Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

Blind Tasting League Returns

Blind Tasting League Returns
with Andy Hale, Director of The Asheville School of Wine
September 19th from 5:30 to 6:30, $20
Movie' on UP. Higher quality wines and more in depth analysis!
And expect the occasional visit from an importer or winemaker.


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Corte Gardoni Bardolino Rose'

Corte Gardoni Bardolino

Chiaretto Rose 2018

Image result for corte gardoni bardolino chiaretto 2018

Chiaretto is the local word for rosé on the eastern shores of Lake Gard, a land where the sun shines, the wine flows, and the prosciutto-slicer slices year-round. At Corte Gardoni, the Piccoli family specializes in making light, refreshing wines that don’t cost much. Their Chiaretto—made from grape varieties you’ll find only in the Veneto—is incredibly bright in flavor, with citrus and nectarine leading the way to the crispest of finishes. This wine exudes pure joy.

Documents show the Piccoli family has owned vineyards in Veneto since 1600. Many generations tended vines, but after phylloxera, the ravaged estate couldn’t support all 5 brothers. One left to become a fruit grower. Having grown up in vineyards, Gianni Piccoli had wine in his blood. He bought a vineyard estate in 1971. For several years Corte Gardoni grapes were sold to cooperatives, but Gianni felt their wines lacked soul and in 1980 he broke those ties and crafted his own wine.

Today Gianni is a well-known and highly respected figure in the region and a leader in the fight against homogenization of local wine. While local cooperatives push for laws that would force producers to plant only French grapes like Chardonnay and Merlot, Corte Gardoni is reserved for local varietals including 
Garganega, Corvina, Rondinella, and others. $16.99

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MetroWines for Capital at Play

John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine
for Capital at Play

"Revamped Restaurants That Deserve a Second Look"

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Bicycle Thieves

Ciao Asheville Presents a Discussion of "Bicycle Thieves" lead by our Film Coordinator Robert Formento.

Sunday, September 29th from 1 to 4pm @MetroWines

Event and Popcorn on the house. $7 for a glass of italian Red or White Wine! Summary from Robert:

Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di Biciclette)

Our next film discussion, Bicycle Thieves (released in 1948), tells the story of Antonio Ricci, a long unemployed man in postwar Italy who finally finds employment putting up cinema posters around Rome. But, the job requires him to have a bicycle. His wife Maria pawns all her dowry bed linens to redeem their already pawned bicycle. Antonio’s elation quickly turns to despair when it is stolen on his first day of work. Antonio and his son Bruno desperately search the city to find the bicycle which is so important to their family’s day to day survival. Although the story could not be more simple, it draws you emotionally into the conditions of the poor and lower working class and their daily despair and in this case, the relationship of the father and son as they search for the bicycle, the family’s lifeline.


Bicycle Thieves is one of the best examples of a filmmaking movement called Italian Neorealism. The genre only lasted from 1943 to about 1951, but had a major impact on film makers throughout the world. In fact, Roger Ebert quotes Martin Scorsese as saying that the films of this era were some of the greatest influences on his work.


These Italian neorealistic films were a dramatic change from the “happy”, romantic, Hollywood type films of Mussolini’s rein which were highly censored and did not at all represent the true conditions in Italy at the time. The neorealistic films were shot in the run down parts of the city or countryside, employed mostly amateurs and dramatically showed the conditions of the poor and lower working class. This new film genre would show the “new reality” of Italian life.


Among its many awards, in 1949, Bicycle Thieves was voted by the Academy Board of Governors as the most outstanding foreign language film released in the United States.

Run time 90 minutes.


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Ancient Peaks

From The MetroWines FYI Department
Wine Enthusiast has issued their "40 Under 40" Edition
The cover went to Amada Wittstrom-Higgins, VP of Operations, Ancient Peaks Winery, Santa Margarita, CA

Image result for amanda wittstrom higgins
As a second generation owner, Wittstrom-Higgins oversees everything from brand development and distribution to events and special projects. The 900 acres in Paso Robles begets high end wines for affordable prices. She is also the founder of "Dream Big Darling" (,  a nonprofit devoted to elevating and promoting women in the wine industry.
If you shop @MetroWines, you know Ancient Peaks! $19.99

Jeb Dunnuck, 90 Points
The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon is a terrific value and is 83%Cabernet Sauvignon, 14%Petit Verdot, and Petite Sirah. It has a Bordeaux-ish bouquet of new saddle leather, cedarwood, tobacco leaf, and smoky black fruits as well as medium body, plenty of fruit, sweet tannins, and a good finish. 4-6 years.

Image result for ancient peaks cabernet sauvignon
Wine Enthusiast, 90 Points
Floral aromas of violet and cherry blossom drop into rich black-cherry and cocoa tones on the nose of this widely available bottling. The palate is juicy in black cherry and blackberry flavors,with accents of oak and cracked pepper, all framed by a chalky texture.

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Noilly Prat

Languedoc Coastline, Noilly Prat and Picpoul!

Since 1855, Noilly Prat Vermouth has been made in the caves of Marseillan. Made from white grapes and a secret mixture of herbs and spices, this dry, full bodied, amber wine is put through a two step aging process. 
Inside information: 40% of the Noilly Prat blend is Picpoul!!

Image result for noilly prat vermouth extra dry

Blend of dry white wines macerated with botanicals including Roman Chamomile and gentian from France, bitter orange peels from Tunisia  and nutmeg from Indonesia.

95 Points Wine Enthusiast - Wonderfully alive in the nose, as subtle, woodsy scents of juniper, thyme and laurel make an impression. It's clean, dry and refreshing at palate entry; midpalate shows traces of citrus, pine and berries. Aftertaste is harmonious and medium-long.
The finest dry vermouth money can buy.

*** $12.99 ***

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RockWall Tannat

Big RED of The Week

"The Palindrome"
RockWall 2015 Tannat

Image result for rockwall tannat 2015
Winemaker Shauna Rosenblum says: Aromas of black pepper, violet, black tea, pipe tobacco, graham cracker cacao, raspberry and herbs jump to the top of the glass followed by sultry flavors of black cherry, plum, rose petal, anise, cardamom with a balanced and smoky finish.
 And…Tannat is spelled the same forward and backward which is why I call this stunner, “The Palindrome.”

$35 at the winery.
Vivino gives top rating but, oh no, can't get their internet hands on it! $20.99 at and pretty hard to find anywhere else.

$19.99 @MetroWines and in stock!

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Great Rose' Tasting: October

News Release: Monday, September 9, 2019

About: Great Rose Tasting for October
Please join us on Saturday, October 5th for The Great Rose Tasting from 10am to 7pm @MetroWines. Four bottles of Rose from around the world that will stand up to the slightly cooler temperatures will be "on the taste" and "on the house."
"Rose works all year and, sometimes, Rose is the only wine that works" says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "The versatility of Rose, the celebratory atmosphere Rose can create, and the sheer pleasure of sipping a glass of Rose while reading a good book, puts it on the call list any time of year!"
Rose selections for the tasting will be offered at an event price all day.
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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Mustaches and MetroWines

Image result for wall street journal mustaches

Wall Street Journal talks "stache " Research shows that interest in the stache took a header

sometime after Magnum PI but it looks like the look is muscling back into fashion. 

Martin Luther King's mustache was born at Nelson Malden's Barbershop.
Malden says King wanted his mustache to sit up off his lip "like a butterfly."
This calls for a purpose driven wine. 

Paging Tintero Langhe Nebbiolo. No oak
so fruit shines. Perfect for fall, bolder foods without overpowering the dish. Purpose. Imported by Kermit Lynch (another very precise guy) $13.99.

Tom Selleck as the short-short clad Magnum PI sports what has been described as "macho" and the "manliest and most popular" of stache looks. According to experts, this baby takes dense hair. Selleck style is straight across with an ever so slight

Hercule Poirot uptick at either end. Wine? Serious but up for the occasional offbeat. 

Read: a very masculine wine, heavy but with a playful twist.
Gran Appasso 100% Negroamaro from Puglia done in a rich but saucy style.
Sturdy bottle: $14.99. Short-shorts your call!

Nick Offerman grew his now trademarked look for his character, Ron Swanson,
on the TV sitcom Parks and Recreation. Offerman describes Ron as a man
who lived by a simple set of rules and few words and calls his mustache "sincere."
This stache is screaming "I am the walrus!" Blunt force. Only one way to go.
BIG! Zinfandel!! Ancient Peaks 2016 Zinfandel, $16.99 (see winery story below)

Seen in the photo, Benedict Cumberbatch shows the mustache he grew for his
new movie about a 1960s secret agent. His look is like all spies, understated yet structured and well manicured.

But for me, the space in the center sets this one a bit apart. Intention. Precision. Perhaps a little rigidity.

Chablis is the pairing. Very precise and, more importantly, clear. Can't hide anything in it!
2017 Vincent Mothe Chablis, $27.00

More about spies:

Vogue says Luka Sabbat's mustache is just "naturally cool" and "adds spice to his signature smirk." Let's think in terms of an established and popular grape with a little swagger like Malbec laced with a spicy upstart like Carmenere.

Our big red from last week would be perfect here: Elqui Carmenere, Syrah, Malbec Blend. $16.99

Mark Wystrach of the band Midland is of the opinion that every man who chooses the stache life has a picture that inspires him. For Mark, it was his father and, well, of course, Magnum PI. Solid American.
Sean Minor 2016 (high end) Cabernet Sauvignon $24.00

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Pasta Making Class

Tickets HERE!

News Release: Friday, September 6th, 2019

About: Learn to Make Pasta!
Join us on Sunday, October 20th from 1 to 3pm @MetroWines for Ciao Asheville's first cooking class. Ciao Asheville presents Chef and Sommelier Roberto Stragiotti who will teach us to make pasta and a simple red sauce from scratch.
$25 for this "hands on" class that includes all your materials and a glass of  Italian Wine. "Students will learn the techniques of making dough and rolling!," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "Pasta is just the beginning!"
Class is limited to 15 students. To reserve your seat, please call (828) 575-9525 or online:
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
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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DRY Wine?

This is, as they say, a nuanced topic and totally subjective.
Lettie Teague Of Wall Street Journal opines:

As Lettie points out, often fruit content can mistakenly convey to you that the wine is sweet. What? Only one way to find out. Taste test! Here's a red and white that are fruity but DRY.

Telios 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lodi

Image result for telios 2014 cabernet
A powerhouse collaboration between proprietor Gus Kalaris and winemaker Bob Egelhoff, Telios-Axios is a super premium Cabernet Sauvignon of Napa Valley "cult" status.  Axios, meaning worthy in Greek, reflects Gus' vision to craft a wine
of Bordeaux influence that represents the richness of its' Napa Valley origin. 

Unavailable at Not even any "phantom inventory" 
$19.99 and "actually" on the shelf @MetroWines.

Nouvelle Chardonnay, France $13.99

Image result for novellum chardonnay 2017
Jeb Dunnuck, 92 Points
"Coming from 100% Chardonnay that was aged on Viognier lees, the 2017 Vin de France Novellum boasts sensational notes of ripe citrus, white flowers, and spice, with loads of classic Catalanes salinity and obvious minerality. Aged in 15% new barrels, it’s medium-bodied, has remarkable purity, integrated acidity, and is a total steal at the price." Good in bottle 2-4 years.

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Burn the Ice and Syrah

From The MetroWines Book Review Department

Burn the Ice by Kevin Alexander

This hard core foodie book says the US underwent a culinary revolution over the last half century. To tell this story, Alexander journeys through the travails and triumphs of key chefs, bartenders, and activists, and restaurants and neighborhoods whose fortunes were made during this time–including Gabriel Rucker, an originator of the 2006 Portland restaurant scene; Tom Colicchio of Gramercy Tavern and Top Chef fame; as well as influential figures, such as André Prince Jeffries of Prince’s Hot Chicken Shack in Nashville; and Carolina barbecue pitmaster Rodney Scott.

"Your Read it With Wine"

Image result for andrew murray winemaker

90 Points from Wine Advocate
The 2016 Syrah Tous les Jours sports a medium to deep garnet-purple color offering vibrant raspberry coulis, black cherry and red currant notes with touches of baking spices and roses. The medium to full-bodied palate presents spices and red and black fruits, framed by plush,
rounded tannins and finishing on a peppery note. $18.99

  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.  The last thing Kristen and I want is for our children to cavort in a chemical fog, or to work the land so hard that we eliminate the opportunity for them to have a future in this business."

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Great Rose' Tasting

See the World Through RosE
Great Rose Tasting
Related image

** Saturday, September 7th from 10am to 7pm @MetroWines **
The selections this month are from Winebow!
and Chris Curtis of Winebow will join us from 2 to 5pm.

 14-18h, Greece
Mont Gravet, France
Regaleali, Italy
Barnard Griffin, California
"on the taste" and "on the house"

Image result for barnard griffin rose

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Big Red: Carmenere Blend


2015 Carmenere-Syrah-Malbec
ElQui Wines, Chile

Elqui is a transversal valley bordering the Pacific Ocean on the west, the Atacama Desert on the north, and the Andes Mountains to the east. Here, a cool breeze blows eastward across the Humboldt current, which flows from Antarctica north past Chile and Peru. These evening breezes cool the vineyards and lower night time temperatures almost 40 degrees, creating wonderful natural acidity in the grapes. The proximity to the Atacama, makes rain in this region extremely rare, extending grape growing season by 6 weeks more than other               South American regions.

Elqui 2016 Carmenere - Syrah - Malbec

Fresh with a substantial nose offering plenty of dark fruits, some currant and a minty, almost menthol hint. Young, and vibrant with loads of smooth tannin, earthy elements and elegant minerals, building into a lingering finish.

$17.99 at (they have no shame)
$16.99 @MetroWines

Aside from the good taste, evidence mounts that wine,
in moderation of course, may be good for you.
A study of 56,048 Danes over 23 years confirms the positive effect of flavonoids on cardiovascular disease and reduced mortality from "the C word." Where are flavonoids? Tea, chocolate, RED WINE, citrus fruits, berries, apples and broccoli.

But don't believe me! Don't even b eleven the Danes.
Ask the National Institute of Health! NIH Scientific Paper on the positive effects of flavonoids in wine here:

*** But wait, there's more! ***
The BBC reports polyphenols in wine may also have health benefits.

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Loafers and Wine? But not just any wine!

Loafers? Is your style a statement?

It's the annual WSJ loafer review! This year, Zach, our Manager, takes the Loafer Pairing Challenge!

Image result for wall street journal loafers

GH Bass Larson Weejuns: Shiny, flashy and preppy makes me think ofJoseph Wagner wines, the infamous winemaker for Caymus. For this pairing I am going with Quilt Cabernet. Wagner’s newest project and one of our top selling Cabernets. Big fruit, rich and velvety.

Allen Edmund Wooster Street:The workhorse, yet sophisticated. This pairing calls for Nicolas Potel Macon-Villages. A top selling Chardonnay with a Tuesday night price-point from one of the most heralded wine regions in the world. Un-oaked, medium body and mineral driven.

Carina Shoemaker Full Strap: Rustic, durable with an elegant finish and founded in Spain, this shoe is meant to be paired with Black Slate Escaladei from Priorat, Spain. Grenache, Carignan and Cabernet with big fruit and big tannins.

John Lobb Lightweight Lopez:The handmade, sophisticated clunker that comes with a price. This is a perfect match for Turley Estate Zinfandel. One of the oldest estates in California, that has become a cult classic. The availability is scarce and is often shipped in small allocations. Big fruit, low tannins, yet strutted for a big California Zinfandel.

Next Sunday, We do mustaches. Play the home version here:

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Italian Classes Canceled




Bad, Sad News. Dr. Tezzon has been assigned another class at UNCA which will conflict with our program so we must, for now, cancel the program.


But nothing stops us from try to learn on our own. we Will have 12 extraordinary lessons on our Learning Italain Blog by Michael Scardaville. Get with it!

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Fattoria La Valentina Tasting

Image result for fattoria la valentinaNews Release: Thursday, August 22, 2019

About:  Fattoria La Valentina Wine Tasting@MetroWines>


Join us Friday, October 4th from 5 to 6:30 for a tasting of wines from Fattoria La Valentina, Abruzzo, presented by Ciao Asheville and hosted by La Valentina Owner Andrea di Properzio. 

"This is a unique opportunity to taste and learn about extraordinarily well made Italian wines," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines, "and to practice your language skills with Andrea!"

The event is "on the house" with featured wines offered at event pricing.

About our Host:

Andrea di Properzio was born and raised in Pescara (Abruzzo). He is a Graduate in Business Administration from University of Bologna and University of Virginia Darden School of Business. A former management consultant, Investment Banker and working within the family’s business since 2002. Andrea, along with his brothers Sabatino and Roberto, Co-own Fattoria La Valentina. The winery was founded in 1990 in Spoltore, a village nestled amongst Pescara hills on the central coast of the Adriatic. Today, La Valentina is a member of Grand Cru D’Italia and is largely awarded from Italian and international critics as one of the best cellars in Abruzzo.

About Fattoria La Valentina

La Valentina Farm was born on the hills overlooking Spoltore, which is near Pescara in Central Italy, in 1990. The owners, Sabatino, Roberto and Andrea Di Properzio and in operations since 1994.After the first few years studying the Santa Teresa vineyard, their vigorous efforts to improve quality and achieve recognition for the high-quality wines from the Abruzzo became the principal goal of the company. La Valentina learned to understand the land more fully by respecting and tending it. Each year, the vines have been successively healthier and the wines of more authentic quality. Moved by the conviction that improvement comes only through respect for natural equilibriums, year after year, La Valentina has shunned the use of chemicals and over reliance on technology. 
By ensuring that the land remains highly fertile and keeping the plants healthy, they are able to fight off parasites and disease on their own and express themselves. In this way they can produce the healthiest possible grapes of the absolute highest quality.
Our wines are natural products of our terroir – our unique combination of terrain and soil, which we try to convey to every bottle and which is the secret of our original taste. The local micro-climate and the land itself, to which our vines are bound and so well-adapted, give rise to wines of a unique, distinctive character. Convinced that a fine wine is born from the sum of so many small details, our objective must not only be to always produce fine wine, but also to make sure that our wines are always authentic.
Today La Valentina adheres completely to the principles of sustainable development and considers sustainability and respect for the environment as commercial necessities. Employee training permits all our work and associated tasks to be carried out responsibly as far as the environment is concerned and there is also continuous monitoring of the principles of sustainable development. The company policy remains to pursue the greatest possible social and environmental awareness.
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
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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Author Mary Doria Russell and Wine

From The MetroWines Book Review Department:

The Women of the Copper Country

(Name Dropping Alert: I have had the honor and pleasure of hosting
a book signing event for Mary Doria Russell at my home in Washington DC.
Mary is not only a literary genius and success - like I need to say that!, but also
warm, charming, fun, and she has the best black pencil skirt EVER!)

From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Sparrow comes
an inspiring historical novel about “America’s Joan of Arc” Annie Clements—
the courageous woman who started a rebellion by leading a strike
against the largest copper mining company in the world.
Shop the Book at Malaprops here:

Continuing with the pioneering women theme,
"Your Read it With Bottle"
is Glenelly Cabernet Sauvignon, Glass Collection, 2016. 

$19.99 at Vivino. 
$14.99 @MetroWines! Price Pioneers!

Image result for glenelly cabernet 2016
Glenelly Estate in Stellenbosch was purchased by May de Lencquesaing, former owner of Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse deLalande in France. This Cabernet Sauvignon delivers a classic Bordeaux profile, with bright, tangy acidity, excellent structure, fine tannins and perfect balance. A core of pure blackcurrant and dark cherry fruit, and notes of dark chocolate, herbs and spice.

Inspired by antique glasses from May de Lencquesaing’s private collection, Glenelly’s Glass Collection celebrates the parallels between the art of making wine and the art of making glass. Both glass and fine wine come from poor soil, and just as the glassblower breathes life into glass, the winemaker’s love gives life to wine.

“Since my childhood in the heart of Bordeaux’ finest vineyards till today,I have travelled the world and discovered the amazing diversity of terroirs. On my first visit to Stellenbosch I knew that this was where I wanted to fulfil my dream of starting a new adventure outside of France. In 2003, and after visiting many vineyards, I recognized the amazing potential of Glenelly.
I also believed in continuing the French heritage of wine making in South Africa going back more than three centuries.

My vision is to establish Glenelly as a world-class estate, producing award-winning wines with power, elegance and balance.”

*** But Wait. There's More! ***
From The Ciao Asheville Book Review Department:

Mary DORIA Russell has an Italian Heritage! 

Mary Doria Russell is also the author of "A Thread of Grace," the little-known story of the vast underground effort by Italian citizens who saved the lives of 43,000 Jews during the final phase of World War II. 
"AThread of Grace" puts a human face on history."

Shop book @Malaprops:
NPR on "Thread of Grace"

"Your Read it With Bottle"
is Ventale Valpolicella Superiore 2016
Imported by Frederick Wildman&Sons 14.99

Hand picked fruit, aged in 70%Oak, 20%Chestnut and 10%CherryWood for 18 months and then a few months in bottiglia (bottle). A blend of Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella sourced primarily from vineyards in the breezy Illasi Valley, the name Ventale is inspired by the Italian word for wind.
A medium bodied red with a touch of cranberry tartness and red cherry.  Fresh vibrancy with velvety tannins make this the perfect "drink it with bottle."

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Spiked Ice Cream!


An artisan ice cream company in Columbia, South Carolina, PROOF is changing the way people think about dessert. Using proprietary formulas and production techniques, PROOF is handcrafted daily using top-shelf liquor as a key ingredient to create a savory end-product with an unmatched creamy consistency. 

Combining quality spirits and popular ice cream flavors, 
PROOF delivers a modern, indulgent taste experience in every bite.

$9.99. Seasonal flavors available NOW @MetroWines include: 
Strawberry Moonshine, Bourbon Caramel, Coconut Rum,
Cheesecake Moonshine and Mocha Chocolate Moonshine

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Learn Italian the Low Pressure Way!

*** Italian Language Classes ***
Presented by Ciao Asheville
Hosted by Dr. Valeria Tezzon

*** Low Pressure ***
Learn through subjects like shopping, travel, art, etc.

Details and Seat Reservation here:

Image result for famous spanish painting francesco hayez
Let's get started!
This is "The Kiss" translate: il Bacio
by Italian Artist Francesco Hayez

Tickets HERE!


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