Sunday Sip Trip: Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

Apple Park sits low in the distance – a ring tossed in a sea of technology. But unplug. How fortunate for the three million people of Silicon Valley to be so near to wine country. Those familiar deep green hills to the west are so close but so untraveled, and continue to be one of the most over-looked wine appellations of the world. Those who are aware of Santa Cruz Mountain wines have fully engaged palates. They know and appreciate…

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Local Las Vegas wine scene diversifies through pandemic

Marisa's Las Vegas Wine Doodle

Most recently, I’ve been returning to a ritual that I’d practiced very sparingly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic: going out to restaurants. Las Vegas locals like myself are starting to feel a bit safer and eager to get out, now that vaccines are readily available. Along with this feeling of emergence – a metamorphosis, if you will – is taking place, with locals taking flight into restaurants and wine bars and showing interest and exploration into new wines.…

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My Good Fellas

It’s passionate. It’s emotional. It takes attitude and persistence and a few drinks, and that includes beers. There is so much to be said about the life-long journey of wine. When I entered the wine world, I was extremely fortunate. Everyone from sommeliers to educators to wine producers opened the door, inspired me, educated me, held me accountable, rooted for me. My Good Fellas are mia famiglia. Comprised of wine professionals with some serious chops, creds, and clout. In the…

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Head to the Rive: Aim high with Prosecco

When we think of Prosecco, what comes to mind is the easy-drinking, cheerful, bubbly, white wine that is made throughout the Veneto and Friuli regions of Northern Italy. Lovers of Prosecco can’t seem to get enough. And thankfully, there’s plenty to go around. In fact, an estimated one billion bottles are produced annually to meet the continuing demand. This also means there are differences in quality from one to the next. In a sea of bubbles, where do we begin?   One…

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Ridge Monte Bello: On the edge of North America

The view from Monte Bello Ridge on Black Mountain forms a scenic backdrop that is relatively undiscovered in the San Francisco Bay Area. Here in the Santa Cruz Mountains, native oaks, redwoods, and madrones stud the deep and shady canyons that draw cyclists, hikers, and nature lovers alike. From the rich riparian habitat flows streams that trickle their way into the Bay. And hugging this natural landscape is Silicon Valley, the epicenter of technological innovation, which makes this entire area…

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Marisa Finetti joins the Circle of Wine Writers

Cheers! I’m excited to announce that I’ve been accepted into the Circle of Wine Writers. Based in the UK and established in 1960 by the late English author and journalist Cyril Ray, the Circle is an association comprised of esteemed authors, writers, journalists, broadcasters, photographers, and educators who communicate about wines and spirits. Currently, there are 240 international members. I am proud to be one of 15 in the U.S. The Circle of Wine Writers aims to “improve the standard of…

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Drops of emotion

I cried on my third day in Italy.  I cried hard in the shower after a full day of tasting the most delicious wines of Piedmont during Ian D’Agata’s week-long 3iC course on Piedmontese food and wine. Why?  It wasn’t because I was sad, or was suffering from jet lag or was overwhelmed by the material, or from being homesick. It wasn’t from having too much to drink.  It was a dream be there in Barolo, surrounded by the beautiful vineyards…

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Stirring with Vintage Swizzle Sticks

In the world of vintage bar accessories, amid colorful glassware and shakers in sparkling chrome, swizzle sticks were an important part of the lounge’s decor. In fact, a drink of any kind would have simply been considered uncivilized without one. I recently came upon a collection of vintage stir sticks from the 1960s and 1970s. This was indeed the Golden Age of the swizzle stick. Many were collected by my mom in Tokyo, most of them from the swanky Hotel New Otani. It…

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You Never Truly Drink Alone

By Kirk Peterson and Marisa Finetti Great wine is art that must be destroyed to be enjoyed. It is an anachronism, a vestige of another time, and another way of living. Vines are fussed and fawned over, cajoled and supplicated to give up their fruit for wine to then be locked away from the world, aging and changing and developing at a rate entirely its own. It presents an opportunity to taste the labors of people long gone, a bottled…

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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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