Women to Watch in Wine: Vigna Petrussa and VeroVino Part 1 #ItalianFWT

Looking for some of Italy’s most interesting and exciting wines? Look no further than eastern Italy near the border with Slovenia says Italian wine expert Ian D’Agata.

And which winery has really caught his attention?

Vigna Petrussa!

Based in the Friuli Venezia Giulia region of northeast Italy, Vigna Petrussa, says renowned Italian wine expert Ian D’Agata is “one of Italy’s best and most under the radar estates.”

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3 Bottles of Bubbles from Val D’Oca Paired with Crab Butternut Bisque and Polenta Lobster Speck Shrimp #ItalianFWT

Three sparkling wine from Va; D’Oca Italy

When you look at a bottle of wine, what do you see on the label?

You’ll see information on who made it, the country and region where it came from, the amount of alcohol in it, and usually you’ll  find the vintage as well as a bit of misc info like whether or not it is certified as organic or biodynamic.

What you’re not likely to find is whether or not the wine is made by a cooperative a number of smaller producers band together to pool their resource in order to make a more affordable product.

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2019 Well Done, 2020 To Do: #ItalianFWT #WinePW #Winophiles

2020 is barely a week old, but as I’m calendaring the year’s prompts for #ItalianFWT, #WinePW, #Winophiles, winemaker lunches and trade tastings in LA as well as other activities like the Wine Media Conference in Oregon and wine travel to Europe and South America, I’m reflecting on what we accomplished here on Wine Predator in 2019– and trying to decide what to submit for the Born Digital Awards (see what articles I submitted to the Millesima contest here).

I’m not really sure how we found the time, but Sue and I participated in EVERY SINGLE monthly prompt for Italian Food Wine Travel aka #ItalianFWT, Wine Pairing Weekend aka #WinePW, and the French Winophiles #Winophiles.

We joined wine bloggers and influencers from around the world but mostly from the US as we tasted and wrote about wines together following prompts that the group developed and organized sometimes with samples, and sometimes not.

Here on Wine Predator, that means 36 posts altogether at 15-20k words each! That’s the word count of a good sized book!

For almost every single article, I researched the region, the wine, the winery, and Sue and I both researched the cuisine to come up with menus and pairing ideas. Continue reading

4 To Try in 2020: Italy’s Franciacorta, Friuli, Chianti, Mt. Etna #ItalianFWT


From Franciacorta in the north in Lombardy and Friuli in the northeast to Toscana in central west and Sicily in the southwest, Italy is full of wines to discover. With over 2000 indigenous grapes grown in the 20 regions, the range of wines and expressions makes getting to know and understand Italian wine an interesting challenge as I discovered last year during the VinItaly Wine Ambassador Course.

Think it’s time to tune up your Italian wine game in 2020?

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3 Surprising Sparklers from Emilia-Romagna’s Terramossa #ItalianFWT

When Rome –what we think of today as Italy– was split between west and the east, Ravenna in Romagna was the eastern Roman empire seat. With eleven UNESCO sites and plenty of Roman ruins in the unexplored areas, plus being the gastronomic and economic hub of Italy with the oldest University IN THE WORLD (Bologna), it’s no wonder in 2018, the Lonely Planet guide named Emilia-Romagna as the best place to see in Europe!

While it may be well known gastronomically, the region is less well known for its wines, which is why for this month’s Italian Food Wine Travel prompt host Susannah includes the area when she suggests “focusing on wines from those regions perhaps you know less about such as Valle d’Aosta, Lombardy or Liguria in the North, Emilia Romagna and Lazio in Central Italy or Basilicata, Molise, Calabria in the South, among others.” She invites us to investigate an area of Italy that we haven’t explored recently…but for Sue and I in Ventura, those wines can be hard to come by without a trip to Winehouse LA or shopping online!

Enter Italian Wine Ambassador and importer Sheila Donahue of Verovinogusto. I contacted her  to see if she had any wines for us to write about because her US warehouse is located only a few miles from my house! More importantly, she’s based in Bologna, knows the region well, and imports a number of wines from Lombardy and Emlia-Romagna. In fact, in June we wrote about two wonderful Lambrusco that she imports from Lombardy.

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Let Pasqua Put a Little Love in Your Life Appassimento Style #ItalianFWT

Pasqua puts a little love in your life via their wines which feature Verona’s most famous love story — that of Romeo and Juliet. Even today in Verona, lovers write around 3,000 messages on the wall of Juliet’s house in Cappello Street. A photo of that wall shot by photographer Giò Martorana superimposes with the names of these wines: PassioneSentimento.

Pasqua offers two very unusual dry wines, one white and one red wine made by an unusual and time consuming process– and one that is rarely (if ever!) done intentionally in the US. In fact, Pasqua offers the only dry red in the U.S. market made from 100% dried grapes that’s not Valpolicella nor an Amarone, and one of the rare whites.

What’s the process? It’s called appassimento and it’s what the Italian Food Wine and Travel group of writers is writing about this month! 

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Let Pasqua Put a Little Love in Your Life: Prosecco and Rosato

It’s time to put a little love in your life!

If you can’t travel to Black Rock City aka Burning Man or the city of Verona — home to one of the most famous love stories of all time,  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare– you can put a little love in your life this summer or fall by using your imagination with a little help from Pasqua’s romantic reds, whites, rosatos and Prosecco wines!

equally romantic and delicious…

Shakespeare’s TIMELESS love story about Romeo and Juliet resonates today, and with Verona indelibly associated with it, you won’t be surprised to learn that every day 3,000 or so messages are written on the 20-foot wall of Juliet’s house in Cappello Street.

The label for Pasqua’s Romeo & Juliet wines features an eye-catching photo of that graffitied wall, shot by photographer Giò Martorana, with the PassioneSentimento wine name superimposed.

We paired these inexpensive, excellent valued and beautiful wines from Pasqua with a late summer and fall favorite — make your own pizzas with a gathering of three families poolside at a friend’s home.

As several people in our party are vegetarian or rarely eat meat, the focus was on veggie toppings. Joining me tasting was Sue and her partner John, and our host Judy and her spouse Jay who have a wonderful large granite slab for laying out ingredients and making the pizzas, plus an assortment of kids drank Italian soda and my husband enjoyed Italian beer.

Today check out Pasqua’s Prosecco and Rose, and tomorrow, we have two passimento wines, one red and one white, for #ItalianWFT! Read the invite by host Katarina here.

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