In the glinting dawn sunlight at the Madrid airport, Ihsan made his perennial toast: “Here’s to a great trip, baby!” Valerie and I raised our glasses of bubbling cava, and with a clink and a final sip, we were off. Our final destination after this layover was Bra, a city in Italy’s Piedmont region, where Continue Reading »
After an exhilarating five days of intensive tasting in and just outside of Verona at VinItaly, VinNatur, and Vino Vino Vino, my palate has been reinvigorated and my “wine speak” in Italian has once again been thoroughly challenged and expanded. VinItaly is Verona’s infamous wine expo that brings together over 4,000 producers in a cluster Continue Reading »
Driving through the disorienting January fog along the narrow, winding roads of Reggio Emilia, we were grateful to have a guide. Andrea Bezzecchi had picked us up from the Reggio Emilia train station and was taking us to Novellara, his hometown and the home of Acetaia San Giacomo, where his family has made balsamic vinegar Continue Reading »
“Francesco!” Monica Cotta wandered through the hilly, terraced olive groves near her home in Pantasina, searching for her father’s cousin Francesco. It was a warm, sunny morning in January, and we were due to help him with the last of the olive harvest. Here in Liguria, where Taggiasca olives produce the sweet oil the region Continue Reading »
Sergio Mottura's family produces some of our favorite Central Italian wines, and a visit to their organic vineyard makes it clear why those wines are so great.
Italy is our home away from home it seems. We have developed many close friendships over the years that we feel as though we are visiting family with each trip. This is a country that offers a broad spectrum of culinary artistry from the more refined cuisine of the North to the simpler yet no Continue Reading »
Every year, it is with great anticipation that we order torrone and panettone from Sorelle Nurzia, a small confectioners in Italy. These delicious goodies arrive in the shop brightly packaged, beautiful-looking and wonderfully festive – kicking off the holiday season here at the shop!
After working for Slow Food for many years, Sandro Barosi of Cascina Corte decided to purchase a small, six hectare farm and winery in Dogliani, Piemonte.
I have always marveled at the ability of the Italian women to walk in high heels on ancient cobblestone streets.
Today, I wanted to talk about two of my favorite Italian vermouths: a classic dark vermouth from the House of Cocchi, one of the original Torino vermouth makers; and the other, a limited production white vermouth from chemist-turned-vermouth producer Mauro Vergano.
This year, my trip to Italy’s most renowned wine show, VinItaly, took on a different emphasis and dynamic. In previous years, navigating thronged pavilions of growers and tasters and trailing fellow importers was at center stage. This time, while those goals remained important, the focus was on introducing Jessica, a talented and emerging wine buyer for the shop, to many of the people that stand behind the Italian wines on our shelves.
Ihsan recently shared with us a few memories from one of his early cheese sourcing trips – a 1993 trip to the Castelmagno region of Italy. In that post, he described one of his revelatory food experiences: Gnocchi al Castelmagno.