Etna’s Hotspot: Benanti

Etna’s greatest great winemakers are fierce and passionate, working under Mother’s Nature’s unapologetic direction season after season, they remain steady ambassadors of their land. The winemakers of the Etna region of Sicily are a remarkably different breed. Resilient and courageous, they risk many of the climatic challenges, from scorching hot summers to untimely rain and hail, plus a decidedly active volcano – all in the pursuit of making some of the greatest wines in the world.  “The eruptions are frequent. I…

Continue reading

Wine Field Study: Look down and taste Santorini

Santorini is already special. It’s the only inhabited cauldron in the world. Formed by volcanic eruptions, the crescent-shaped island, which sits half way between Athens and Crete, offers an astonishing array of contrasts.  Jagged rocky promontories and smooth downhill slopes meet the Aegean Sea. Arable land crawls with volcanic rocks. Deep ravines break up the scrubby plains. Native grape vines showcase their curious shapes, and the wine is unequivocally “Santorini.” What makes Santorini’s wines so special? We can start by…

Continue reading

Sipping Tequila Terroir

Discerning drinkers know that Tequila is the spirit of a classic Margarita and that it comes from the blue agave plant. Furthermore, they can recognize the major styles: Joven, Resposados, and Añejo, for example. But then still other drinkers approach Tequila like it is wine, spending time learning about the history and terroir and how the soil and climate affect the final product in the bottle. As a wine lover, I can really relate. Recently, I had the opportunity to taste …

Continue reading

Ferragamo’s Tuscan village: Encouraging the cycle of nature

Nestled within the splendor of the Tuscan countryside is the magical Il Borro, a world-class vineyard-resort, borne of a 1000-year-old medieval- era village, which charms its privileged guests with luxe accommodations, surrounded by vineyards and olive trees as far as the eye can see. Il Borro is owned by the illustrious Ferragamo family, whose internationally renowned fashion empire has served as a beacon of luxury for nearly a century. While the global fashion business lives on, Salvatore Ferragamo, the younger…

Continue reading

Amarone: The taste of time and love

Italy’s illustrious Amarone della Valpolicella lends a mouth coating texture with an illusion of sweetness, yet the wines are fermented dry. Spellbinding, even magical, delicious, pricey and worth it, Amarone is the product of love and devotion that is inherently Veronese.

Continue reading

Lugana: Lake Garda’s imbibable breeze

There is something enticing about Lugana. It’s the wine that shimmers with reflections at the southern shores of Lake Garda. A purity, a light, kissed by the sun, fresh and breezy, invigorating. A single sip begs for another. Even on this cool overcast December day, the crisp, dry wine from this corner of the world energizes the soul – mine especially – knowing that it may very well had its beginnings right where I was standing. For three generations, Le…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

Foundation provides sommeliers relief during COVID-19

Chris Blanchard remembers the night on St. Patrick’s Day when he received a phone call from a Las Vegas sommelier. The single father of two boys had been laid off that week. It was also the day Governor Mayor Carolyn Goodman officially declared the City of Las Vegas a state of emergency in wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. “He was terrified about not having money for groceries, moreover rent, and had nowhere to turn,” said Blanchard, a Master Sommelier and…

Continue reading

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…

Continue reading