Monthly Archives: October 2015

Morellino di Scansano D.O.C.G. and Montecucco D.O.C.G. Consortium Come to US for Tasting Events in New York and Chicago


This is a shameless post promoting events I am hosting for the Morellino di Scansano D.O.C.G. and Montecucco D.O.C.G. consortium this week in New York and Chicago. If I haven’t reached out to you, reach out to me if interested in attending one of our events. Here is a link to our walk around tasting at the Astor Center in New York on October 27, 2015. For those that I have contacted seven times in the past weeks, forgive me but that’s my job – getting my clients in front of as many people in our industry as possible. So come one, come all. Drink Sangiovese, Drink Maremma, Drink Tuscany.


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A Visit to the Fireman’s Memorial on 100th Street – 9/11

Last week my apartment building was the scene of a massive fire. Smoke still lingers in the halls and thoughts of moving swirl in my head. I also can’t say enough good things about the fire department in this city. I am reposting this because I also will never forget what they did for so many and the price they paid.


Riverside Park

This is a photo of the Firemen’s Memorial which was built in 1913 in Riverside Park. It was designed by H. Van Buren Magonigle (1867-1935), and the sculptures were done by an Italian sculptor named Attilio Piccirilli (1866-1945).

On September 11, 2001 the Fire Department lost 343 firefighters.

There was a large ceremony at the monument today. There were many handsome fireman in their dress blues in attendance. My thoughts today are with them and all of the other families for whom today is not just a national tragedy but a personal one.

I will be drinking a Dancing Bear Cellars Pinot Noir today to celebrate life. The wine is called the Shea Cuvee 2006 and is named after Danny and Joe Shea, the brothers-in-law of my friend and client Eric Munson, both of whom worked in the Twin Towers and died that awful day.


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Musings On Wine Events: Five Things That Make Them Special


1. Location:
The above photo has nothing to do with events I have hosted but is a shot from Cortina where VinoVip is usually held. Thinking about that event that I attended two years ago, the wines were great, the seminars too but it was the location that made all the difference.

2. Product:
Of course it is easier to hold an event for Chateau Latour than for Yellow Tail with a certain target audience but there are great events that happen for products of all different price points, what makes the difference there then? Creativity, fun in my opinion.

3. Producers:
I love events where the producers are present. Sure an importer can be great as can brand ambassadors and reps but there is nothing like speaking with the person who actually makes the wine and has a personal connection to the winery product.

4. Materials:
Good informational materials are fundamental to an event, including maps, when possible. I also like to see exactly what area we are talking about and being able to share that knowledge is fundamental.

5. Follow up:
At the end of the day, we are only as good as our follow up, answering questions and providing context. I’m a big believer in education above all.

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Wine Region of the Week: Tikves, Macedonia


Tikveš is the wine region of the week. It is located in the Republic of Macedonia, a tiny nation in the Balkans, landlocked between Greece, Serbia, Albania, Bulgaria and Kosovo. Apparently wine has been grown there for more than 100 years. The area, a fertile plain, looks beautiful in photos and is surrounded by mountains. With its somewhat Mediterranean climate, it lies along the Vardar River.

While they grow a myriad of grapes, Smederevka,Vranec and Temjanika, make up 80% of the total grape production. I have tried and written about Vranec in the past, this week I tried Rkaciteli from a winery called Stobi. Stobi, also the name of the town, is a beautiful city with Roman ruins. It was first mentioned about 200 BC and looks to have incredible ruins and art and is said to be much older than that. Stobi is near Skopje, the capital and is a very modern looking winery with state of the art technology, wine tourism and corporate events. Who knew….Winebow certainly did and is their US importer.

The Rkaciteli was a nice cheerful wine that I tried with my friend Lynne from We agreed it was a perfect match with our local favorite Peruvian chicken from Flor de Mayo. The acidity was higher than I would have expected at 7g/l and I wonder if that is all natural but that said, I liked the wine and for less than $15 a bottle, it’s hard to go wrong with this fun, novel wine.

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Italian Indigenous Grapes: Pecorino from Le Marche, Abruzzo

Angela Velenosi was in town this week for some events that I organized for her. As a policy I do not write about people that I work for but that doesn’t mean I can’t reblog an old post, written before we did some work together. In any event, the point is Pecorino is an interesting grape, under represented in my view. I had the same sensations about it this week as I did years ago and just mentioned today that its viscosity reminds me of Chenin Blanc. I’m happy to see I am at least consistent in my tasting notes. October is a new month and I challenge myself to write a little each day. Let’s see how it turns out. Cheers


This week’s indigenous variety is called Pecorino. It hails mainly from Le Marche and from Abruzzo but there are also plantings in Liguria, Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria.

An early ripening grape, it is not susceptible to downy or powdery mildew. The grape has nothing to do with the cheese of the same name, Pecorino, other than some suggestions that the grapes got their name from the “Pecore” or sheep that used to eat them while grazing.

One of my favorite examples of Pecorino is from Velenosi Vini.

Pecorino 2012

This Falerio dei Colli Ascolani Denominazione d’Origine Controllata (DOC) wine from Le Marche was crispy and nicely acidic with hints of tropical fruit and flowers. I also find it slightly waxy in the same way that Chenin Blanc often is. It was perfect with the lobster roll I had today at the Pier in Wellfleet. Fishing with Dad and my nephew is great…

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