After jumping off the gondola lift from Siusi to Compatsch in the northern Italian Dolomiti to start the first day’s hike, the first thing you really notice is the trail list. “I think we should go left”.

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Here’s a nice sub-$20 food wine. Nice acid and balance, a little bright cherry and a hint of smoke from the volcanic soil. Pretty ruby color. This could very well be wine that Pompeians drank as the sky darkened and ash began to fall. Or maybe not. But if they did, they’d probably have this…

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Last night, we used these strawberry tomatoes from the Hollywood Farmers Market to make one of our favorite pasta dishes. The orecchiette turned out very well, although it took a little longer in the oven to get the tomatoes to break down to a mushable mash. We’d opened up the Planeta the night before. This…

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It’s been a couple years since we last bought and drank a Passopisciaro. And I know why. But it has nothing to do with the taste. It’s a fantastic, versatile wine that’s good with lighter pastas, a spicy pizza, mushroom risotto or even a roasted chicken. Shiny, transparent rubies, it’s very pretty in the glass.…

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It’s Friday afternoon heading into evening. works over. sun is low but warm. time for a little fizz to separate work from weekend. Usually we opt for a spritz (prosecco with aperol), but I spotted this 2007 Scrapona down in the cellar screw days ago. Just a little too sweet for table wine. Usable as…

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Made our old favorite, orecchiette with chard and sausage and was really wanting to have a Passopisciaro with it for dinner. But, we didn’t have any around so I thought another Sicilian wine might fill the fill. Occhipinti is a red blend of nero d’avola and frappato and is very light, crisp and refreshing –…

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Personal Wine Buyer just wrote about a pair of rosés. The Domaine Tempier is my all-time favorite, but it’s not inexpensive for a rose. Although I’m still working through a backlog of wine and food reviews that nobody is apparently going to write for me, life goes one.  So, some of the older favorites are…

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This is a shot from a couple years ago. I just spent a little time looking through travel photos and thought I’d post this. In Italy (and probably lots of other places), people drink their daily wine from big bottles which they can refill at the local wine shop or coop. We were having a…

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This is the 2006 Serra de’ Gatti Barbera d’Alba from Cascina Val del Prete. We started buying barberi after our old favorite dolcetto (Bruno Giacosa) started getting expensive. I had always thought that the price order tended to be Dolcetto < Barbera < Barolo. And while that does hold pretty true, some good barberas are…

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We’ve finally managed to post selected images form our most recent trip to Italy. We spent the first few days of the trip in Venice. Then we moved on to Verona & Vicenza, the on to Vernazza (& the rest of the  Cinque Terre, with a stop up in Santa Maria in Liguria/Portofino), then Pisa…

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