On the Wine Trail in Italy

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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’d run the wine job circuit. Serving tables. Sommelier. And now (1981) I was managing a wine bar in Dallas. My son was nearing school age. I needed …

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>A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, 3,500. My friend and colleague, Raffaella, posted a photo from her youth. I thought I recognized</i> …

Is Italian Wine in Danger of Dying from Natural Causes?

I’ve just spent an afternoon looking at Nielsen wine sales reports for America. The exercise came as a response to a colleague who told me <i>“Santa</i> …

A Guide to Collecting Italian Wine for the 30-Year-Old – Part I

For those who read books, there are numerous treatises on collecting wine. I’ve read all that I have in my little library. Some of them strike a …

Is Italian Wine Ready for a Revamp in 2017?

<i>Vision quests, spa treatments, identity crisis wines and start-up disruptors</i><p>My Italian friends are posting pictures on their Facebook, Twitter and …

11 Years Wine Blogging - On the Wine Trail in Italy – Quo Vadis?

What started out as a journal, a web-log as we called it at the time, has become a journey, now expanding into its second decade. The idea of time as …

The American Dreamer - From Palermo in 1911 to the United States in 2016

On a Barbarossa class ocean liner, a young man, barely a teenager in 1911, makes it all the way to Ellis Island, by himself. On a ship full of hope …

The Top 10 Commandments of Italian Wine

With the holiday season fast approaching, and with hallowed respect for Italian wine, let’s take a moment and review the 10 Commandments of Italian …

Bruno Giacosa Retrospective - A Life in Wine

Bruno Giacosa has spent a lifetime making great wine. Like the fog that cloaks the many hills of the Langhe, to many he is shrouded in an enigmatic …

Life on Mt. Etna - After the Gadabouts Are Gone

It’s wet and foggy. And some of us are scared. The long days are now a thing of memory. We are steeped in darkness. And all the while the mountain …

Trump's America Beckons: A Challenge for Italian Wine in the Age of Disruption

In two weeks, on December 4, 2016, Italians will vote on a referendum to change their constitution. If electors vote to approve the bill, it would …

Fanfare for the (un)Common Somm(elier)

Over the past week, once again in Texas, in restaurants, a wine list was thrust into my hands. “You choose, find us some wine,” my table guests …

The First 40 Years of the Golden Age in Wine

This past week, I happened to come across a copy of the Wine Spectator. I’m an online subscriber, so I don’t often see the print version. But this …

Safe-cracking a memory vault in search of the unicorn wine

<i>"Able was I ere I saw Etna"</i><p>Memory is an odd bedfellow. Even without the vicissitude of time or trauma it can be a transitory butterfly, flittering …

What is More Important to Winelovers? The News? Or the Story?

In a recent conversation with Elaine “Hawk Wakawaka” Brown - who started out in the world of wine as an artist and blogger and rocketed to …

The staggering weight of a 1000 year old family tree in Chianti

In a world in which there are so many more pressing issues, the fate and the future of Chianti is not even in the top 100. It’s in a quiet little …

Etna and Eggplant in the National Press: What I shot and how I cooked it

In the last month or so, my life of wine (and food) has ventured outside the constraints of the blogosphere. Consider this my brag blog post, for …

The Italy that found me

There is a place in Italy where all my memories distill into one. And I was there recently, standing on the balcony of a room overlooking the …

Stalking the Wild and Indigenous in the New and the Old World

<i>From Parmigiano to Hoja Santa to Pecorino in less than 24 hours</i><p>Hoja Santa Harvest - inspected (and approved) by Jacques Pepin at Paula Lambert's …

International Style - An Historical Perspective in Wine

It was late Friday afternoon. The week was essentially done. My son had invited a bunch of his friends over for a cooking party. The local newspaper …