Tasting 100 of Italy’s best wines

While Vinitaly is the most important wine event on the Italian calendar, the most memorable part of the action-packed week (if talking and tasting wine can be considered action) actually takes place the day before the trade fair begins. The day before in question was Saturday and the Vinitaly pre-event was OperaWine’s Finest Italian Wines…

Sassicaia, Ornellaia and …

Imagine for a second a wine tasting with Sassicaia, Ornellaia and too many other Super Tuscans to count, nine Brunellos, 13 Barolos, and several world class sparkling wines to rival champagne. Oh yeah, and Gaja’s Barbaresco and six Amarones. That was just part of the more than 100 wines being poured at a tasting over…

Throwing Oranges in Ivrea

I’m a sucker for Italy’s town festivals. The more original the sagra the better and there are few more original than the Battaglia delle Arance, Battle of the Oranges, in the northwest city of Ivrea. For three days culminating in Fat Tuesday (martedì grasso) Ivrea comes alive as the city splits into nine teams that…

Eating the Unthinkable, and the Wonderful

I’ve just returned from a place that uses $50 bottles of wine to cook beef for hours at a time, eats raw meat with the same gusto as the French, uses butter liberally, has almost no idea what olive oil is, takes pride in dishes that use the most unappealing parts an animal has to…