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Has Valpolicella Ripasso had its day in the sun?

02/07/2016 00:00:00 AM

Verona in January can be severe. Or it can be a welcome change from the early spring, when Vinitaly wine fair-goers clog every artery, fill every seat in every restaurant and take every bed in even the most humble lodge. And so on a sunny but crisp > read more

Noodles in Negrar Pour Un Homme Brûlant

01/31/2016 00:34:00 AM

We live in multi-planar worlds. There is wine. And there is food. Just as there is work. And there is avocation. And while it seems we live in our little protected bubbles, is it really as we imagine? Or are we simply a small fraction of a larger arr > read more

Montalcino - A trip up my personal Congo River to the (mother of all?) Brunello vineyards

01/27/2016 23:13:00 PM

The owl was singing outside my room, at midnight. Fog shrouded the mountain. My hotel had turned off the internet connection. And I couldn’t sleep. I'd snuck in under the fog for a quick tasting of 2011 Brunello.Admittedly, I’m no expert on these > read more

Lucid dreaming from the streets of Italy

01/24/2016 08:34:00 AM

When I talk to many Italians they like to carp about how unfair life is in Italy. Long lines, lots of bureaucracy, low pay, traffic, corrupt political system, wrecked economy. And yes, there are those factors in Italian society. How many of us make a > read more

Is DOCG in the Future for these Five Hopeful Regions?

01/17/2016 09:16:00 AM

From the ? Catanzaro dreaming on such a winter's day ? department...With the 74th DOCG, Nizza, now official, Italian oenophiles are asking, “What next?” For five regions, Vallée d’Aoste, Liguria, Trentino-Alto Adige, Molise and Calabria, > read more

How Puglia saved my life

01/11/2016 04:30:00 AM

“Is this your first trip to Puglia?” I was asked this past week. “No, I have been here a handful of times,” I answered. “In fact the very first time I came here, I was coming from Greece. I had a staph infection and my leg was swollen. My l > read more

What Will the Next Ten Years Hold for Italian Wine in America?

01/03/2016 13:38:00 PM

Looking back is so much easier than this. But the past is dust. So where are we going? All I have are some educated guesses. Maybe not predictions, but inklings from the tea leaves. The rise (and fall) of peer group sites.? Seven Fifty as a vehicle > read more

Adventures on the Wine Trail in Italy – Ten Years After

12/27/2015 15:03:00 PM

Somewhere in time I read "one who seriously endeavors in an activity really has nothing to say for the first ten years". It’s all pretty much “chopping in the woodshed.” Looking back, it gives me comfort, in that the years ahead might mean that > read more

“What do you want from me?” – Conversations with an old friend in a wine cellar

12/20/2015 14:24:00 PM

Peering into my wine closet, I shut the door behind me. Cool, quiet, removed from the world of traffic, frustration, angst. Just me and my bottles, staring each other down. They, sleeping on their sides, some for decades, some for weeks. I, looking f > read more

Carry On Wayward Son

12/14/2015 09:19:00 AM

There are those days in one’s life that mark a moment that is more than just a day. This day is such a one. I don’t talk about it much anymore, but when I was younger, in my 20’s, I was faced with a decision. Looking back, I have no regrets. Bu > read more

The Barone who traveled from the 19th Century to make wine in the 21st

12/06/2015 15:55:00 PM

No matter how crazy and out-of-control the world seems at times, there has to be a balance in one’s own life. This past week, I drove 1,000 miles in service of the Barone Sonnino. Let’s leave the pressing problems of the world behind, just for a > read more

Nizza: The Long Tail of Italy’s 74th DOCG and the Waiting Game

11/29/2015 12:20:00 PM

It seems ridiculous to still be in limbo over this proposed 74th Italian wine DOCG, held hostage by the governing EU body, waiting, for their final approval. It isn’t as if they have more important things to worry about. Why don’t they just stamp > read more

Old Nebbiolo’s Influence on Napa Valley and New California Wine

11/22/2015 14:19:00 PM

“I think it’s safe to say I drank more Nebbiolo on my last visit to Napa Valley than Cabernet. And that’s beginning to be more the rule than the exception.” There’s more to that quote than the mere act of opening bottles of Barolo and Barb > read more

Dear Dad, Happy 100th – If only you could have been here

11/15/2015 22:24:00 PM

We spent much of the weekend moving a 100 year old man. His wife recently died and his family wanted him to be closer to them. He’s a pretty mellow fellow – likes to eat good food, drink a little wine, read the papers and get a good night’s sle > read more

Blood, Sweat and Tiers - Speading a Wine Culture in America

11/08/2015 10:33:00 AM

From the “my world and welcome to it” dept…GOVERNMENT WARNING: According to the Surgeon General, womenand men who enjoy Italian wine, run the risk of becoming happy.“That was one hell of a week,” I thought to myself as I landed in rain-soak > read more

Will the real Franciacorta please stand up?

11/01/2015 21:33:00 PM

I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The good news is that young, urban wine lovers are really enjoying Franciacorta. The bad news is, many folks still don’t know what exactly Franciacorta is, including some producers.First off, Franciacor > read more

New York – The Center of the Wine World – for Some

10/25/2015 20:42:00 PM

I’ve been to New York three times in as many weeks. They’re getting to know me by name at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar. Some folks in Texas have even asked me if I’ve moved back there. But after all these years, I know my place. My perfect New York peri > read more

Sixteen little eggplants that made a grown man cry

10/18/2015 18:51:00 PM

from the "tears of happiness" dept.Alfonso and Rafael in Assisi - October 1977Getting to a weekend where there are no obligations, no travel, no “must-do’s” during the October-November-December holiday season is a rarity. But this is exactly wh > read more

Youth - Not Wasted on the Young - Not This Time

10/14/2015 08:02:00 AM

It’s never easy to stare into the barrel of time. That’s a showdown that time always wins. We may make it for 60, 80, even 100 years, but the time comes when we all must give the stage over to the young talent. Fortunately there are always more o > read more

Five Italian wines every 29 year-old should own

10/04/2015 14:09:00 PM

This past week I was doing wine service at a wine dinner with a younger salesperson. I poured a glass of wine, the 2011 Felsina Chianti Classico and handed it to her. She took a sip and smiled. “This is wonderful, what is it?” she asked. I showed > read more

The Cannubi Conundrum ~ If 15 was 30

09/27/2015 12:09:00 PM

Still life with glass of Lambrusco at Aldo Sohm Wine BarAlthough harvest is in full-swing in Piedmont, the folks who sell the wines have hit the road. This week found me in New York City and Frisco, Texas for a barrage of Barolo events. St. Patrick's > read more

Wine – made by dead people – for people not yet born

09/20/2015 12:27:00 PM

With autumn’s beginning, Italian winemakers are now home from the beach and the mountains, and busy working in their wineries. Gone are the long dreamy days listening to the lap of the sea. Faint are the memories of lunch that went from 1:00 until > read more

"Hare Today - Gone to Merlot" or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Shelf-Talkers

09/13/2015 12:32:00 PM

While many wine lovers are trekking off to exotic lands to experience the grape harvest, I am deep into the holiday selling season. The traditional O-N-D (October-November-December) selling season has added an “S” (for September), and now it is t > read more

“I just want wines reviewed by Parker”

09/06/2015 10:18:00 AM

While in one of my favorite little Italian wine shops near my home, I ventured over to the Tuscan section to see how the owner’s Labor Day sale was going. Earlier in the week I had arranged the Brunello section (for about five minutes, before the v > read more

A summer night in a backwater berth in Ohio where dining in America was transformed

08/30/2015 10:11:00 AM

The view from the Lagoons at Vermilion, Ohio is a bit intimidating. Sheltered from Lake Eyrie, this bedroom community of Cleveland is one of those places in America that if people who don’t live here they probably don’t think about. There’s a m > read more

The End of Summer Vacation ~ The Beginning of Autumn Harvest

08/23/2015 17:48:00 PM

It happens like this every year. It’s been a great month at the beach. Now we must pack up our belongings, shut down the cabana and head back to the vineyards for harvest. Summer vacation is over.All those long, hot, lazy days, lounging in the hamm > read more

A World Beyond Wine Blogging ~ Musings on a Ferragosto Evening

08/16/2015 00:06:00 AM

(L-R) Louis, Alfonso, Mary & Julia Cevola - Palermo ca. 1919I’m stealing time right now. There’s a 2,100 word, multi-segment piece on the desk that needs polishing, with a deadline in a few days. And another two stories in the works, with a third > read more

TEXSOM through the ages

08/09/2015 00:15:00 AM

TEXSOM and On the Wine Train in Italy have something in common - we both started about the same time - and hopefully those who noticed such things have seen growth in both of them. I for one, now have a reason to enjoy August in Texas. That's more th > read more

Italy and their Wine Debt to France

08/02/2015 11:25:00 AM

Photograph by Pierre Jahan/Archives des museés nationauxFor as long as I can remember there have been oblique encounters between Italophiles and Francophiles. In years past, it seemed there was always that expert in French wine who wanted to display > read more

Sardegna and wine - a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma

07/26/2015 13:25:00 PM

By chance, I’m sitting in a restaurant and nearby me is a table of four. Urban dwellers, well-traveled, by the looks of their garb and little snippets of conversation that float into the dining room for all to hear. One in the group starts talking > read more

Hidden Calabria and the dawn of a new day

07/19/2015 21:38:00 PM

Feral, untouched, wild, unknown – Calabria is a wine frontier. Long passed over by wine connoisseurs in favor of Piedmont and Tuscany, Calabria is part of the grand excuse people make for not getting into Italian wine more because “they are just > read more

The California Drought Report: Déjà vu and other ramblings while driving on the Silverado Trail at midnight.

07/12/2015 17:23:00 PM

It was déjà vu. The tinderbox conditions we were sitting in must have made it seem like it. It was an early summer night, just like before. And there was the same warm breeze that cooled as the sun disappeared behind the mountain range. We were sit > read more

A little bit of Americana for our friends in Italy

07/05/2015 21:50:00 PM

A pictorial journey through West Texas on July 4th weekendThree weeks ago, I was sitting in a basement in Bari judging Italian wine made from any number of indigenous grapes. Today, I’m in West Texas, eating chicken fried steak and drinking Prosecc > read more

Lucania ~ As I See It

06/28/2015 11:53:00 AM

From the Radici del Sud notebookForget anything you know about Basilicata and Southern Italy. Disregard anyone telling you this is the poorest region in all of Italy. What I’m about to tell you, I hope, will change what and how you think about this > read more

Radici del Sud ~ An Emotional Pilgrimage to One’s Origins

06/21/2015 09:43:00 AM

One soul's radical search for the ideal on an imbalanced planet > read more

Master Class in Indigenous Wines ~ As Taught by a Donkey, a Rooster and the Spirit of Place

06/14/2015 11:05:00 AM

There are aspects to life that don’t travel so well on the road. One of them is the lack of interaction with creatures other than humans. Maybe it is a pet, or the birds in one’s back yard, any number of life forms that constitute the daily conne > read more

What the World Needs Now is Passerina, Sweet #Passerina

06/07/2015 18:29:00 PM

Rome, if anything, is a mirror of all that is good and bad in the world. From my first trip here, in 1971, and with all the times I have come into this city, it has eternally stayed the same. It is a reflection of humanity.Tonight, at Cesare al Casal > read more

The Death of a Loved One

05/31/2015 12:54:00 PM

From the "not quite back on the wine trail, yet" dept.In a world where there are so many tragic events > read more

How many times do you get to say this and it really happens?

05/24/2015 12:39:00 PM

You hear it all the time at the Italian table. Someone has a birthday and everyone picks up a glass of wine to toast them. Someone else shouts out “Cent’anni!” and it is followed by the volley “e uno!”One hundred years. And one. And this ti > read more

“All Italian White Wines Taste Alike”

05/17/2015 18:29:00 PM

I’m sitting at a table, in a restaurant, with a seminal figure in white wine. The beverage director comes up to us to say hello. A few pleasantries are exchanged. After all, we are guests, even if we are part of the “trade.” Our money spends a > read more

Counter Culture in Austin: One of the Brightest New Dining Spots in Texas

05/15/2015 06:30:00 AM

No Tables. No Servers. No Tipping. Let’s see, where have I been? Monday, it was in San Francisco. Tuesday, back in Dallas. Wednesday? Houston. And Thursday found me in Austin, Texas. Hopping around from city to city via plane, car and Uber, I’m p > read more

Chianti for the Commoner

05/10/2015 19:55:00 PM

“When are you going to talk about it?” My friend was pouring me a Sangiovese, in purezza, leaning in. “You and I discussed it over a year ago. Isn’t it time yet?” Raffaella, my Tuscan confidant in purezza, was pressing me to come in out of > read more

Italian Wine Appellations that are Downright Confounding

05/03/2015 19:21:00 PM

After having spent most of April crisscrossing Texas in my covered wagon to teach hundreds of people about Italian wine, there were a few moments when I was scratching my head, wondering why I was teaching some of this stuff. The scores of DOCG wines > read more

Sacrificing the Basics for Babel

04/26/2015 16:23:00 PM

This weekend I listened to a panel of chefs from Texas who brought national attention to Southwest cuisine. They were Robert Del Grande, Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles, and we were at the Buffalo Gap Wine and Food Summit at Perini Ranch in West Texas > read more

What young Americans can learn from an old German ~ The Rudi Wiest register

04/19/2015 10:28:00 AM

Rudi Wiest will turn 79 this year. But as he likes to say, “I have a long ways to go to catch up with your mom. She’s going to be 101 this year, yes?” Older people have a different conception of time than younger ones. The younger ones have bee > read more

Making the Case for Darker Ros? Wines ~ Countering the "Brangelina" Effect

04/12/2015 09:33:00 AM

In no small way, we all need to thank the Perrin family (and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) for resuscitating the ros? wine category. Before the phenomenon of Miraval, ros? wines were in the crapper. More often than not, aged ros? wines sat in ware > read more

Meditations on the '51

04/05/2015 09:33:00 AM

Sooner or later we encounter the mirror. As much as we try, with makeup, with dye, with dark glasses and soft focus, time ultimately wins the race. The young ones look upon the older ones as something that is in the way or will ultimately be neutrali > read more

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

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