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“All Italian White Wines Taste Alike”

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 …

Italy

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

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 …

Texas

Chianti for the Commoner

“When will you 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 …

Chianti

Italian Wine Appellations that are Downright Confounding

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 …

Wine

Sacrificing the Basics for Babel

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 …

Babel

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

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, …

Making the Case for Darker Rosė Wines ~ Countering the "Brangelina" Effect

In no small way, we all need to thank the Perrin family (and Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) for resuscitating the rosė wine category. Before the …

Meditations on the '51

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. …

Wine

The Penetrating Magic of Burlotto

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 …

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

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 …

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

A 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 …

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

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 …

"Venice was the Dubai of the 13th Century"

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 …

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

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, …

The Master Class

Opportunities abound for learning about Italian wine and culture. All it takes is time. There is no fast-track. No amount of cramming, memorization, …

Comfort me with Nebbiolo

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 …

"My grandfather made my life possible today"

Coming 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 …

France by way of Italy

When 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 …

Italy

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

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 …

Amarone at a Crossroads

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 …

Foodies

Confessions of an Invisible Man

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 …

Italy

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

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 …

Paradoxes

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

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. …

Italy declares war against … radical Prosecco

The heart of Europe is marching in Paris today in solidarity against the horrendous atrocities witnessed in the City of Lights this week. Italian …

5 Italian Wine Regions to Watch in 2015

Italy with her endless array of wines and wine styles is poised for a resurgence. The wine business is relatively healthy driven by the big movers, …

Top 10 posts for 2014 and direction for 2015 ~ Year 10 of blogging on the Wine Trail in Italy

2014 has been a year in which I have done the least amount of blog posts since I started this blog on this day nine years ago. On the positive side, …

Sunrise, Sunset ~ Life and Death on the Wine Trail

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 …

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

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 …

Wine After Death

Bibere umanum est, ergo bibamus

He knew her early on. Every year or so they’d meet, usually around a dinner table, sometimes with friends or family. …

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

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 …