Election Sips 3: Amaro Montenegro

Amaro Montenegro Tonight’s election sip is Amaro Montenegro from Italy paired with a Kit Kat. I know it’s not a perfect match but it’s helping me to wait out the results of our all consuming election race. This widely available Amaro is from Bologna and was first made in 1885 by an herbalist named Stanislao... Continue Reading →

Election Sips II: I Due Gatti

As I watch election results, I am drinking a wine I made in 2016. It was a Zinfandel that I made from grapes I bought from Lodi, California. Through the past 14 years, I have made wine most years, in September by buying grapes from a local purveyor. I ferment the wines, rack them and... Continue Reading →

Election Sips: Stravecchio Branca

Today’s post is about Stravecchio Branca, an Italian brandy that is as ubiquitous as any other brand in the country.  Literally every single bar in Italy has a bottle of Stravecchio on the shelf. It comes from the same company that owns so many other brands such as Fernet Branca, the Fratelli Branca Distilleries yet so few... Continue Reading →

What will you be drinking after the election? Bubbly or Scotch for me

I just found this post from 2008, I wrote this right before the election of Barak Obama. I had just started my blog that year, was sort of newly back from Italy, wasn’t a Mom yet and hadn’t lived through four years of Donald Trump. This year, I am going immediately for a Scotch. As much as I love bubbly, I will have that when I know that the results are definitive. Scotch I will be drinking on November 3. What about you?


Should there be a victory that makes me extremely happy tomorrow, I will be drinking Giulio Ferrari, Riserva del Fondatore from Ferrari, the well known Italian sparkling wine producer from Trento. It is a blanc de blanc made from only chardonnay grapes from a single vineyard called Maso Pianizza.The wine rests on its lees for 10 years before it is released. It is extraordinary and would be a great way to begin a new phase of the country’s life and my own….Some years ago I interviewed Camilla Lunelli from the family that runs Ferrari. I need to search for my notes. However, since I am extremely superstitious and scaramantica, I have not yet bought it. Alternatively, I may have to buy a large bottle of 12 year old Bowmore peaty scotch to drown my sorrows if there is a victory that makes me very sad.

If that happens, I will…

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Dolcetto from Piedmont

I’ll be speaking about Dolcetto tomorrow on my #YourMorningGrape series on Instagram Live!.



This week’s indigenous variety is Dolcetto, a grape most widely grown in Piedmont but also seen in Liguria under the name Ormeasco and in the Oltrepo’Pavese. It tends to make easy to drink, friendly red wines as well as wines that can age with a hint of almond and liquorice on the nose and palate. It is a grape that suffers from some of the maladies of the vine. Dolcetto is called Dolcetto because the grape itself is supposed to be somewhat sweet or “dolce” when eaten.

This variety is often blended with others such as Barbera. It tends to bring body to the wine. Dolcetto is part of many DOCs

My first wine from Piedmont was a Dolcetto di Dogliani from the Podere Luigi Einaudi. At the time the wine was a denominazione d’origine controllata (D.O.C.) wine but its status has now been elevated to denominazione d’origine controllata…

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Italian Indigenous Varieties: Diolinoir Nero

I wrote about this grape variety six years ago on Earth Day. I spoke about it today on #Yourmorninggrape on Instagram.


Valle d'Aosta

This week’s indigenous variety from Italy actually has its origins in Switzerland. The grape variety was made as a cross from Rouge de Diolly and Pinot Noir. It was created in 1970 by Andrea Jaquinet. The grape has now been allowed in both the Valle d’Aosta and the Trentino. I found that it is allowed in an interesting Indicazione Geografica Tipica (I.G.T.) called Mitterberg from the Bolzano area. The other grapes that are allowed in the Mitterberg white, rose and red wines are the following: Cabernet franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carmenère, Diolinoir, Kerner, Lagrein, Malvasia N., Merlot, Moscato giallo, Moscato rosa, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, Pinot grigio, Pinot bianco, Pinot nero, Portoghese, Regent, Riesling italico, Riesling renano, Sauvignon, Schiava gentile, Schiava grigia, Schiava grossa, Sylvaner verde, Syrah, Teroldego, Veltliner, and Zweigelt.

I had never heard of Mitterberg until I started writing about this wine, or so I thought. Actually a fabulous…

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Discovering Delights From Jura Region

The #winophiles blogging group took a virutal tour to the Jura this month. I was super excited. I love Alpine wines and these fit the bill perfectly. Also thinking about this gorgeous region while unable to travel made me happy. Location, Location, Location: This mountainous region lies between Burgundy and Switzerland. I haven never been... Continue Reading →

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