Ribolla Gialla: Ribolla di Oslavia & George Vare Ribolla

A couple of spare days between visiting Alto Adige and returning to Barolo during the fall of 2013 led me to the hilly vineyards in the far eastern stretches of Friuli. It was there that I discovered the remarkable Collio DOC zone and the true potential of the Ribolla gialla grape. Dating back to the … Continue reading Ribolla Gialla: Ribolla di Oslavia & George Vare Ribolla

Summer Standouts of the Langhe & Roero

Last Friday some good friends from Napa stopped by and I opened my one bottle of Marengo Pugnane Barbera d'Alba. First sip and suddenly I remember, "Wow, I am totally in love with this wine!" And then, "Oh yeah! I still have not written up my standouts from my last trip to Piemonte ..." Ooops. … Continue reading Summer Standouts of the Langhe & Roero

Pinot grigio as ‘Orange Wine’

Wine drinkers in the US like to bash Pinot grigio, saying it tastes like water, has no personality, is innocuous, or is just simply a waste of time. I'll give them "innocuous," on most accounts—but I'd prefer that to some noxiously herbal cats-piss elixir or a thick golden yellow "juice" that tastes like buttered popcorn. … Continue reading Pinot grigio as ‘Orange Wine’

Karen MacNeil, a great inspiration

I managed to sneak a few treasures into my suitcase from my last trip to Piemonte. I also came home to a few unexpected ones. Two packages sat on the floor by the front door when I walked into my house after being gone for nearly three weeks—my 15th trip to Italy in 10 years. … Continue reading Karen MacNeil, a great inspiration

“Been out in the wild” Campania

A few weeks ago, I invited my new WSET buddy, Tim, along with his husband, Elliot, to join me for dinner at A16, my very favorite Italian restaurant in San Francisco. The restaurant lives up to its name by giving you the feeling you're being transported, just as the autostrada, A16, literally does, to the … Continue reading “Been out in the wild” Campania

Excuse me, you said Barbera d’ … what!?

It's my tenth Barrel Tasting Weekend and I'm standing in the Preston Winery tasting room with eight of my friends ... While Preston does not participate in the event weekend, that doesn't matter to us. We'll stop anyway; we want to know what's new. In general, the participants in this northern Sonoma springtime event limit … Continue reading Excuse me, you said Barbera d’ … what!?