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The Penetrating Magic of Burlotto

03/29/2015 15:53:00 PM

Running into Fabio Alessandria in the Piedmont Hall at Vinitaly, he called me by my name. How he remembered I cannot imagine. But in such a hectic place and day, it was a welcome salutation. We made plans to come by his family winery, Comm. G.B. Burl > read more

Why this might be our last Vinitaly in Verona: A Dear Giovanni letter to Veronafiere

03/24/2015 01:01:00 AM

Dear Veronafiere,We have been coming to Verona and Vinitaly since 1967. We have watched it expand over the years and have endured the labor pains of growth along with many other long persevering Italians, as well as people from around the world. But > read more

The Wine to Come: Observations from the Langhe on the First Day of Spring.

03/21/2015 01:00:00 AM

Photo: European Space AgencyA well-dressed group from around the world milling around an open courtyard in the Langhe on this first day of spring. A motion to move inside to the winery for a presentation. Above, the moon, already moving, in a short c > read more

"@italianwineguy offers the vineyards Barolo lovers should seek out, without getting bogged down in tar and roses" - @WineSearcher

03/18/2015 00:00:00 AM

When I recently took a week off, it was to take time from work so I could get caught up on a few writing projects. One that I am particularly proud of, Barolo's Greatest Vineyards Ranked, was just published on During the process I c > read more

"Venice was the Dubai of the 13th Century"

03/15/2015 10:35:00 AM

On a nippy winter night, while having a quiet meal in a dining room in Venice overlooking the Grand Canal, the subject of Dubai arose. A city of two million souls in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is something of a fantasy, a miracle and a conundrum > read more

On the Wine Trail in Italy in other places – Solid advice for Italians looking to enter the US market and a primer on Italian wine for young sommeliers

03/10/2015 07:39:00 AM

In the almost ten years that I have been writing this blog, there has been, more or less, a natural development of it. My blog voice, I’ve been told, has a tendency to be idealistic and often somewhere in the cloud between reality and “the way I > read more

The Master Class

03/08/2015 14:53:00 PM

Opportunities abound for learning about Italian wine and culture. All it takes is time. There is no fast-track. No amount of cramming, memorization, jumping the queue, none of it will make up for the one thing we all hate to give up – our time. The > read more

Comfort me with Nebbiolo

03/01/2015 12:51:00 PM

The waking world is fraught with disappointment, large and small. From the land mine of the news cycle to something as simple as overexposure to tannins. And so it was, last week, bundled up in my warm little cabin on the side of a hill in California > read more

An Italian-American mantra: "My grandfather made my life possible today."

02/22/2015 11:28:00 AM

To Kalon "I" BlockComing home from a week at the 11th annual Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley, I missed my plane and caught a later flight, and was wired, tired but also inspired. To wind down, I crashed on my ancient > read more

France by way of Italy

02/15/2015 12:46:00 PM

Avignon - 1985When I was coming up in the wine business, there was this invisible wall between France and Italy, put there mainly by wine snobs who thought France was the epitome of all that wine was meant to be. In those days I would often hear thin > read more

The Disneyfication of Barolo - The Queen of Jelly and Her Cannubial Bliss

02/08/2015 19:02:00 PM

For this observer, Italy is a source of endless fascination. They take rugged, sun scorched stone and turn it into a timeless beauty. They take a land that has for years been revered by the people living on it, and turn it into a parody of modern day > read more

Amarone at a Crossroads

02/01/2015 23:59:00 PM

This past week I have been in the Veneto as a guest of the Valpolicella Consorzio. The occasion was Amarone Anteprima, an annual event showcasing the release of the latest vintage of Amarone, in this case the 2011. During the week I tasted hundreds o > read more

Confessions of an Invisible Man

01/28/2015 00:01:00 AM

When talking with my friends in Italy, I realize how little down time I take. Somewhere in August of last year (or maybe it was the year before) I got into battle mode. After that, free time disappeared. Not because of any mandate from above. This wa > read more

No Country for Old Wines - The Paradox of Young vs. Old

01/25/2015 17:37:00 PM

Just hours on the ground here in Italy. I’m spending what’s left of the weekend in Venice, which tonight is the most serene of republics. January is a time when the tourists go elsewhere, like Cuba or Thailand, when Venice is usually damp and col > read more

The Burgundization of Barolo - An Imminent Sea Change in the Langhe

01/18/2015 11:35:00 AM

This past week in New York, I sat down in front of a microphone with Levi Dalton. And talked. And talked. Not so easy for this born-again introvert. In particular, Levi asked me what changes I’ve seen in the Langhe over the last 30 years. That podc > read more

Italy declares war against … radical Prosecco

01/11/2015 11:35:00 AM

The heart of Europe is marching in Paris today in solidarity against the horrendous atrocities witnessed in the City of Lights this week. Italian politicians are waging their own smaller war – against Prosecco on tap.And while this might seem minut > read more

Sunrise, Sunset

12/21/2014 09:00:00 AM

How wonderful this world of wine can be, if only in our mind’s eye. Earlier this month I was leaving wine country in California, heading back to the airport. It was early morning, the dew on the vines twinkled light Christmas lights. There was a de > read more

What New World Sommeliers Need to Know About Old World Italian Wine

12/14/2014 08:40:00 AM

This came up last week over a bottle of Nebbiolo. I was in discussion with industry folk and the Old World/New World subject came up. With a recent surge of young people into the world of wine and with many of them advancing up the ranks of the busin > read more

Wine After Death

12/07/2014 14:07:00 PM

Bibere umanum est, ergo bibamusHe knew her early on. Every year or so they’d meet, usually around a dinner table, sometimes with friends or family. He met her when they were both young and fell for here right then and there. He never considered tha > read more

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Fruit-Bomb

11/30/2014 10:38:00 AM

Last month I was communicating half-way across earth to New Zealand with my editor at Wine Searcher. We were going over ideas for a feature. Kicking around a few thoughts on Amarone, she casually suggested that it would be better if to write about so > read more

Our Selfies, Our Wines

11/23/2014 09:59:00 AM

Can a wine cellar full of 90+ point wines make your life more meaningful? Will a 30+ year vertical tasting of an iconic wine make you happier? Can any wine make one’s life better? If you believe what you read and see on the eno-blogosphere, you mig > read more

The Last Parmigiana

11/16/2014 11:42:00 AM

Looking out my back window, I see all the plants that were alive last week are now dead or dying. Winter has arrived. Before the brutal but inevitable onslaught arrived, I gathered all the last of the eggplants that were hanging. Some were ready, som > read more

Pippo, We Hardly Knew Ye: In Memory of Philip di Belardino

11/13/2014 12:32:00 PM

The world is a little less safe for Italian wine today. Dear friend Philip di Belardino has left us. A tireless ambassador for all things Italian, always with a smile, a joke and a way to reach even the most morose of us, Philip, “Pippo” to his f > read more

Annus Horribilis - Looking Back On the Toughest Harvest in Years

11/09/2014 17:49:00 PM

It must have been back in August. I was looking out over my garden, thinking about how wonderful everything was growing. My prize crop, the Hoja Santa, was poised to be one of the best and largest harvests I’d had in 10 years. Picture perfect. Rain > read more

Opposites Attract ~ Or My Evening with Fettuccine Bolognese, Sous Vide Steak and Mittelmosel Riesling

11/03/2014 22:35:00 PM

Silly rules. Someone makes up something about which wine with which food and over time it becomes Gospel. Last night I was at a dinner, sipping on a white wine. I thought to myself, “This needs a little more acid, a little more peach and a little m > read more

A Serene Patch of Merlot in a Noisy World of Pinot Noir

10/31/2014 08:12:00 AM

His is a world very few of us get to enter. Yet the Count lives, some would say he thrives, in his world. I say it this way not to disparage his world. I know not his world. I only know him through his wine. And his wine is Merlot.One might say, “M > read more

When Wine Isn’t Enough

10/26/2014 21:52:00 PM

We all have things that propel us forward. For some it is money, power or fame. Even in our little rarefied world of wine, we all have those reference points that give us meaning. Maybe it is a good vintage. Maybe it is finally making Sangiovese tast > read more

Why older men prefer higher alcohol wines and younger women

10/23/2014 06:40:00 AM

Over lunch, I was talking with an older friend. He’s a fan of California wine, really loves Pinot Noir. He’s not a beginner, heck he pulled a 30 year old bottle of wine from Napa out of his wine closet and gave it to me. It was 12.5 percent in al > read more

The “New” New Yorkers and the “New” Californians ~ Leaving Jurassic Park for the Aquarian Era

10/19/2014 12:24:00 PM

Living in flyover country does have its benefits. You can get to either coast in a matter of hours. A recent weekend in San Francisco, I was able to spend time with the wine community there and get a gauge on their current sensibilities. This past we > read more

High Cotton Uber-Dining in Gotham City

10/16/2014 06:47:00 AM

Posting from the road. In NY, the rain followed me from flyover country. Fortunately that wasn’t the only wet thing in my path.A quick lunch meeting at Marea and two stunning white wines from Liguria, which is also suffering the travails of rain, b > read more

10 of my favorite off-the-beaten-path places to eat in Italy

10/12/2014 17:57:00 PM

In preparation for an interview, I was looking up places I have really enjoyed eating in Italy. Many of these places don’t even have a website, or a sign. I was lucky enough to be taken there be locals. They represent some of the best eating and dr > read more

Ancient Italy and the New California ~ An Auspicious Convergence

10/09/2014 00:30:00 AM

I had some unused vacation time and thought it might be a good idea to head out to California and “do” a wine dinner or two. I’m writing this as I am mid-week in a series of three wine dinners back home. What could have gotten into me that I wo > read more

Sicilian White Wines ~ Feeding the #HeatWave in the Cities by the Bay

10/03/2014 11:21:00 AM

Welcome to the New CaliforniaIf you had asked me, so very long ago, when I was a student in the Bay Area, trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life, if many years later I’d be in Oakland talking about Sicilian wines to a new generation > read more

On the Nature of Being Sicilian in the Wine Business

09/28/2014 11:36:00 AM

Lest you think this will be the obligatory paean to all things Sicilian, after these last days spent on the island, many things are simmering. Yes, it is a Sunday, and to the millennials this might sound like a sermon. Pity.How does one explain the b > read more

Wine Spotting Selfies – Narcissism or Simply Sharing?

08/03/2014 16:10:00 PM

On the Social Media sites, Facebook, Twitter, Delectable and so on, I encounter a lot of images of wine bottles. Folks seem to love posting pictures of the wines they are enjoying. I wondered how folks in my world thought about it and posed these que > read more

My Problem with Pinot Noir

07/31/2014 23:59:00 PM

There’s an unspoken protocol around the water cooler at work. Whenever someone starts extolling the glories of another Pinot Noir, they look around to see if I am near and whisper in hushed tones, “Don’t ever talk to him about Pinot Noir, espec > read more

Oh, The People You’ll Meet! (wanting help with winery visits in Italy)

07/27/2014 17:17:00 PM

For the last few months I have gotten a barrage of notes from folks who are heading to Italy for visits. Most of the time they are asking for places to visit. After all these years, I have begun to notice patterns. Without making too much fun of them > read more

A Midsummer Night’s Scream

07/25/2014 06:30:00 AM

“You’re either going up or you’re going down,” an old political saying goes. And while it was meant for worlds larger than ours, here we are in the middle of summer and where are we going? I don’t really know. Perhaps this is where two week > read more

In pursuit of the (Italian) American dream

07/18/2014 04:09:00 AM

..and other tales told while riding inside the sommambulanceI keep having this dream over and over again. It’s a reoccurring theme. I’m in a restaurant. Pretty paintings on the wall, Bocelli crooning though the speakers, the lights are low. The w > read more

My Dear John Letter to Moscato

07/13/2014 11:29:00 AM

It was bound to happen sooner or later. This was never meant to be forever. It’s 3AM and I don’t even know where to send this, you’re not at home. You haven’t been home in ages. You’re on the constant prowl, looking for new places, new peop > read more

Bursting the Bubble - The Battle for the Luxury Sparkling Wine Market

07/10/2014 07:16:00 AM

July. Slow period. Vacations. Nothing much happening. Right?If you think this is the case, then go right ahead. But right now major campaigns have been launched to capture a share of the lucrative sparkling wine market. I came across two wineries wit > read more

John the Apostle Talks with Jesus: on Water, Natural Winemaking and Large Gatherings

07/03/2014 21:51:00 PM

One of the most misunderstood winemakers in all of time is Jesus Christ. After his miracle at the marriage feast of Cana, criticisms of his wine style stirred the temple. Jesus, a man born to love, was reviled. But what about his wine? Was it the ul > read more

When a DOCG isn't a DOCG - and when that's not enough

06/30/2014 04:47:00 AM

Ahh, Italy, the multifaceted mystery, the oblique seductress, the carefully measured labyrinth. After a day of working in the garden, staring at the ceiling, too tired to sleep, this is the little hamster running on the wheel that was keeping me from > read more

“We have become accustomed to constant change and instant boredom.”

06/26/2014 23:59:00 PM

"The business of wine buying is being handed over to a bunch of fireflies and their life span matches their attention span. It’s no longer about good or even great wines. It’s all about the next wine. Forget about the last wine, even if it was a > read more

Sex and the Cittadella

06/22/2014 12:29:00 PM

From the "You've come a long way, baby" Dept. of Satirical PrognosticationOne of the wonderful aspects about writing about Italian wine, life and culture lies in the Italians ability to stir things up. I might get tired of writing this wine blog (or > read more

Do Americans love and drink Italian wines more than Italians?

06/19/2014 23:59:00 PM

There is a pattern I have noticed lately when talking to Italian winemakers about their production and where they send their wine. That is, the domestic market for selling Italian wine (in Italy) is a mangled mess. Part of this is good news in that t > read more

How to bring your Italian wine to the American market

06/15/2014 18:56:00 PM

No matter which party is dominant in Washington, no matter if the Dow is 16,000 or 1,600, no matter if we are in an unpopular war somewhere in the world, no matter if it all seems like the earth is a big fat match getting ready to be struck on the si > read more

When Wine Experts Aren’t Always Right

06/12/2014 22:22:00 PM

I’m sitting at my table with a dear old friend. We’ve traveled around Italy, France, California. You name it, we’ve been there. If you live long enough, it can happen. Tonight, though, we’re at home. Or rather, I am. He’s still 250 miles fr > read more

California Report ~ 1st Rosé of the Season ~ Everything Starts Over @ 100

06/08/2014 16:07:00 PM

Celebrating 100 years, before flying to Dallas, with a glass of Provence RoséThis past week, the wine trail had me in home state of California judging State Fair Wine Competition. When the week ended I flew down to Newport Beach to pick up my mom, w > read more

In Praise of Funk

06/05/2014 23:55:00 PM

or, 7 ways to keep squirrels from drinking your wineSacramento, California – I am sequestered these past two days with 70+ wine experts for the annual California State Fair Wine Competition. My Italian connection has given me wines from California > read more

Merlot, the most hated grape 10 years running, finds a home in Italy (and in my heart)

06/01/2014 16:20:00 PM

It doesn’t seem that long, but in 2004 the movie Sideways was released. In the film, Pinot Noir was lionized, and to this day, the sales of Pinot Noir are still roaring. Merlot, on the other hand, was excoriated. The character Miles had a famous li > read more

My Wine vs. Your Wine

05/30/2014 06:40:00 AM

Three weeks on the road, driving across Texas - Dallas to Houston to San Antonio to Austin to Dallas - there has been time to talk in the car with my travel mates. We go into a city and see clients, and then get in the car and head to another city. I > read more

7 Questions about Italy, Wine and Passion

05/25/2014 17:03:00 PM

A few months ago on Antonio Galloni’s Vinous “Your Say” site, there was some lively conversation when Monica Larner showed up. She peeked in and said hello and some of the folks were off to find their pitchforks and machetes, whereby she ducked > read more

Italian White Wines for Collectors – Aging with Honor

05/18/2014 10:32:00 AM

Recently, there has been a thread that is developing on these posts. One post, Old Wines for Young Sommeliers, looked into a world the younger generation might consider for their future enjoyment. Another one, White Wine for Red Wine Lovers, focused > read more

What Do I Need to Learn About Italian Wine?

05/11/2014 14:49:00 PM

Wow! How does one answer that one in 1000 words or less? Fortunately I have been asked that question a lot more lately. A new crop of wine salespeople is rushing towards Italian wines. And most of them are women under 30. I see it all now. The beard > read more

The Resistance Report

05/08/2014 16:24:00 PM

Status quo is a tricky thing. If you fight to get your position to dominate, someone will come up from behind and try to make their position superior. We see it all the time in the rarified wine world. Some folks will make a particular wine or wine s > read more

From Italy to Argentina to Texas – A Buffalo Gap Sagra

05/04/2014 09:26:00 AM

You see it often in Italy. A celebration. Of pasta, of tomatoes, of zucchini flowers. Especially during harvest season, as one drives along the roads of Italy, there are signs of local celebrations, or Sagras, as they are known. Deep in the heart of > read more

White Wine for Red Wine Lovers

05/01/2014 06:30:00 AM

and a couple for white wine lovers tooThis past trip to Italy, some of my favorite red wine makers showed me their white wines. Italians aren’t as regimented in their allegiance to red wine as we seem to be in America. In America the sign of having > read more

Old Wines for Young Sommeliers

04/27/2014 17:01:00 PM

From the “what would I put away?” dept.There’s some chatter lately about the young and the old in the wine world. Not having totally destroyed all my memory cells from earlier days, I’d like to share some thoughts about which wines I would bu > read more

Why We Root for Godzilla

04/23/2014 07:45:00 AM

Human beings fear the monster. But we also love the monster. The monster, personified by Godzilla, has an enduring magnetism for many of us. Why do we love the monster so?In between tastings of Lamole Chianti Classico and Bonny Doon’s Vin Gris de C > read more

The Resurrection of Italian Wine

04/20/2014 00:57:00 AM

It is truly a miracle to consider what we humans do to the land and the resilience that land exhibits. We pour chemicals on it, stir them up and grind them in. Then we put more poisons on the plants that grew up from that chemical baptism. When the l > read more

The World’s First Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

04/15/2014 06:32:00 AM

Pietro Losi's 2007 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione > read more

#Vinitaly2014 - New white wine, old red wine, Renzi's hashtag (#campolibero) and new bathrooms

04/13/2014 11:00:00 AM

> read more

The Loneliest Man in the World

04/10/2014 13:24:00 PM

Sixteen years ago I was walking out of the Vinitaly wine fair with a friend and colleague. Crossing the street, we spotted a well known importer looking at the ground. A local fellow had a shell game going on and he had stopped to look at it. My frie > read more

The Dramas of Life

04/06/2014 00:00:00 AM

Here in Italy, as in everywhere on Spaceship Earth, there are the daily dramas. We all have them. For each and every one of us, our personal dramas are often of utmost importance. After all we are the center of our universe. Our life is most importan > read more

What’s it all about, Alfio?

04/03/2014 00:01:00 AM

After an intense few days in Verona for the Concorso Enologico International, Vinitaly’s wine competition, where I sat as a judge, I made my way from the Veneto. I’m conflicted about many of the wines from that region, mainly because so many prod > read more

Frank Zappa: On Sicilian Wine and Snotty Sommeliers

04/01/2014 06:00:00 AM

As sometimes happens in the eno-blogosphere, magical connections are made. Unbeknownst to me Frank Zappa went to Sicily in 1982 to look up his Sicilian family. I know this because a friend of mine in Verona, Patricia Guy, told me about a recent docum > read more

What's New? What's Compelling? What Are You Looking For?

03/27/2014 05:30:00 AM

Sitting at a table earlier this week with a handful of new wines to taste, I started to think “What’s new about these wines?” I really was thinking “What is compelling” about them. But in our race to find the latest, greatest and rush it to > read more

The Week That Was: Resuming the Hunt for La Cucina Italiana

03/23/2014 22:44:00 PM

Flectere si nequeo superos, Acheronta moveboThis past week it seemed I had been trapped in a time warp. I’m sure the deaths our family experienced in the past two weeks had something to do with it. One spends time with relatives going over the good > read more

My Other Italy

03/20/2014 23:59:00 PM

This week, while doing a wine dinner for a private group, the subject of where I liked to go in Italy was asked. I hesitated for a moment, thinking to myself “Do I really want to tell all these strangers about my special place in Italy where no one > read more

Great Fast-Track Resources to Learn More About Italian Wine

03/16/2014 11:53:00 AM

Sara Maule of Nino Negri at Caracol in Houston w/wine director Sean BeckIn the past week, while on the road with Sara Maule of Nino Negri, we encountered many questions about Valtellina wine and Italian wine in general. Sommeliers, wine lovers, retai > read more

The Life of a Great Italian, in 12 bottles

03/09/2014 15:45:00 PM

We have finally arrived. I started with eleven others, wrapped ever so carefully in soft, white tissue. Laid ever so gently in the wooden box and covered on top.The voyage from our place of birth to my new world took a long time. First we traveled on > read more

Why Young Wine is as Good as Puppy Love

03/07/2014 07:00:00 AM

Born to be DelectableThere are so many wines available in today’s world that just weren’t around 10 or 20 years ago. In our flatter world, access to good, dependable wine is greater than they have ever been. And Italy has contributed some excelle > read more

Looking for La Morra in All the Wrong Places

03/02/2014 18:17:00 PM

A Cautionary Tale from the LangaMariondino was beginning to feel the winter thaw in his loins. He longed to jump into one of his Cars and steer his little Pira past his Pora to visit his dear Bernadot. “It’s been ages since I saw her sweet little > read more

Live and Let Die

02/27/2014 07:45:00 AM

Letter from a half-full bottle to an apostle of wineI see you, sitting there on the deck of your house overlooking the peaceful valley, watching the sunset. I know you’re tired. But the sun will set soon and you can rest then. We still have half a > read more

The Question of Balance

02/23/2014 15:50:00 PM

How often is it one can be with acquaintances, colleagues and friends and have them raise mirrors to your mind, not once, but several times over the course of three days? The wine gods were shining upon us this week in Northern California. Complete i > read more

The proposed 74th DOCG and the upcoming ban on synthetic lacy underwear in Russia

02/20/2014 01:01:00 AM

"Ain't nothing but a 'G' thang baby"Rumblings out of Italy reveal the DOCG status might be brought out of its EU-induced coma. Halted at “73” and effectively swept into the overall DOP status with 330 of the DOC wines, there was talk that the ark > read more

Cotechino and Sorbara – An Existential Dilemma

02/16/2014 10:19:00 AM

I struggle with pork. If there is a plate of prosciutto nearby, I’m in trouble. “Waste nothing,” the angel whispers in my ear. And then I clean the plate, when nobody is looking. I never find out if the angel was a good one or a bad one until i > read more

"Learning the Joyful Truths"

02/12/2014 08:28:00 AM

"I'd suggest that many young wine drinkers do not have access to the great benchmark wines, the paradigms of profundity that are alas beyond their reach financially. They never learned the joyful truths of hierarchy, or to be stirred to their depths > read more

Southern Italy is Sinking

02/09/2014 13:06:00 PM

We took the back road up to the hilltop village. Peeking behind the sets. The road was in poor shape, potholes and missing pieces of the highway. Something I have grown to expect in Southern Italy. Trash was everywhere. It was as if the people living > read more

Reflections on Italy ~ Regarding La Grande Bellezza

02/06/2014 20:51:00 PM

Forgive me, dear readers. I have been in deep-brain storming meetings off and on for several weeks and my head is bursting with new and with change. It’s all leading somewhere good, but for now I must diverge. And that is deep into this little blog > read more

The Year of the Horse – Starting Off With a Bang

02/02/2014 11:01:00 AM

Anyone who reads this blog, they know how I feel about bragging. That said, I do live in Texas, and bragging rights are part of our patrimony. So grin and bear it. 2014 has started off with a bang, what with tastings across the country. Some of them > read more

Oh, The People You’ll Meet! (At a Winemaker Dinner)

01/30/2014 07:00:00 AM

By my purely unscientific reckoning I’ve participated in over 400 “winemaker” dinners over time. For the most part these have been pleasurable social events. If I was lucky we actually saw information and inspiration imparted and folks went hom > read more

Sexy Italian Wines That I Love

01/26/2014 08:56:00 AM

Cars, women, beaches. Italy is downright sexy. Whether you are 26 or 62, the sensuality of living the Italian life is invigorating. And the wines of Italy are part of that lifestyle.Barolo? Waiting 25 years for something big isn’t sexy. Brunello? S > read more

The Night Caruso Came to Dinner

01/23/2014 14:54:00 PM

L-R my Mom, sisters Josephine and Amelia and brother Felice. Mom and Josephine are living.Texas in the beginning of the 20th century was an outpost. Ft. Worth was the Wild West. My dad’s dad arrived there in 1910 at the age of 15. His first job was > read more

Italy at a Grande and Languorous Impasse

01/19/2014 12:52:00 PM

One of the conundrums for Italian wine is that with all of the varieties of grapes and styles of wines, there are essentially four wines that make up the majority of wines exported into America. Coincidentally those wines mesh with four basic types o > read more

The End of the World – Live at the Apollo

01/16/2014 07:00:00 AM

The Tree of HopeIn New York this week, meetings, end of year wrap-ups, annual trip. While the days are filled with meetings and tastings, the evenings aren’t meant to be so serious. An diversion was planned to Harlem. First stop, the Apollo Theatre > read more

Italian Culture and Compassion in the Post-Berlusconi Era of Francis I

01/12/2014 09:37:00 AM

It hasn’t been a year since Francis became Pope, but already signs abound for a new direction in Italy. After 25 years under the allure of Berlusconi’s idolatry of money and power, Italy needs to reflect and repair. Whether a Jesuit from the New > read more

Are There Too Many DOP’s in Italy?

01/10/2014 08:01:00 AM

Since Italy aligned their wine regulations with the European Community in 2012, the unbridled enthusiasm to rush wine towards the vaunted DOCG position has been stultified. With 73 DOCG’s and 330 DOC’s rolled into the DOP categorization, some hav > read more

What a Jesuit priest, a Zen monk and a Yaqui shaman taught me about life, wine and Italy

01/05/2014 10:38:00 AM

“There is a crack between the two worlds.” – Don Juan MatusIn time, the perception of things as they are and as they seem are two sides of a wall. Spending one’s life piercing that wall is the work of ones who aspire to a simpler existence. P > read more

Italian Wine in 2014 - Personal Strategies for Collecting - Part II

01/02/2014 23:59:00 PM

During the last two weeks I’ve had more than one occasion to dig into my wine closet and pull out some gems. Barolo, Brunello, Champagne, old California wine, Hermitage, vintage Port and some older whites from Friuli and Marche. And while the cella > read more

The O-N-D Winelovers Diet

12/29/2013 09:59:00 AM

Hint: Eat lots of fruit The wine and food industry can take its toll. Days of tastings followed by lunches, dinners and more tastings. No one’s complaining but after 30 years the wines (and the pounds) add up. The high selling season known as O-N-D > read more

A Milestone on the Wine Trail in Italy

12/28/2013 07:00:00 AM

Dec 28, 2005, eight years ago, I started On The Wine Trail Italy. There weren't a lot of wine bloggers back then. Hell, electricity had just been discovered a few years before and the internets were still in diapers. But here we are now, 1,100 blog p > read more

Italian Wine in 2014 - Personal Strategies for Collecting - Part I

12/22/2013 12:48:00 PM

I’m very worried. The world is getting flatter. And with that folks, in every corner are finding out about wine. And they are collecting it. Until now, many of the collectors have been collecting classified growth Bordeaux, grand marque Champagne, > read more

The Mystery of Italian Wine

12/19/2013 08:22:00 AM

Recently I spent a day with some of the brightest mystery writers in America. Long a fan of the Judge Dee series and the Inspector Montalbano mystery series (tip of the hat to Eric Asimov, who turned me on to them), I admit Italian wine can be a bit > read more

The Old California Wine

12/13/2013 07:17:00 AM

From the "What's old is new again" deptHolidays are the perfect time to bring out the wines you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Food, relaxed times, friends and family; what are you saving it for? Many of us who have been drinking wine and c > read more

Chianti: An Elusive Arrangement, Wrapped in a Fiasco, Inside a Conundrum

12/08/2013 12:12:00 PM

How is it classic wine regions like Bordeaux, Napa, the Mosel, are relatively easy to follow but Tuscany’s Chianti zone is still baffling to me and others? This question has been one I have asked for decades. I’ve read every book I could get my h > read more

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