Showing posts with label How To Make Wine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How To Make Wine. Show all posts

Friday, July 31, 2009

Top Chef's Fabio Viviani Partnering with Santa Margherita For The First-Ever “Great Taste Challenge."

Top Chef’s Fabio Viviani is partnering with Santa Margherita for the first-ever “Great Taste Challenge,” a food and wine pairing contest for wine-lovers to win a trip to LA and learn from Fabio himself!

Consumers can submit their recipes and a short demo video about why their dish pairs well with Santa Margherita wines at between now and August 31st. Finalists will be judged by Fabio in NYC on September 24th and the winner will travel to LA for a 3 day trip, which includes cooking lessons with Fabio at his restaurant, Café Firenze.

For full contest details, click here: CONTEST

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Italian American, Emmy Award Winning Television Reporter & Producer, Mark Joyella, Launches New Wine Travel Site, VINITREK.

Mark Joyella is an Emmy-winning television reporter, media blogger, and film and video producer. Mark's covered stories across the country and around the world, and teaches news writing and reporting at

He recently launched a wine & travel site, where he and his wife travel around the world to discover the best wineries and food. Mark is Italian American and with his newly launched site Vinitrek, he's becoming more in touch with his cultural heritage.

The Gioiellas who arrived in the U.S. a few generations ago put down stakes in Connecticut, and then went about a fast and furious effort to fit right in, changing the spelling of our name to Joyella (my brother's since changed it back), and making English the language spoken at home. The result is that I've lived most of my life failing the three-step quiz Italians are always giving me:

1. Where are you from in Italy? (Well, it was never really discussed, and I'm not really sure.)
2. But you've been, right? (To Italy, hate to say it, but no, not yet.)
3. But at least you speak the language? (Er...not so much)

What my heritage has given me, for better or worse, is an ability to eat pasta, meats and cheese day after day without ever getting bored, and a profound passion for wine. Recently my wife and I stumbled over a few bottles of Sicilian summer wine at a Brooklyn wine shop that was affordable and utterly terrific.

Tiffanie and I are still newlyweds, having been married in March in Napa, California. We brought in a small group of family and friends, had an outdoor ceremony in an apple orchard with an amazing vineyard backdrop, and then got down to the business--Italian style--of celebrating with tons of good food and lots of great wine.

Our wedding sparked our interest in creating a place where people could go to plan trips to wine country: a place that would tell you about wineries, resorts, and, of course, restaurants. We've started shooting stories close to home, visiting the Hudson Valley north of New York, and Long Island's North Fork.

And yes, Italy is in the works, as is Oregon, New Zealand and beyond.

We're not wine snobs--not by a long shot. But we do love sitting down with friends and family, uncorking a bottle of wine and talking, talking, talking. That, it seems, is in the blood. Throw some bread, cheese and meat into the mix, and, well, you know what I'm talking about.

So with Vinitrek (, we're off to the most beautiful parts of the world to try wine and explore for good food. I know--rough life. We probably won't get rich doing it, but with the wine and food, we'd be doing it anyway, you know? We'd love to have you come along for the trip.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Learning About More Than Just Wine From Gary Vaynerchuk.

Do you know Gary Vaynerchuk? If you don't, then let me tell me about an incredibly inspiring, energetic, savvy, kind and just overall great person who happens to be the owner/ host of a successful business and show called Wine Library TV.

This past week I had the honor of attending an event, where Gary Vaynerchuk hosted at his awesome location and actual Wine Library store in Springfield, NJ.

More recently, I've been working further into the social media industry because of the Italian American Girl Blog and as I investigated the hot trends, topics and experts, I came to discover Gary Vaynerchuk.

What Gary offers to the Internet world and my generation of wine enthusiasts is that wine isn't about swishing and swirling but about tasting and understanding the bottom line. As an Italian American, I grew up making home made wine in my house and my father as the wine expert, so when you come across someone who talks about wine in an understandable way, you definitely gravitate to a level that's relatable. Gary offers his bottom line on wine, discussing taste, consistency, and price that range from the cheapest to the most expensive. You can always be sure you're getting information that will help you to cultivate your own wine skills.

As I listened in on Gary Vaynerchuk speaking in his beautiful wine room located at the Wine Library, you can't help but be totally fascinated with how he views business. What makes him so special is the fact that he discusses not only the wine business but business in general. He manages the Wine Library and has obviously cultivated the WL brand into a major entity, so taking any advice from Gary is definitely a value worth listening in on and practicing.

The fact that Gary is such a force and infectious with his way of speaking and dealing with people, just makes you curious about how he's so driven. What I found as an even more relatable factor is that Gary Vaynerchuk was born in Belarus and immigrated to United States as a child. So, his ethnic background plays a major role in who he's become and how he's fulfilled a true American dream.

While at the Wine Library, someone had asked where is the room that you do the "Thunder Show" from? and he without hesitation, just said, "follow me." I mean, really..what successful entrepreneur do you know, who just takes you into his world and shares his formula of success? We did go to his office where he welcomed us with open arms and spoke in conversation with everyone, answering questions so candidly. You can't help but notice his office is full of great pictures with famous people, which adds to his credible, in your face factor.

I'm writing about Gary Vaynerchuk because he adds value to anyone's world and when you meet a successful person who is actually kind and willing to help others, it makes you listen and want to add value to your own interests.

I wanted to share my experience with meeting Gary Vaynerchuk with the Italian American audience because not only does Gary share our interest in wine but he shares our interest in living an American dream.

***To view the Wine Library Show---

( In this episode Gary talks Italian Brunello Wines)

***To purchase wine online visit Gary's store:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Anu Karwa, Wine Expert & Owner of Swirl Events, Gives Her Top 5 Wine Picks For Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and picking a perfect wine is always a bit of a task, so I called in one of the best wine experts to help you choose a great wine for a fantastic evening.

I'm honored to have Anu Karwa as my guest wine expert & blogger this week for Top Wine Picks on Valentine's Day.

Anu Karwa created and runs Swirl Events, an in-home and corporate wine tasting party company with a fresh, hip approach ( in New York City. Her mission is to make wine a fun and easy part of everyday living; never intimidating or stuffy.

Anu's Top Wine Picks:

  • 2007 Sorelle Bronca Prosecco ($17)- I'm a huge Prosecco fan and this one is my favorites. Made by a team of sisters, it's produced several times a year to be super fresh. Skip the Champagne and check out this Prosecco.

  • 2007 Medici Ermete 'Solo' Lambrusco ($15) These "frizzante" or semi-sparkling wines are made from the grape of the same name and reign from Emilia-Romagna in Italy. The jammy, vibrant dark berry fruit has a touch of fizz and finishes dry. Red and sparkling - what could be more romantic? (

  • 2005 Feudi di San Gregorio Rubrato Aglianico ($18.99) Bring out the bold and spicy! This lesser known grape provides incredibly intensity in aroma and finishes silky smooth.

  • 2004 Ruffino Riserva Ducale Chianti Classico ($22) For lovers of the classics, this Chianti Classico made of Sangiovese grapes, exhibits the black cherries we'd expect but is balanced by an earthy, rustic nature that Chianti lovers celebrate.

  • Valle Dell'Acate, Il Frappato ($22) Sicilian wines are on the rise and need to be explored! Bright raspberry flavors burst in your mouth with a wine that could only be described as happy. 100% Frappato grapes. It begs to be paired with every day Italian red sauce dishes.

Have a wonderful Valentine's Day and thank you Anu Karwa for your expertise and knowledge in wine.

Check out Anu's original blog that compares wine to celebrities and listen to her on Martha Stewart Living radio:

Sunday, December 7, 2008

How To Buy An $50.00 Bottle of Wine for $20.00 or Less.

In this economy we need all the help we can get, so if you're an avid wine drinker and don't want to pay top notch prices for great wine, we have the solution for you. You have to visit the Domaine547 site. Its a great place to read up on the latest wine reviews via regular people and some wine experts. Also in their store, they sell amazing bottles of wine that would normally cost a pretty penny to a truly affordable price. Its basically overstock of the best stuff that they cleverly get their hands on. Now, you must- must go to this site if you want to make a great impression this holiday and buy a great bottle of wine. Domaine547 offers gift certificates and a wonderful variety of wines, etc. This is one of those secrets that if someone doesn't tell you--you never really know about it.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wine In A Heinz Ketchup Bottle.

Remember when Heinz ketchup used to be in glass bottles? I think that was ages ago, when I was growing up in the late 70's early 80s. So, what is the significance of a Heinz ketchup bottle? I actually met up with a friend of mine who I hadn't seen since high school. Growing up we were pretty tight, she was at my house a lot and witnessed a lot of our crazy Italian-isms. For an example, I thought that when it was time to make wine in our house, it was completely normal that we would use a glass bottle that happened to be a ketchup bottle. Don't get me wrong, we used normal bottles too, but the ketchup bottle got caught up in their too. Now, the bottles were stubby and odd looking back then, so we never really captured any kind of sophisticated wine making tactics or appearances. It was more like use what you have.

Well, in meeting with her and talking about the old days from our childhood, she happened to remember something so random, but apparently it left an impression on her. She says, "you know, only at your house did I experience the highest proof wine, of which your father brought up from the basement in a Heinz Ketchup bottle, with the Heinz label still on it. " Now, my friend is what we call, "total mer-i-gan," but she really adapted well to all the strange things that went on in my house growing up. So, I said to her, "well, I'm glad I could provide that experience for you." She never judged --but in the end, we laughed and now we cherish the memories about growing up Italian American.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

What Is A Sommelier...and How Do You Become One?

As Italians, its our God given talent to be connoisseurs of the finer things in life such as food, wine, & fashion. So, in keeping with tradition, let's discuss wine. Wine is something that is derivative of the Italian people, the story behind wine making goes back to Roman times. So, when you hear the word, Sommelier, some of you may not know what this is. A Sommelier, is an expert on wine, someone who is trained in the education of wine and all of its characteristics. A Sommelier knows the difference between wines just by tasting. I will admit, I did not know what it meant until someone told me while I was sitting in a restaurant. I just thought the waiter knew his wine list well (ha ha) and he wasn't a waiter. (oops.) Well for those of you who are true wine aficionados, its pretty interesting to learn about what a Sommelier does and how they get to know their craft. If you want to learn more about this profession take a click on the following link. Think personal development.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Great Wine Escape Weekend- Monterey, California.

For true wine aficionados, here is the event that most wine lovers don't miss. The 12th Annual Great Wine Escape Weekend in Monterey, California, which runs from November 7 to the 9, 2008. This event includes tastings, food integration, wine country tours, seminars, wine education and cooking. This is truly the action packed weekend of wine knowledge from professionals in wine country. As an Italian American, I love to learn about the extensive details involved with wine making and if you're like would love this weekend. Check the details on this event and schedules, this is definitely worth a trip.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How to Make Home Made Wine- Italian American Style

Well, as promised, here are a few clips of our family making wine. Now, mind you this is an amateur, traditional style process. If you want super mega processes you have to Google, Napa Valley secrets. But for those of you who want an idea of the home made process, here it is. Also, don't forget this process isn't completely done until the wine is fermented, which isn't for another 40 days. Then onto bottling, which we then leave to age. So, the taste and quality depends on your knowledge and skills in wine making. Click on the play button below and the clips will start appearing.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Time To Make the Wine!!!!

Ok, everybody...this is it. We are heading out bright and early tomorrow morning to buy the grapes for our year supply of home made wine (Calabrese Style.) Myself, my brother and father. It should be fun!! I think we will officially start the 'wine making' process on Sunday, so I will post as we go along with the moment to moment plays. I will also post pictures for those of you who are interested in making wine. I have to make sure my family cooperates with the pictures. (They are such divas! and I'm not talking about the women :))

Woo hoo!!! Vino, vino, vino e more vino!