The Resurrection of Italian Wine

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, st..

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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

The World’s First Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

04/15/2014 06:32:00 AM

Pietro Losi's 2007 Chianti Classico Gran Selezione

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

04/13/2014 11:00:00 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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,

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

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

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

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