Notes from Italy’s vineyards: signs of hope and renewal

“Agriculture is the most magical example we have of nature’s strong resilience,” says Cristiana Tiberio of Agricola Tiberio. Words like this from Italy during a time that she describes to be the “most challenging period after the Second World War” due to the COVID-19 pandemic is a refreshing reminder that life does go on. Situated in Abruzzo, approximately twenty miles inland from the seaside city of Pescara near the hillside town of Cugnoli, Tiberio and her family produce Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Cersauolo…

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Wine is social. What now?

We are all doing what’s necessary in this time of crisis to stay healthy and protect the health of family, friends, co-workers, everyone. But, we are social animals who love to get together and be among family and friends. Furthermore, if you’re in the business of food and beverage – like many of my friends – more than ever, gatherings are what keep our hearts beating. It’s our work. It’s our love. It’s our life. But at the moment, we…

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Wine heals: Friuli charity wine helps Udine Hospital

Situated on one of the highest hills in the Spessa di Cividale area, the heart of the Friuli Colli Orientali, Zorzettig has long been devoted to the culture of the vine. In the face of extraordinary challenges, Zorzettig  is also spreading love and support to the Hospital of Udine by doing what it does best – making wine. The newly-released, limited edition Andrà Tutto Bene (meaning everything will be alright) is a Refosco dal Peduncolo Rosso made from the eponymous…

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Marisa Finetti ranked among top 30 alcohol blogs & influencers

Wow, that’s sweet! This is quite an honor to be #24 (currently) and among some of the greatest digital reads, including Punch, New York Times, Imbibe, Shanken Daily News and others. The top alcohol blogs, websites and influencers are selected from thousands in Feedspot’s index, with rankings based on such criteria as Google rank, social influence, quality, frequency, and Feedspot’s own editorial review. On my site, readers will find a mix of essays, stories and reviews about the things I…

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Pairing Italian wine & cheese 101

Italy produces some of the finest wines and cheeses in the world. Separately, they are already delicious. But, as with any food and wine pairing, when enjoyed together wine and cheese, can elevate the flavors and take the tasting experience to a new level.

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Renzo Cotarella’s first love: Antinori’s Cervaro della Sala

“Firsts” are special. For Renzo Cotarella, CEO of Marchesi Antinori and director of winemaking, Cervaro della Sala might as well been his first child. Excitement, loving devotion, and emotional connection for this wine was clearly evident during a vertical tasting before a group of sommeliers and myself. “This is a wine which I really love, particularly because it’s the first wine I made,” says Cotarella. With that in mind, glasses upon glasses of Cervaro della Sala, which lined the table…

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Grignolino: The underrated gem from Piedmont

I was smitten. The first time I tasted Grignolino was inside the castle of Costigliole d’Asti in the Piedmont region of Italy. In the glass was this incredibly alluring light ruby-colored wine, perfumed with rose hips, violets, and flavors of crunchy pomegranate, barely ripe berries, and spice. The juice-inducing acidity of the wine made me want more of this freshness and this crispness that had an enjoyable tannic clench. Could it be that I was charmed by Grignolino because I…

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Blushing with Chiaretto

In and around the ladel-shaped Lake Garda, situated halfway between Venice and Milan in Northern Italy, every little town brings discoveries: a cluster of umbrella-shaded tables at the shore’s edge, a restaurant perched high above the lake with a wine cellar which once housed ice during the winter, a vintage lemon arboretum, flower-lined promenades, thermal pools fed by the mountain run-off and vines upon grapevines that produce easy-drinking wines that coincidentally suit the lake life. Lake Garda is a place where F.…

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It’s personal: Rooting for access to European wine and food

Just back from Europe where I was surrounded by the beauty of their delicious products –  wine, vinegar, olive oil, cheese, jams, just to name a few. I relished these moments while realizing that many never come to the U.S. as it is. Now, potentially even the ones that do, may never again. Or, I soon might not be able to afford these wines and share them at the table with family and friends. At the moment, a possible 100…

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Once Upon a Vine: Wine and My Amphibian Crush

Standing calf-deep, my rubber boots are suctioned into the slick, clay-rich banks. Twilight robs the colors of the day. The sky’s mercurial reflection shimmers on the vineyard pond and across the shoreline, a lone bullfrog tunes the others. Had I known these frogs were remotely symbolic to my wine discovery, I’d kissed each one until I found the prince.   But, they say to sustain an emotional connection to wine, one must kiss a lot of frogs – in other words,…

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