On the Wine Trail in Italy

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Bruno Giacosa Retrospective - A Life in Wine

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

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, but I don’t often get a copy of the print version. …

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 Endangered Wine List in the New Millennium

There’s so much I want to say about what I have observed in the marketplace in the last two weeks. For one, it is the beginning of the O-N-D holiday …

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 …

A day in the life (and death) of Nebbiolo

I had a dream last night. And in that dream I was being taken up a grand conveyance, leading to a large structure. Like something one would see in …

An Italo-American Solution to the Dilemma of Nebbiolo in Piedmont

How do you handle a problem like Nebbiolo? Piedmont bestows upon the grape any number of iterations within the law to allow it to rise and shine. …

Is the Future for Nebbiolo in Piedmont Under Attack?

This has been quite a summer for Piedmont. Historical wineries changing hands, millions of Euros passing from one family to another, and the …

The Ascent of the <strike>Female</strike> American Sommelier - Interview with Rebecca Murphy

<i>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</i> …

The Ascent of the <strike>Female</strike> American Sommelier - Interview with Rebecca Murphy

<i>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</i> …

The Ascent of the <strike>Female</strike> American Sommelier - Interview with Rebecca Murphy

<i>Last 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</i> …

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

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 …

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

<i>Why I got into the wine business</i><p>Last Friday, while handing out Italian wine maps to salespeople, I got to talking with one of the young ones. She …

The Franciacorta Guy and his Mission to Win in America

What 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 …

What I love (and hate) about Sicily

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. …

Sicilian target practice without a license (or a seatbelt)

One of the intriguing aspects about winemaking in Eastern Sicily, especially around Etna and Vittoria, is how tradition has very little to do with …

Etna’s little (and formidable) sister, Vittoria

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 …

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

Rolling down SS120 from Randazzo to Passopisciaro, there’s a modern structure, empty and abandoned. It could be a dystopian bunker, built to survive …

A Wine Zealot's Survival Guide to Etna

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 …

Wine in Italy – from a Greek Perspective

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, …

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

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 …