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The story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.
I spent the past week traveling around California with Daniele Cernilli, aka DoctorWine.
Daniele is one of the most renowned wine critics and journalists in Italy and he came to California for a series of wine seminars and tastings for both the trade and consumer in conjunction with his book The Ultimate Guide to Italian Wine 2018.
While I was organizing these events, I worked with him to design menus for four meals to pair with the wines. From planning the menus to sitting down for the meals, I absorbed much of the insight he had to share about the importance of food and wine pairing.
Daniele made a point of the fact that Italians eat and drink together. They believe that wine is meant for food and explained that pairing wine and food “is a religion for us.” There are many considerations when it comes to food and wine pairing, and Daniele offered a few key tips.
This story originally appeared in ATOD Magazine. My interest in food and wine began when I was living in Italy. Every town I traveled to, I would ask what was a local specialty. It was like an obsession. Italy is made up of twenty regions and each region, even each town, can have its particular cheese, pasta, wine, pastry and more. There is so much to explore so, when Savor Italy came to LA, I went to see what I could find. The Savor Italy Road Show, organized by the Italy America Chamber of Commerce West Los Angeles and the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Texas, brought a number of new products to the local market, many of which were looking for importation and distribution in the US. I found a few tasty Italian finds that are available to buy within in the US.
This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register (October 13, 2015) Aglianico, a black grape grown in the southern regions of Italy, is often considered the “Barolo of the South.” But, perhaps Barolo is the “aglianico of the north”? After all, aglianico is one of the noblest grapes, shrouded in mystery and fog. It may not be easy to produce or pronounce (can you say "ah-li-YAH-nee-koe"?) but wine people love it, and they should. A seminar led by the North American Sommelier Association explored this fantastic grape. The origin of aglianico is debatable. It is among some of the oldest of grapes in existence. Some say that the name comes from Hellas (Ellenic) and was brought by the Greeks as early as the sixth century B.C. But linguists have not found a connection between the words “aglianico” and “ellenico." The Latin name for “Greece” was “Graecus,” not “Hellenicus.” Others argue that it might be a native varietal from southern Italy. While the debate of origin continues, one thing known is that the DNA is not related to any modern grape. Aglianico The aglianico grape is a small dark berry that grows in small to medium size clusters. While it buds early, it is late ripening and is harvested late in the season. The resulting wine is an intense ruby red, shifting to garnet as the wine ages. It has notes of dark berries, violet, bing cherry, spices, leather, cloves and tobacco. It is a difficult grape to grow and vinify, resulting in harsh tannins and acidity that need long aging. The resulting wines are complex, elegant and full of personality.