A Brunello For All Seasons

One of Italy’s big B wines (Brunello, Barolo, Barbaresco, maybe even Bolgheri) that command universal respect, Brunello di Montalcino is perhaps the most exquisite expression of that versatile grape Sangiovese. Of course in this area of Tuscany, the grape itself is called Brunello, whereas in nearby Montepulciano, it goes by the name of Prugnolo Gentile!…

Wine, Women and Summer

Over the past few weeks, I've been sipping and tasting with the lovely Italian Women of Wine in Liguria. Le Donne del Vino in Italy numbers over 800 members, with winemakers, restaurateurs, sommeliers, journalists, wine shop owners, etc. Two restaurants hosted special events to feature the wines of Emilia-Romagna paired with Ligurian cuisine. Get out…

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…

Three Cheers for Cirò!

Calabria is off the beaten path, which may be why I don’t know it as well as I should. But the wines have long intrigued me… so that and the sirens’ call of the Ionian Sea made me venture there late this spring. Is it any wonder that Ulysses was lured here? After all, Scylla…

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,…

Tasting with the Stars

Tenuta Sant'Antonio offered journalists and experts a wonderful opportunity at Vinitaly 2019: a series of guided tastings with famous somms. Special mention honors go to the four Castagnedi brothers for organizing this event. The whole Italian Grapevine team was involved in covering the three tastings. On Monday, a vertical tasting of Lilium Est Amarone Riserva…

Man Does Not Live by Wine Alone…

Lucky for me, when I travel for wine, I also get to try an awful lot of good food. Puglia is one of those regions where authentic regional cuisine is flourishing. And as if that were not enough, going back to basics, using all natural ingredients or recipes the way grandma made them, is all…