Italian: Car Rental

Car rental and Driving in Italy/Autonoleggio e Guidare in Italia


     It might be helpful to know some Italian if you decide you want to rent a car to visit any towns, sites, and wineries off the beaten path.  And if you do, it’s probably a good idea to know common road signs and understand some basic directions.  BTW, there are a number of map apps that can help you find the places you want to visit, but from my driving experiences in Italy, MAPS.ME, is a highly reliable (and free) offline GPS navigation app



Here’s one of many videos on Italian pronunciation:

Some key words and common road signs/Alcune parole chiave e cartelli (or segnale) stradale commune

Area di servizio (on Autostradas and highways)

Gas station with other services, including restrooms, real food and coffee (sometimes a sit-down restaurant), Wi-Fi service, children's play areas, and more.

Check out these articles on the infamous Autogrills:

The Autogrill Rest Stop on the Autostrada

A Day of Autogrills: Eating through Italy's highway rest stops






Expressway with tolls



Benzina senza piombo

Unleaded gas


Gas station


Toll both


Center of Town



Dare la precedenza






Entrata Vietata

No Entry

Lavori In Corso

Road Work Ahead

Limite di velocità

Speed limit





Parcheggio a pagamento

Pay parking

Parcheggio Vietato

No Parking


Driver’s license



Pedaggio autostrada

Toll road


Slow Down

Ritirare il biglietto

Take a ticket


Traffic light

Senso unico

One way

Stop (on a street sign)




Strada statale (abbreviated as SS)

State highway





Vietato l'Accesso

Keep Out

Vietato parcheggiare

No parking

Zona Pedonale

Pedestrian Zone

Check out these links to see the various road signs in Italy:










Straight (straight ahead)






Davanti a . . .

In front of

Di fianco a . . .


Dietro a . . .


Di fronte a. . .


Dopo il  . . .

Past the . . .

Giri a destra

Turn right

Giri a sinistra

Turn left


Far away

Prima del . . .

Before the . . .

Verso il . . .

Towards the . . .

Vicino a . . .

Next to


How do I get to _____ ?

Come si arriva a _____ ?

... the airport?


...the American Consulate? consolato Americano

...the American Embassy?

...all'Ambasciata Americana

... the bus station?

...alla stazione dell'autobus?

...downtown? centro?

...the hotel?


...the nearest gas station?

...benzinaio più vicina?

... the railway station?

...alla stazione ferroviaria?

... the restaurant?

... al ristorante ?

... the winery?

... all'azienda vinicola?

… (name of town)

... ____________________?

Can I get insurance?

Posso avere un'assicurazione?

Can I park here?

Posso parcheggiare qui?

Fill it up with unleaded gas, please

Metta il pieno di benzina senza piombo, per favore.

How long can I park here?

Quanto tempo posso parcheggiare qui?

How much does parking cost?

Quanto costa il parcheggio

I have a flat tire

Ho una gomma a terra

I want to rent a car.

Vorrei noleggiare una macchina.

Which is the road for __________?

Quale è la strada per __________?

Al semaforo prenda la prima via a destra

At the lights take the first street on the right

All’ incrocio prenda la seconda via a sinistra

At the intersection take the second street on the left

Alla rotonda giri nella seconda via

At the roundabout turn into the second street

Sempre dritto fino al semaforo

Go straight to the lights

Sempre dritto fino all’incrocio

Go straight to the intersection

Sempre dritto fino alla rotonda

Go straight to the roundabout

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Bandit and the Smokey

The movie "Smokey and the Bandit" celebrates its 40th anniversary. Fans are driving to Georgia. Bandit, Your Shop Dog @MetroWines, says he was anmed after THIS Bandit. That's his story and he's sticking to it. (Me Too). Be part of the great tradition! Shop Bandit's Bargains, as noted in The Wall Street Journal on October 23rd of last year, any day any time. Operators are standing by.


ATLANTA (AP) — They had a long way to go and a short time to get there, but hundreds of fans in Trans Ams have put the hammer down and made it to Atlanta to celebrate the 40th anniversary of "Smokey and the Bandit."

About 350 cars this week retraced actor Burt Reynolds' wild ride from the Texas-Arkansas line to Atlanta in the movie that roared into pop culture in 1977.

"Every town we drive through, people come out to film us, take pictures and wave as our convoy of cars comes through - it's like being in a huge parade," said organizer Dave Hall of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Truckers and others also took part in "Snowman's Run," a road trip that raises money for wounded veterans in the name of the late actor and musician Jerry Reed, who played the trucker Snowman in the movie.

Entire story



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Wine Class and Tasting: Oregon

Oregon Wine Class and Tasting
News Release: Thursday, June 22nd, 2017
About: Asheville School of Wine: Flash Class on Oregon Wines
Please join Andy Hale, Education Director, for The Asheville School of Wine,  and guest speaker, Oregon Winemaker Jesse Lange of Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards, for a "Flash Class" on Oregon Wines on Thursday, July 18th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines. 
Andy Hale will present a brief overview about Oregon Wines and Jesse Lange will lead us through a tasting of his Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir from Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards.
The wine class including the tasting is "on the house" @MetroWines but let us know you are coming so we can set a place for you! Call (828) 575-9525 or send an email to

About Jesse Lange:

 Jesse has been farming (read: hoeing) and winemaking (read:cleaning) since he was 3 feet tall, assisting his parents in Santa Barbara County. Jesse’s formal winemaking training occurred at New Zealand’s Lincoln University while on a student exchange scholarship from Oregon State in 1999. A two-year stint as cellar rat for winemaker Bruce McGuire at Santa Barbara Winery rounded out his experience outside of Oregon.

At Lange Estate, Jesse joined the winemaking team in 2004, continuing the family legacy. His duties at the winery include winemaking, vineyard oversight, distribution, and general management. Jesse also serves on several industry boards including: President of Oregon Pinot Camp, former President of the Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association, and the Willamette Valley Wineries Association. He enjoys flyfishing, scuba-diving, running, and just about everything else halfway athletic and fully outdoors. And, of course, tossing a well-worn tennis ball for his personable Golden Retriever, Magnum “Maggie” Lange.

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Tippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
Attachments area
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Lesson 6 with Michael Scardaville

Trains and Train Stations/Treni e stazioni

This week we begin to do a bit a traveling in Italy.  This lesson will focus on some of the words and phrases you might see and use while on a train or at the train station.  Next week we’ll get you into a rental car and on the roads. Buon viaggio (Have a good trip)!



Here’s one of many videos on Italian pronunciation:

Some key words

In arrivo


In partenza


In ritardo



Ticket agent/conductor


Ticket office





Biglietto di andata e ritorno

Round-trip ticket

Biglietto di sola andata

One-way ticket


Train Car

Carrozza ristorante

Restaurant car (and bar)






(Train) stop



Numero di posto

Seat number



Porta bagagli

Luggage rack




Prima classe

First class

Sala d’attesa

Waiting room

Seconda classe

Standard or second class






Validate/stamp tickets


Train Car


Trip or Journey

On the train/Sul treno

Can I close/open the window?

Posso chiudere/aprire il finestrino?

How long until we arrive?

Tra quanto si arriva?           

Is this seat free or occupied?

Questo posto è libero o occupato?

Is this the station of ____________________?

Questa è la stazione di ____________________?

Where are the restrooms?

Dove sono i bagni?

Where is seat _______ in coach _______?

Dove il posto _______ della carrozza _______?

Where is the dining car?

Dove la carrozza/il vagone ristorante?

Which station are we at?

A que stazione siamo?

At the train station/Alla stazione dei treni

Do I have to change trains?

Devo cambiare treni?

Has the 10:30 train already departed?

Ha già partito il treno di 10:30?

How long does the trip take?

Quanto dura il viaggio?

How much does the ticket cost?/How much is the ticket?

Quanto costa il biglietto?/Quanto è il biglietto?

How much does a second-class return ticket for___________________ cost?

Quanto costa un biglietto di andata e ritorno in seconda classe per___________________?

I would like a one-way ticket (two tickets) to ___________________.

Vorrei un biglietto di sola andata (due biglietti) a  ___________________.

I would like a first/second class ticket.

Vorrei un biglietto di prima/seconda classe.

Is there a dining car on the train?

C’è un vagone ristorante sul treno?

The train is late.

Il treno è in ritardo

What platform does the train leave from?

Da quale binario parte il treno?

What time is the next train for ________________ leave?

A che ora parte il treno prossimo per ________________?

When does the train arrive/leave?

Quando arriva/parte il treno?

Where are the restrooms?

Dove sono i bagni?

Where is platform number ____________?

Dove il binario numero ____________?

Where is the baggage check area?

Dove il deposito bagagli?

Where is the customer service/information area?

Dove l'assistenza clienti?/ l'ufficio informazioni?

Where is the nearest ATM machine?

Dove è un bancomat più vicina?

Where should I get my ticket validated?

Dove si convalida il biglietto?

Leaving the train station

Is there a currency exchange office?

C'è un ufficio di cambio?

What is the best/cheapest way to get to the hotel/downtown?

Qual è il modo migliore/più economico per arrivare all'hotel?

Where can I find the bus to downtown?

Dove posso trovare l'autobus per il centro?

Where is the exit?

Dove è l'uscita?

Where is the taxi stand?

Dove è la stazione dei taxi?

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Chilled Red Wines Tasting

News Release: Friday, June 16th, 2017

About: Summer Light Red Wines Tasting
Please join The Asheville School of Wine as we explore red wines that are lighter in style and perfect for the summer with a bit of a chill on Saturday, July 1st from 10am to 7pm @MetroWines. Four wines from around the world will be "on the taste" and "on the house."
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Wedding Wines in Asheville

True story. Bride comes in yesterday. Says she is having her wedding at an Asheville venue where you must pick your wedding wines from their list or pay a BIG corkage fee. The venue would not let her taste the wines!! She came to MetroWines to buy bottles of the wines she chose so she could taste them! UNBELIEVABLE.

We had one of the wines. It was, in the opinion of the staff, perhaps the worst wine you could offer for a wedding. Not very versatile with foods, a very definite taste and in no way a crowd pleaser. We don't even carry the second wine. Not one we want on our shelves and definitely not one you want on your wedding tables. Sad. Just sad.

The idea that wines for your wedding are a place where you can save a few $$ is so yesterday. And you really need to question a venue that tells you otherwise. We can help you select quality for the price. We don't PUSH cases of wines bought on discount. And there is no one size that fits all. Your wine depends on your menu, your story, YOU!

So 2 guidelines here. First, the wines you choose are part of the memories. You need to be right. Consult with us @MetroWines and make GOOD memories! And, second, a venue that won't let you taste the wines that you are buying doesn't GET IT and you have to wonder what else they DON'T GET!

Sorry about the length of this post, but we are very disturbed. Your wedding is important, very important. And we take it that way.

Follow us on our FB Wedding Page HERE.

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Four Graces Wine Tasting


News Release: Tuesday, June 13th, 2017
About: Four Graces Wine Tasting @MetroWines
Please join The Asheville School of Wine as we host Marc Myers, Winemaker for Four Graces, on Wednesday, June 21st from 5 to 6:30pm @MetroWines. Marc Myers will pour his wines "on the taste" and "on the house" and discuss his philosophy, wine making style and the winery.

Marc Myers, Winemaker

Marc Myers was born and raised in Paradise, California and his childhood was spent enjoying the greater outdoors of California, Oregon and Washington. He was introduced to winemaking at a young age due to his parents making wine as a hobby while he was growing up. His family often enjoyed wine with dinner and wine was a central part of their greater family culture.

It was truly in the cards that Marc would later attend UC Davis and receive his degree in Viticulture and Enology in 2008. He was always interested in science, agriculture and creative expression and believes wine is at the intersection of these interests. Marc started interning prior to graduation at Trefethen in Napa Valley. Upon graduation he worked as a viticulture assistant for Diageo Chateau and Estates and then Paraduxx until 2014. He then worked for Gran Moraine and La Crema (Jackson Family Wines) prior to becoming Winemaker at The Four Graces.

Marc believes both the Dundee and Yamhill-Carlton estates are stunning at first glance and he can’t wait to work with the fruit that comes off of these properties. His excitement comes from the fact that The Dundee Hills AVA produces vibrant and expressive Pinot noir. He truly believes there is an elegance in Dundee Hills Pinot Noir that is hard to find anywhere else.

In his free time, Marc and his wife whom he met at UC Davis enjoy exploring Portland, OR and have fun going out to hear new music and visit new restaurants. He also loves cooking and one of his specialties is making fermented foods like bread, pizza dough, natural pickles, and cured meats.

About The Four Graces

The Black family purchased an existing vineyard in the Dundee Hills of the Willamette Valley in 2003 as a family retreat. They immediately began turning the estate into a sustainably farmed, well-tended vineyard with the goal of producing rich, elegant, delicious and complex wines.

That same year The Four Graces was founded. The winery is named in honor of the Black's four daughters.

In 2005 the Blacks purchased the Doe Ridge property in Yamhill Carlton to continue the growth of the brand. They chose a site in a differing appellation to add complexity and variety.

This vineyard has been turned into one of the largest experiments of its kind with forty acres farmed sustainably through the L.I.V.E (low impact viticulture and enology) program.

Today The Four Graces is owned by Bill Foley and produces Pinot noir, Pinot gris, and Pinot blanc renowned nationally and internationally for their balance, elegance, complexity, and richness. The wines are crafted under the guidance of Marc Myer’s who has been in the industry since 2008 and believes both the Dundee and Yamhill-Carlton estates are stunning at first glance and he can’t wait to work with the fruit that comes off of these properties.

More recently the historical farmhouse on the now named Foley Family Estate was carefully renovated and opened as a quaint tasting room that welcomes visitors to the famed Willamette Valley. Guests are encouraged to stroll through the demonstration vineyard and to bring a picnic to enjoy with memorable wines served in this thriving wine country destination.

More about The Four Graces:

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Andrew Murray Wine Tasting


News Release: Tuesday, June 13, 2017
About: Andrew Murray Wine Tasting @MetroWines
Please join The Asheville School of Wine as we host a tasting of Andrew Murray Wines "on the house" on Thursday, June 22nd from 5 to 6:30 @MetroWines.
About Andrew Murray Vineyards:
Andrew Murray Vineyards was founded in 1990 when entrepreneurs Jim and Fran Murray sold their southern California restaurants and 'retired' to 200 acres of fertile soil in the Santa Ynez Valley. With their son and winemaker Andrew Murray at the helm, the Los Olivos winery is now a well-respected purveyor of Rhône-style wines.

Andrew (born February 1, 1972) came of age in the wine business. As a teenager, Andrew traveled with his family on lengthy expeditions in France’s Rhône Valley wine region. He acted as translator as his father interviewed some of France’s notable winemakers. Together they planted their vineyard on steep hillside slopes.[2]

Andrew earned a bachelor of science degree in enology and viticulture from the University of California, Davis, and studied the art of crafting Syrah with an extended internship in Australia. He made his first wine in Australia at the age of 19 and his eponymous winery's first vintage was 1993. When the vineyard was sold in 2006, Andrew obtained leases for blocks of vineyards throughout California’s Central Coast for wine production. He established a new Los Olivos winery in a former brewery on property owned by fellow vintners, the Firestone family.

Regarded as a ‘maverick’ in the wine business, Andrew Murray Vineyards took the controversial step of switching to screw-tops to enclose all its wines starting with the 2006 vintage. Among other things, Murray cited considerable industry cork failure rates as one of the chief reasons for his decision.

Committed to sustainable practices, the winery says: 
"From the beginning in 1990, Andrew Murray Vineyards has been committed to sustainable farming and green business practices.  ‘Green’ is not a fad for us; it’s a way of life.  As a small, family-operated winery, our children have been with us amongst the vines since their birth." 

Critical Acclaim:

“This set of wines from Andrew Murray is remarkable for its breadth of quality and sheer value.”8/2011, Issue #196: Antonio Galloni for The Wine Advocate


“Andrew Murray Vineyards is one of the shining stars in the Santa Barbara firmament. Extremely low yields…and a dedication to hillside vineyards, ripe fruit, and non-interventionalistic wine-making have combined to propel this estate to the top echelon of the Rhone Ranger hierarchy. Production is small,…but these wines are well-worth seeking out.” (8-27-99 and 2-28-02: Robert Parker for The Wine Advocate)

“At a time when many California wines seem to be priced proportionally to their producers’ egos, Andrew Murray’s offerings are a breath of fresh air given their exceptionally high quality and realistic prices – readers take note.” (8-27-99: Robert Parker for The Wine Advocate)

“…an emerging star in Santa Barbara.” (12/98: Robert Parker, Jr. for The Wine Advocate)

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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The Empathetic Dog

Cate and I wanted you to see this this is an excerpt from "The Empathetic Dog" by Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi in NYT today.

Entire story HERE

Benjamin Stepp, an Iraq war veteran, sat in his graduate school course trying to focus on the lecture. Neither his classmates nor his professor knew he was silently seething.

But his service dog, Arleigh, did. She sensed his agitation and “put herself in my lap,” said Mr. Stepp, 37, of Holly Springs, Miss. “I realized I needed to get out of class. We went outside, I calmed down. We breathed.”

During his two deployments to Iraq, Mr. Stepp endured a traumatic brain injury and multiple surgeries on his ankle, and most days he suffers excruciating pain in his legs and lower back. He says he also returned from the war with a lot of anger, which wells up at unexpected times.

“Anger kept us alive overseas,” Mr. Stepp said. “You learn that anger keeps you alive.”

Now that he is back, though, that anger no longer serves a useful purpose. And Arleigh, a retriever mix who came to Mr. Stepp from K9s For Warriors, a nonprofit organization that trains service dogs, has been helping him to manage it. The dog senses when his agitation and anxiety begin rising, and sends him signals to begin the controlled breathing and other exercises that help to calm him down.


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Lesson 5 with Michael Scardaville

Planes and Airports

This week we begin a series of lessons that will get us to and around Italy.  We’ll begin with useful words and phrases when you’re on the plane, in the airport, and going through customs. We can’t cover all contingencies, but hopefully today’s lesson will offer a helpful start.  Also, I am not including many possible phrases you may use at check-in and on the plane since you will very likely find agents and flight attendants who are able to speak enough English.  Buon viaggio (Have a good trip)!



Some key words





Arrivi (or Sala arrivi)


Assistente di volo

Flight attendant



Bagaglio a mano

Carry-on bag



Biglietto di andata e ritorno

Round-trip ticket

Biglietto di sola andata

One-way ticket

Carta d’imbarco

Boarding pass

Cintura di sicurezza

Seat belt


Connecting flight

Controllo bagagli

Security inspection of luggage

Controllo passaporti

Passport control







Gate (or Porta d'imbarco)

Departure Gate

Giubbotto di salvataggio

Life jacket



In orario

On schedule

In ritardo


Libere da dogana

Duty free

Numero di volo

Flight number

Partenze (or Sala partenze)




Posto/Posto finestrino/Posto corridoio

Seat/Window seat/Aisle seat


Sala d'attesa

Waiting room


Life vest

Stato del volo

Flight status

Uscita (or Gate)

Exit (or Departure Gate)

Uscita di emergenza

Emergency Exit





Volo internazionale

International flight

Volo nazionale

Domestic flight

Volo senza scalo

Direct or non-stop flight

Arriving at the airport

I'm lost.

Mi sono perso.

My luggage has not arrived.  Who can I talk to about it?

Il mio bagaglio non è arrivato. A chi mi debbo parlare?

My suitcase has been damaged.

La mia valigia è stata danneggiata.

Where are the luggage carts, please?

Dove sono i carrelli dei bagagli, per favore?

Where can I find a cappuccino?

Dove posso trovare un cappuccino?

Where can I pick up the luggage from flight  _______ from ______?

Dove posso raccogliere i bagagli dal volo _______ da ______?

Where is the left luggage?

Dov'è il deposito bagagli?

Customs: some questions you might be asked and some answers

I suoi documenti/suo passaporto, prego.

Your papers/passport, please.

I've lost my passport.

Ho perso il mio passaporto.

My name is __________________. I am American.

Mi chiamo__________________. Sono americano.

Qual è il motivo del suo viaggio?

What is the reason for your trip?

It’s a pleasure/business/study trip.

È un viaggio di turismo/lavoro/studio

Quanto tempo intendi rimanere?

How long do you plan to stay?

I will stay here for a few days/ a week/2 weeks/a month.

Resterò  qui alcuni giorni/una settiman/due settimane/un mese.

I am with my husband/wife/family

Sono con mio marito/mi moglie/la mia famiglia

Ha qualcosa da dichiare?

Do you have anything to declare?

I/we have nothing to declare.

Non ho/abbiamo niente da dichiarare (or just niente)

Leaving the airport

Where's the currency exchange office?

Dove è l'ufficio di cambio?

Where is the tourist information office?

Dov'è l'ufficio informazioni turistiche?

Where's the exit?

Dove è l'uscita?

What is the best/cheapest way to get to the hotel/downtown?

Qual è il modo migliore/più economico per arrivare all'hotel

Where is the taxi stand?

Dove è la stazione dei taxi?

Where is the ticket office?

Dove è la biglietteria?

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"Wines You Never Knew You Loved"

News Release: Thursday, June 8th, 2017

About: Wine class: "Wine You Never Knew You Loved"
Please join Andy Hale, Director of Education, for The Asheville School of Wine @Metro Wines for "Wines You Never Knew You Loved" on Thursday, July 13th from 6 to 7pm @MetroWines.
"Life is too short to just drink Cabernet and Chardonnay," says Andy Hale. "Take a walk on the wild side of wine and taste lesser known varietals and wines from more remote regions in the world." 
Class is $20. Parking is, as always, free, close and easy.
Reservations by calling (828) 575-9525 or online here: 

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi

Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Scot Covington, Trione Vineyards and Winery

We just had a great time hosting Scot Covington, winemaker for the highly regarded Trione Vineyards and Winery in Sonoma. Trione is not a nationwide brand, they are known for their small lot productions. So, I ask what brings Scot to Asheville. "A very small plane," he says. 
Scot Covington has an extensive and commendable biography of experience. But, lets be honest here, what we wanted to know was why his name, "Scot" only has one "t." I know. I know. You are thinking shallow. Well, we will get to the wonky stuff but the explanation for the lonely "t" actually turns out to be interesting.
"My grandfather was Scottish from the Orkney Islands, a Scot" says Scot, "my father wanted my name to reflect our heritage." Hence, Scot. 
OK. Back to the bio. In the beginning when the Trione Family decided to work wine on their Home Ranch in Alexander Valley, they set out to find a one-stop shopping winemaker with design, construction and winemaking experience. WOW. That's a lot to ask. Enter Scot Covington.
Scot says: "The Trione Family basically gave me a blank piece of paper and said "design your winery." WOW, again. Scot designed a straightforward winery for small lots and "hands-on-winemaking.' Mission accomplished.
Scot brought years of experience and expertise to the challenge. After graduating with a degree in Enology from California State University, Scot worked in Sonoma County, South Africa and Australia. His mentors included Bill Bonnetti and Merry Edwards. I am tired of saying WOW, but WOW!
Trione sells grapes from their 650 acres to other wineries, some of the BIG names you would recognize, but Scot keeps the "top 3 percent" for Trione. That said, this is a good time for me to say that what you get in a Trione bottle will cost you more from one of the well known, mass marketed nationwide brands. Blind Tasting anyone?
While Scot respects Napa, let's be clear, he is a big proponent of Sonoma wines. We tasted 4 of Scot's Sonoma County Wines: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The Sauvignon Blanc was the hit of the tasting. The style is a little more fuller bodied and a touch smoother than you would find in a bottle of the varietal from New Zealand. I asked Scot if his wine work in South Africa had any influence on the style of his Sauvignon Blanc. "Yes, definitely. This wine is stylistically between Marlborough and Loire."
The Chardonnay was lovely. If you like French, this bottle is for you. Scot recommends this Chardonnay with a "plate of salmon and mashed potatoes!" I might add a healthy dollop of butter and chives but that's just me....
Since there are literally zillions of bottles of domestic Pinot Noir, I asked Scot what he wants customers to know about his Pinot Noir."Trione Pinot Noir is classic Russian River with a core of deep black cherry fruit, forrest floor, leafy." What is the perfect food partner?"Wild mushrooms," says Scot.
The Cabernet 2011 was spectacular. Scot posts his notes about all of his wines on the Trione website. Awesome! About the 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Block Twenty-One (reaad: here's your wonky stuff!):
Our Block Twenty One Cabernet is a selection from the Trione Cloverdale Ranch, located on the western flank of the Mayacamas Mountains, in the northern portion of Alexander Valley. The vines, planted in 2001 with Bordeaux clone #337, grow in clay and sandy loam soils underlain with a high percentage of gravel. Cabernet Sauvignon grown in this ideal terroir develops deep, concentrated flavors and fine, smooth tannins. Cases produced: 707 six-packs 
The wine is a classic Bordeaux blend of 85% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot and 2% each of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec. Growing season 2011 was relatively cool, thus promoting slow ripening, full flavor development and complex structure. We hand-harvested and fermented each variety, then moved the wines to barrel, where they aged six months. Once we determined our blend, we returned the wine to barrel for an additional twelve months, to 'marry' the varietals. We used tight-grained French oak barrels (45% new) from coopers Taransaud, Vicard and Bossuet. Alcohol: 14.4 percent by volume TA: 6.41 g/l pH: 3.75 Tasting 
Notes: Complex aromas foretell rich flavors of black currants, allspice and a hint of clove. Full bodied with velvety texture, smooth tannins and an extensive finish, this Cabernet blend will age in the bottle 10 years.
Scot also does a Zinfandel for Trione. He says he consulted with Carol Shelton, the undisputed Goddess of Zin, about plantings for the Zinfandel. She and he nailed it.
I asked Scot, because I knew you would want to know!! if he does a Rose for Trione. Indeed he does. "100% Pinot Noir." We are working on bringing it to you.
And, settle down, I did ask if he had a dog. "I am in the process of adopting a liter of Brittany Spaniels." Scot promises to send pictures. In the meantime, we took a picture with a pinata just to get the excitement started. Now me, I would have figured Scot for a Scottish Terrier.
But that's just me.
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Great Rose' Tasting II

News Release: Monday, June 5th 2017

About: Great Rose' Tasting II
Join The Asheville School of Wine for the second Great Rose' Tasting of 2017 on Saturday, July 8th from 10am to 7pm. As always, six bottles of Rose' will be open and offered "on the taste' and "on the house" @MetroWines.
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Sovereign Remedies "Sustainable Spain" Wine Pairing Dinner


News Release: Saturday, June 3rd 2017
About: Sustainable Spain Wine Dinner at Sovereign Remedies
Join the MetroWines Asheville School of Wine for a Wine Pairing Dinner, "Sustainable Spain" at Sovereign Remedies on Tuesday, June 27th at 7:30pm at Sovereign Remedies located at 29 N. Market Street.
Executive Chef Graham House will prepare a seasonal, four-course meal paired with carefully selected sustainably-produced Spanish wines in partnership with Metro Wines. The pairings will feature wines from all over Spain in varying styles and varietals. 
Guests will have the opportunity to order selected wines at a discount for pick-up from Metro Wines. 
Seating is at 7:30 PM and limited. Cost is $50 per guest excluding tax and gratuity. 
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Alexandria Nicole Wine Tasting

News Release: Friday, June 2nd, 2015

About: Alexandria Nicole WineTasting @MetroWines
Join us on Wednesday, June 14th from 5:30 to 6:30 for the wines of Alexandria Nicole "on the taste" and "on the house" Tasting will include the highly regarded and well reviewed Alexandria Nicole 2014 A Squared Cabernet Sauvignon and Alexandria Nicole 2015 Shepherd's Mark White Blend from Washington State.

     About Alexandria Nicole Sustainable Vineyard Management integrates three main goals:  environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic equity.  Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.  It is our belief that wines are made in the vineyard and not in the winery. That’s why at Alexandria Nicole Cellars we believe that taking the best care of our vineyard and the surrounding environment is essential to making the best wines possible, not just today but for the foreseeable future.

     The same assets that make Washington a great place to make wine – low rainfall, ideal weather, phylloxera-free growing, few vineyard pests, and great soil – give us an advantage in our ability to implement sustainable vineyard practices.  With that being said, the philosophy behind farming sustainably at Destiny Ridge Vineyard is primarily concerned with these focus points: water conservation, composting and the planting of beneficial cover crops to reduce soil erosion, pest management and the use of environmentally friendly natural pest control agents, vine balance and power.

More about Alexandria Nicole:
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Lesson 4

Phrases you will see on signs

Here’s a list of phrases you will see on signs in Italy.   Road signs will be treated in an upcoming lesson on car rentals and driving in Italy.  Next week’s lesson will be about words and phrases you can use on airplanes and at the airport in Italy.



Here’s one of many videos on Italian pronunciation:

Acqua non potabile

Non-drinking water





Attenti al cane

Beware of dog


Caution/watch out


Ticket office/box office









Divieto l'ingresso

No entry

Donne (restroom)





Fire extinguisher






Free (no charge)


Out of order





In vendita

On/for sale

La zona fumatori

Smoking area

La zona non-fumatori

Non-smoking area

Lavori in corso

Work in progress



Non attraversare

Do not cross

Non disturbare

Do not disturb

Non entrare

Do not enter

Non fumatori

No smoking

Non toccare

Do not touch







Pittura fresca

Wet paint





Proprietà privata

Private property





Scala mobile


Signore (restroom)


Signori (restroom)












Uomini (restroom)




Uscita di emergenza

Emergency exit

Vietato fumare

No smoking

Vietato l'ingresso

No entry

Vietato nuotare

No bathing

Attachments area
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Lesson 3

Michael Scardaville has us ready to hit the ground running!

But don't run. It's Italy! Take your time. Stop for wine.

Weather and some useful words and phrases


Here’s one of many videos on Italian pronunciation:


What's the weather like (today)?

Che tempo fa (oggi)?

What's the weather for tomorrow?

Che tempo farà domani?

It’s beautiful weather/bad weather

Fa bel tempo/brutto tempo

It's nice/bad

Fa bello/brutto

It's sunny

C'è il sole

It's cold/hot/cool

Fa freddo/caldo/fresco

It’s humid

È umido

It's windy

C'è vento

It's cloudy/windy

È nuvoloso/ventoso

It's raining


It’s stormy

È tempestoso

What’s the temperature?

Quanti gradi ci sono?

It’s 30 degrees (Celsius)? (86 Fahrenheit)

Ci sono trenta gradi

Some useful words and phrases/Alcune parole e frasi utili

Do you speak English?

Parla inglese?

I don't speak Italian

Non parlo italiano

Speak more slowly, please.

Parla più lentamente, per favore

I don't understand

Non capisco

I understand Italian a little.

Capisco l’italiano solo un po'.

I speak a little Italian. 

Parlo un po di italiano

Is there someone who speaks English?

Qualcuno parla inglese?

What did you say?


How do you say . . . ?

Come si dice . . . ?

What does it/that mean?

Che cosa significa?

What day is it (today)?

Che giorno è (oggi)?

Today is Wednesday, May twenty four

Oggi è mercoledì, e ventiquattro maggio

Excuse me, what time is it?

Mi scusi, che ore sono?

At what time?

A che ora?

How long?

Quanto tempo?

I am hot/cold

Ho caldo/freddo

I am hungry/thirsty

Ho fame/sete

I am 55 years old

Ho cinquantacinque anni

I am in a hurry

Ho fretta

I am sleepy

Ho sonno

I am tired

Sono stanco


Per favore

You’re welcome


Thank you/many thanks/thank you very much

Grazie/molto grazie/mille grazie (or grazie mille)

Good/very good




I like it

Mi piace

I don’t like it

Non mi piace

I’m sorry

Mi dispiace

Excuse me (when want to ask question)

Mi scusi

May I come in? or want to pass/excuse me)


How much/many?

Quanto? Quanti?

How much does it cost?

Quanto costa?



Where is . . . ?

 Dov'è . . .?

Where is the bathroom? 

Dov'è il bagno?

Where is an ATM?

Dov'è il bancomat?










Che cosa?

For how long?

Per quanto tempo?

How often?

Con che frequenza?

How long ago?

Quanto tempo fa?

Three days ago

Tre giorni fa

I am sick

Sto male

I am lost

Sono perso

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Wine Tasting with Trione WineMaker Scot Covington

News Release: Saturday, May 20, 2017
About: Wine Tasting with Trione WineMaker Scot Covington
Please join us for a Wine Tasting with Trione Vineyards and Winery WineMaker Scot Covington on Monday, June 5th from 5 to 6:30 @Metrowines. Served at some of the best restaurants in town, a selection of their wines will be "on the taste" and "on the house."

Trione Family Vineyards and Winery

Three generations, four decades, five ranches — our family is deeply rooted in the Sonoma County wine industry. Dedicated farmers for forty years, brothers Mark and Vic Trione own and cultivate close to 700 vineyard acres in three prime Sonoma County appellations: Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Coast.

The Trione FamilyDuring 2005 a new chapter took root: Trione Vineyards and Winery. Our family built a winery on our Home Ranch in Alexander Valley and appointed Scot Covington winemaker. Scot made Trione 2006 and 2007 vintages in a custom crush facility; the winery construction completed in time to receive the 2008 harvest.

Living a winemaker’s dream, Scot selects just three percent of the Trione estate grapes and crafts small lots of wine in his customized “studio”. Scot’s goal: make wines that express the highest level of quality across all varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Zinfandel.

Our winery operations are a family affair. Mark Trione is President, Vic is Vice President, Mark’s daughter Denise oversees sales and marketing, and her husband, Kris Hicks, is Vineyard Operations Manager. We are proud of our family history (link to Timeline) and passionate about Sonoma County’s hospitality, food and wine.

Trione winery is located next to a 1908 landmark stone building at the Home Ranch in Alexander Valley. Respecting history and tradition, our family restored the Old Stone Building, preserving the history and authentic character. Now an event center, it is available for private parties.

Scot Covington


In 2005, when the Trione family decided to build their legacy winery on their Home Ranch in Alexander Valley, they searched for a winemaker with design, construction and wine production experience – a tall order that Scot Covington filled. The family appointed him winemaker in 2005. “The Triones basically gave me a blank piece of paper and said ‘Design your winery’.” Scot envisioned a straightforward facility, customized to accommodate small lots and hands-on winemaking.

Scot Covington

Scot brought years of relevant experience to the project. After graduating from California State University, Fresno in 1990 with a B. S. degree in Agricultural Science, Enology, he enhanced his knowledge working on three continents — in North America here in Sonoma County, South Africa and Australia. Scot’s mentors are legendary; his winemaking is influenced by years of training under such icons as Bill Bonnetti and Merry Edwards.

Living a winemaker’s dream, Scot has his choice of the finest grapes grown on the Trione family’s vineyards in the Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Coast AVAs. He selects the top three percent of grapes from more than 650 acres of vineyards. Scot’s goal: make wines that express the highest level of quality across all varieties produced from estate grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and Zinfandel.

All about Trione: 

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi

Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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SKYPE a Winemaker: Rollin Soles of ROCO


News Release: Saturday, May 20th, 2017
About: Wine Tasting with Winemaker Rollin Soles by SKYPE
Please join us for a wine tasting with Winemaker Rollin Soles of ROCO by SKYPE on Tuesday, June 20th at 5:30 sharp. Winemaker Rollin Soles will lead us through a tasting of his highly regarded wines, share his philosophy and his journey through the wine world to this point.
The event is on the house. Event pricing on wines poured!
Parking is free, close and easy.

About Rollin Soles: For nearly fifteen years, the Soles’ property remained a mostly wild landscape used for a variety of farming endeavors. Rollin was making wine at Argyle, his previous venture, and Corby was busy serving in a number of executive positions in the Oregon wine industry. But as the years wore on, the property’s southwestern exposure and diverse soils begged for the Soles to realize their dream: a vineyard of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay sloping toward the creek below, the Chehalem Valley beyond, and Oregon’s Coast Range in the distance.

In 2001, Rollin and Corby planted Wits’ End Vineyard and began bringing the idea of ROCO to fruition. Two years later, they produced their first vintage of Private Stash Pinot Noir—showcasing the very best of Rollin’s small-lot winemaking skills in a bottle that was eventually served in the White House. Building on their success, in 2009, the Soles built ROCO its own winery and added a tasting room in 2012. In 2013, Rollin expanded Wits’ End Vineyard and transitioned to full-time focus on ROCO to keep pace with its growing prestige and demand.

Today, Wits’ End Vineyard remains the heart and soul of ROCO wines. ROCO Private Stash and Wits’ End Vineyard Pinot Noirs derive exclusively from these vines—and serve as Rollin and Corby’s testament to the beauty of place, their devotion to family and friends, and their commitment to Oregon winemaking at its finest.

About Rollin Soles from Wine Spectator: 

More about ROCO Winery:
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Below the Belt

News Release: Saturday, May 20th, 2017
About "Below the Belt"
The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines presents a class on wines from the Southern Hemisphere on Thursday, June 8th from 6 to 7pm. Andy Hale, Director of Education takes you on a vicarious trip "Below the Belt" to Argentina, Chile, South Africa and New Zealand through discussion and wine tasting.
Class is $20. To reserve a seat, call (828) 575-9525 or shop online:
Parking is free, close and easy.

Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi

Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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