Drinking Austrian Riesling in St. Anton

It’s been five years since this trip to St. Anton, my ripped ACL and my last skiing experience. I didn’t grow up skiing but started at 15 with a friend’s family in Vermont. I loved to ski all through my teens, twenties and beyond. Then I started to get scared. I think that was around the time that snowboarding became everyone’s favorite sport. These days, with a very young child, I’m looking forward to getting back on the slopes. The small ones and starting over. This weekend’s blizzard has really made me miss ife on the slopes, all of it. I always remember the panini with speck and asiago cheese that I would eat when skiing in Italy and the desire to drink Vin Brule but the knowledge that too much of it would make me a worse skier. Hopefully, a settimana bianca will again be part of my life as Niccolo’ learns to ski and wants to go. It’s a great February tradition in Italy that I miss.


I´m finally in St. Anton, a ski paradise in Austria. We had great weather yesterday as you can see from the color of the sky in this picture. New Year´s Eve in ski towns all over Europe are generally the same, fireworks everywhere, much revelry and prix fixe dinners.

I went to the Hotel Montana for dinner to celebrate and had an eight course meal which I must say was delicious. I had expected the food here to be basic fare but instead have had one great meal after another much to my surprise.

I also have been able to taste some great wines including the Weninger Blaufranckish that I mentioned on my last blog post.
Last night I tried some great Zweigelt and amazing riesling from Martin Donabaum from the Wachau. I had both the Federspiel and the Smaragd. They were both great but the Smaragd was beyond lovely…

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This is a photo from a storm last year around this time. The scene outside the window today is much more white. I love the snow, albeit more so when I am in the mountains than in the city or the suburbs. That said, today's storm is a nice forced moment to stay inside and... Continue Reading →

Women In Wine Fridays: Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Donatella Cinelli Colombini is the new president of Le Donne del Vino. Sono felice di averla conosciuta in passato e contenta di vedere dove porta l’associazione nel prossimo futuro. Auguri!


Today is International Women’s day or La Festa delle Donne. It has always annoyed me that only one day a year is dedicated to women but nevertheless, I always mark it in some way. It is a perfect day to write about Donatella Cinelli Colombini . Donatella was the second woman that I met in 2005 who worked in the wine business and was part of the organization, Le Donne del Vino.

I met Donatella when I was writing the first piece of my as of yet unfinished opera on wine. I just got a copy of Tom Hyland’s book today so maybe that will push me to write my own. Donatella ran one of the first all female wineries, Casato Prime Donne. She told me in a brief interview in January that she decided to hire all woman when she went looking for a cellar master and they said…

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Looking Forward to Benvenuto Brunello in NYC and Italy

While Monday’s event won’t be as thrilling as the one in Italy, I am looking forward to tasting some great Brunello in New York and to seeing good friends. I am also really looking forward to my trip to Tuscany to attend the Anteprime 2018 in February. I went for the first time in 2009 and it was so memorable I can’t wait to go back.

I really need to go back and “sciacquare i panni in Arno, an elegant way of saying spend time in Tuscany and speak Italian. Alessandro Manzoni used this phrase in I Promessi sposi. I always use it to say I miss Italy and want to spend some time there.

Like so many foreigners, my first Italian experiences were in Florence. I guess it was meant to be. I used to have a poster of “Room with A View” over my bed. Even the concept of a poster seems so quaint today, but it is true. I think I still have it. I lived with a Florentine for six years and Tuscany remains to this day, a second home to me so much so that my son has the most Florentine of names…Niccolò.

Palazzo Strozzi


Benvenuto Brunello

This is a post about a memorable experience that I had last year right around this time when I was lucky enough to attend the Benvenuto Brunello tasting in Montalcino. The event held by the Consorzio is a huge draw for journalists. While the 2014 edition has already come and gone as well, I never had the chance to write up my impressions of the 2013 event, one of the most significant wine tastings I have ever attended.

I have been numerous times to the Benvenuto Brunello event in New York as well at Gotham Hall, which has also come and gone. This year I worked at the show with a producer that I represent at the tasting on January 27. Despite all of that and friendships with many Brunello producers, I was not prepared for the marvelous experience that this Anteprima turned out to be.

You are seated at…

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