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Barolo Boys: The Power & Effects of International Wine Marketing

“Barolo Boys” (2014) is a documentary about the Barolo “boom” in the nineties. The strength of the film is its success in chronicling how a group of family owned wineries (7 men + 1 woman)* changed the historical character of their wines for marketing purposes and what happened as a result. The story is important […]

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Passion On The Vine: a memoir by Sergio Esposito

When I first read Sergio Esposito’s book seven years ago, it changed my understanding of Italian wine. Esposito explains so clearly how the best and most interesting wines of Italy are deeply connected to family, culture, tradition and most of all, place. He begins the book by describing his early life in Naples, then, the […]

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5 Common Misconceptions about "Natural" Wine in Italy

Let’s start with 1. “Natural” wine in Italy is a new idea. It’s not. Wine has been made in Italy for about 3,000 years and until about fifty years ago, it was all “natural”. Vineyards were free of industrial chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, etc.), fermentation occurred because of indigenous yeasts on the grapes and in […]

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5 "Natural" Wine Bars: Drinking Italian Artisan Wine in London

Finding outstanding Italian artisan wines in London is becoming easier. What used to be considered fringe is becoming mainstream in central London. In a few days, I sampled these five wine bars that all had an atmosphere of friendliness and conviviality…as well as quality. 1) TERROIRS 5 William IV St. (Monument Station Tube) Covent Garden […]

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RAW Fair: Empowering Artisan Winegrowers + Wine Drinkers

While in London last week, I met with Isabelle Legeron MW, who founded the RAW (The Artisan Wine Fair), in London in 2012. (May 15-16, 2016) Her goals: bring transparency to wine and showcase true terroir wine made naturally. Sitting outside in the brisk London chill for a cappuccino, she was as authentic and down […]

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Living Legends from The Leopard

I never dreamed of having lunch with the adopted son of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of the famous Italian novel, The Leopard, and his wife, Duchess Nicoletta Polo Lanza. But there I was staying in an apartment in their historic seventeenth century palazzo. Prince Gioacchino Lanza Tomasi, a professor of Music and author of […]

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Have a Holiday Headache? Is It From The Sulfites In Your Wine?

Very possibly yes, but to understand, we have to ask more questions. 1) How does the body process the alcohol in wine? In her book, Natural Wine, Isabel Legeron explains that when alcohol arrives for processing in the liver, an enzyme transforms it into a more toxic substance that leads to headaches and nausea if […]

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Four Seasons in Rome, a memoir by Anthony Doerr

Anthony Doerr, best selling author of All the Light We Cannot See, penned this memoir of a year in Rome while on a fellowship at the American Academy. With a style reminiscent of A Moveable Feast, Doerr brings the reader along into experiences that are cultural, romantic, sensual, but most of all, authentic. The book […]

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Italian Wine: Art or Brand?

This article isn’t about wine IN art (Bacchus by Caravaggio here), but wine AS art…compared to wine as “brand”. Brand is big these days. A lot of people want to have a brand, sell a brand, or be a brand. Since the engine for brand is marketing, we are living in the Age of Marketing […]

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Isabelle Legeron: Natural Wine

Isabelle Legeron, who was the first French woman to become a Master of Wine, is a serious wine person with a serious palate. She now calls herself “That Crazy French Woman” and has written this excellent book on Natural Wine. After tasting hundreds of wines, she came to the realization that a lot of what […]

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