Name that Tune! Vinitaly 2017

Molise: The Sound of Wine. Love that. Not sure I know what it means. But it doesn’t matter. What sound does wine make? Lots of different sounds, depends on where you are, at what point the wine is (pouring? drinking? slurping the last delicious drop?), and who you’re with. As the following photos will attest, […]

It’s Good Friday: Do You Know Where Your Sepulchres Are?

On Holy Thursday and Good Friday in Italy, it is tradition to visit the Holy Sepulchre of Jesus, but not just one… many! Usually, the magic number is seven – but as any old Italian lady will tell you, as long as it’s an odd number, you’re OK. (Yes, there’s a veneer of pagan superstition […]

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 Prince of Chefs

When they invite you to a party in Portofino, you go. When they invite you to a party honoring Gualtiero Marchesi, you go. When they invite you to a party in Portofino honoring Gualtiero Marchesi, you can’t believe your good luck. The famous ‘cook’ (as he prefers to be called!), is the founder of new […]

Arti-Choke Me!

On a recent jaunt to Rome, I nearly OD’d on artichokes. I know, I know, do I have no self-control? It’s just that Rome is more than the capital of Italy… It’s the capital of artichokes! The Roman dialect word for artichokes is cimaroli, also called mammole, and this tender variety is round and without […]

The Sacred and the Profane

August is a special month in Italy: the entire country closes down for about 2 weeks and it all looks like a Hollywood set — where did all the people go? To the beach, to the mountains, but no one stays in town! It is also the start of the harvest time, and that is […]

Writing About Wine… Since 1300!!!

Sunday was the big Cantine Aperte event: throughout Italy, vineyards opened their doors to the curious and the thirsty, and explained their production to the masses. For those of us who were urban-bound, events like the presentation of a reprint of Arnaldo da Villanova’s Trattato sui vini: Liber de vinis delighted the mind and the […]

The Sisterhood of the Grape

Yesterday in a Liguria filled with sun, looking much like the photo below, I attended a meeting of the prestigious Italian association, Donne del Vino, which brings together producers, restaurateurs and… People like me! Journalists and writers who write about Food & Wine. Last year I was admitted to the ranks of this lovely group, […]

Buon Natale, genovese style!

Seeing as we are still in the 12 days of Christmas, I am going to extol the virtues of the Genovese Christmas culinary tradition. Recently, on a lovely evening at that Ligurian culinary mecca, Ristorante Manuelina in Recco, we were treated to the delights of the local gastronomy… Could a meal at Manuelina’s start with […]

Ever wonder why it’s called Genoa salame?

We are concluding a week that included two national holidays: Pasquetta, or Little Easter, on Monday, and the Festa della Liberazione, April 25th on Friday. How will we make it through next week? There’s only one national holiday: Thursday is May 1st, or Labor Day! Here in my neck of the woods (Liguria), April 25th […]