Bring on the Bubbly!

'Tis the season to be jolly, and no matter what your mood, the bubbly will improve it! So since this is the ITALIAN Grapevine, make sure the bubbly that graces your New Year's table is something from the Bel Paese: Spumante - that's the Italian word for bubbly, but don't jump to conclusions! It doesn't…

Harvest Time in Milan… What Luxury!

You didn't know there was a vendemmia in Milan, did you? Let me tell you, this is one hell of a harvest festival in a city that rarely sleeps! It is such a hard life writing about Italian food, wine and culture... Last night I made my way through the throngs of people enjoying the…

The Culture of Wine Part 1: Tasca d’Almerita

Did you know that Italy has more UNESCO World Heritage Sites than any other country in the world? All that art and nature... wonderful, right? But how can one little country afford to preserve and promote all that beauty? We all have to pitch in, that's how! And the world of wine is doing its…

Women of Great Taste (and Style!)

Tuesday afternoon at the 50th Annual Vinitaly, a special homage to women winemakers at the Allegrini stand. The event featured 5 Italian women winemakers - Marilisa Allegrini, Raffaella Bologna (Braida), Francesca Planeta, Marina Cvetic, and Elena Walch - who welcomed two foreign visitors, women winemakers Andrea Wirsching of Germany and Xandra Falcò of Spain. A…

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…

Swept Away…

Everyone should take a sailboat trip around Italian islands at some point in their life.   Now when Domenico Modugno sang 'Nel blu dipinto di blu' this is what he was talking about!   A recent cruise around the Egadi Islands off of Sicily's western coast (departures from Marsala or Trapani - both fantastic small…