visit. And the great thing about visiting wineries is you see where the wine grows: you breathe the same air, feel the sun…