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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

A Midsummer Night’s Wild Dream

Collisioni – that’s what this mega-festival in the tiny hamlet of Barolo is called. And collide you do! With people, with ideas, with tastes, with energy. Talk about bringing things together. I’d heard about Collisioni for years. I’d viewed their over-stuffed programs with skepticism: how could they lure Elton John, Sting, Mark Knopfler to this […]

The Culture of Wine Part II: Masi Agricola

Talk about brand recognition! Masi‘s unmistakable label is synonymous with Amarone. The Boscaini family, with papà Sandro at the helm – but also Sandro’s children Alessandra and Raffaele, not to forget brothers Bruno and Mario – are giving back in spades! Their devotion to culture equals their passion for great wine. For seven generations this […]

Swept Away…

Everyone should take a sailboat trip around Italian islands at some point in their life.   Now when Domenico Modugno sang ‘Nel blu dipinto di blu‘ this is what he was talking about!   A recent cruise around the Egadi Islands off of Sicily’s western coast (departures from Marsala or Trapani – both fantastic small […]

All That Jazz!

Warning: this is a post with a soundtrack, so crank up the volume! Altro che 3 Tenorini! as we would say. Italians love the number 3: remember Dante? So once upon a time, there were the 3 tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo, Carreras). Then came the 3 Tenorini (actually one is a baritone), now called Il Volo. […]