As the end of the year approaches, and heartfelt toasts abound, I thought this would be a good moment for this friendly reminder: France isn't the sole producer of fine sparkling wines, and Italy's sparkling wine industry is not just about prosecco. Here are some of my favorite classic-method sparkling wines coming from northern Italy that will sparkle and shine in your raised glass and dance the night away on your palette!Read More
There are some perfect pairs out there: Malbec and steak. Bloody Marys and brunch. Netflix and the couch. As its pours outside on this cold, dark Thursday eve, I am reminded of another one: Rainy days and sad songs. The second track for our Italian mix tape, following Paolo Conte's Via Con Me, is a song that I learned while living in Italy, "Ma Che Freddo Fa" ("How Cold It Is"), made famous by the Italian singer Nada at Italy's Sanremo Music Festival in 1969 when she was just 16-years old. Though singing about unrequited love, her performance--at times timid, at times feisty--can't help but warm your heart.Read More
If I were to say "Top Thanksgiving Wines. Go!", chances are Pinot Noir, Champagne, Zinfandel, Sancerre and Anything-that-gets-me-through-dinner-with-my-extended-family would be shouted out with zeal – and with good reason. BUT, what if I were to tell you that there is a whole other world out there: not in the creepy, Stranger-Things-upside-down way, but in the Aladdin-on-a-magic-carpet way.
(Hop on and I'll explain.)Read More
In honor of Women's Month (can we all just agree that every month is women's month?), I wanted to present Suzanne Hoffman's incredible 15+ year research project on the wine family women of Piemonte, which was recently released in the form of a beautifully-detailed book entitled Labor of Love. Many people have heard of the Barolo Boys phenomenon, the term given to a group of friends who revolutionized the production of Barolo—Piemonte's most famous wine—and brought it into the international spotlight in the 80s and 90s. But, who this title excludes is all the women who played pivotal roles and continue to do so in the history and culture of Piemonte, wine-making and otherwise. In Labor of Love, by highlighting the nurturing nature of Piemonte's wine family women across two hundred years, alongside their husbands, fathers, brothers, neighbors, Hoffman offers a thorough history/ herstory of this incredible wine region.
Here are short excerpts from Labor of Love on several of my favorite wine women in Piemonte:Read More
Happy Martedì Grasso (Fat Tuesday), Everyone! It's days like this one I would happily trade in the California sun for the wintery setting of Venice (my old stomping ground) to see the spectacle of those parading around the labyrinthine calle in full costume during Carnivale. Below are a few fun facts about the centuries-old tradition, and a peak into the festive hearts of the Venetians.Read More