Everybody wants to be Italian. @LeMetroWine @TheWineDad

Special Delivery

Special Delivery:  It’s a happy day when this shows up on your front porch!

I was really flattered when my friend Aaron Epstein asked me to help him with a project he started a few months ago: Le Metro. Wine. Underground.  Every month he sends out a 6-bottle package of carefully curated wines to his small (but Wakagrowing) group of consumers.  Weird, wacky wines.  Tasty and surprisingly affordable finds.  New.  Fresh.  Inspiring!

Subscribers receive the wines each shipment, along with a beautiful piece of artwork filled with Aaron’s  notes on the wines, the winemakers, and the terroir of the wineries.  The other side of the poster (which arrives artfully tucked into a record sleeve-holder) is filled with an info-graphic designed by the queen of graphic wine education herself, Elaine Chukan Brown.

This isn’t your daddy’s wine club. Continue reading

Our Hearts are with You, Sardegna.

800px-Flag_of_the_Italian_region_Sardinia.svgSardegna, our hearts are with you!

Sardegna was recently hit by Cyclone Cleopatra.  The authorities and news reporters are calling this event “tragic” “deadly” “apocalyptic”.  I cannot begin to express my worry and sadness at this tragic disaster.  Of all the places in the world, this beautiful country, full of its warm, wonderful people certainly do not deserve this kind of violent, senseless tragedy.

TeachingI had the opportunity and the honor to experience the full extent of Sarginian hospitality this year at Vigne Surrau winery.  We were treated like family- invited to dinner, lunch, an impromptu volleyball game at the beach, and an unforgettable tour of the vineyards.

PorchettaI feel as if I only began to understand a small part of the wide and deeply personal culture of Sardegna during our few days there, and I know I will find the opportunity to go back and learn more.  For now I just hope the wonderful people of this astoundingly beautiful place can band together and keep each other safe in this time of difficulty.Amici

Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Sardegna!  Stay safe, Amici.

Click here for information from a local expat on the island, and for links on how to help with relief efforts.





Have you had your Nasco yet today?

Pala Assoluto @Pizzeria Mozza, Newport Beach

Pala’s Assoluto, paired with Pizzeria Mozza’s legendary Caramel Budino.

I learn so much by working in the US market with Italian winemakers.  On my most recent tour with Fabio Angius, of Pala Winery in Sardegna, I learned to love Nasco.

Nasco is a rare indigenous grape from the island, traditionally grown in every backyard garden.  The grapes are used for a sweet wine, which was then traditionally offered to friends as a gesture of warm Sardinian hospitality.

Fabio, Joanie & Ryan @Mozza Newport Beach

Pala winery makes an updated version of Nasco, leaving the grapes to hang on the vines for an extra month before harvesting.  There is no botrytis or noble rot, only the natural sweetening of the island sun.  The wine is rich and honeyed on the nose and  a beautiful clear, pale yellow in the glass.  On the palate it is immediately savory- balancing that natural sweetness with salty seawater, capers, and thyme.  Pala’s Nasco is called “Assoluto”, meaning, “absolute”.

…and it’s absolutely Sardegna.