Showing posts with label Wine Expert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wine Expert. Show all posts

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Italian Wine Country - Insider's Take From Piedmont, Italy

Guest Writer: Anna Savino
from Saluzzo, Piedmont, Italy--- it's been almost six years in Italy...never thought I'd get married to a Piemontese but I am so happy to share my culinary, geographical and cultural discoveries of this beautiful Italian landscape!

Growing up, I always felt Italian. Proudly raised in an Italian American family and hearing about my parent's one year adventure in Rome was just the start of my serious relationship with Italy. I guess I can call myself lucky that I grew up in Napa Valley surrounded by beautiful vine covered hills, some of the best restaurants in the USA and embracing a standard of refined food and wine from a young age.

This made my transition to Piemonte, Italy, a bit easier. I already knew the proper pronunciation of words like Sangiovese and gnocchi and the differences between pecorino romano e parmigiano reggiano.

I remember when I first got to THIS new wine valley without any knowledge of Piemontese wines I was frustrated, wanting to learn in a hurry. I tried to visit enoteca regionali in towns like Barolo and Barbaresco, and read 500 page books on Italian wine. Nevertheless, I had to let time take its course and truly experience the wines to learn about them.

After 6 years of living in Piemonte, names like Dolcetto, Nebbiolo and Barbera seem like old familiar friends. While I am no expert in wines (when I left home I was barely of drinking age!), I am passionate about them.

One noteworthy Piemontese wine deserves the spotlight: Barbera (bar-bear-ah). Even in Italy, it has suffered scandals in its past, and was taken advantage of for its yielding capabilities. Barbera traveled across the ocean to the New World as so many of our ancestors did, making its way into the American wine world. Initially, it was only partly accepted, used for blends and mass produced wines. As an American expat like myself is starting to fit in here, Barbera is finding its place in America. It is finally being appreciated for what it is, has developed finer wine making techniques and has turned into a “superior” red wine!

What better way to experience and learn about this wine than take part in an event presenting 5 Italian Barberas and 5 American ones. The anxiously awaited #barbera2 event will take place right here on Barbera's originating land of Nizza Monferrato Asti. Where winemakers, wine lovers, journalists and artists can solidify century old bonds through passion and wine. Likewise, on the other side of the ocean, there will be the #barberafestival where you can learn more about this versatile and vivacious red wine in California! Salute with un buon bicchiere di barbera!

Anna blogs from Italy:

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

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wine Tasting With The Host of Wine Library TV, Gary Vaynerchuk.

Last night I attended a wine tasting "tweet-up" at the famous Wine Library location in New Jersey and was lucky enough once again to see and talk to the ever so popular host of Wine Library TV, Gary Vaynerchuk. Gary conducted a wine tasting, where he filmed a "Thunder Show" for his Wine Library TV line up. Its always fun to watch a Wine Library TV episode, but when you're in Gary's presence as he turns on his persona is pretty amazing, this guy is for real. I did taste two types of wine, a Bordeaux and a Merlot...(I think). I didn't like the red so I obviously remembered the Bordeaux, which I bought cause it was pretty good. (Chateau Des Roches, Bordeaux..2008)

As I watched Gary talk about the wines and their consistencies, I realized that I really need to learn more about wine. Growing up Italian American, wine was something that was always on the table, my parents make their own homemade wine and I just always thought I knew the process and how to pick grapes, but the truth is there is so much to learn about wine. Gary's self taught wine experience is captivating because it really opens your eyes and mind to what to look for when tasting wine. Making wine is such a process, and for me having been to Italy, where I've seen the process from beginning to end leaves me with a great appreciation for wine and all of its education. I thank Gary Vaynerchuk for hosting such a fabulous night and his staff is pretty amazing too. I learned a lot last night about wine and business. Two of my favorite things. Thanks Gary!

Check out Gary's Daily Wine Library Episodes at Wine Library TV.

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.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Rick Steves Travels To Cinque Terre, Italy: Hiking in Corniglia

One of my favorite shows on public television is hosted by travel expert Rick Steves. In this episode you can see Rick travel to one of Italy's most amazing regions: Cinque Terre. The more I watch these segments, the more I realize I need to be in Italy. Enjoy and thank you Rick Steves for always doing such a fantastic job of showcasing the best of Europe.


Friday, February 20, 2009

Sense of Wine Event- CIPRIANI'S NYC TONIGHT!-

Tis the season for great wine events in New York City. Tonight at the exclusive Cipriani location in NYC, famed wine expert, Luca Baroni will be hosting a magnificent wine tasting event. The party begins at 5:00 pm with free access but you must register .
Friday, February 20, 2009
5:00pm - 9:00pm
Cipriani 42ndSt.
110 East 42nd Street
New York, NY
Visit Luca's site for more information on upcoming events and wine information.

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: