Metro Wines Blogs

Metro Wines Asheville, NC

This blog is dedicated to learning Italian La Dolce Vita, that is, fashion, food and wine! We will focus on the words and phrases you need to get by in Italy. We will learn by translating facebook posts from some of our favorite winemakers including Gaetana Jacono Gola of Valle dell'Acate and Giampaolo Tabarrini, "Menu Italian" from Ristorante...

This blog is dedicated to learning Italian La Dolce Vita, that is, fashion, food and wine! We will focus on the words and phrases you need to get by in Italy. We will learn by translating facebook posts from some of our favorite winemakers including Gaetana Jacono Gola of Valle dell'Acate and Giampaolo Tabarrini, "Menu Italian" from Ristorante Trippi in Valtellina as well as text from the winery websites for some of the many Italian Wines on the shelves @MetroWines. Andiamo! (let's go!)


In the Beginning!

Small bites: Ciao Asheville 720w, 768w, 330w" sizes="(max-width: 1100px) 100vw, 1100px">
ALL THINGS ITALIAN: Gail Rampersaud, left, and Gina Trippi co-founded Ciao Asheville, an Italian cultural forum. “We want to bring the Italian cultural experience to Asheville," says Trippi. Photo by Thomas Calder 

You don’t have to be Italian to join Ciao Asheville. The new cultural forum only asks interested members to bring their passion for the country’s cuisine, language, wine, film and literature with them to the monthly meetings at Metro Wines. “The mission of the group is to try to address all of those aspects,” says Gina Trippi, co-owner of Metro Wines and co-founder of the forum. “We want to bring the Italian cultural experience to Asheville.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 16, the group will host its inaugural meeting. Strada Italiano will supply pizza, and Mike Tiano of Haw River Wine Man will offer a brief presentation on Chianti wine. In addition, Gail Rampersaud, the group’s event coordinator, will discuss plans for the forum’s future and upcoming programs, which include presentations on the slow food movement and travel ideas when visiting Italy.

Along with monthly presentations, the group intends to host free Italian films at Metro Wines. Trippi and Rampersaud also hope to develop an Italian language speaking group to meet more frequently than the forum’s current monthly gathering.

“We really want to serve the needs of the people that are interested in this,” says Rampersaud. “The inaugural event is about bringing folks together, getting their feedback and figuring out the future direction of the group. We want our courses to be driven by our members. We want to provide what people want.”

Ciao Asheville: An Italian Cultural Forum will host its inaugural meeting 5:30-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte St. The event is free to attend. To learn more, visit

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You've Got Time to Read or Re-read 
"A Room With a View" by E.M. Forster 

A Ciao Asheville Recommended Read!
WSJ Review:

Lucy Honeychurch travels to Florence, Italy, with her cousin and they were assured
they would receive a room with a view of the River Arno, but instead are given a room overlooking
a dull courtyard. A one Mr. Emerson and his son George offer their room, which as the desirable view,
to the two ladies. From this opening sequence, A Room with a View sets off following young Lucy
as she navigates through the proprieties of Edwardian-era society.

Ciao Asheville Suggested Read it With Wine:
Martoccia Toscana 'Poggio Apricale' | Wine Info
2018 Produced in Montalcino,Cinigiano, this blend of 85% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot  5% Colorino, 
spends up to 3 months, a part in Slavonian oak barrels and a part in French oak barrique. 
Ruby red in glass. Fresh and young red wine with hints of cherry, raspberry and black fruit. 
Medium bodied. Always a shop favorite.

$19.99 and the book takes you to Tuscany

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Organic and Biodynamic, this 2017 wine is a blend of 90%Sangiovese
and 10%Cabernet Sauvignon from Fabrizio Pratesi.
 Wine producers in the Carmignano
near Florence have been blending Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon since the 1600s! 
Pratesi has brought attention back to a region The Medici Family prized for their table.

Bold aromas of ripe cherry, dark raspberry, and Bordeaux-like lead pencil
leads to a juicy, ripe, palate of dark red fruit, tobacco and spice. The wine is full of fruit,
but not really “fruity,” and finishes with layers of savory graphite and earth. 
The wine works for a casual dinner or a sophisticated table. 

Wine Spectator: 91 Points
“Leads off with an intense graphite aroma
and flavors of cherry, currant and mineral.
Fresh, fruity and saturated on the long, firm finish.
Drink now through 2024.”


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Learn Italian Online

Dear Ciao Asheville members,
We certainly hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!
Since we are all stuck at home, Ciao Asheville has been thinking about how we can offer virtual Italian language classes and have come up with a plan. We are going to use Coffee Break Italian, which has free podcasts on their website. They have a beginning Italian series that includes 40 podcasts, with each podcast being about 20 minutes long. You can access the podcasts here to check it out. They also offer some other supporting materials which are free, plus a more comprehensive language program and materials for a fee.
We plan to use Zoom Pro and once per week in a one-hour time slot we will broadcast 2 of the audio podcasts back to back. Those interested would need to download Zoom (free; you do not need to pay for an account) onto their phone, tablet or computer to listen in and participate. Listening to the podcasts would take up about 40 to 45 minutes of an hour-long session. The remaining 15-20 minutes would be to practice, discuss, ask/answer questions, etc. via the Zoom session. Everyone participating would be put on mute for the podcast broadcast but then we would open up the lines so we could hear everyone for the discussion portion of the class. Note that the podcasts are *FREE* and we are offering this experience at no cost to members. We are hoping that this will give everyone something to focus on and we can all be ready with some basic Italian phrases when COVID-19 has cleared and we can plan (reschedule?) our trips to Italy. I know that I personally am really looking forward to that day!!
At this time, we would ask a couple of things from you. For those who are interested in participating, please do the following:
(1) Reply to this email (please do NOT reply all) to let us know you are interested.
(2) Let us know what day of the week and 1-hour time period you would prefer for the classes. Note that when we planned our language classes last fall that subsequently got canceled, we were going to have those classes on Thursdays starting at 5:30PM. 
If you are interested, please respond to us by Wednesday, April 8.  Feel free to email us if you have any questions.
Honestly, we are not sure how this will all work out but we are going to give it a good try!  We look forward to hearing back from you.
Gail Rampersaud
Events Coordinator
Ciao Asheville
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Leverano 5 Liter Rosé

From The MetroWines Book Review Department
No Better Time to Bring The Outside IN !!

*** Broken Glass by Alex Beam ***
Tells the Story of the Building and the Builders of The Farnsworth House.
WSJ Review:

So bringing the outide in is not just about the fresh air and greenery,
it's about all that goes on outdoors. Maybe back yard parties. Maybe picnics.

Leverano Vechia Torre Rosé
Quality in a 5 liter Bottle holding over 6 bottles of wine!

80% Negroamaro with Malvasia Nero, 

Tasting Notes:
Color: bright pink with violet highlights
Bouquet: intense and delicate
with hints of raspberries
Taste: soft and tangy
Serving Temperature: 8-10°C
Pairing: an ideal companion to all kinds
of meals, to first courses with tomato sauce,
white meat, fish soup and roast prawns.

All over Europe but not widely available
in this country.

$29 for what is over 6 bottles of wine!
bring all that is the outside IN!

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Ghibello Sangiovese

Ciao Asheville Alert
Canceled events:

Olive Oil and Wine Tasting
Set for March 26th

Film Discussion
Set for Sunday, March 29th 

Do Red Wine in the Bunker Instead!
With something about Leonardo, but of course, to read:
Image result for ghibello chianti 2015

2015 100% Sangiovese is an intense ruby red color with a very concentrated red berry bouquet
that finishes with hints ofvanilla. On the palate, it is well-balanced and smooth with delicate tannins
and a persistent finish. This Chianti is made for pizza, pasta with red sauce, charcuterie,
grilled meats, Fettuccine Alfredo, and Spaghetti Carbonara.

*** $11.99 ***

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NIAF Relief Efforts

NIAF Coronavirus Relief Efforts

Dear NIAF Members and Friends, 

In just the last week the numbers of those afflicted by COVID-19 have increased dramatically both here and in Italy. The National Italian American Foundation's (NIAF) goal at this unprecedented time in our country's history is to connect and help our Italian American community here in the United States while we work with those who can help the people of Italy.


I want to thank NIAF's Management, Executive Committees and the Board as a whole, for their responsiveness as together we look at viable ways to meet this goal. 


In terms of Italy outreach, I particularly want to thank Peter Arduini, Anita McBride and Joseph Del Raso, who are working with Italy's Ambassador to the United States Armando Varricchio, to focus on priority needs. The Ambassador is very appreciative of NIAF's help. NIAF Board Member Peter Arduini, is a member of the board of the Advanced Medical Technology Association (AdvaMed) and is working with Advamed CEO Scott Whitaker and the Ambassador to identify resources available to meet urgent needs for Italy.

There are ways for you to help right now. Hospitals in Italy are overwhelmed treating and caring for the infected. Their lack of resources and beds force them to turn the sick away and hundreds are dying daily. 


We encourage those who want to help Italy, especially those with family there, to consider donating to one or more of the following relief campaigns. Each campaign is supporting a specific hospital in Italy. The funds raised will go directly to the hospital so it can secure the urgent resources needed.


Papa Giovanni XIII Hospital in Bergamo
Cesvi, an Italian charity founded in Bergamo, is raising money for the Papa Giovanni XIII Hospital and for home assistance for the elderly living in Bergamo and Milan, the area with the highest concentration of COVID-19 cases in Italy to date:


San Raffaele Hospital in Milan
There are two opportunities to support the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. Donations can be made directly to the hospital: Donations can also be made through a GoFundMe campaign created by the Ferragni family; the funds raised will be directly donated to the hospital to strengthen intensive care:


Spallanzani Hospital in Rome
The Spallanzani Hospital is the most important infectious disease hospital in Italy and during this coronavirus outbreak it was the first hospital to isolate the virus. Umberto Mucci from We The Italians has launched this fundraiser to support this hospital:

Celebrity Chef Mary Ann Esposito has joined the Foundation in this effort by sharing NIAF's website that lists these relief campaigns on her Ciao Italia website for her fans to support as well. 

In terms of what we are doing for our Italian American family, some of us had the opportunity to listen to a unique "Telephonic Town Hall Virtual Meeting" with Dr. John Rosa and Dr. Angelo Falcone on the facts about the coronavirus on Sunday, March 22. It was informative and also provided tips for getting through this crisis. They are planning to expand and continue this conversation and we will let you know when this will be scheduled.


As you know, there is a critical shortage of surgical masks and supplies for our local hospitals and emergency rooms. If you have access to a trusted site that is dedicated to filling this need, we will post on our website.

For the most up to date and factual information, visit the CDC's website,, and the John Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, For further updates on all of the initiatives and campaigns mentioned, visit:


Patricia de Stacy Harrison

NIAF Chairman

The National Italian American Foundation

Amb. Peter F. Secchia Building
1860 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

© 2020 National Italian American Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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Stand in Solidarity with Italy

Stand in Solidarity with Italy
Country wide lockdown in progress to stop spread of virus.
Italians learning to adapt.

We can help by supporting Italian Culture!
Image result for selvapiana chianti rufinaSangiovese (with a small amount of Canaiolo) is vinified in thermo-regulated
stainless steel tanks at a fermentation temperature of 28° C. It then spends time
in steel tanks (30%), Sessile oak casks (50%) and barriques (20%).
After blending, the wine is refined in French oak casks for two to three months.
Pairs well with pasta dishes, pizza and appetizers.
90 Points Decanter - Delicate aromas of subtle herbs and oak.
The palate is elegant and fresh with flavours of red berries,
liquorice and plum to finish. Balanced, ripe, smooth tannins. $19.99

Ciao Asheville Presents
Sunday, March 29th starting 1pm

Image result for rome open city film

*** Olive Oil and Wine Tasting ***
with Jessica Gaydos from "Olive This" @MetroWines
March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30

Sign up here:

Meanwhile: In Memoriam: Joyce Gordon
For those of you who joined us for "once Upon a Time in the West"
and were certain the voice was Claudia Cardinale who must certainly
have mastered a fast class in English, not so! As Robert Formento assured us,
the movie was dubbed. And now we know who it was at the mic!

Joyce Gordonknown as "The Girl with Glasses" passed away at 90 this week.
She said of the movie: "It's an anonymous kind of gratification."

Ciao Asheville extends posthumous membership to Joyce Gordon!

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Olive Oil, "Olive This" and Wine

Ciao Asheville Presents
"Olive Oil and Wine Tasting"
Thursday, March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30


Hosted by Jessica Gaydos of "Olive This" on Biltmore.

Different Olive Oils have different tastes and purposes.

Taste for yourself!

Image result for olive this asheville*** RESERVE YOUR SEAT ***

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Rome Open City Discussion


Ciao Asheville Presents

"Rome Open City"

Sunday, March 29th, 1pm @MetroWines


Notes from Robert Formento

Ciao Asheville Film Coordinator

This next movie, Rome Open City, was directed by Roberto Rossellini and is considered a film classic. Filming started in January 1945, only a few months after the Allies forced the Nazis to evacuate Rome. There was destruction in the city from Allied bombs, Cinecittà was turned into a homeless camp for thousands of Italian refugees and therefore not available to film makers. Money for production was hard to come by. Even film stock was difficult to find. As a result, filmmakers were forced to become creative. But, Italian filmmakers were ready to leave behind the happy, Hollywood type movies that Mussolini favored during his regime. “Necessity is the mother of invention” and thus began the Italian Neorealism era. Directors would show the reality of Italy without Cinecittà, with very little money and mostly with unprofessional actors. As a result, neorealism films would have almost a documentary feel to them.  In fact,  Rome Open City shows wartime Italy though the eyes of those who actually lived through it, starting with Rossellini (Director), the screen writers, and all of the actors. (including German POWs as the occupiers)


Rome, Open City is considered the first of this new style of film making. The story takes place in Rome during the 9 month occupation by the Nazis. (The occupation took place after Mussolini was deposed and the new government sided with the Allies.) Hitler was furious with Italy and vowed to make life miserable for Italy, especially the resistance leaders. They would go to any length to smash those in the resistance or anyone providing them assistance. And this is a story based on true events of the resistance. 

Although Italian neorealism films used mostly non professional actors, this film has two professional actors who provide standout performances; Aldo Fabrice who plays the priest Don Pietro and Anna Magnani, who plays the fiancee of one of the resistance leaders both lived through the occupation and this is the film where Anna Magnani became a star. She would go on to work with Visconti, Jean Renoir, Pasolini, Fellini, Tennessee Williams, etc. 


This is Rossellini’s tribute to Italy’s resistance fighters and it is a masterpiece. Given that the film was shot a few short months after the occupation, while the rest of Italy was still occupied, it is highly realistic. There are some scenes with violence, but those scenes are hardly gratuitous. 

Film time - 105 minutes


Event is "on the house"

$7 for a glass of Red or White Italian Wine

Save your seat by calling (828) 575-9525


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Corzano e Paterno Interview


5:05pm when I arrived and Winemaker William Goldschmidt of Corzano e Paterno already had the crowd whipped but good into a wine frenzy. He looked just like his picture. "Easy on the eyes," just like his importer, Jay Murrie of Piedmont Imports said. Correction! Strike that! Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury: it was not what Jay said but what Jay said women said!  Anyway, William has a head full of black hair. Olive complexion. Very Italian looking. But that name, William Goldschmidt? What's up with that?
I had promised "Ciao Asheville," the cultural forum in town, that I would get to the bottom of what seems to be a glaring inconsistency! All I got was that William's mother is British. Well that explains the William. Long line of British Kings sporting that one. But the Goldschmidt? Still working on it. Get back to you as the story develops. 
Amidst all the bottle signing, shopping and talk, talk, talk, I found myself running interference between William and a group of women of a certain age who threatened to lock him in their respective basements! I may or may not have been one of them. At times, I could see the silliness of this idea but then.... In any case, once I advised everyone that William was a new and very proud father, everyone settled down.  I do, however, believe that if William returns, which he PROMISED to do, he may face the threat of kidnapping with a renewed vigor.
We did find out that Corzano e Paterno has 700 sheep on the property as well as acres of olive trees. So, putting this in its rightful "what else is there?" perspective, Corzano e Paterno makes cheese, olive oil and wine. Better to hold up in his basement! Oh yeah, and if you go, you can stay on the property. You know what they say about possession.

From Website: GUEST HOUSES

Fattoria Corzano e Paterno stretches out over two hills covered with vineyards, olive trees and woodland. It is set in the very heart of Chianti near the main road from Florence to Siena. The historic Villa Paterno, acquired from the Machiavelli family, together with the farm houses on the property, have been restored with great care to their original form.

The AGRITURISMO is comprised of four country large houses for holiday rental, positioned in pristine locations amid cypresses, olive groves and vineyards, views that have escaped the passage of time, and are reached by unpaved country roads. Their restoration has maintained, with the exception of modern kitchens and baths, the original structures of beamed ceilings, open sit-in fireplaces and large, airy rooms. Situated in this classic Tuscan landscape, near fields of our grazing sheep, the houses overlook the verdant valley that lies between the two distinctive hills of the farm.

The restoration of the buildings was undertaken by the architect Wendelin Gelpke himself, who tried to change as little as possible in the layout of the structures and to integrate modern facilities unobtrusively.

Florence 32 km – Siena 56 km – San Gimignano 37 km – Pisa 104 km – Lucca 101 km

Additional information concerning each house or flat can be found by using the links of the specific house/flat page in question.

General Facilities: Fireplaces, DVD, BBQ, washing machine, iron board, hairdryer, dishwasher, free parking, pools, equipped garden, microwave, toaster, wine and cheese tasting, fans, farm shop, reception, wi-fi area outdoor,mosquito screens, cot, highchair, toaster. Pets welcome

Services included in the price: Bed, bath and kitchen linens, water, gas for the kitchen, electricity, weekly change, final cleaning, welcome basket, wine and cheese tasting at our farm

Extra costs: from 1 March Local Tourist Tax, 1,50/pax/night up to max. 7 night
Children under 14 do not pay
Extra costs to be paid according to use: heating upon consumption

Upon request and not included in the price: domestic help, cook, cooking classes, baby sitter, taxi service, welcome dinner, horse riding, watercolour lessons, massages. Bookings can be secured by credit card. A deposit is required for larger groups.

And the women so don't need to know that one of the guest houses is called 
"The Gina!" And, apparently, "The Gina" comes with a dog!! Review: Cheese, olive oil, wine and a dog. Pretty well sums it up for me.
Anyway, back to the tasting... Once the crowd dispersed, we went on a tour of our Italian collection of wines @MetroWines. William was impressed. And he knew, I mean really knew, everybody. He knew Arturo Cordero de Montezemolo. He knew the gang at GD Vajra. He knew Paitin! William says they all kind of live close to each other.
Corzano e Paterno wines serve up exceptional quality for the price. I particularly like the 100% Sangiovese Rosé. We still have one bottle of this most magic elixir until the ship comes in, and I mean that literally, the ship carting bottles from Italy. Probably about 2 to 3 weeks for white, reds and this rosé to hit town. 

More about the Winery from the Website: The vineyards of the Fattoria Corzano e Paterno lie on the steep and stony slopes surrounding the fortified farmhouse “Corzano” in San Casciano Val di Pesa. Roughly seventeen km south of Florence, the property runs along the ancient Via Cassia and the River “Pesa” which separates our land from the “Classico” region of Chianti.

Corzano sits like a natural stone outcrop, a serrated edge along the hilltop horizon. The building was constructed centuries ago from fieldstones as a watchtower overlooking the valley leading from Florence to Siena. It grows up out of medieval foundations, possibly even Etruscan, as nearby tombs testifies to their presence in the area. In 1969 the property changed hands for the first time in seven hundred years. 

Six hectares of the farm’s one hundred and fourty were planted with vines in the very best positions around Corzano. At the altitude of three hundred meters they form a natural amphitheatre facing south-southwest in soil gravely in structure and rich in clay and lime. The farm’s herd of milk sheep supplied the natural manure; traditional local wine making techniques were modified and enhanced by the skills learned by the young winemakers in the Swiss wine school at Wädenswil, near Zurich. 

Our first wines were bottled in 1972. Today we have seventeen hectares of vineyard and produce more than 80.000 bottles. Grapes varieties run from the usual Chianti selection of Sangiovese, Canaiolo, Malvasia, Trebbiano, to the foreign varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. In a normal year the farm will produce one white wine, four reds and a sweet wine. 

The vineyards and cellars are the domain of Aljoscha Goldschmidt and Arianna Gelpke, both enologist, the nephew and daughter of the founder Wendel Gelpke.

You should try Corzano e Paterno! You won't be disappointed. But get your mind off the basement thing. You have a very long line ahead of you!

Follow  William in Italian! on Facebook here:
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Mona Lisa and Wine

Reprinted from The Laurel of Asheville:

The Grapevine: Mona Lisa’s Wine

The Grapevine: Mona Lisa’s Wine 300w, By Gina Trippi

March is Women’s History Month. That made us ask what wine one of the most famous women, the Mona Lisa, might have preferred. It is hard to know for certain but we have scoured historical resources!

The Louvre, where the Mona Lisa hangs, says the portrait is likely that of Lisa Gherardini (1479-1572), the wife of a Florentine cloth merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, from which the alternative name of the painting, The Gioconda, is derived.

The ancestry of the Gherardinis, an ancient family of landowners, can be traced back to the 10th century in Tuscany. While Gherardini owned land in Tuscany, the family was neither aristocracy nor nobility. With constant economic and political uncertainty along with frequent wars, land ownership was not a guarantee of wealth.

By 1479, the Gherardini family, struggling financially, sold their land and moved to Florence. Lisa was born June 15, 1479, in a modest house at the corner of Via Squazza and Via Maggio. When she turned 16, she was married to Francesco del Giocondo.

Records show that the portrait was begun by Leonardo da Vinci in Florence around 1503. Research indicates that the situation was not that Leonardo asked Lisa to sit for his painting but that Lisa’s husband commissioned the portrait, perhaps, some suggest, to commemorate the upcoming birth of their second child.

Although Francesco was a very prominent silk merchant, securing Leonardo, an established painter who was already working for the likes of The Medici, to paint the portrait of his wife was still considered quite the achievement. There is no evidence that Francesco ever took delivery of the painting, as Mona Lisa stayed with Leonardo until his death.

Back in Tuscany, the history of making wine in what we now know as Chianti dates back to the 13th century. The grapes were growing, but it was not until 1716 that Cosimo III de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, issued an edict declaring the boundaries of Chianti.

While there is no evidence that Lisa Gherardini ever lived on a wine making estate, there is documentation that her family lived in Chianti for generations back and that Lisa spent time at a villa-turned-winery. Chianti, the region and the wine, are part of her heritage.

Chianti, despite its glorious roots, suffers from a decades-old image in this country as a low-quality wine in a bottle enclosed by a straw basket, appropriately called a “fiasco,” that is used for candles when the bottle is empty. But Chianti is actually a traditional red wine made from Sangiovese grapes generally tasting of dried cherries and oregano, a little aged Balsamic, a touch of espresso and sweet tobacco. Chianti Classico means the vines come from the oldest and most genuine areas of Chianti in Tuscany.

So after a tough day of dealing with the kids and sitting for portraits, our best guess is that Lisa Gherardini kicked back with a glass of Chianti. But which Chianti? While Casa Emma, a small, woman-owned winery outside Florence, was not in business in 1495, its Chianti Classico is the type that would have probably been available to Lisa. Made in a century-old Tuscan stone house with traditional methods from grapes grown organically, the wine has no modern-day additives and is, in that sense, historic itself.

Bring Women’s History month forward by sharing a glass of Chianti and a toast to Lisa Gherardini, Mona Lisa!

Gina Trippi is the co-owner of Metro Wines, 169 Charlotte Street in Asheville. Committed to the community, Metro Wines offers big shop selection with small shop service. Gina can be reached at or 828.575.9525.

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Trip to Italy

*** Trip to Italy ***

Image result for sophia loren glamorous

Ciao Asheville is Partnering with The Sister Cities
in Saluda and Hendersonville
to present the first program in our Travel Series

"Italy Off The Beaten Path"

Sunday, March 8th from 1 to 2:30
$15 for Presentation, Glass of Italian Wine and Light Appetizers

In other Italian News:
2018 "Due Amici"
90% Montepulciano and 10% Sangiovese

Marchetti 'Due Amici - Two Friends' Uve di Montepulciano Rosso Conero, Marche, Italy
Click to image to check availability and price online. $13.99 @MetroWines.

Maurizio Marchetti is a charming character leading a charmed life.
He lives near the Adriatic coast of Italia in a region that sees nearly 3,000 hours
(200 days) of sun each year! Also, his wife is a cardiologist (so she brings home
the pancetta, as we like to say), leaving Maurizio free to pursue his two art forms: painting and making wine.  Since he needn’t rely on wine to earn an income,
Maurizio can afford to be as picky with his grapes as he wants.  He is so selective
that he sometimes produces as little as a half bottle of wine per plant!    

 Maurizio’s great-great-grandfather was an exotic spice trader,
sailing to the Far East over 250 years ago. He was quite successful,
allowing the family to buy the land that is now the Marchetti estate.
On their property, they have a castellino (‘little castle’) whose interior walls
have murals of Chinese sailors loading ships with the highly prized spices.

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Casting Call: Italians!

Twister Film, an Italian production company, is looking for Italian American families in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago and Detroit, who still have a love for Italy in their hearts for an upcoming TV program. The program will be broadcast in Italy on Rete 4 and worldwide on Mediaset Italia. The casting is open to families of Italian origin, both first generation and later, provided that at least one of the family members speaks Italian. All family members will be called to show that, while living far from Italy, it is possible to preserve the rich heritage of Italian traditions: from culture and music, to cooking and art. The families involved will have to show that in their home and in their neighborhood, there is still proof of Italian spirit and style, and at the end of the episode demonstrate that they are the symbol of Italianità in their city. If you're interested, email Sebina at:

Amb. Peter F. Secchia Building
1860 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009

© 2020 National Italian American Foundation. All Rights Reserved.

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Olive Oil and Wine Tasting


News Release: Wednesday, February, 26, 2020

About: Olive Oil and Wine Tasting Presented by Ciao Asheville
Join Ciao Asheville on Thursday, March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30 @MetroWines, for an "Olive Oil and Wine Tasting" with Jessica Gaydos of "Olive This" on Biltmore in Asheville. Jessica brings a world of knowledge about all things olive oil!
Sample six olive oils including one from Sicily! and a white and red Balsamic Vinegar. Jessica Gaydos will tell us about the historical olive oil thread from Greece, through Italy to Spain, explain how olives are grown, farmed and made into oil, the health benefits and many uses, as well as the best pairings for the various flavors in each oil.
Brett Watson of The Asheville School of Wine @MetroWines will present wines that highlight the olive oils and pour to taste. "We will be tasting wines, Chianti and Trebbiano, from Fattoria La Vialla, a family run, organic biodynamic far and wine estate," says Brett. "LaVialla also produces olive oil so their wines are natural partners." 
$15 (tax included) for the event.  Call (828) 575-9525 or online here:
Olive Oils and Wines poured will be available for purchase.
Parking is free, close and easy @MetroWines.

Jessica Gaydos started working in a bakery over 25 years ago, loved it, and hasn’t stopped working with food and wine since! She currently heads operations at Olive This!, a downtown Asheville boutique specializing in high quality extra virgin olive oils and vinegars and is on the board of Slow Food Asheville. Her high school jobs in restaurant kitchens led to a BS in Hotel Restaurant and Tourism Management from New Mexico State University, with a focus on restaurant operations. After many years of dining room and kitchen management, she transitioned to a long term stint with a French olive oil & specialty food company, time as a personal chef, and as an adjunct culinary instructor for Denver Public Library’s nationally recognized cultural programming, Fresh City Life. She is a graduate of the Ballymaloe Cookery School’s Culinary Certificate Program, where she polished her cooking skills in the midst of a 100 acre organic farm in County Cork, Ireland. An avid gardener, Jessica has long been a proponent of local, seasonal, and sustainable cooking.

About "Olive This"
At Olive This, you can sample more than 50 varieties of the finest, freshest imported extra virgin olive oils, all natural, aged balsamic vinegars and specialty oils. Olives are grown and pressed by artisans and small farms throughout the world and are 100% extra virgin, unfiltered and settled. All oils and vinegars are imported to "Olive This" stores in Asheville and Charlotte and bottled locally on site. The website also offers recipes for great olive oils and balsamic vinegars. 
UP_logo_lrgUltra Premium is a new grade in the industry that distinguishes the highest quality olive oil in the world from what dominates the so called “gourmet” and “premium” olive oil markets. The UP standard is reserved for the finest EVOOs in the world. As such, the grade of UP exceeds all existing European, Italian, Spanish, Greek, North American or any other standard known as extra virgin olive oil.  In order to qualify for Ultra Premium grade, the EVOO must meet or exceed a comprehensive set of production, storagetransportation, testing, chemistry, and organoleptic requirements. "Olive This" is proud of this new certification.  
More about "Olive This" here:
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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Italian Women Artists


March 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM


The Rediscovery of Historical Women Artists in Florence

Violante Siries Cerroti Self Portrait cropped

Violante Beatrice Cerroti, Autoritratto (Self-Portrait), 1735, detail, oil on canvas
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence, Italy

Florence is home to great masters of Italian Renaissance art such as Botticelli, Donatello, Leonardo and Michelangelo but few people know that the city nourished women artists as well. Through the joint efforts of Italian museums such as the Uffizi and the US organization Advancing Women Artists, these often-forgotten women are now being rediscovered and their works restored and exhibited once more.

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, join us and conservator Elizabeth Wicksfor a talk focusing on Plautilla NelliArtemisa GentileschiViolante Siries Cerroti and Violante Ferroni, and the fascinating journey of their rediscovery and conservation.

This program is organized in collaboration with

AWA logo

Embassy of Italy 
3000 Whitehaven Street NW 
Washington, DC 20008

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Rodano Poggialupi

From The MetroWines Book Review Department
"Machiavelli" by Patrick Boucheron

WSJ Review:

It was Machiavelli's luck to be disappointed by every statesman he encountered
throughout his life—that was why he had to write The Prince. If the book endeavors
to dissociate political action from common morality, the question still remains today,
not why, but for whom Machiavelli wrote. For princes, or for those who want to resist them?
Is the art of governing to take power or to keep it? And what is “the people?”
Can they govern themselves? Beyond cynical advice for the powerful,
Machiavelli meditates profoundly on the idea of popular sovereignty,
because the people know best who oppresses them.

Whatever you decide about Machiavelli,
this book demands a take no prisoners Tuscan Wine!
I asked Brett Watson for a wine that punches back  and he suggested:

Image result for Rodano's Poggialupi 2016
Word has it that the original farm of the Rodano family dates back to the middle ages. 
Word also has it that Machiavelli used to be their head winemaker.  (Not true nor do I have any proof)  That out of the way, Rodano's Poggialupi, Sangiovese dominated, "SuperTuscan"
(such an ugly word for such pure Sangiovese out of Chianti)
takes NO prisoners.  I've long loved the idea of showcasing the classic purity of old-world grapes
such as Sangiovese and so does Rodano.  They have however decided to add a touch
of Cabernet and Merlot to such stunning Chianti based fruit and not with a heavy hand whatsoever. 
This 2016 result is a stunning, balanced and entirely noteworthy Tuscan blend
that is a sexy as it would be intimidating on a medievel battle field.  

$16.99 @MetroWines!

And From The Ciao Asheville Italian Words
Commonly Used in The English Language Department

*** Fiasco ***

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Il Poggiolo


Image result for wall street journal seeing artist faces marcus

"Visual artists have been depicting themselves since antiquity, but the self-portrait took
on a new urgency in the 19th century. The evolution of the modern art market in Paris,
which placed high value on an artist’s fame, coincided with the Romantic movement’s
demand that artists be viewed as creative geniuses." 
So the self portrait was not necessarily
an exact replica of the artist but more a statement of who the artist was in life
or how the artist wanted to be seen.

Wine Labels in the last decades often adopt this theory
with regard to the winery, the winemaker, their place in the wine world.

 “Il Poggiolo” was established in Montalcino in 1971 by Roberto Cosimi;
Roberto’s son, Rodolfo (Rudy), along with wife Cecilia,
now own and operate the estate since Roberto’s death in 1989.
 The Terra Rossa Oltre is a Montalcino Super Tuscan,
an 80/20 blend of Sangiovese Grosso and Merlot; it is smooth, inky, and rich,
with a palate of black currants, huckleberries, brown spices, minerals, and black cherries.

The portrait on the label? For over thirty years, Rudy Cosimi’s philosophy
has been to make the highest quality wines without any compromise. He loves to experiment
and never stops trying to stir up new emotions conveying his multifaceted personality
through the wines. A talented artist, Rudy designs his own labels,
combining artistic finesse and a touch of humor to reflect his wine making philosophy.

Outside of Italy, no where to be found
EXCEPT @MetroWines. Gorgeous. $25

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"Italy Off the Beaten Path"

News Release: February 12, 2020 

About: Ciao Asheville presents "Italy Off the Beaten Path: Hendersonville and Saluda Sister Cities"

Please join Ciao Asheville for our first “Italy Off the Beaten Path” travel series on Sunday, March 8, from 1:00-2:30PM, at Metro Wines. This series is offered to introduce you to the lesser known places in Italy that offer a wealth of travel experiences.


We will have representatives from the Hendersonville and Saluda Sister Cities programs acquainting us with their respective Italian Sister Cities, Carunchio in Abruzzo and Verbania in Piedmont, as well as Montisi in Tuscany.


Judy Thompson is the founder and chair of Saluda Sister City. She pulls together the merchants in Saluda to embrace all things Italian and offer Italian foods, wine and activities to Saluda and also works to connect the elementary schools in Carunchio and Saluda, opening the eyes of the children in these similar villages to other cultures.  Still a practicing attorney, Judy is very active in pro bono support of nonprofit organizations and the arts in the Saluda community.


Judy will acquaint you with the villages of Carunchio in Abruzzo and with Montisi in Tuscany.  Carunchio is the Sister City of Saluda City and home of Palazzo Tour de Eau, a well known touring and cooking school.  Saluda’s and Carunchio’s elementary schools are the focus of Saluda’s Sister City program as the children of the two small villages are linked together and made aware of the value of different cultures and customs.  Judy will also introduce you to Montisi, a special hilltop village in Tuscany.  

Karen Hultin became the president of Hendersonville Sister Cities in 2013 after retiring in 2012 and then volunteering for the Sister Cities program. Her professional background includes non-profit management as well as small city revitalization. Karen now travels, conducts private cooking classes and coordinates tours of Italy.


Karen will acquaint you with the province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in the Piedmont Region. Verbania is the capital city of the province and is the Sister City of Hendersonville. Verbania, a city of a little over 30,000, sits on the well-known Lago Maggiore. It is located 57 miles from Milan and 25 miles from Locarno Switzerland. The charming villages of Pallanza and Intra, are located within Verbania on the shores of Lago Maggiore where wooden fishing boats bob in the water and fishermen catch an abundance of fish to supply the various restaurants nearby. The ferry terminal is located in Pallanza and cruises the Lake dropping passengers off at the islands and various ports o’ call, like the city of Stressa, a tourist destination with many charming shops for exploring and sidewalk cafes where you can partake of the ubiquitous cappuccino! The Borromean Islands – Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola dei Pescatori or Fish Island are nestled in the shadows of the Swiss alps on Lago Maggiore and a short ferry ride from lakeside villages. Northern Italy, from East to West is a visual, spiritual, palatable feast!


Judy and Karen will also discuss organized trips to Italy later this year, which are offered at significant discounts. This is a great way to learn about these special little corners of Italy that take you "off the beaten path".


Cost is $15 + tax which will include a glass of Italian wine plus light snacks. Register by calling Metro Wines at 828-575-9525.Parking is free, close and easy @MetroWines. 


Online Tickets: HERE!

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Ciao Asheville presents "A Spaghetti Western" Discussion

Ciao Asheville Presents "A Spaghetti Western"

on Sunday, February 23 Starting 1pm @MetroWines 

Robert Formento, Ciao Asheville Film Coordinator, will host the discussion.

Get started now with his summary of the film:

Once Upon a Time in the West

Our movie for February is one of the best Spaghetti Westerns ever made. It is included on Time Magazine’s 100 greatest films of the 20th century. Sergio Leone, considered one of the best directors of Italian western movies has assembled a top cast of Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson and Claudia Cardinale. With music by the great Ennio Morricone he has produced a classic film. 


The movie takes place during the dying days of the wild west with the arrival of the railroad and when capitalism and technology take over to become the engines of growth. But first some of the wild west must be tamed. Henry Fonda, cast against type, is the bad guy. It is a credit to his acting skills that he is convincing as a pure bad guy!  


In a fictional town in the West called Flagstone, there is a piece of land critical to the railroad.  (i.e.The property has water and the railroad will have to stop there) A train baron wants the land and he employs Henry Fonda’s character to make sure that he gets it. Henry Fonda kills the land owner but since he recently married Claudia Cardinale, she now owns the property. Jason Robards (a regular western bandit) and Charles Bronson (who has a mysterious score to settle) get involved and all attempt to outsmart one another for the land and to help Claudia keep the property. You never know until near the end of the movie the source of the score that Charles Bronson has to settle. 


This is Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone at their best producing this classic film. 


Event is "on the house" with popcorn! $7 for a glass of Italian Red or White Wine.

Please reserve your seat by calling (828) 575-9525

or online HERE!

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