Showing posts with label Chianti. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chianti. Show all posts

Sunday, February 13, 2022

Brunello Tre Bicchieri New York Italian Wine 2022

 



CHIANTI From VERRAZZANO

CASTELLO VERRAZZANO

GREVE



As usual at this time of the year, I'm looking forward to the biggest, most important Italian Wine Tastings of the year. Those being; # 1, The Tre Bicchieri , # 2 The Brunello Tasting, and # 3, yet no less important, The Chianti Tasting on Monday, February 28th ... I love all these tastings, and being one of New York's Top Italian Wine Guys for some 20 plas years now, these are my favorite Italian Wine Events of the year. That is unless, if someone like my old pal Jacopo Biondi Sante of Biondi Sante Brunello fame, happens to be hosting an amazing private Wine Dinner of his great wines, which include his famed Brunello, Moscadello, and Super Tuscan and other IGT wines made by his family wine estates Tenute Greppo (not longer owned by the family, and Castello Montepo (still owned by Jacapo Biondi Santi), and the dinner is only for 16 lucky people. I was one of the Lucky few of several Million people living in New York, when I was invited by Jacapo and Martin Scott Wines (former Improter Distributer) to be among the chosen few at this prestigous Wine Dinner, in a Private Room at Spark's Steakhouse in New York (1998), as I was one of the owner (Chef / Wine Director) of one of the Hottest New York Italian Restuarants of the time, Bar Cichetti. To make it short and sweet, we hadan amazing dinner, starting with an assortment of Italian Antipasti, like; Baked Clams, Stuffed Mushrooms, Stuffed Peppers, Prosciutto and other Italian delicasies. We followed that with a famous Spark's Dry Aged New York Cut Sirloin Steak each, followed by a Cheese Course, then an assortment of wonderful desserts with Jacapo's supreme Moscadello di Montalcino. 

Naturally we drank 3 different vinatges of Biondi Sante Brunello, as well as two of the companies fine Super Tuscan wines in Sassoaloro and Schicdione wines. The evening was absolutely wonderful, as you can see my passion reminiscing these 24 years gone by.


On Tre BICCHIERI

Well, sorry, I got off of the subject a minute (2022 Italian Wine Eventes NYC). So, as I've said, these are the most important Italian Wine Events of the year (in New York), unless of course you are at an event such as I've just described. If not, then it's The Brunello Tasting, Tre Bicchieri, and The Chianti Tasting, and of these 3, Tre Bicchieri is the most improtant, as it is not just Brunello or Chianti, or any single wine or wine region, but all of the best wines of Italy, in every wine region, all over Italy, from: Peidmonte with their great Barolo and Barbaresco wines, to Montalcino and Brunello, to Chainti Classic and Chianti and numerous Super Tuscan Wines of the region, to Friuli and all the gerat white Italian wines of the North-East of Italy, and all over the land. And besides all the great wine, my favorite thing about this tasting, is that I get to see my Italian friends there, along with all my New York friends in the wine business in New York, or simply lovers of fine Italian Wines, Tre Bicchieri is awesome. 






Two Old ITALIAN FRIENDS

Roberto Fiore with his Dad

The Famed Winemaker VITTORIO FIORE

With Thier Famed Sper Tuscan Il CARBIONIONNE

Tre Bicchieri "can't Remember which Year"





Montalcino

ITALY




BRUNELLO TASTING

OK, that's Tre Bicchieri, now on to the New York Brunello Tasting 2022. As always I look forward to drinking the newly released Brunello di Maontacino, Reserve Brunelli, Moscadello di Maontalcino, and a few Super Tuscan offerings brought by the Brunello producers of Montalcino.

There is without question one Brunello producer who makes my favorite Brunello of all, and that's Fattoria Barbi and their Brunello Normale and Brunello Reserva, with its amazing Red Label that I love so much. Barbi is one of Montalcino's oldest producers, among the First 30, they make amaing Brunello and other wines, and they have one of the most Gorgeous Wine Cellars in the wole of Italy. Bar none.

My second favorite Brunello comes form my pal  Conti Franceso Maruni Cinzano, who along with his family own the great wine estate Col d' Orcia in Montalcino, producing some of, easily the World's Best Brunello. Francesco, always has wonderful older vintages of his wonderful Brunello for me to taste, and it is always a very special treat when I do, especially when he taste me on his most amazing Brunello Reserva Poggio al Vento. This particular time, Francesco tasted me 2004 vintage of the Col d' Orcia Brunello "Poggio al Vento" Reserva 2004.




BRUNELLO di MONTALCINO 2016


Vintage 2016 In Brunello Di Montalcino - The Greatest Ever



The 2016 vintage shows unique tendencies. It is simply a vintage that will stand as a legendary and memorable vintage, regardless of whether we look 5 or 50 years ahead.

If you look back at some of the greatest Brunello vintages, 2016 will stand out, both greater and more magnificent than the others. 2006, 2010, 2015 will all simply come to stand in the shadow of vintage 2016 in the future. Brunello di Montalcino from this vintage is in such perfect balance that the most important wine critics are extremely excited. The producers are also happy - they can see how great wines they have made.

Vinous, which is the great authority in Italian wines, has recently released scores on most, if not all, of the essential wines from this vintage, and there is a clear trend - the quality is high like never before. Wine Advocate has only released a few scores so far. This means that the wine investor can secure strong Brunellos with high scores from Vinous.







Me & CONTI FRANCESO MARUNI CINZANO

Tasting some of The Counts WonderfuL Brunello

This was back in 2014 ... Week of NY BRUNELLO TATSTING

My WINE DIRECTOR DAYS at DeGREZIA


Other BRUNELLO Producers I LOVE, are : Altesino, Poggio Antical,
Livio Sassetti, and  IL Poggione.







The CHIANTI TASTING


Let me say it, right up front, "I Love Chianti" ! I first started going to the beautiful area known as Chianti Classico, way back in 1997. I fell in love with the area immediately, driving around, visiting with Giovanni Manetti at Fontodi in Panzano, after an amazing visit to Villa Calcinaia in Greve with the two noble Conti Capponi, the brothers Nicola an Sebastiano Capponi, whose Noble Florentine Family has owned a Pallazzo in Florence, and the wine estate Villa Calciania for over 400 years now. That day we met with the two Conti, who showed us around their family estate, into the cellars and vineyards, and culminating in an amazing private lunch with the two Florentine Counts (Conti). Needless to say, it was more than wonderful. We drank Villa Calcinaia Chianti of course. We at antipasti, pasta, Roast Chicken with potatoes, and dessert with the tasty Vin Santo from Villa Calcinaia, one of the most memorabel meals ever.

After our amazing lunch with the two Counts, we made our way down the beautiful Cypress lined driveway, and made a right on to the Chiantigiana Road (Ancient Roman Road), south to Panzano to meet up with Giovanni Manetti at the Fontodi  Estate. And yes this was quite nice as well. Not like having lunch with two noble Italian Counts, but not bad, being given a private tour of the Fontodi Cellars and Estate by the owner Mr. Giovanni Manetti. The tour was followed by a tasting of all of Fontodi's fine wines, including Chianti, Chianti Vigna del Sorbo, the estates famed Super Tuscan wine Flacianella, Syrah, and Vin Santo. 

Needless to say it was a great day.







CHIANTI GRAND TASTING 2022

NEW YORK


So I am greatly looking forward to seeing a few of my old friends on February 28th in 
New York. I am particularly looking forward to my old pal Cavelieri Luigi Cappellini who O haven't seen in a few years. Luigi owns what to me is one of the most beautiful wine estates in Italy, Castello Verrazzano in Greve. Along with the fine Chianti of Villa Calcinaia, Lugi makes some of my favorite of all Chiantis at his Verrazzano estate. He also makes amazing Chainti Vinegar, Aceto, Olive Oil, and Honey, and when you have a lunch or dinner at Castello Verrazzano it's quite soemthing.

At least one of the Conti Capponi will be there to represent his family estate, it will most likely be the brother Sebastiano. I have never seen his brother Nocola in New York, only at the family's Palazzo in Florence, and at their wine estate Villa Calcinaia in Greve, about 18 miles south fo Florence. But one never knows, maybe Nicola will show up as well, and I can't wait to try their lastest vintages of Chainti, and if I'm lucky, they will have their sublime Chianti with them as well. Ir's going to be great.

Some of my other favorite Chianti producers I'm looking forward to seeing, are from : Bibbiano, Badia Coltobuono, Monsanto, Vicchomaggio (Greve), Castello Querceto (Greve), my good friend Giovanni Manetti from Fontodi (Panzano), Vignamaggio in Greve, on the estate where scholars beleive the Mona Lisa may have been painted by Leonardo di Vinci. Naturally the estate has a wonderful wine, named after the lovely lady, the wine Vignamaggio Chianti Classico Grand Seleczione Monna Lisa. 

Flesina will be there, along with Ruffino from Castellina, Villa Cerna, Castello Gabbiano, Castello Fonturetoli, and my good friends the Marchesi Frescbaldi bringing wines from their estate in
Tenuta Perano in Gaiole. 

I can hardly wait to see all my Italian friends from Chianti Classico, one of the most beautiful spots in the World. I'll see my Tuscan friends and drink thier wonderful Chianti Wines. I Love it. And if I can't be in Chianti, in Tuscan, this is the nest best thing. "It's gonna be awesome"












TRE BICCHIERI


The Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri Tour and Top Italian Wines Roadshow are the World’s Premier Italian Wine showcases. We’re pleased to announce the tour’s return to the U.S. Join us once again for the ultimate, industry-only tasting of Italy’s highest-rated wines! The Tre Bicchieri events feature top Italian wineries pouring wines awarded the coveted “Tre Bicchieri” (“three glass”) designation, exclusively for members of the wine trade; additional wines will also be shown, including some of the year’s “top value” wines from Italy.

Come taste Italy’s “best of the best”, meet the winery representatives, and celebrate the release of the newest edition of Gambero Rosso’s legendary wine guide, the Vini d’Italia. Featuring more than just reviews of Italy’s finest wines, Vini d’Italia covers the brilliant, passionate individuals who devote their lives to winemaking. Today, more than 70 expert tasters comprise the team that blind-tastes 45,000+ wines annually. Of these many thousands of wines, fewer than 1% achieve the Tre Bicchieri designation. Gambero Rosso will visit four U.S. cities in 2022, introducing remarkable Italian winemakers and hundreds of Tre Bicchieri-awarded wines to the U.S. wine trade.






"DARIO"

The MAD BUTCHER of PANZANO















My Own Personal Favorite

BRUENLLO

Fattoria Barbi Brunello di Montalcino





Saturday, October 23, 2021

Chianti

 



CHIANTI GALLO NERO

The BLACK ROOSTER



There are eight Chianti zones in Tuscany. The biggest, oldest, and the one that may produce the best wine is the Chianti Classico zone. It is called Classico because of it is the oldest zone of the region and it is in the center of the region.  The Chianti Classico zone, a very large area between Florence and Siena, includes all the territories of the communes of Castellina in Chianti, Gaiole, Greve, and Radda in Chianti and parts of Barberino Val d'Elsa, Castlenuovo Berardegna, Poggibonsi, San Casciano Val di Pesa and Tavarnelle Val di Pesa.

            In 1924, 33 producers get together in Radda in Chianti and founded a consortium to defend and promote Chianti Classico wine and its symbol of origin, the black rooster.

          This symbol has always appeared on the bottles of Chianti Classico produced by consortium members. Not all of the producers of Chianti Classico belonged to the consortium and only members were able to use the black rooster on their bottles. In 2005, however, the black rooster became the emblem of the entire Chianti Classical zone.

            The Chianti Classico Consortium had the words Gallo Nero printed over the head of the rooster on the neck label of all of its bottles. A few years ago the Gallo winery in California sued the Consortium and won the case. The words were removed from the label.

            The black rooster symbol has origins in both the history and legends of Chianti.  It was depicted in a painting by Giorgio Vasari on the ceiling of the Salone del Cinquecento in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence to indicate the military league of Chianti. There is also the legend of the Black Rooster.  Florence and Siena in the Middle Ages were always fighting each another over land. The leaders of the rival cities decided to have a horse race to determine the boundary lines.  A rider would depart from the capital of each republic and the border would be drawn at the point where the horsemen met. They would set out at dawn by the crowing of a rooster. Siena picked a white rooster and Florence a black rooster. The night before, the black rooster was not fed.  It awoke early and the Florentine rider almost reached the gates of Siena before encountering the other rider.  The rest is history.

            Baron Bettino Ricasoli in the middle of 19 century devised the formula for making Chianti Classico:   Sangiovese with such native varieties as Canaiolo and Colorino.  Two white grapes had to be included, Trebbiano and Malvasia.  It could not be 100% Sangiovese. Many producers back then used the governo method.  Ten percent of the grapes (Canaiolo) were dried and then added to the wine. I believe that there is only one producer today, Querciavalle, that still uses this method.

            Over the years the percentages and the grapes have changed.  Currently, the percentage of Sangiovese is 80% to 100%.  Native varieties such as Canaioio and Colorino or foreign ones including Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot can be added up to 20%. As of the 2006 vintage, the white grapes are no longer allowed.

            Chianti Classico can be aged in wood, steel tanks or glass lined cement tanks; the normale is aged for one year before it is released. The riserva must be aged at least two years and an additional three months in bottle and have an alcohol content of at least 12.5% before it can be released. The riserva is a wine that can age for a number of years. The riserva  had  a gold circle around the black rooster but that stopped in 2005.





"I LOVE CHIANTI" !!!
























Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A Brief History of Italian Wine




CHIANTI

VILLA CALINAIA

GREVE

 




AMARONE Producer Owners of BOTTEGA del VINO

VERONA, ITALY



People have enjoyed drinking wine for thousands of years ever since its ancient origins in Mesopotamia, near present-day Iran. Italian and French wines are among the best and Italy is the largest producer of wine. This makes sense because the Romans made the most contributions to the ancient art of viniculture.

The Greeks, who settled in southern Italy and Sicily, exported the art of wine-growing to Italy. They were so impressed with the mild Italian climate which was perfect for producing wines that they called Italy, Oenotria, or the land of trained vines.

The Etruscans, who settled in central Italy, also produced wines. The Romans improved the techniques that the Greeks and Etruscans used.

Demand for wine increased greatly with the population explosion in Rome from 300B.C. to the beginning of the Christian era. It increased to over one million people and, as even the slaves drank wine, much more wine had to be produced.

The Romans loved their wine, drinking it with every meal. However, as the alcohol content was stronger than ours, they mixed it with large quantities of water. They preferred sweet wine and strangely enough their most prized wine was white. This came from the area that they thought was the best wine-growing region, the Falernian region near Naples.

Unusual flavors were often added to the wine. The Romans liked to mix honey with this drink to make an aperitif called mulsum. They often added herbs and spices, but were known to mix wine with salt water which must have given it an extremely bitter taste. Even chalk was sometimes mixed with wine to reduce acidity!

The many contributions the Romans made to the art of wine-growing included using props and trellises, improving the Greek presses used for extracting juice, classifying which grapes grew best in which climate, and increasing the yields.

The Romans exhibited good taste by deciding that aged wines tasted better and preferred wines that were ten to twenty-five years old. They discovered that wines which were kept in tightly closed containers improved with age and became the first to store it in wooden barrels. They may also have been the first to use glass jars and they also used corks.

They exported their excellent wine-growing techniques to other areas of Europe and these were not changed for centuries. But demand for wine decreased with the fall of the Roman Empire. Surprisingly Roman Catholic monks continued to produce wine during the Dark Ages but it only became popular again during the Renaissance.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries Italian wine was often criticized for its poor quality and the government decided that steps had to be taken. DOCG or new wine regulations were introduced to improved the quality of the wine.

Today Italian wines are considered by critics to be amongst the best in the world. As there are twenty different regions to choose from, each with different varieties, it is never difficult to find a fine Italian wine!






RINALDI BAROLO

PIEDMONTE





ITALIAN WINE MAP

ITALY










"TIME to GET THAT ROLEX"
















Sunday, September 19, 2021

Fontodi Chianti 2018 Vintage

 




FONTODI CHIANTI

2018





CONCA d'ORO

PANZANO


Nestled below the hilltop town of Panzano is a “golden basin” known as the conca d’oro, an amphitheater-shaped ring of vineyards that produce some of Tuscany’s most celebrated wines. Since 1968, the Fontodi estate has been the most prominent producer in the region. Fontodi and the master butcher, Dario Cecchini (whose shop is just up the hill), have given the hilltown of Panzano an international reputation.  









Daniel Bellino Zwicke


I first tasted the Fontodi Chianti 20018 on September 2018. I remember the date easily as it was just last week, and I remember it was on a Monday, and the sad 20 Year Anniversary of 9/11 and the attack of The World Reade Center Twin Towers on Tuesday September 11th, 2000. 

I was at the bar at Monte's Trattoria in Greenwich Village when I first tasted this wine. Now I want to point out as your average person soesn't think of these things, that when it comes to wine, vintages are different, and no vintage of any given named wine ever taste exactly the same. They may sometimes one vintage may taste similar to another, but never exactly the same. So when I said this was the first time that I tasted the 2018 Fontodi Chianti, one might think it was the first time I ever drank it. No, no, no. I first drank Fontodi Chianti Chianti curiously enough, in 1997 at the Fontodi Estate in Panzano, with none other than Mr. Giovanni Manetti, one of the family members who own  the Fontodi Estate, and wines. This was in my early years and second stage of really delving into Italian Wine in a major way. My friend Fianfranco had set up the tasting, so it was way back in 1997 that I first tasted the famed Super Tuscan wine Flacinella produced by the Manetti Family in Panzano at Fontodi, along with their Chianti, and Reserve Chianti "Vigna del Sorbo" as well as their Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Vin Santo wines. Giovanni is a wonderful host, and treated us well, and over the yearsm I gave attended numerous luncheons, wine tastings, and Wine Dinners with the man.

Now back to the current vintage. So, I first started drinking the Chainti, Flacinella, and Vin Santo of the Fontodi Estate, and I've have drunk most every vintage of these wines since then, and have had many good times drinking these wonderful wines, usually occopanied by some tasty Italian food.

So it was on this day in 2021 that I first tasted this wonderful wine, the Fontodi Chianti 2018, and what a day it was. I poured the wine into the glass, gave it a little sniff, then took my first taste. Wow! It blew my mind. The wine was spectacular. It tasted oh so good, and I took another sip. Wow. I noticed the wine to be fully flavored, with what I call perfect balance of the fruit, with wonderful flavors of sour cherry and black fruits that filled my mouth and gave me a most wonderful feeling. The wine was simply great, and I was enjoyng it immensly as I had recalled another Fonodi wine a couple years before that was one of those special wines, like this wine, I wine that I go bonkers for, and just cant't get it out of my mind. That other Fontodi wine I'm speaking of was the 2010 vintage of Fontodi's famed Super Tuscan wine Flacinello, another wine I went simply bonkers for, and remember it to this very day. There are other wines that have givien ne the same reaction, especially any nunber of Barolo's and Barbaresco from the 1996 vintage of thise wine, the 1996 being my favorite vinatge all time for these wines, and that includes the much lauded 2000, 2001, and 1997 vintage, I like the 1996 vintage Barolo the best, Anyway, lets get back to the Fontodi Chianti and the 2018 at that.

When I describe a wine, I don't like to go crazy with too much descriptions, going on and on, if you know what I mean. If I say I love it, and that the wine is in perfect balance, of having some nice fruit, the right weight, and just the right amount of acid and tannins in the wines make-up, then I don't need to say a whole lot more, other than 1 to 3 prominent taste (flavors) of the wine. That's it. Basta!

So in closing, I think you already know I love this wine. I feel it is a great wine, and perfectly balanced, and thouhg I might want to tell friends about it, and talk on it a bit, the main thing I want to do is drink it.











Giovanni Manetti

FONTODI

PANZANO




In the Spring of 1997 I had a most wonderful time at the Villa Calcinaia in Greve, Italy. The wine estate is owned by the Noble Florentien Family the Capponi's of Florence Italy and Greve who have been making wine for some 600 years now. My friend Hilda who was a friend of the two young Italian Counts Niccola and Sebastiano Conti Capponi. We met Hilda at her shop in Flroence and then walked a couple blocks to the Capponi Family Palazzo just about 100 feet from The Onte Vecchio (bridge) on the Arno River in Fierenze. Niccola came out and we were introduced. We chatted a few minutes, then Moran hopped in Niccola's Fiat Panda and headed to the Villa Calcinaia estate in Greve. It's just about 17 miles south of FLorence and we arrived about 40 minutes later. Niccola's brother, Conti Sebastiano Capponi met us outside the castle. A few minutes later we went inside, and walked into the 500 kitchen, where the cook was there preparing our meal on a open-hearth fire. A few minutes later Niccolabegan our tour of the castle and cellars below. He lead us down a stone hallway and announced "I will now take you to our 300 year old Mother." What, I thought. 

Niccoloa lead us into a room and said, "Here is our Mother. She is 300 years old." He explained that the mother was the starter to make Chianti Vinegar from wine. The mother must be kept alive, and this one was 300 years old. "Wow!"  Afterseeing the mother, Niccola took us to another special room, were Trebbiano grapes were hanging and drying in order to make the Tuscan Elixir known as Vin Santo. Niccola explained the process which wasthe first time I learnt of how Vin Santo was made, and from an Italian Count no less. Niccola then took us into one of the barrel rooms, where there were many large Slovenian Oak Botte, filled with Chiant. Niccola pulled out a theif and removed some of the aging Chianti with it, and filled our glasses with some of the wine. Wow, I loved it, my first ever barrel sample. "I loved it."

After talking about their process of making Chianti, and other tidbits of info, Niccola lead us outside to look at some of the vineyards and vegetable and herb garden. It was a beautiful Summer's day in Chianti Classico, in Tuscan, and here I was being given a personal wine tour by two of the Conti Capponi at their beautiful wine estate Villa Calcinaia in Greve, and we were about to have lunch inside the castle with the two counts. This was awesome.


Sebastiano lead us to the dining room. It was lovely. I really liked the country elgance of it. We settled in, as Sbeasiano poured us some wine. It was Villa Calcinaia Chianti of course. It was the 1995, and it was quite nice. We also drank some of 1993 vintage as well. The cook brough in platters of Salumi and Pecorino Toscano, both made in house on the property. I dug in, and savored every bite of the tasty cheese and salami. I really loved the wine. The second course was a simple, yet tasty plate of Macccheroni Pomodoro.For the main course, we had Roast Wild Boar that we saw the cook preparing previously in the kitchen when we entered the castle. We finished the meal with the wonderful Vin Santo of Villa Calcinaia with some homemade biscotti as Sebastiano and Niccola continued talking about the wine and the history of Villa Calcinaia, while my business partner Tom and I told them of the Venetian Wine Bar (Bacaro), Bar Cichetti that we were opening in New York. 

Our time with the Conti Capponi could not have been better. The counts we wonderful host, showing us around and especially to treat us to such a memeroable lunch. It was truly spectacular. "Grazie Mille."

We left Villa Calcinaia and turned right and south toward Panzano. We were on the Chiantiagana Road which runs the entire length of the Chianti Classico region, from north to south. The road is an ancient old Roman Road, and is quite beautiful. It was a shor 15 minute ride to the Fontodi Wine Estate in Panzano. We pulled in and were greeted by Mr. Giovanni Manetti, one of the owners of Fontodi. Fontodi is one of the top wine estates in the area, producing fine Chianti, Vin Santo, and their famous 100% Sangiovese Super Tuscan wine Flacinello. Giovanno showed us around the estate, then brought us to the tasting room were he tasted us on the full line-up of Fontodi Wines. He told us about all the wine as we tasted each, and he gave us a breif history of the estate.We finished up and jumped in our car to head back to Florence. 

The day was absolutely wonderful, visiting Villa Calcinaia, having lunch with the Counts of Capponi, and spending some nice time tasting Fontodi wines with Giovanni. We went back to our hotels to rest. If the day wasn't already wonderful enough, that night we had one of the most wonderfully memorable meals of my entire life. I was staying at a modest hotel, while Tom and Moran were staying at The Grand Hotel just off the Arno near the Ponte Vecchio. After taking a little nap and a shower I went over to The Grand to meet-up with the guys for dinner.  I waited in the lobby and Tome came down. Moran arrived a few minutes later. We had a coupke Campari's in the beautiful lobby of the hotel, which is one of the most stunning hotels I've ever been in in my life. And I've been in some of the World's most luxurious hotels all around the World. The Grand of Florence, Italy may very well have them all beat, as far as beauty is concerned. 

We enjoyed our coctails until our taxi arrived, then jump in and made our way to the restaurant. The Concierge at The GRand reccomended it to Tom. The restaurant is called Pandomonio, and the dinner that dinght might vert well be the most wonderful and enjoyable of my life. It is a wonderful trattoria, run by a lady that everyone calls "Mamma," and she runs the restauarant with the help of her sister-in-law in the dining-room and her son in the kitchen.

We had some Crostini Toscana (Chicken Liver), Artichokes, and varous Salumi, and cheese for our antipasto. For the main course, we ordered a beautiful Bisteca Fiorentina for the three of us, and a bottle of Bioni Sante Brunello 1993. Mamma rolled over a cart with the wine and 4 wine glasses. She open the wine, and pour Brunello into our three glasses. She smiled and said, "some for Mamma," and pour a little Brunello for herself. We all laughed and smiled, clicked our glasses together with Mamma and said. "Cento Anni," meaning, may you live 100 years. Our meal was most enjoyable. Tom, Moran, and I really enjoyed the wine, antipasti, and the delcious T-Bone Steak, but even more chit chatting, Mamma and her interactions with us, and the whole feel of the room.

After we were done eating and there were just about 8 or 10 people left in the place, Mamma pushed all the tables together so everyone left in the trattoria were all sitting together. And so we all continued drinking, chatting and making merry for another hour and a half before leaving the restaurant, kissing Mamma good night, and we headed back to our hotels. "Wow! What a day," and still I must say oen of the best days of my life and one I shall never foregt.

A little foot note. I had such a great time at Pandomonio that night, I was able to return a couple more times, for more wonderful meals, and hanging out with Mamma. And I have sent some friends and family to Pandomonio over the years, and everyone I have ever told to go there, and they went, every single person has told me that their meal at Pandomonio was the best and most fun of their entire trip. Now that's saying something. "Bravo to Mamma!"

Basta.




Daniel Bellino Zwicke

September 







POSITANO The AMALFI COAST

TRAVEL GUIDE & COOKBOOK

AMAZON.com






"MAMMA GIOVANNA"

GO SEE MAMMA at PANDOMONIO

FLORENCE ITALY











SOPHIA LOREN with PIZZA













SOPHIA with PIZZA









"TIME to GET THAT ROLEX"