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 ***
Before photography, plagues and pandemics were recorded in paint.
A great example is the oval depicting St. John healing victims of the plague painted
for the Hospital of San Giovanni di Dio in Florence by Violante Ferroni,
a woman who bent all rules at a time when large scale public commissions were reserved for men.
Webinar through Italian Embassy in Washington DC on June 4th from 4 to 5pm
Your Webinar With Wine:
Cera Suolo di Vittoria Classico 2017
50% Nero D'Avola and 50% Frappato, Sicily $16.99
The Countess Constance wine Poggio di Bortolone is characterized by its remarkable freshness.
It has a bright red color and gives off vibrant aromas of blueberry, cherry and red currant.
On the palate it reveals its excellent structure and fruity and persistent finish.
From The MetroWines Book Suggestion Department
in Collaboration with Ciao Asheville
Italo Calvino presents a novel of endless mutations in this intricate story about writing and readers.
If on a Winter's Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot,
style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense.
Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which
2 readers, a male and a female, pursue both story lines that intrigue them and one another.
ITALO CALVINO (1923–1985) attained worldwide renown as one
of the twentieth century’s greatest storytellers. Born in Cuba, he was raised
in San Remo, Italy, and later lived in Turin, Paris, Rome, and elsewhere.
More about Calvino: https://www.
Published in 1992. In paperback from Malaprops
Your Read it With Bottle
Sorelle Palazzi (Palazzi Sisters)
Toscana Sangiovese 2015, $17.99
Grapes grown from old vines on Colli Pisani, Pisan Hills, on soils that are composed
mostly of clay. Native yeasts, non-filtered, and vilification in large cement tanks
give one the chance to taste the "blood of Jove" (Sangiovese) without breaking the bank.
Dried herbs, including thyme and chives, and fruit. Easy to drink solo or with food.
The Palazzi Sisters, or Sorelle Palazzi, started their winery in 1973 in the little-known Chianti town
of Morrona di Terricciola, in the heart of the Colli Pisani,between Pisa and Volterra.
Certified Organic by ICEA.
Meanwhile, a Roman Mosaic Floor was found under a Vineyard near Verona!
June 4, 2020 at 4:00 PM ET
THE ART OF HEALING
Rediscovering Historical Women Artists from Florence
( Zoom Webinar )
Are we the ones really preserving art through conservation or is it a mutual relationship where art preserves us as well?
Through the joint efforts of Italian institutions such as the Uffizi, the Fondazione Santa Maria Nuova and the US organization Advancing Women Artists (AWA), often-forgotten women like Violante Ferroni are now being rediscovered and their works exhibited once more.
During the webinar, Linda Falcone, Director of AWA, and Elizabeth Wicks, Conservator of Fine Art, will enlighten us on the works of Plautilla Nelli, Artemisia Gentileschi, Violante Siries Cerroti and Violante Ferroni. Through the fascinating journey of the restoration of their pieces, we will learn about the historical women artists of Florence and their role in the ‘Art of Healing’.
LOCATION: Zoom Webinar (registration required)
This program is organized in collaboration with
*** BIG DEAL of THE WEEK ***
Barbera is a vigorous and productive variety requiring management
through pruning and planting density. The clusters are big and compact,
and the grapes are rich in sugar, acidity, soft tannins and color.
Vallana’s viticultural philosophy is sustainable farming.
Grapes are ready for harvest mid-September. Handpicked and placed in small boxes.
Fermentation takes place in large cement tanks and lasts for about one week.
The wine is unoaked and rests in large cement vessels for up to one year before bottling.
The wine is perfect to drink young, but suitable for medium to long aging.
*** $12.99 ***
Big Deal of The Week
With restaurants closed, sales are down for Asheville Wine Distributors.
That means that some of those wines destined for menus are now on our shelves.
We can help our Distributors and at the same time, provide a great wine opportunity for you!
This wine is one we might not have purchased due to the price but now.......
A blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappucio but primarily Mascalese.
Winemaker Chiara says that Cappucio gives color and boldness,
while the structure comes from the Mascalese
From Fattorie Romeo del Castello in Randazzo in Etna, Sicily
Burgundian style wine with wild strawberry fruit, fresh with a sweet core.
From a 14 hectare vineyard close to Etna that lost half its vines to the 1981 eruption.
** The Winemakers **
Interview with Winemakers: http://
This is What Sicily Can DO!
** The Dreaded Two Bottle Dilemma **
While some businesses are opening, restaurants are not yet back on radar.
One of the great pleasures of a restaurant is pairing each dish to just the right wine.
If you have a crab salad for an appetizer and a steak for an entree,
you probably don't want, nor should you, a bottle of Red Bordeaux for the entire meal.
At a restaurant, you could select just a glass of wine for each course.
But now we are playing DIY restaurant at home
and without a party of four or more, we are facing:
The Dreaded Two Bottle Dilemma!
MetroWines To The Rescue!
** Solution: Half Bottles!**
Tiefenbruner Pinot Grigio Alto-Adige, Italy $6.79
Catena Malbec Mendoza, Argentina $10.99
Cantina Zaccagnini Montepulciano Abruzzo, Italy $8.99
** Word is Out. Limited Supply **
Call (828) 575-9525 and stake your claim!
From The MetroWines Book Suggestion Department
Making wine on Europe's largest active volcano doesn't come easy.
Frequent changes in topography, elevation, and weather influence each vintage
and every winemaker has an interpretation of the evolving volcanic landscape.
This is part of what makes Etna so exciting. The wines are as inviting as the terrain. For millennia the mountain served as a backdrop in the development of Europe. Today, the UNESCO Heritage Site is a destination for the world.
American wine expert Benjamin Spencer goes beyond the vines to explore
the history and rebirth of the region that has everyone talking about Sicily.
Your Read it With Wines
But of course, from Mt. Etna
2018 Tascante Buonara Etna Bianca 2018 Caricante
Buonora is Tenuta Tascante’s white wine from Mount Etna’s indigenous
Carricante grape variety. Historically prized for its high acidity
and abundant productivity, Carricante is a multi-facited grape that ripens late
and gains complexity with aging. Grapes for the Tenuta Tascanate Buonora
are sourced from cool-climate vineyards on the north and east faces
of the volcano’s slopes. Really great bottle!
More about the Winery: https://www.
$21 @MetroWines by the bottle everyday all day!
As always, 10% off when you buy 6 of anything
and 15% on a case of regularly priced bottles!
Does wine have an expiration date? Some wines, even white wines
are bottled to age and,in fact improve with age. Coenobium, an orange wine
from Italy is such a bottle. Coenobium wants time in bottle.
$26 @MetroWines. Best price stateside.
Less in Europe but shipping is a dealbreaker!
Built to last. Brett Watson says you can drink it now. But if you do,
uncork and let it breath for a day. If you choose to wait, 2-3 years
from the vintage date,2018 in this case, would be optimal.
Coenobium is highly allocated meaning limited distribution to each retailer.
Brett tells me MetroWines has every bottle in NC!
Neapolitan PIZZA ***
Like so many of the country’s most prized gastronomic delights like wine,
olive oil and cheese, the quintessential pie from Naples, where pizza was born,
has become so cherished that it’s now worthy of its own Designation of Controlled Origin (DOC).
The city’s pizza-making tradition even received Unesco recognition in 2017
as an intangible cultural heritage item.
Your Bake it With and Serve it With Wine
Pierino 100% Organic Dolcetto
The delight of this wine is due to the terroir and the suitability of the grape to the area.
Dolcetto d'Asti is known for its softness, a wine "of all meals" typical of this area.
Delicate and fragrant red wine. Short aging from May to June,
Ruby red color with violet highlights. On the nose it offers fruity notes of cherry and raspberry.
On the palate, the wine is dry, with evident tannin and good structure.
Pierino Dolcetto d'Asti Borgo Monacato 2018
Importer Notes: https://www.
*** More News From Ciao Asheville ***
Al Pacino turned 80 yesterday!
Watch The Godfather, all 3 of them, even the weak one.
Or indulge yet again in my personal favorite,
"Dog Day Afternoon." Attica!
2017 is 95% Neurello Mascalese and 5% Neurello Cappuccio
'A Rina' is an earthy and red-fruited Nerello Mascalese dominant Etna Rosso,
marked by flavors of scorched earth, cherries, and tobacco. Russo's wines are rustic
and harmonious, marked by zesty acidity, volcanic-influenced flavors,
and a distinct sense of place.
The Power of the Balcony!
But What's a Balcony Without Rosé?
Deep salmon-pink in color, Le Rose offers delicate aromas of cherry, raspberry,
blackberry, and-appropriate to its name-rose petals. Rich on the palate
with refreshing acidity and a long, flavorful finish. Sicily in the summertime!
And What's a Balcony with Rosé Without Italy?
Dream of Italy with Kathy McCabe of PBS
Recommended as one of the 13 best podcasts for wandering souls.
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 avl.mx/5jc.
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: https://www.wsj.com/
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:
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
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.
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: https://www.wsj.com/
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,
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!
Ciao Asheville Alert
Olive Oil and Wine Tasting
Set for March 26th
Set for Sunday, March 29th
Do Red Wine in the Bunker Instead!
With something about Leonardo, but of course, to read:
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 ***
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!
Sangiovese (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
*** Olive Oil and Wine Tasting ***
with Jessica Gaydos from "Olive This" @MetroWines
March 26th from 5:30 to 6:30
Sign up here: https://
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!