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Is the Future for Nebbiolo in Piedmont Under Attack?

08/21/2016 19:24:00 PM

This has been quite a summer for Piedmont. Historical wineries changing hands, millions of Euros passing from one family to another, and the popularity of Barolo and Barbaresco never higher. In Piedmont, Nebbiolo is a top contender for indigenous gra > read more

The Ascent of the Female American Sommelier - Interview with Rebecca Murphy - Pt.III

08/14/2016 00:30:00 AM

Third and final installment of my interview with Rebecca Murphy. This last part is shorter and more conversational, but it does provide a coda. And a perfect lead up to events this weekend in Dallas, Texas, where we are in the 12th year of Texsom. As > read more

The Ascent of the Female American Sommelier - Interview with Rebecca Murphy - Pt.II

08/07/2016 13:39:00 PM

This is the second part of an extensive interview I did with Rebecca Murphy. Again, it’s long, but that’s life. The first in this series, The Ascent of the Female American Sommelier - Interview with Rebecca Murphy - Pt.I , was well received, so I > read more

The Ascent of the Female American Sommelier - Interview with Rebecca Murphy - Pt.I

07/31/2016 13:02:00 PM

Rebecca Murphy at Il Sorrento 1974Last week, with the post, You've Come a Long Way, Baby! - The Ascent of the Female Sommelier, there was lively discussion about the history of the sommelier in America. With that, the role of the female, then, as now > read more

You've Come a Long Way, Baby! ~ The Ascent of the Female Sommelier

07/24/2016 14:50:00 PM

When I starting delving into the world of Italian wine at an Italian restaurant as a server, we had a sommelier. She was all turned out in a hot pants tuxedo (required uniform by the owner) and she kept her tastevin busy, clinking through the night, > read more

The Franciacorta Guy and his Mission to Win in America

07/17/2016 19:26:00 PM

Giulio Galli, enjoying a panino with his Franciacorta, at Il Sogno in San AntonioWhat is it like to take on a project like Franciacorta in America, to grow its base? Over the past decade, one man has made that his mission, to win over sparkling wine > read more

The Franciacorta Guy and his Mission to Win in America

07/17/2016 19:26:00 PM

Giulio Galli, enjoying a panino with his Franciacorta, at Il Sogno in San AntonioWhat is it like to take on a project like Franciacorta in America, to grow its base? Over the past decade, one man has made that his mission, to win over sparkling wine > read more

The World Fumes and Spews, but the Wine Business Goes On

07/10/2016 11:19:00 AM

Why I got into the wine businessMe during my first visit to Carlo Hauner - Island of Salina, 1987- A kinder, gentler volcanoLast Friday, while handing out Italian wine maps to salespeople, I got to talking with one of the young ones. She will be turn > read more

What I love (and hate) about Sicily

07/03/2016 11:23:00 AM

We live in a world where every word can be a polarizing one. In the past week, I have felt the sting of words, and some of my readers have as well. While some see it as a line drawn in the sand, with a duel to the end, I see it as the beginning of a > read more

Sicilian target practice without a license (or a seatbelt)

06/26/2016 11:14:00 AM

One of the intriguing aspects about winemaking in Eastern Sicily, especially around Etna and Vittoria, is how tradition has very little to do with it. While Tuscany is foundering with Chianti and their traditions, and Piedmont is riding a wave of pop > read more

Etna’s little (and formidable) sister, Vittoria

06/19/2016 11:44:00 AM

It would be too easy for casual wine trekkers to bypass the area south of Etna. After all the wines of Etna are among the current darlings of the wine world. And for good reason. But if one were to step off the mountain and head in the direction of R > read more

Is the Time Right for “Big Wine” to Cast Their Footprint on Mt. Etna?

06/12/2016 13:50:00 PM

Rolling down SS120 from Randazzo to Passopisciaro, there’s a modern structure, empty and abandoned. It could be a dystopian bunker, built to survive the ravages of a lava flow from Etna above. Or a nuclear attack. But it’s a winery that nobody wa > read more

A Wine Zealot's Survival Guide to Etna

06/05/2016 11:23:00 AM

After 30 years of going to Etna, I’ve learned there is a simple way and there is the hard way. I’ve done the hard way a time or two. Simple is better. I’d like to share a few tips for those who are aching to go taste wine on the mountaintop.• > read more

Wine in Italy – from a Greek Perspective

05/29/2016 10:49:00 AM

Italy is a place of confluence, in the flesh, and in the mind’s eye. One of the mindscapes I reach into, especially when going into southern Italy, is the Greek perspective. Soon I will be in Sicily, which once was considered to be part of “great > read more

Aglianico’s Ashes - Stockpiling old wine for a new generation

05/22/2016 10:37:00 AM

Pity the poor Aglianico vine, set within the shadow of a volcano whose better days are lost somewhere in the dustbin of geology. Imprisoned in a land that missed out on most of Italy’s post-WWII economic growth in the last 70 years. Save for a few > read more

The End of Conspicuous Consumption - A View from the Edge

05/15/2016 09:49:00 AM

2016 has taken this one down, and sometimes off, the wine trail. Personal detours along with a professional recalibration combined with an evolving re-alignment of what wine means in our daily life are some of what I have found on the journey this ye > read more

Mother's (last) Day

05/08/2016 11:27:00 AM

Happy Mother's Day, Momphoto by Louis CevolaThe Italians have a toast. When celebrating someone’s birthday they say “Cent’anni!” (100 years!) with a corresponding reply, “E uno!” (plus 1!). Last year my mom was able to see that moment com > read more

Just who are the Italians making wine for?

05/01/2016 11:52:00 AM

Alois LagederFor a wine producing country that makes approximately 25% of the world’s wine, Italy is in a unique position. In 50 years, the market for Italian wine become globally dispersed in a manner that other wine producing nations envy. Forget > read more

The 100 Day Wine Abstinence Program

04/24/2016 11:37:00 AM

Has the role wine plays in our lives become too invasive? After a five hour drive this past week from Dallas to Houston (a bit longer than usual because of storms and accidents) I rolled into my hotel parking lot. A friend and colleague invited me to > read more

"Our wine is better than French wine" - Italian Prime Minister Renzi at #Vinitaly2016

04/17/2016 14:56:00 PM

Photo from Palazzo Chigi Youtube25 Years ago, writing about the 25th Vinitaly in Civilatà del bere, journalist James M. Johnson devoted ten pages to the wine exhibition. Along with that Pino Khail, editor of the magazine, issued an editorial to the > read more

"Wine is not the goal"

04/10/2016 08:36:00 AM

From the "Dispatch from Dogpatch" deskIn a recent post from Italy and ViniVeri, Jeremy Parzen referenced the poet/philosopher/wine writer Sandro Sangiorgi. Odd, in that I have been doing research for an upcoming trip to Sicily and came across Sangior > read more

Do you have to “love wine” to love wine?

04/03/2016 10:57:00 AM

I remember the first time a woman told me, “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.” I couldn’t quite understand what she meant. But I eventually got the message; it was break-up time. So when I heard that line the 2nd (and 3rd and so on) t > read more

Easter of the Immigrants – A Feast for the Ages

03/27/2016 11:04:00 AM

Over the past month, as my personal fog has lifted, there have been dreams. And in these dreams, many of them have had family who are no longer with us. The Grande Cinema of them all is one which has taken on a life after waking.We’re in a large fa > read more

San Gimignano – Vernaccia, Fireflies and the Dark Energy of Hope

03/20/2016 12:11:00 PM

The vault of memory stores more than kisses, licks, slaps, bites and stings.A long-time colleague of mine obsesses over Vernaccia from San Gimignano. A white wine from red wine-dominated Tuscany. He must put it on wine lists. A wine that has been for > read more

Sangiovese and the Duel of Sex

03/13/2016 12:20:00 PM

From the "Hello, is it me you're looking for?" dept.No one looked, no one asked, when Sangiovese frolicked in the hills of Tuscany with childhood friends, Canaiolo, Malvasia, Trebbiano and Colorino. It was a simpler time. Sure, there were reports of > read more

Giacomo Tachis and his Legacy of Disruptive Innovation

03/06/2016 11:26:00 AM

“One riot, one ranger”Looking out the window on an early morning in March, leaves are falling from the trees. Spring is pushing the last of the old expressions out, making way for new growth. It’s been a month since Giacomo Tachis died. I have > read more

Life without wine

02/28/2016 09:02:00 AM

Inside the glass, this hurdling liquid, rushing into all the empty crevices, seeming to fulfill a need to order the world around us as expressed in love of wine. But are there those times when wine can be in the way, even a toxic element? Life withou > read more

Hitting the end of the runway with a bump and a needle

02/21/2016 12:52:00 PM

“We’re going to hit you with a low dose of morphine, to help you sleep.” Was I dreaming? After a day which saw no sleep, a hurried drive from Napa Valley to San Francisco, a bumpy flight (and sitting in the last row of the plane) and an even bu > read more

Half a billion heartbeats, is all

02/17/2016 08:25:00 AM

Would you like to swing on a star?Carry moonbeams home in a jar?Hard to imagine, but it is. 15 years since Lizanne took her leave.The heart is a strong little bugger. And time is even tougher.But this is our lot. And we got lots and lots and lots of > read more

The Best - Not the Greatest - Wine for the Moment

02/14/2016 09:42:00 AM

I’ve spent the first part of this year tasting numerous types of Italian wine. More than I can remember in a long time. And while that is part of the life, I’ve been thinking about wine, why we like it, what draws us to it and what to do with it > read more

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 WineSearcher.com. 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



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