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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Great Italian Wine You Can Bank On!

For those of you who don’t know it, the University of Gastronomical Sciences in Pollenzo was the world’s first university entirely dedicated to the science of Food & Wine, promoting a new, ecologically sustainable, quality-based standard that also focuses on what is right and just for producers. Founded on an idea from guru Carlo Petrini, […]

Arrivederci Verona!

And another Vinitaly – celebrating its 50th anniversary – comes to a close. By all accounts, this year was a success; producers big and small sold more wine to more markets than in the past. And that’s what it’s all about, right? Wrong! It’s about people, personalities, communication, sharing, spreading the passion for the grape, […]

To Life, To Life, L’Chaim!

Today I participated in the Young to Young tasting for up-and-coming winemakers. It was a morning filled with emotions. Three heavy hitters: a Brunello di Montalcino, a Barolo and an Amarone. All this before noon! At this 50th annual Vinitaly, we’ve been talking about traditions and family and the land (more than the ‘terroir’). This […]

La Famiglia, and the ABC’s of Winemaking

Here at this 50th annual Vinitaly, I am reflecting on family, traditions, values, and the land that is Italy. Let’s face it, this country is one of the world’s most industrial, and it has a unique model to propose: the small- and medium-sized business. There are 4.4 million companies in Italy with less than 250 […]

Now That’s a Vintage!

When they say it’s wonderful to age like a good wine, do they really contemplate a wine that is 50 years old? Today, the Donne del Vino – the Women of Wine – held a unique tasting: 10 women producers presented their wines. First, a recent vintage, something we all might buy at the wine […]

Super Tuscan Superstar

Stars are born, and stars are made. Lucky us, to have lived to see the meteoric passing of winemaker Giacomo Tachis who died last week at the age of 82 in San Casciano Val di Pesa outside Florence. Crazy thing is, I’d passed through San Casciano myself, just two days earlier. I never had the pleasure of […]

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 […]