Franciacorta, Italy’s answer to Champagne?

Nestled in the lake district at the foot of the Alps, the small appellation of Franciacorta is a gem waiting to be discovered.  Located about 70km east of Milan on the south shore of Lake Iseo, Franciacorta consists of 19 villages in an amphitheater-like area rich in mineral deposits from the glacial era. In the last few years, Franciacorta has become more famous within Italy … Continue reading Franciacorta, Italy’s answer to Champagne?

The Wines of Abruzzo: Between the Mountains and the Sea

Abruzzo, land of fisherman and shepherds. The regional economy, originally based on fishing, agriculture and pasture, has diversified, but it maintains its reputation for high-quality, natural products. Although geographically small, Abruzzo is one of the most important wine-producing regions in central and southern Italy. The Land Abruzzo is located in Central Italy, bordering the Adriatic Sea which runs for 130km from north to south along the … Continue reading The Wines of Abruzzo: Between the Mountains and the Sea

Etna Winemakers Focus On Tradition To Create Terroir-Driven Wines

The wine world harbors much majesty and enticement, particularly regarding terroir and how a sense of place translates in the glass. Around the globe, breathtaking landscapes, dramatic history, unforgiving terrains, and diverse soil types help tell a story through wine. In Italy specifically, the winemaking area around the Etna volcano on the island of Sicily holds considerable fascination. The region’s cool, high-altitude continental climate is … Continue reading Etna Winemakers Focus On Tradition To Create Terroir-Driven Wines

Rioja: Four Exciting Trends to look out for

If you ask any wine professional or enthusiast about the Spanish region they know most about, 9 out of 10 would probably mention Rioja, historically considered the gold standard of Spanish red wine. The relatively small (66,000 hectares or 160,000 acres) region of Rioja has a long tradition of quality winemaking – which started with the arrival of Bordelais producers fleeing the phylloxera epidemic in … Continue reading Rioja: Four Exciting Trends to look out for

5StarWines: My experience as a judge in Italy’s premier wine competition

5StarWines is a competition of Italian wines organized by Veronafiere, the group that oversees Vinitaly – the world’s most important fair for Italian wines.   In its 6th edition, held in Verona between April 1-3, 2022, over 2,300 wines were submitted from all corners of Italy and internationally. Having the honor to participate as a judge for the first time allowed me to learn about … Continue reading 5StarWines: My experience as a judge in Italy’s premier wine competition

Bobal, Spain’s next great grape variety?

Tempranillo, Garnacha, Monastrell – arguably the trio of Spain’s noble red grape varieties which make complex, outstanding, age-worthy wines.  However, in the last few years, a fourth variety – the relatively unknown Bobal – has been staking its claim to join this elite group thanks to its increased quality, potential, and overall reputation. Bobal has also slowly become a darling among Spanish sommeliers and professionals, … Continue reading Bobal, Spain’s next great grape variety?

My New Year Wine Resolutions for 2022

Let’s admit it, 2021 wasn’t really the best of years.  Earlier in the pandemic many of us, myself included, believed that we’d be back to normal sometime in 2021 and were disappointed and fatigued by end of the year. Personally, I mostly missed the social and professional gatherings – formal and informal – that I enjoyed before 2020: wine dinners with friends, tasting groups, trade … Continue reading My New Year Wine Resolutions for 2022