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When is a Chianti Not a Chianti?

by Tony Ventura"The Wine Guy" It’s the early 1960’s. You are on one of your first real dinner dates at a local Italian restaurant. (The reader will have to adjust the dates accordingly, and hopefully not spend too much time estimating the author’s age…

New Piedmont Wines

By Tony Ventura It's hard to imagine tasting new wines in Italy's Piedmont region, since they have been making them for hundreds of years. However, one might be surprised to learn that these new wines are being made in the Piedmont region of Virginia. I'm sure that many…

Tantalizing Trentino

Trentino is adjacent to the southern borders of Alto Adige, and then proceeds further south to Lake Garda and the Veneto. It possesses a more Italian flavor in terms of its cuisine (polenta and gnocchi) and its language than Alto Adige. There are many types of white wine…

Vintage vs. Producer

By Tony Ventura The annual pilgrimage to Gambero Rosso's Tre Bicchieri tasting has been completed. This event is the introduction of all the Italian wines that have won this coveted award to the American market. I usually share my personal favorites with our readers in t…

Bacchanalia d'Italia

I recently attended a dinner billed as a Cal-Italia Caper. It was part of an event-filled weekend called Boca Bacchanal, which focused on all sorts of delicious food and wine. The Boca Raton Historical Society sponsored it. We have all heard of the Cal-Ital label that ha…

Wines with a Cause

A few years ago, I reported to you about a group of vintners from the Langhe in the Piedmont region. They had formed an association called L'Insieme whose sole purpose was to help people. These Piedmontese farmers/vintners all shared a love of the land; they used their pa…

The $203 Pork Tenderloin

It started out innocently enough. I bought a pork tenderloin on sale at the local grocery store. I had this recipe that I had meaning to try. The port and blue cheese sauce sounded like it would be pretty tasty drizzled over the pork medallions. The only ingredient that…

The Tuscan Name Game

Tony, Tony, Bo BonyBonana Fanna Fo FonyFee Fy Mo Mony (1965 The Name Game by Shirley Ellis) I may be exaggerating a little, but it seems that consumers trying to decipher a Tuscan wine label today might need Shirley Ellis's help. Twenty-five years ago, we knew that Chia…

A Vertical of Siepi

When you're a "wine nut" (as many of our readers are), it's always enjoyable to taste wines with friends to learn about the different styles from the various regions of Italy. A particular type of tasting called a vertical tasting often ratchets up the level of enthusiasm…