I just saw this Facebook post by one of my dear friends, Elisa Scavino and I need to share it. This is the poetry of winemakers. This is the reason humankind is inherently drawn to the mystery of turning grapes into wine. The alchemy of wine-making. The heart of the hard work, the sweat, and tears that go into the shepherding of a vineyard…
By Elisa Scavino…
How beautiful and inspiring is to plant a vineyard. How many thoughts passed through my mind these days. I feel so grounded and in the right place when I am there. I love the intimacy that can be established with a place.
Every 90 cm of distance on the row, I knee down and I sink my hands in the hole to keep the vine straight and cover it with the finest soil. Every 90 cm the soil changes. Nature. I knew it from before but it’s different when you experience it. It’s touching.
My knees are reddened this evening and my back is hurting a little bit but I feel so happy and honored and appreciative for my work!
Grazie del cuore, Elisa!
Me with Elisa Scavino and Riccardo Sgarra in Las Vegas at Carnevino.
On my last trip to Las Vegas I stopped by the infamous bar at Carnevino, home to some of the World’s Best Bar Tenders. One of my favorite Bar Men, JT, had just perfected his seasonal cocktail.
The Pumpkin Patch.
This humbly-named beverage was one of the most sophisticated, multi-faceted concoctions I have ever tasted. JT names his inspiration for the drink as a classic pumpkin pie, but on tasting this delightful cocktail, I’d say the results are more Jimi Hendrix than Martha Stewart. Continue reading
Every time I visit the bar-tending professionals at Carnevino in Las Vegas, I come away with a revived appreciation for the bar-tending craft. And trust me when I hyphenate this word. They are tending a bar. Be prepared to feel taken care of. They’ll remember your name, keep your water glass full (which is a HUGE bonus in the middle of the desert), and I’m pretty sure most of them are blessed with some form of Cocktail ESP. Seriously. It’s like they’re inside my head.
When David “Coop” Cooper placed this little glass of heaven in front of me and declared it “The Afterthought”, I knew it was anything but… Continue reading
I make new discoveries everyday, and it never ceases to surprise me just how limitless the world of Italian wine truly can be.
Thanks to Klaus Gasser of Terlano winery I learned about an intriguing producer in Friuli called Miani. Klaus ordered a bottle of Miani’s Ribolla Gialla during an epic dinner we shared with some of the Banville & Jones winemakers at Las Vegas’ CarneVino last month.
And yes, “Epic” is also the only word to describe this wine.
I have always loved Walter Fissore’s wines, but his 2006 Barolo from Elvio Cogno is just magnificent. Soft, supple tannins are backed by a racy, lightening bolt of acidity. This wine is seductive, with violets, lovely ripe black cherries and a steely wet sandstone aromatics.
What’s the only thing that makes a masterpiece like this wine even better? If you said a salty double-cut lamb chop, grilled perfectly and served next to a plate of beef cheek ravioli… you would be correct.
Carnevino this Barolo is a love song, written just for you.
Carnevino is home to Las Vegas’ best bartenders, especially JT (Jeremy Taylor). Their newest creation, the Fragolina Fresca, is a delicious concoction made with Marenco Brachetto d’Asti, housemade strawberry jam, cointreau, and lime. Refreshing, bright, and full of summer strawberry flavors. This beverage is anything but cloying, with a touch of bitterness to balance all that fresh fruit, as well as a clean, citrus- rind finish.
Viva Las Vegas!
This morning I am off to Las Vegas with the Banville & Jones winemakers tour. San Francisco’s event yesterday was a smashing success! I can tell the Italians are excited to see Las Vegas (some for the very first time!) I wonder how they are going to like the Venetian Casino‘s statues and canals, or its version of the Piazza San Marco? One thing is for sure- they are going to love the CarneVino version of a Venetian Spritz. Especially if my buddy Coop is manning the bar.
If you’re in the neighborhood, we’ll be showing our wines at the famous “Alchemy Room” of our amazing distributor, Wirtz Beverage, Nevada today, May 3 from Noon-4pm.
I also learned the true international power of Las Vegas’ infamous marketing campaign, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Before heading off to our rooms for bed last night, our charming Amarone producer Claudio Farina turned to me and said,
“Joanie, remember, quello che succede a Las Vegas, rimane a Las Vegas”.
True, Claudio. Very true. And… we’re off!
I have a new obsession and its name is Passopisciaro. Contrada Rampante to be exact. This is one of those wines that gets into your head and totally explodes every baseline of previous experience with a grape varietal.
100% Nerello Mascalese, and 100% Pure, Awesome, Etna.
It is no secret I have an unyielding affection for Italian amari, especially Amaro Montenegro. Yesterday at Carnevino in the Palazzo, Bartender Extraordinaire, JT fixed me right up with a lovely little concoction we call the “Montesecco” out in Las Vegas. Continue reading
If you wandered into the bar at Carnevino this Friday night, you would have noticed a special electricity in the air. Miki, Coop and Lucas all working the bar together. Talk about a Dream Team! This is the way you want to begin a trip to Vegas. Perched at a slick marble bar, wrapped in a cocoon of dark wood and candle light, get comfortable, and prepare yourself to be impressed and awed – these guys know how to tend bar.