The Noblest of Wines: Vino Nobile di Montepulciano

Wandering through the Tuscan countryside – something everyone should do at least once in a lifetime! – one stumbles upon hilltop towns that seem frozen in time. Montepulciano is a Medieval jewel, a place where the Medici family of Florence left their mark and who could blame them?   Marvelous vistas inspire noble thoughts. Is […]

There’s Nothing Primitive about this Primitivo!

True confessions: how much do you know about wine from Puglia? Not much? Well, it’s time you learned! Puglia is Italy’s hot, up-and-coming wine region, so you’d better be prepared. This is the heel of the boot. When talking terroir, a map is a good place to start! Local varieties have fun and evocative names […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Passion at Vinitaly

There are many words to describe Italian wine. Much ink has been spilled, and some vino too, trying to find the right ones to communicate the complex and fascinating sensations associated with wine. But if there is one word that is highly overused to describe wine and winemaking in Italy, that word is passion. I […]

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 […]