Italy, Land of Chocolate!

It is too hot to talk about wine. So let's turn our thoughts to something cool... Gelato! When I am in Milan's Central train station, I often stop to have a Venchi gelato. Venchi is better known for its chocolates; take a look! Delectable, no? Chocolate is one of those things (like wine) 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…

A University with Taste

I finally made it to Pollenzo the other day,to the famous Università degli Studi di Scienze Gastronomiche, a.k.a. l'Università del Gusto (Taste University)! What better pilgrimage to prepare for today, May 1st and the opening of the Expo in  Milan dedicated to the theme of Feeding the Planet (more about that in a future post!) I toured…

Bottega… A Boutique Bottle!

Bottega Gold... Does that ring a bell? It should. They were celebrating 15 years yesterday at Vinitaly. Stunning packaging to match the bottle contents - award-winning Prosecco DOC Spumante! Anna Pesenti is a mover and shaker and one of the Donne del Vino (Women of Wine). She loves shiny things, and was proud to show…

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,…

Eat, Drink and Be Merry…

...for Tuesday is Martedì grasso, better known in its French version of Mardi Gras! That is to say, it is Carnevale, ogni scherzo vale! which goes a tad further than 'Trick or treat!' I dare say! The tricks, or scherzi, I've seen come closer to charivari than the ritual throwing of rotten eggs at a jack-o-lantern.…

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…