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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!)

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Olive Oil and Wine Tasting

TICKETS HERE!

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:  https://www.olivethis.com
********************************************************************************
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Italian Women Artists

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March 6, 2020 at 6:00 PM

INVISIBLE WOMEN

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

LOCATION 
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: https://www.wsj.com/articles/machiavelli-
review-a-poetics-for-tyrants-11579906876



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.

https://www.malaprops.com/search/site/machiavelli%20boucheron

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 ***
https://www.wsj.com/articles/fiasco-from-italian-
glass-to-iowas-botched-election-11581016873

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Il Poggiolo

FACES

Image result for wall street journal seeing artist faces marcus
https://www.wsj.com/articles/seeing-artists-face-to-face-11580481979

"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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Raphael at Embassy of Italy in DC

header20
  
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February 19, 2020 at 6:00pm

RAPHAEL

500 Years of a Master

bindo altoviti testa dettaglio

Bindo Altoviti (detail), c. 1515, oil on panel, Samuel H. Kress Collection


On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death and marking the opening at the National Gallery of Art (NGA) of the splendid exhibition Raphael and His Circle, join us for an evening celebrating one of the greatest masters of Italian Renaissance, Raffaello.

Together with NGA Senior Curator Jonathan Bober we will learn more about Raphael’s unsurpassed style and how his art became a paragon of classicism that set the standards for aesthetic excellence in the Western tradition.

The talk will highlight the exhibition Raphael and His Circle featuring lesser known but equally important drawings and engravings, and present the five paintings by Raphael that are part of the Gallery’s collection — the largest and most important group outside of Europe.

LOCATION 
Embassy of Italy 
3000 Whitehaven Street NW 
Washington, DC 20008

 

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Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba 2016


Italian Author

"Piero Chiara's novel is at once a murder mystery and a lyrical study of desire,
greed, and deception. The ending is simply stunning."

--Andre Aciman, author of Call Me by Your Name 
"
A strong, well-written and weirdly seductive little novel about
enjoying the small pleasures of life."--New York Times Book Review

"Summer 1946. World War II has ended and there's a yearning
for renewal. A man in his thirties is sailing on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy,
hoping to put off the inevitable return to work. Dropping anchor in a small, fashionable port, he meets the enigmatic owner of a nearby villa who invites
him home for dinner with his older wife and beautiful widowed sister-in-law.
A sultry, stylish psychological thriller executed with supreme literary finesse."

https://www.malaprops.com/book/9781939931740

Your Read it With Italian Wine
Sandrone 2016 Dolcetto d'Alba

2016 Luciano Sandrone Dolcetto d'Alba

Alba, Piedmont, Italy- A sophisticated style that provides a showcase
for Sandrone's artistry. Bright raspberry, floral notes, and subtle hints of spice
are perfectly interwoven in this lush ripe attractive wine. A Marc de Grazia Selection.


Out of Stock at K&L and $27.99 at Vivino
$19.99 @MetroWines and in stock NOW!

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Vecchia Torre

Puglia

Full Page Advertisement in NYT Magazine about Puglia!
And Puglia is Showing Up in Some Unexpected Places


Image result for puglia turquoise bowl home depotLike At Home Depot!

Pair this bowl with ...
Vecchia Torre Primitivo from Puglia


Vecchia Torre is brought in to the state by North Carolina importer,
Haw River Wine Man. This wine is not available at BigBox.
Vecchia Torre presents a text book example of a solid, palate pleasing, 
quality (no sugar added) wine for a very affordable price.


Image result for vecchia torre primitivo

An intense ruby ​​red color, ample and persistent aroma with perceptible hints
of plum and cherry. On the palate, it is dry, warm and balanced with structure, body and elegance. It is an extremely powerful wine, but with a grace and a softness that you do not expect in a bottle of this price.

$12.99! Take That BigBox

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Brumidi in US Capitol

RoundNOIAW
 
National Organization of Italian American Women 
Greater Washington, DC Region presents
 
Constantino Brumidi in The Capitol
The Italian-born Artist Who Painted the U.S. Capitol's Corridors
A Special Tour for NOIAW Members and Friends
 
Brumidi's "Apotheosis of Washington," U.S. Capitol Building Rotunda, 1865.
 
Saturday, February 8th, 11:00AM-12:30PM
First Street and East Capitol Street
Washington, D.C. 20565
Meet at 10:45AM at the Visitor Center to
proceed inside the Capitol Building.
Capitol South Metro Stop is the closest to this location.
 
NOIAW DC is pleased to invite you to attend a private tour of the "Brumidi Corridors," an area within the U.S. Capitol Building, whose walls and ceilings were decorated in the 19th century by the Italian-born fresco painter Constantino Brumidi. NOIAW members and friends will be escorted by Steven Livengood, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's Director of Public Programs and Chief Guide.
 
~RSVP SOON AS PLACES ARE LIMITED~
 
Please note: Our group will meet up at the Capitol Visitor Center at 10:45AM, to begin the tour at 11:00 with Mr. Livengood.
 
+++
 
CAPITOL SECURITY - PLEASE READ TO BE PREPARED!
 
The Capitol Visitor Center is located at the intersection of first Street and East Capitol Street, underground on the east side of the Capitol. Please come to the southeast corner of the great hall to meet your guide by the status of Father Kino of Arizona, the only green statue in the hall.
 
Please note that there is little parking near the Capitol.
 
The following items are NOT allowed inside the Capitol (and will be confiscated at the door): Food, drinks, water bottles (even empty ones), liquids, aerosols, hand lotion, perfumes, mace, lighters, matches, pocket knives, large bags, backpacks, scissors, and nail files.
 
The following items MAY need to be left in the checkroom before your visit:
cameras, cell phones, and PDAs (muted or turned off), remote car door openers, iPods, ear buds, other electronic devices, and umbrellas.
 
 
TICKETS
Members: Free | NonMembers: $10
RSVP is required
 
Gentlemen always welcome!
Ticket payments are nonrefundable.
 
See what's happening on our social sites:
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MOMA

*** Tariff Free Italian Wine of The Week ***
MOMA, Umberto Cesari,  2016

Image result for moma umberto cesari 2016
A blend of 80% Sangiovese and 20% Merlot, 13% alc.
Emilia-Romagna is one of Italy's best loved wine regions,
and this northern region has been  a superb viticulture for an astonishing
length of time. Indeed, wine has been made in Emilia-Romagna for almost
three thousand years, and as an ancient and respected wine region
remains today deeply traditional and proud, with wineries determined
to protect this region of quality and distinction. 
This wine is soft and velvety with an intense bouquet
of berry fruit especially raspberries. $22

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1561 Hits

Italian Food While You Live!

From The MetroWines Book Review Department



Flowers When You're Dead is a memoir covering the author's first 18 years.
Included are much-loved Italian recipes from his relatives. The memoir also takes
an historical look at two topics currently in the news: immigration and ancestry.
Daniel Delfucho renders a touching and revealing history of his family. 
Daniel Delfucho is an Italian-American raised and educated on the East Coast.
Born 19th century, all four of his grandparents emigrated to U.S. from Italy.
His mother was one of ten children and his father one of eight children.
When his parents married, their families merged around holidays,
relationships, celebrations, and food. 


https://www.malaprops.com/book/9781728314778

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Corzano e Paterno Wine Tasting

News Release: Saturday, January 11th, 2020
About: Italian Wine Tasting with Corzano e Paterno
 
Please join us on Thursday, February 27th from 5 to 6:30 @MetroWines to meet William Goldschmidt and taste wines from his Tuscan winery, Corzano e Paterno, on Thursday, February 27th from 5 to 6:30 
 
William Goldschmidt is the son of the winery owners. Not only does William have a comprehensive knowledge of wine, he speaks four languages including ITALIAN!
 
"This is not only an opportunity to taste and learn about exceptional Italian wines but to immerse yourself in Italian Culture! says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines.
 
The event is "on the house" and no reservation is required. Parking is free, close and easy.
 
The Winery Story from the Importer, Jay Murray, Piedmont Wine Imports

There is a wrong way to get to Corzano e Paterno, and I took it. When I told Aljoscha Goldschmidt about my GPS misadventure he said, “That isn’t even a road for cars.” It was not. I spun through a riverbed of gallestro stones past alarmed German tourists and fishtailed up a nearly vertical hill track mostly travelled by mountain and motor bikes. I arrived at Paterno and met Aljoscha’s kind aunt, who broke the news that the winery had consolidated to the Corzano side of the valley a couple years ago. She resided on the side with the sheep.

When Aljoscha’s uncle Wendelin Gelpke retired from architecture and moved to Tuscany in 1972, he wanted to create a real farm, with animals, grapes, olives, grains: the possibility of a self-sustaining system. He bought Paterno from the Marchesi Niccolini in 1975. They acquired sheep “because cows are too big” and began making cheese. Today they sell a small range of really impressive and diverse cheeses. My favorite is Buccia di Rospo. It began as a mistake in the dairy: now the name is registered, because of imitators making fraudulent versions of their discovery. Today the family keeps 700 milk sheep (and several sheep dogs) at Paterno.

Corzano was added later. The hill faces Paterno across a narrow valley to the southwest of Florence.  From Gelpke’s initial 5 ½ hectares the combined property has grown to 17 hectares. Three thousand olive trees take up much of the land, along with hay and cereals to feed the sheep. Forty years ago a fire destroyed some of the estate’s hillside olive groves. The family replanted these excellent south-facing slopes with vines.

Corzano e Paterno practice organic agriculture but are not certified as such. They produce 75,000 bottles of wine annually. They do a double green harvest: a rough one in July, then a finer adjustment later in the season once they have a better sense of the overall character of the weather for the season. “Fifteen years ago the grower with the most courage, the one who picked latest, that person made the best wine.” Goldschmidt said.  “But that has changed. The climate has changed. It is now possible to end up with seriously overripe wines.”

At Corzano e Paterno the grapes are hand-harvested and triaged twice on vibrating sorting tables to remove all unhealthy fruit and detritus of harvesting.  They sometimes use natural yeasts for fermentation, sometimes a mix of cultured and natural. “The (added) yeasts that begin the fermentation are never the ones that finish it. Yeast from the fields and the cellar always do that. The aromatic profile therefore stays close to the same.”

Corzano e Paterno makes many small experimental batches of wine to test this and other theories. Like what type of closure is best for the ageing of a wine, or if vineyard management strategies affect overall alcohol content. “It’s hard to affect it much.” Goldschmidt stated. “Sugar ripeness is the issue (and that is related to heat). All regions now have the same problem.” He thinks maybe planting some vineyards with different sun exposures may be an option in the future. Sites previous generations would have thought to be too cool or shady.

Corzano e Paterno is a perfect place. All the products show love from two generations of a family working a beautiful land.

When Tilio Gelpke was eight years old he was taken out of school, and a lifetime of working with sheep began. Tilio’s father, a Swiss architect, bought Corzano e Paterno in the late 1960’s. He imported 50 sheep from Sardinia, to clear the land of bushes. Tilio says goats would have been better. Sheep prefer grass, goats like larger vegetation. “Together they make a good team.” Tilio started learning from a Sardinian family that relocated to Tuscany with the initial animals.

We are talking in the middle of a milking parlor. It is loud, aromatic, and a fine balance of order and chaos, similar to watching people get onto a subway train, or file into seats at a large theater. There is bustle followed by placid moments of chewing and the methodical attachment of pumps. The sheep file in and jostle for favorite positions: they don’t like wet spots on the floor. I feel the same way. When an animal with four legs slips, limbs go in all directions its head ends up smacking the concrete. A free two-day-old lamb wanders through the milking in progress, then down to us in the center of the room. It’s amazing how alert and active this little creature is in comparison to barely awake human newborns. They register a similar level of cuteness, in my opinion.

Tilio attaches pumps and checks microchips in the first stomach (sheep have two) with a handheld device to verify identities and record production levels. Today he is the angel of death. Animals that are very old (generally over 12 years,) have malformed teats, or simply do not produce average levels of milk, are marked with a dark green stripe. It is the stripe of imminent slaughter.

“If an old animal dies on the farm I have to pay 50 euros to dispose of it,” he says. “If I only get 10 euros from the butcher… I hate it, I hate dealing with them, I’d rather make illegal sausage on the farm, but the regulations make us do stupid things. People can buy a pig and slaughter it at their property to make sausage, but I cannot do the same with my old animals (without violating EU codes.)

“Fifty years ago there was so much concentration of productive food: it was a garden.” Tilio says everything was grown here, not just olives and grapes. People had to maximize the potential of the land. “Each stone you see, someone has turned it a few times. How far do I have to go back to find an era like this? Probably before the Etruscans.” Across more recent millennia the land had to be more intensively farmed, to support the population density of Tuscany. Tilio says that until the last century 20 people would live on the production of 10 hectares of land, while giving 50% of the harvest to their aristocratic masters. “It was slavery,” he says. But it made people wring every ounce of productivity from their territory. Vines were trellised along fruit tress, and vegetables co-planted between the vines, and anywhere else that wasn’t too rocky or steep.

“Romans had a dependency on grain. Florence could not have had the Renaissance without a greater concentration of crops.”

It is initially unsettling to have a long conversation about the wastefulness of modern Tuscan agriculture surrounded by dairy sheep and pasture land, in a region whose most striking visual characteristics is abundant and often scrupulously cultivated olive groves and vineyards. But Tilio’s point is we must take a longer perspective. “In the 1950’s someone with 50 sheep would have a wealthy family.” His family have 650. His neighbors have productive land planted with olive trees that they do not use anymore, because the labor is too expensive, even to produce valuable Tuscan oil. The way they farm does not support them.

Tilio casts his life as the story of a struggle to regain some productivity for the farm. He built the first stable in 1986. “Corzano e Paterno still has animals because I am stubborn. At first I was also the only salesman for the cheese. The stress and reality of what we were doing first came when they (his cousin Aljoscha Goldschmidt and his partner Toni) had a ton of cheese.”

“My cousin said we must throw it all to the pigs. I threw none away.”

Tilio learned quickly that his market for their farmstead cheese was not the grocery store. “Fresh cheeses lose weight. Retailers don’t like it, which is why they prefer industrial cheese.” Restaurants in Florence were a much better market, able to sell a selection of diverse pecorinos. The dairy thrived, and today they can barely keep up with demand.

Tilio says the he mainly takes issue with the emergence of industrial cheese that tries to look like artisanal cheese. The ubiquity of these products in Italy sounds similar to what you find on a casual grocery store tour in America.

“Cheese makers have no secrets. It’s something we have been making for 10,000 years.” A mistake created their first “signature” cheese, Buccia di Rospo. Instead of tall round pecorinos the cheese came out as squat bloomy disks. The expression Buccia di Rospo was used by Aljoscha to say the cheese was rotting: literally “It’s toading off.”

Tilio also implicates man as the root of problems interacting with the greater environment. Locals complain of the reappearance of the occasional wolf. “We have (problems with) wild animals because agriculture has changed. Wolves follow the wild boar, deer. When I started (working life at Corzano) we had pheasants. Those were the large animals you would see. Now we have wild boar as big as a pig. When you see them on a motorbike I say ‘please, you first.’”

Hunters imported larger boar from central Europe. They thrive in the food-rich fields of Chianti, growing fat on the Sangiovese grapes from vines they vandalize. “When I was a child they were hill animals, small, to get between rows. The Hungarian ones give birth twice a year.” And now they become overabundant.

Tilio has lived through boom and bust years in Chianti. “It’s an Italian disease. When something is working well they can spoil it in a very short time.” I hear this kind of shockingly deprecating language from many farmers working in Italy. “1973 was a terrible vintage and they sold it like it was a normal wine, and killed the market. Then it took many years and someone with money, it was Antinori but it could have been anyone, to fix it again.”

He then gets positive “We learn so much out of growing food.” We are outside, sharing stories of trips to Morocco, cheese making friends in New Jersey, minutae of farm life. A sheep dog wanders between us. “He thinks of himself as equal to us, a peer.” Tilio says, indicating the dog. “I call him but he will not come. But he has a job to do.” I realize I’ve been here a long time, and it’s still not 8am. Time to depart. My work day is starting.

His sister Arianna makes the wine. The way she speaks about it “I am still learning from Joshi,” you’d think it was her first year. She’s been in the cellar since 2004. She was born on the farm, it was her father’s, and her mother still lives at Paterno, close to Arianna and her brother. https://www.piedmontwineimports.com/corzano-e-paterno

Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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The Great Beauty Film Discussion

News Release: Friday, January 3rd, 2020

About: "The Great Beauty" Film Discussion
 
Join us on Sunday, January 26th at 1pm for a discussion of the Italian Film, "The Great Beauty" presented by Ciao Asheville @MetroWines. 
The discussion will be hosted by Robert Formento, Ciao Asheville Film Coordinator:
 

"Last year, Ciao Asheville started its Italian film series with Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. To begin 2020 it is fitting that we begin with a movie that is often described as Felliniesque. This film, aptly named The Great Beauty, is directed by Paulo Sorrentino, and is filled with beautiful images of Rome. Some have also described the movie as “La Dolce Vita in technicolor, for the Berlusconi era"! Released in 2013, it won both an Oscar and Golden Globes awards for Best Foreign Language Film as well as many other international awards. 

 

On one level, it is the story of Jeb Gambardella (played by award winning Toni Servillo) who is reflecting on his life (as he lived it, or as he could have lived it) as he turns 65. Having written one very successful novel, he has been living the high life and coasting ever since. Much of the story is told in connected episodes that include commentaries, poetic dialogues and images that make up Rome - both the gorgeous and the decadent.

 

But on another level, this movie can also be viewed as a story about the city of Rome and Italy. Has Italy lived up to its history and potential? The movie shows beautiful images of Rome (from ancient history) along with some of the shallowness of modern Rome, (the life that Jeb is now a part of). Pictures of the overturned ship, Costa Concordia, play a part in this story of Jeb and Italy as well as other scenes that make you stop and think. Runtime: 140 minutes."

The event with popcorn is "on the house." $7 for a glass of Red or White Italian Wine.
 
Reserve your seat by calling (828) 575-9525
 
Contact for Ciao Asheville: Gail Rampersaud
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525
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Lis Neris Sauvignon Blanc

** BIG WHITE of THE WEEK **
Lis Neris Sauvignon Blanc 2015, Friuli

Related image

At Lis Neris, while the winery offers excellent red wine, the focus is on white wines.
And well it should be as the conditions at the winery are perfect for white wines.

John Kerr of The Asheville School of Wine says:
Grapes grow in gravel beds 150 feet deep covered in breezes off the Mediterranean
and glacial waters that roll down the mountains.

*** Teaching Moment ***
Friuli-Venezia Giulia is where Italian, Germanic and Slavic cultures converge.
The wines produced here in Italy's far north-east reflect this merging of cultures.
Often shortened to just “Friuli,” the area is divided into many distinct subzones,
including Friuli Grave, 
Colli Orientali del FriuliCollio Goriziano and Carso. $25

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Casadei

Casadei, Tuscany, Italy

"A Lighter Red"

Image result for casadei 2016 wine

A blend of 60% Syrah, 20% Grenache and 20% Mourvedre.
This wine is powerful, yet supple and elegant. The nose opens with intense berry
and cassis fruit, highlighted by notes of dark chocolate and tobacco.
Firm and silky upon entry, the palate is equally intense with chewy and sweet tannins
and a very persistent finish with dark berries and sweet spices.

$26.99 at Ace online, $22.98 at Vintage online, $20.99 at wine.com
Back on Planet Earth, $18.99 @MetroWines

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Bone and Broth Italian Dinner

Tickets: HERE!

News Release: Friday, December 20th, 2019

About: Bone and Broth Italian Dinner with MetroWines
 
Please join MetroWines on Monday, January 20th at 6pm at Bone and Broth for "La Cena." This Italian Wine Pairing Dinner is hosted by VOLIO Fine Wine Imports and sponsored by Ciao Asheville!
 
Describing their portfolio of wines, Volio says: "Volio connects the customer to the vineyard by sharing the stories of our producers, their history, and the journey behind each bottle of wine. Remarkable producers bring these wines to life. Our goal is to be the window into each winery’s philosophy, terroir, and winemaking process". More about Volio here: https://www.volioimports.com
 
Chef Chris Benson at Bone and Broth is known for his attention to culinary details. In preparing for a pairing dinner, Chef Benson tastes all the wines and creates dishes with flavors that pair perfectly with the aromas, palate and weight of the wines.
 
"This is our fifth wine dinner with Bone and Broth and Chef Chris Benson," says Gina Trippi, co-owner of MetroWines. "And we are all delighted to finally bring Italian cuisine to Charlotte Street!"
 
The cost is $80 including tax and gratuity. Please call (828) 575-9525 or reserve on line here: https://metrowinesasheville.com/store/product/bone-and-broth-wine-dinner/
 
All wines will be available at an event price for pick up @MetroWines.
 
More about Bone and Broth: https://boneandbrothasheville.com/
 
The Menu, Chef Chris Benson 

Bone & Broth Italian Wine Dinner

January 20, 2020

Greeting

Cantine Povero Spumante Extra Dry

First Course

Fattoria Poggerino Chianti Classico 2015

Eggplant Roulade

Eggplant | Mascarpone | Chevre | Pine Nuts | Parsley | Balsamic Reduction | Red Bell Pepper | Arugula

Second Course

Ventisei Rosato Tocana 2018

Grilled Squid Salad

Marinated Grilled Squid |Mixed Greens | Cucumber | Heirloom Carrot | Grilled Lemon | Citrus Vinaigrette

Third Course

Piancornello Rosso di Montalcino 2016

Mushroom Gnocchi

Gnocchi | Oyster Mushroom | Crimini Mushroom | Bechamel | Crispy Pork Belly | Parmesan | Feta | Rapini

Fourth Course

Cascina San Lorenzo Moscato d’Asti 2018

Biscotti with Crème

Almond Biscotti | Crème Anglaise | Poached Pear, Apricot, and Cherry | Pistachio Dust

*******************************************

Contact for Bone and Broth: Sam Douglas: (828) 505-2849
Contact for MetroWines: Gina Trippi
Charlotte Street! It's the Next BIG Thing!
gina@MetroWinesAsheville.com
"Big Shop Selection. Small Shop Service"
Shop:  828-575-9525

 

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The Immigrant for Thanksgiving

*** ALL RED EDITION ***

Lettie Teague Talks Domestic Wines for Thanksgiving.
Yeah, We Got That!
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-wines-to-buy-this-thanksgiving-
a-guide-to-americas-up-and-coming-regions-11573836307

What Could Be More Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock Than....
 

"The Immigrant" from Donati


100% Merlot in Steel Tank Fermentation with Oak Aging.
Aromas of cherry, boysenberry, tobacco and white pepper
lead into a layered palate of mocha, raspberry,
and cranberry sauce wrapped in a complex oak structure.
Solid finish closing with a touch of black pepper.

About Donati: 
As a young boy, Ron Donati grew up in South San Francisco,
the son of a first generation Italian-American family. One of his fondest memories was
the sights and smells of his grandfather making wine in his basement. Like most Italian immigrants,
Albino Donati made his own wine for the family dinner table. As an adult, Ron became a successful entrepreneur with a penchant for making quality products that were attainable to all, not just a select few. This same passion serves as the foundation and guiding mission of
Donati Family Vineyardtoday.
It is our goal to produce wines of exceptional quality regardless of budget.

About the (Woman) Winemaker: 
Briana Heywood joined the Donati Family Vineyard team in 2016 as Head Winemaker.
She has been involved in the wine industry for the past 10 years and gained her knowledge primarily through hands-on experience. Prior to starting at Donati, Briana was Enologist at JLohr Wines in Paso Robles for the past 7 years, along with prior internships atEberle Winery and Gallo Vineyards. She earned her Enology and Wine Business degrees from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in 2009.

Nothing, not no way, not no how! 
could be more perfect for Thanksgiving!

$29.99 at wine.com and UNavailable
$34.80 in Ithaca, NY

(just not the Thanksgiving Spirit)

$29 @MetroWines and AVAILABLE!

Spicewalla from Asheville's Meherwan Irani
Makes Oprah's Favorite Things List of 2019!

Image result for meherwan irani

We @MetroWines were proud to pair wines with Meherwan Irani's
flavors at Asheville's premier food festival, Chow Chow.
The Box of 3 Indian Spices Collection @MetroWines, $12.99 
The set is perfect for a stocking stuffer, dinner host Gift
or addition to your spice rack!

Some dispute the quest for authenticity. 
https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-misguided-obsession-
with-authentic-food-11572537316

But any cook knows the deveil is in the details, and that is the spice.

Shop the Real Thing @Metr

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Wine in the Times of Tariffs

From The Wine Tariff Department @MetroWines

*** Wine In the Time of Tariffs ***

Image result for bacchus caravaggio
The Wine Tariffs take aim at France, Germany and Spain.
but NOT NOT NO wine from Italy!
@MetroWines, sales of wines from Italy
have always exceeded each of these other countries.

Might be a good time to find out WHY!
And This One is a Good Place to Start:

Image result for monte tondo 2017 valpolicella superiore

The 2017 is a blend of 55% Corvina, 30% Rondinella
and 15% Molinara from Campiano, Veneto, Italy. $18.99 

Plum bouquet with mild tannin, touch of charcoal, raspberry and plum.
Tart on first day. If you prefer smoother palate, wait a day!

Tariffs Be Damned!

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Piccolomini

What Wine Goes IN a Villa?
https://www.wsj.com/articles/lets-raise-a-glass-to-
tuscan-livinghomes-for-sale-in-brunello-country-11571244784


Image result for ciacci piccolomini aragona 2016
100% Syrah fermented in stainless steel and aged in small barrels. Deep ruby in glass, intense aromatics of blueberry, plum, cherry and spicy notes. Warm and soft with round tannins, this wine is powerful yet delicate. Ciacci Piccolmini is one of the most sought-after producers in Montalcino.
The vineyard is organically farmed. Limited Distribution: $26.


MalvasiaSecca_F.jpg
Frizzante!  The word means only slightly sparkling.
"Generalising a bit, you could say frizzanti are a good choice when you want a joyful, quintessentially Italian, democratically priced wine that you can cheerfully polish off a bottle," said Baudains of Decanter.
Read more at https://www.decanter.com/learn/frizzante-it-44392/#YS8IOi2PvcFrViUK.99


 Meanwhile ........

Image result for leonardo louvre
Meanwhile, 10 years in the making, Leonardo is all the rage at Louvre!
https://www.wsj.com/articles/inside-the-louvres-secret-negotiations-
to-mount-the-biggest-leonardo-da-vinci-show-ever-11571760902

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