(historic Sky Club)
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...
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!)
(historic Sky Club)
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.
News Release: Friday, September 6th, 2019
Vibrant and aromatic with notes of citrus fruits, lychee, pineapple and peach complemented by hints of minerals, herbs and mint. Full and dry, smooth with balancing acidity and a long, minty finish.
La Segreta takes its name from the woods which surround our vineyard at Ulmo. This young fresh wine principally produced from Grecanico grapes gains personality and style with the addition of some international variety grapes. All grapes are knowledgeably cultivated in the vineyards owned by Planeta.
La Segreta is a versatile companion for everyday drinking and appropriate for many different occasions. It is the perfect approach to Sicilian wine, with its excellent relationship between quality and price, guaranteedby the Planeta family’s patient input, from vine to wine
New York Times talking a summery, grilled event in Sicily.
"batch of arancini, made with saffron and sushi rice and packed with as much mozzarella as the baseball sized mounds could hold."
"This wine is our take on the Nerello Mascalese from young vineyards. There are terraces, surrounded by chestnut and downy oak groves, a typical biodiversity that gives the wines their personality. Soft tannins, good drinkability and freshness. Aged in large oak barrels, an ideal and non-invasive wood for Nerello Mascalese." Red wine grown on a volcano in Sicily! 100% Nerello Mascalese tastes volcanic in its minerality and vivacity. Pinot like in body, but full of pure aromas and flavors of cranberry, licorice, olive with some grippy tannins.
92 Points from James Suckling
Limited distribution. On the shelf @MetroWines, $19.99
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!
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
*** 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:
Let's get started!
This is "The Kiss" translate: il Bacio
by Italian Artist Francesco Hayez
*** AND This (also) Just IN ***
Franco Serra Wine Tasting
Hosted by Antonio Sperone
LIVE from Italy!
Monday, September 30th from 5 to 6:30
"on the house" @ and ONLY @MetroWines
Sponsored by Ciao Asheville
(Added Benefit: Practice your Italian!)
When looking for everyday whites, many automatically pick up old reliables like Chablis, Mâcon, or Sancerre. But with yields down in Burgundy and prices for good Sancerre creeping up, why not experience new flavors?
Corte Gardoni, the Veneto farm run by the Piccoli Family since 1600s, is just south of Lake Garda. Gianni Piccoli is something of a local legend. Having resisted the wave of globalization that saw native grape varieties uprooted in favor of international ones, this man is a hero! And he has efused to raise his prices over the years, allowing Kermit Lynch to continue offering his wines at affordable prices.
Piccoli’s Custoza is incredibly complete with spring-fresh bouquet, complex flavors, good body, pleasant acidity, and a stimulating finish. Garganega is prominent, blended with other local grapes to complete your new experience.
From the "Ciao Asheville"
Book Review Department:
Order the book from Malaprops:
Make it Real with Locorosso 2017, Fabrizio Pratesi
This wine is produced by Fabrizio Pratesi in the LoLocco estate,
owned by his family since 1875. Locorosso is made with hand-harvested
90% Sangiovese and 10% Cabernet. This fragrant wine offers
flavors of strawberry, cherry and black currant with a wisp of chocolate.
Ample bodied wine, soft on palate with plushy tannins. Long finish.
Summer Pasta Salad Recipes
*** And Don't Forget ***
Italy in America!
Donati Family Wine Tasting with Adam Chesia
Presented by Ciao Asheville
** Thursday, August 22nd from 5-6:30 @MetroWines **
Follow all Ciao Asheville events HERE:
Italian Language Classes
(the easy and interesting way!)
Presented by Ciao Asheville
and Hosted by Dr. Valeria Tezzon
starting September 26th and then 10 Thursday classes.
Everything You Need to Know to Get By in Italy!
As this Italian Language class is one of the very few in Asheville
and class size is limited to insure meaningful participation,
there is a very HIGH SELL OUT Risk.
To encourage that all students progress at the same level,
You must purchase the entire series. You will LOVE it!
Go here to reserve your seat:
A MUST HAVE Rose
(or, in this case, Rosato)
Rosabella 2018 from G.D. Vajra
In the glass, Rosabella is a delicate and translucent wine, with a pale rose hue
in the glass. On the nose, floral, rich, with rose petals, raspberry, fresh strawberry and strawberry blossoms, cherry stone and a very distinctive signature of Nebbiolo. On the palate, it discloses a lovely balance and texture, with aromatics of oriental citrus, strawberry, raspberry, orange blossoms and a hint of incense.
It finishes long, soft and fruity.
Under Internet Pricing at $17.99
News Release: August 6th, 2019
Antonio Sperone is the son of Giacomo Sperone, founder of the Giacomo Sperone Company. Founded in 1960, the Giacomo Sperone company is one of the most relevant producers of Vermouth and sparkling wines in Italy. Antonio joined the family business in the seventies after obtaining a degree in chemistry.
In 1983 the family opened a second winery, Tenute Neirano (producer of the Franco Serra wines), in the Asti area. Tenute Neirano produces and bottles high quality wines from the Piedmont area. Antonio became CEO in 1995. Currently he is also the director of production of both Tenute Neirano and Giacomo Sperone companies. His daughter, Francesca and son, Andrea have since joined the family business.
Franco Serra is produced by the Sperone family who have been making affordable premium wines for four generations. In 1920, Antonio Sperone opened a small wine shop in Torino where he sold bulk wine directly to consumers. Unsatisfied with the quality and price of the local wine, Antonio started his own winery in Puglia where land was inexpensive and produced good wine.
He built a bottling facility in Torino and was soon able to offer his customers quality wines at prices everyone could afford. Sadly, it was destroyed when the city was bombed in WWII. The winery in Puglia survived the war and enabled Antonio’s grandson Giacomo to open a new facility near Milan where he produced vermouth, sparkling wines, spirits and fine wines. With the help of his sons Paolo and Antonio, the company grew quickly and achieved distribution throughout Italy and expanded into foreign markets.
In 1965, the family purchased 75 acres of prime vineyards in Piedmont and built a new winery in the small town of Mombaruzzo just outside Monferrato. Even as prices fetched for wines from this increasingly fashionable region continue to climb, the Sperone family proudly focuses on value. Franco Serra provides everyone with the opportunity to drink thoughtfully crafted, distinctive wines from Italy’s most renowned region.
News Release: August 5, 2019 (updated from May 4, 2019 release)
About: "Low Pressure" Italian Language Classes
Ciao Asheville presents Italian Language Classes @MetroWines with Dr. Valeria Tezzon. This introduction to the Italian Language will be a total of 10 low-pressure classes that focus on conversation and communication. Classes will be organized by topics, such as ordering at a restaurant, traveling within the country, shopping, and enjoying an afternoon in a piazza!
"The goal is to teach students what they will need to enjoy and successfully navigate a trip to Italy," says Valeria Tezzon. "The classes, sprinkled with Italian history and culture, are designed to be both fun and informative."
A "kick off" introductory party will be held for attendees on Thursday, September 26th, from 5:30-7pm @MetroWines. We'll all get to know each other and Dr. Tezzon will review the class series and topics. A glass of wine and snacks will be provided "on the house". The 10 language classes will run from October 3 through December 12, every Thursday from 5:30-7pm. Note that there will be no class the week of Thanksgiving. The cost for the series is $150 (plus tax).** Each class will build on the previous classes so you must purchase the entire series to ensure continuity and that everyone can move at the same pace.
Classes will be limited to 25 students to ensure personal attention. You can register by calling (828) 575-9525 or shopping online here: https://
"Ciao Asheville had so many requests for language classes that focus on communication over conjugation." says Gina Trippi, Outreach Coordinator for Ciao Asheville, "We are delighted to offer what Michael Scardaville, Ciao Asheville Travel Consultant, calls Survival Italian!"
Parking is free, close and easy @MetroWines.
By 1450, all of Europe and the Mediterranean were influenced by the teachings, the economies and the intellect of Italy. Its predominance had been achieved through a long history of effort, patience and strategic victories. How had Italy, or rather a handful of Italian cities, a few men all told, succeed in acquiring and maintaining a position of dominance vis-à-vis Byzantium, Islam, and western Europe?
In this fascinating and insightful study, Fernand Braudel, one of the most distinguished historians of our time, examines the many-sided phenomenon of greatness that characterized Italy during the two centuries spanning the Renaissance, Mannerism, and the Baroque-- dazzling, multicoloured Italy, whose radiance shone all over Europe. Braudel perceptively describes the extent, nature and force of Italian influence abroad, analyses the complex interaction between art, science, politics and commerce, and proposes a paradigm of Italy's extraordinary cultural flowering.
This is the first English translation of Braudel's now-classic text. The volume is beautifully designed and illustrated with works by Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Ghirlandaio, van Eyck, Rubens, Caron, and Poussin. It is an invaluable work for students of Italian history who will find that their understanding of Italian culture has been immeasurably enriched.
*** Staff Pick: Lou ***
Marziano Abbona 2017 Cinerino, Langhe
100% Viognier aged in oak and acacia barrels and then assembled in steel tank. Winery Tasting notes: The challenge of planting Viognier on the hills of the area has given excellent results. The Cinerino is more compelling every year with its aromas of honey, white flowers, and citrus fruits of rare appeal. On the palate,
this wine is rich, round, smooth, and has an exceptional freshness.
Why Lou picked this wine: "I was looking to pair wine with chicken marsala.
Googled it and found Viognier. Tried it loved it. It totally outclassed my
Chicken Marsala which is not easy to do because my Chicken Marsala
is pretty good." Lou says the wine is versatile and would be a great aperitif,
lovely pairing for light meats and vegetables or veined cheeses.
Very Limited Distribution in US.
$28 @MetroWines and in stock.
Rejoice that you are not in London where this bottle is $42!
NYT says: "A city of glorious but battered beauty, known for its vibrancy and,
yes, a frisson of menace, Naples is now humming with visitors."
You will see this work by El Greco at Museo di Capodimonte.
And you will probably see a bottle of Fiano on the dinner table!
Montesole Fiano Campania
Very limited distribution in US. $16.99 @Metrowines!
The Vitis Apiana grapes from Irpinia hilly landscape make Montesole Fiano, an impressive white with unforgettable delicacy, extraordinary taste of great elegance. Straw yellow color, fine floral scents of sage, whitethorn, racy pear, ginger introduce a crisp and refreshing sip, rich in minerality as well as graceful body and perfect balance. The ideal companion of seafood and Mediterranean dishes.
Planning a trip? https://www.
Erbaluce from Cieck is Here!
The New. The Old. The Different.
Founded in 1985, Cieck is overseen by Remo Falconieri. The winery was one
of the original five producers in San Giorgio Canavese, and a number
of other top estates in the area consult with Remo today. Now in his eighties,
Remo labors daily in the cellar alongside his daughter, Lia, and Domenico Caretto, producing some of Alto Piemonte’s most elegant Erbaluce.
This ancient, indigenous grape, Erbaluce, is derived from two words: dawn (“erba”) and light (“luce”). Its name alludes to the striking copper color the grapes assume as the sun hits them on traditional pergola-trained vines. $22
"Your Drink it With" Suggestion is:
This BBC piece on Italian Author Andrea Camilleri,
creator of the Inspector Montalbano Series
Camilleri died last week at 93. He was 69 when his first novel was published.
Shop one of his many novels at Malaprops here:
"Io Non Ho Paura" (I am Not Afraid)
Film Discussion with Robert Formento of "Ciao Asheville"
Sunday, July 28th starting 1pm @MetroWines.
Admission is "on the house" and $7 for glass of Red or White Italian Wine.
Ciao Asheville is dedicated to raising awarness about Italian Culture in Asheville. We believe that a review of some of the best regarded films will be a window into the history, attitudes and hopes of Itlay.
Robert's Film Summary:
With this next film (released in 2003) we visit Italy in the turbulent 1970s, sometimes called the “Years of Lead”. Political and ransom killings were rampant at that time. The worst of it often involved kidnapping children of wealthy families for ransom.
This movie, Io Non Ho Paura (I Am Not Afraid), is loosely based on one such kidnapping of a 10 year old boy from Milan. He is taken to a small impoverished town in the south of Italy. The village is tiny and there are only a handful of children who roam the area around them. The story is about how he was discovered by another 10 year old boy from the local town.
This film can be described as a crime mystery thriller, but uniquely seen through the eyes of a ten year old boy. You get to observe how the boy confronts the idea that the family and neighbors whom he loves and trusts are the same people who kidnapped the boy and shackled him in a deep underground cellar. Does he decide to protect his family or protect the kidnapped boy?
Io Non Ho Paura, is based on the novel of the same name by Niccolo Ammaniti. The movie was very popular in Italy where it won several awards, but had a very limited release in America. The director, Gabriele Salvatore also directed Mediterraneo which won the Oscar for best foreign film in 1992.
Please reserve your seat HERE!
or call (828) 575-9525.