Looking Good, Bellavista!

Oh, the elegance of it! A recent evening at the Rapallo Yacht Club featured the wines of Bellavista, best known for its fabulous Franciacorta. While everyone and their brother seems to know Prosecco, why is Franciacorta Italy's best-kept bubbly secret? What is in a name? Franciacorta is no ordinary bubbly (and of course, we are…

The Last Supper

As you've gathered, I'm still digesting my experience at the Florence Symposium of the Masters of Wine. The farewell dinner was an appropriate send-off, held at the spectacular Antinori Winery in the Chianti Classico. Designed by architect Marco Casamonti, this stunning state-of-the-art Cantina wowed the crowd. How can I begin to describe this magical evening? The…

Symposium, The Masters of Wine

Buongiorno da Firenze! The 450 delegates of the 8th Symposium have convened and Florence is a-buzz. Things started up mid-afternoon Thursday at the Palazzo dei Congressi, and I haven't had a minute since. The tastings are amazing, the Masters are truly that.So, what are you tasting, you ask! My pick of the first quite impressive…

Let’s Drink Together!

The 8th Symposium organized by the Institute of Masters of Wine will be held in Florence, from May 15 - 18. In just a few days, wine connoisseurs will convene in that cradle of the Italian Renaissance for 4 days of conferences, tastings, meeting and greeting. And there will be a significant number of the…

Gnocchi al pesto…. Allegro ma non troppo!

The marvelous Giorgio Erede, a lawyer-turned-chef and restaurateur, has written an unusual and fun memoir, La musica della mia cucina. Those two Italian passions - food and music - in one original work. Isn't creativity what it's all about, Alfie? Erede shares recipes and memories, and gives you the soundtrack for both.  It begs the…

Finire in bellezza… The Beautiful Finish to Vinitaly

In Italian we say it is important to finire in bellezza, that is, to end things nicely, beautifully. It’s all about impressions and leaving a good taste in your mouth, so to speak. It’s what people remember, what they take away with them. And we can say that Vinitaly 2014 certainly ended with a bang!…

OK, I admit it, I like to sniff…

We are deep into it now, Vinitaly 2014. The heat is on, here in Verona – temperatures are record-breaking, and the wines are sweating. The refrigeration just can’t keep up with the sun beating down on the Verona fairgrounds. I’ve got to admit it, I prefer to sniff. The aromas are heady… I came to…

Italians Do It Better…. And Longer!

Did you know that researchers have found that – not only do Italians do it better, but – Sardinians live longer than just about anybody else? And Sardinian men lead the pack! There are more of them over 100 years old than anyplace else on earth – the highest concentration of centenarians. Sardinia's Secret To…