Vinitaly 2015 Opening Night

It's official: Vinitaly 2015 is off and running. Just like every year, the sneak preview comes with Opera Wine, the kick-off event sponsored by Wine Spectator and Vinitaly.  Held at the elegant Palazzo della Gran Guardia in Piazza Bra, it features 100 Italian vintages chosen as this year's 'Finest Italian Wines'. I like the stylized…

Peel Me a Grape!

OK, it doesn't get more luxurious than this: a hydromassage in red wine! And what an effect on the skin! So soft, so smooth -- it's all those anti-oxidants, right? When you emerge from the bath, a pleasant, smiling assistant gives you something to replenish the liquids you've lost: And this is supposed to be…

The Bacchus Treatment

Retreating into the Val d'Orcia for my pre-Vinitaly spring renewal. Driving through this part of Tuscany, I inevitably ask myself: do these greens really occur in nature? Got in just after lunch time. Now that is what I call a Room with a View! Do you really think those little lined-up trees happen naturally too?…

Winetherapy, the Perfect Preparation for Vinitaly!

Vinitaly is just around the corner... So how does one gear up for five days of sipping and spitting? Eating and greeting? To say wining and dining is an understatement... Fast? Feast? I have a ritual, and it includes bathing in thermal waters to detox my entire system, tired of the winter, craving the spring…

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,…

Variety is the Spice of Life, but…

When is 'So many' 'Too much'? The question was actually posed at the Masters of Wine Symposium in Florence last year, when it came out that Italy had over 440 varietals. If we want to talk DOC, there are over 330 of them, not to mention the 73 DOCG wines. If you don't believe me, check…

Looking Good, Bellavista!

Oh, the elegance of it! A recent evening at the Rapallo Yacht Club featured the wines of Bellavista, best known for its fabulous Franciacorta. While everyone and their brother seems to know Prosecco, why is Franciacorta Italy's best-kept bubbly secret? What is in a name? Franciacorta is no ordinary bubbly (and of course, we are…