All That Glitters is Bottega!

I love visiting the Bottega stand at Vinitaly – it’s so glamorous! Besides, Prosecco makes me happy. This year was special: Bottega was celebrating 40 years of distilling and winemaking. Founded in 1977 near Treviso in the Veneto region, the company has continued to expand. Leaders in brand recognition, who doesn’t know these shiny bottles […]

A Rare Opportunity

Today I had the rare opportunity to taste 19 rare wines made from little known indigenous grapes. Since I decided to focus during this Vinitaly 2017 on lesser known Italian wines and wine regions, this was the perfect tasting for me! I have to admit, I had not heard of the grape varieties Minutolo or […]

Va, pensiero! A Chorus of Italian Wine

Since Vinitaly kicks off each year with the Wine Spectator-sponsored event, Opera Wine, I thought it would be appropriate to choose an operatic soundtrack for this post. Crank up the volume, because the chorus we’re talking about is Verdi’s famed Va, pensiero!, a quiet storm. Many voices, and glasses, raised together and together make a […]

Mimosa Time!

And no, I am not talking Sunday Brunch! The real thing – the flowers – are given to women here in Italy on March 8, International Women’s Day. Oh, that’s not celebrated where you live? Well, it should be! Ever wonder why March is Women’s History Month? Hint: the event took place in New York […]

Back for More

Hit ’em with the one-two… Having tried the Chianti DOCG new releases on Sunday, Monday it was the Gallo Nero’s turn. Chianti Classico unveiled its Anteprima vintages at the old train station, now a congress center, Stazione Leopolda in Florence. Not hard to notice the old train station structure, a tad too minimalist for my […]

Wine&Siena, Wine&Friends

Still reflecting on last weekend’s event in Siena. The fun thing about these wine events is that you see old friends and make new ones. I haven’t been to a wine event yet where I haven’t met someone new or run into someone I wish I spent more time with. For instance, these two movers […]

Wine&Siena: Small is Beautiful

This weekend in Tuscany, the 2nd annual Wine&Siena was held in this charming medieval jewel of a hilltop city that is still contained by its ancient walls. Organized by the same people who put together Merano Wine Festival, it was an opportunity to taste the bounty of the land that is Italy, both wine and […]

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 […]

The Culture of Wine Part III: Montefalco and Benozzo

Benozzo Gozzoli has always been one of my favorite Quattrocento painters. How could you not love a guy with a name like that? Or a face like this? Benozzo was a busy guy: besides frescoing one of the great masterpieces of the Quattrocento for the Medici family in Florence, an Adoration of the Magi in […]

This First Lady is No Prima Donna!

No, I am not talking politics! I am talking about Donatella Cinelli Colombini, one of Italy’s premier Brunello di Montalcino winemakers. This week we visited Fattoria del Colle in Trequanda and Casato Prime Donne, Donatella’s two estates that have been in the family since the 1500s. This is big red country, but Donatella does it […]