Alfonso Cevola

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The 2017 Harvest in Umbria and Tuscany - Fear and "Global Weirding"

Italian wine often arrives in a van loaded with emotion. Call me moonstruck from day one. As an observer over the years, there’s something about …

Stripped, Shocked and Surprised - Is There a Unicorn in the Cave?

Over the lifespan of this blog, I’ve written a post, on average, once every three days. For those who aren't familiar, they’ve developed into essays, …

Making Wine Your #Life- and Making It Matter

We are now officially in the post-ferragosto dog days of summer. The kind of days where, if you walk outside to get the paper or the mail or jog …

Reflections on (almost) turning 50 – it’s the little things

<i>Festina Lente</i><p>Steadfast upon this sweltering little orb in the universe, moving at 1,000 miles per hour, rotating around a sun at 67,000 miles per …

The Sunset Somm – Tinkering Forever with Chance

<i>“Start as a dishwasher. Become a salesman. Exit as an accountant. Sunset as ambassador. QED” – Joseph Spellman, M.S.</i><p>I read the quote above, from a …

An Encounter in the Bardo - The Mentor and the Longtimer

<i>Ex archivo curias</i><p>Walking along a hiking path, on the edge of the continent and from the neighboring northward country, the longtimer came upon a …

Insights into Life and Wine ~ While Hiking Among the Old Growths

There’s a bit of the old Zen when walking among the ancient living ones on our continent in the Pacific Northwest. One is that we humans, as old as …

Back to the Basics in Basilicata

Americans still want to go to Italy – in fact more of them are going than ever before. And so I have been getting more than my share of queries from …

The Angry White Man’s Guide to Italian Wine

<i>Un po' pasquinata, per piacere</i><p>The lawn chairs are gathered, the Roman candles have been foraged from the local fireworks store (just outside the city …

Do old Italian-American restaurants hate new Italian wine?

For those whose families emigrated from Italy over 100 years ago, it is a secure bet that we still identify with our roots. In the U.S., we’re …

Puglia's Rosé Conundrum - Through a Glass Darker

How is it a trait that a place is known for, even famous, shuns the quality in favor of fashion? It happens all the time - take a walk through Times …

40 Years - On the Wine Trail in Puglia

<i>What a difference 14,520 days makes</i><p>It seems to be unimaginable for someone young today to digest a span of time like 40 years. And when older people, …

Italian Wines – Multifaceted, Bright, Complex and Confounding

I see it all the time – like Groundhog’s Day – people are interested in Italy, the cultures, the food, the fashion, the design, the statues. But …

Who cares what wine bottle you post on Instagram?

<b>PTI – ME!</b><p><i>"It’s all about your brand!"</i> <i><br>"Why be a follower, when you can be an influencer?"</i> <i><br>"Make your mark (BIG!) for enhanced career opportunities!"</i><p>As …

The Fortunes of the Times - Great Italian Vintages from the “Noughties” - 2012-2016

Frequent readers already know this little secret – Italy is in a full-blown Golden Age for wine. Never have we seen more great wine coming out of …

Piedmont’s controversial 2014 vintage in the Langhe

How important is <i>vintage</i>? Does terroir prevail over the wind and the rain and the sun? Does a farmer, who works the land for 40 years, have special …

Rare and precious – And other unlikely juxtapositions

It started last night while I was looking for a bottle of wine to go with the lasagne. I wanted something a bit rustic, not too heavy, maybe with …

Is the World Ready for New Italian Wine?

When Jon Bonné penned his groundbreaking book, The New California Wine, he caused a lot of us to look at wine in a different light. It wasn’t so much …

An introvert’s guide to surviving Vinitaly

<i>Amor litteras ad Vinitaly</i><p>My dear mom was an extrovert. Being around people recharged her batteries, not that she needed them to. She was a perpetual …

Valpolicella at a Crossroads in the New Millennium

Outside a storm is passing over, the sky rumbling in a way that is at once ominous and reassuring. Texas in April is not for the faint of heart. …

Who are the Future “Thought Leaders” for Italian Wine?

With harvest behind us and winemaking for the year finished, Italians in the wine trade are living out of their suitcases. Traveling to markets …

The Secret Life of a Gateway Wine - Coming of Age in a Life of Wine

Living in a country that is geographically isolated from much of the world by the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, many in America tend to live inside …

A Good Horse - And an Even Better Saddle

The other day I got a late-pay notice from a government agency. I fretted over it for a while, imagining all kinds of economic burden to my little …

The Trophy Life - Did you come this far to be somewhere else?

There’s this natty new watering hole with a wood burning oven on Washington Street in Yountville. I’m waiting there to meet a friend and colleague, …

How do you solve a problem like Prosecco?

It’s one thing to try and grow a wine category into a monster. It’s another thing to hold onto it once it has grown so big that it’s impossible to …

Italian Wine and its Truth-Adjacent Death Spiral

I was making my rounds in the wine job circuit. Serving tables. Sommelier. And now (1981) I was managing a wine bar in Dallas. My son was nearing …

Showcasing Italian Wine in the USA – 3 Events to Put Your Best Foot Forward

<i>Slow Wine – Vino 2017 – Gambero Rosso</i><p>February has been a busy month for Italian wine in America. The Italian holiday vacations, for the most part, …

What will happen to Italian wine if America enters into a trade war with Europe?

The Italians never thought it would happen. They, led by the French, were marching into a huge new market, China. In that moment, they turned their …

Survivalism for the Shattered Tribe in the Fog of Winter

Could this be the week we will look back, someday, with the realization that our wine collecting days are over? For one, the span of my life, or …

A Modern Italian Woman and Her Journey on the Wine Trail

<i>Happy Birthday, Raffaella!</i><p><i>A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, 3,500. My friend and colleague, Raffaella, posted a photo from her</i> …