Tag Archives: Wine

Chicago “Pinot Days” 2015: A Pinot Noir Festival at Navy Pier

Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association s...

Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association sign @ Shiloh Hill Vineyard (Photo credit: northbaywanderer)

Assortment of wines from Oregon producer Domai...

Assortment of wines from Oregon producer Domaine Drouhin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A bottle and glass of California Pinot noir wi...

A bottle and glass of California Pinot noir wine made in Mendocino county (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Esterlina Tasting Room in Mendocino C...

From the Esterlina Tasting Room in Mendocino County California, an assortment of Pinot noir wines. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Russian River

Russian River (Photo credit: SSShupe)

Do you love Pinot Noir? Get tickets for the 8th annual Pinot Days Festival at Navy Pier.

“The Grand Tasting will showcase 65 acclaimed pinot producers across the country (from the Russian River Valley to Oregon, Carneros to the Santa Lucia Highlands and beyond), with more than 100 pinots to taste.”

Each wine is poured by its winemaker!

When & Where:

Saturday, March 21st, 2015.
From 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Chicago Navy Pier
Lakeview Terrace Room,
600 E Grand Ave # 115

Chicago, IL 60611

Pinot Days is the largest gathering of Pinot Noir producers in the world. Pinot Noir winemakers will be pouring hundreds of exceptional pinots that are stylistically diverse regions like California’s Russian River Valley and Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Pinot Days  Principle

“Pinot Days is the largest gathering of Pinot Noir producers in the world. It has to be; pinot noir is exceptionally stylistically diverse, and our aim is to give every pinot lover a place to “go deep” within the style you love. And, if you’re open to venturing outside of your comfort zone, you can learn about, and quite possibly love, other styles as well. To this end we gather hundreds of pinot noir winemakers to pour hundreds of pinots that range from the picture of elegance to forward and “wow.” You can’t try them all – don’t try – it’s not the point! The point is to follow your palate like a North Star, and experience this beautiful little grape in as many forms and styles as compel you. It is an endless pursuit of knowledge. So, ignore the critics; ask folks in the crowd, “Who have you tried? What do you like?” Pinot noir is way more than a grape variety – it’s an art form. It is an endlessly fascinating intellectual and aesthetic pursuit for people who want to savor the good things in life. So we invite the world to Pinot Days, because pinot noir can change the world, one pretty, little, thin-skinned grape at a time.” www.pinotdays

California Pinot noir from the Sonoma producer...

California Pinot noir from the Sonoma producer Hanzell winery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Participating Exhibitors-

Aberrant Cellars, Ancient Oak Cellars, August
West, Benziger Family Winery, Buena Vista Winery, Cartograph,
Cornerstone Cellars Oregon, Davis Bynum Wines, Davis Family Vineyards,
DeLoach Vineyards, Dutton-Goldfield Winery, EIEIO & Company, Fess Parker
Winery & Vineyard, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards, Hahn Estate,
Hilliard Bruce Winery, Inman Family Wines, J Vineyards & Winery,
Katherine Anne Confections, Keller Estate, Kendric Vineyards,
Kessler-Haak Wines, Landmark Vineyards, MacPhail Family Wines,
Mansfield-Dunne Wines, Martinelli Winery, McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil, Mystic
Shire, New Zealand Winegrowers, Omero Cellars, On the Avenue Marketing,
Pali Wine Company, Ritual, RTV, Saintsbury, Sojourn Cellars, Stoller
Vineyards, Thomas Fogarty Winery, Trombetta Family Wines, Van Duzer
Vineyards, Willakenzie Estate Winery, Wren Hop Vineyards, Yelp

Oregon winery Willamette Valley Vineyards

Oregon winery Willamette Valley Vineyards (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Tickets:  www.pinotdays.com

Try some Pinot Noir from the Oregon ure 10 Oregon pinot producers in a specially designated area. This will be the largest presence of Oregon pinot producers ever gathered at a California wine festival.

The alluring aroma and seductive color and texture of Pinot Noir makes it one of my favorite wines. This elegant and complex wine is made from Pinot Noir grapes that thrive in a very specific micro-climate with sunny, warm days and cool foggy nights.

These California vines prosper in the well-drained slope of Goldridge loam soil and  enjoy a long Indian summer in the Russian River Valley. The grapes are harvested in the cool pre-dawn darkness to conserve grape flavor and acidity.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the predominant varietals grown in about a 200 square-mile prestigious American Viticultural Area (AVA) of Sonoma County, California called the Russian River Valley. The area is shaded by majestic redwood trees. For more information visit www.pinotdays.com.

Vineyards in the California wine region of the...

Vineyards in the California wine region of the Russian River Valley in Sonoma (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Sample over 100 pinot noir wines from every important region, from the Russian River Valley to the Santa Rita Hills, Oregon to the Anderson Valley to the Sonoma Coast. Come to Navy Pier to taste these highly acclaimed wines, meet the gifted and charming winemakers who create them, and experience the passion and romance that the pinot noir industry continues to embody. We call it Serious Fun. Come see for yourself.”

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Filed under Attractions in Chicago, Chicago, Chicago "Pinot Days" 2014: A Pinot Noir Festival at Navy Pier, Chicago Pinot Noir Festival 2013 at Navy Pier, Chicago Wine Festivals, Pinot Noir Wine Festival in Chicago

Eleventh Annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival 2014

A tower in Balboa Park, San Diego.

A tower in Balboa Park, San Diego. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I must confess, my house is adorned with San Diego Wine and Food Festival Posters. One of my favorite Southern California events is the week-long culinary feast known as the San Diego Wine and Food Festival.

If you’re looking for interesting things to do in San Diego check out: “My Glorious Vino con Vista Weekend in San Diego.” You can read it here: http://wp.me/pRq9Q-fC

At San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival.

At San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who doesn’t love San Diego? Every year the Festival posters get better and so does the annual 5 day, star-studded San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival line-up.

For more information and to buy tickets tickets visit: http://www.sandiegowineclassic.com/

Look who’s Cooking: http://www.sandiegowineclassic.com/about.html

San Diego Mardi Gras 2014 062Check out this event: 100 Years of Inspiration & Innovation: Trailblazing Cuisine Throughout The Century
Featuring Chefs Sam Burman, RJ Cooper, Katsuya Fukushima and Bodega Numanthia Estate Director Manuel Louzada

Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Time: 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm
Location: US Grant Hotel – The Palm Court
Attire: Upscale Chic

WHEN: November 16-23, 2014San Diego Mardi Gras 2014 060

To purchase tickets and learn about all of the festivities visit http://www.sandiegowineclassic.com/

Chef prepaing glazed shrimp in San Diego

Chef prepaing glazed shrimp in San Diego

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Twitter Feed

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Twitter Feed

Live Entertainment at San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event

Live Entertainment at San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

Silent Auction Items at Taste San Diego 2012

Silent Auction Items at Taste San Diego 2012

Silent Auction Items at Taste San Diego 2012

Silent Auction Items at Taste San Diego 2012

Silent Auction Items at Taste San Diego 2012

Silent Auction Items at Taste San Diego 2012

Silent Auction Items at Taste San Diego 2012

Silent Auction Items at Taste San Diego 2012

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

San Diego Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event Tasting Event

Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event in San Diego 2012

Restaurant Week Kick-Off Event in San Diego 2012

Creator/Artist of 2012 San Diego Wine Festival Poster

Creator/Artist of 2012 San Diego Wine Festival Poster

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Wine Festival 2012 Chefs

San Diego Wine Festival 2012 Chefs

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2011

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2011

Chef at the San Diego Wine Festival 2012

Chef at the San Diego Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2011

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2011

San Diego Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Wine Festival 2012

Join over 9,000 fellow wine and food enthusiasts, along with winemakers, brewmasters, 70 of San Diego’s top chefs, gourmet food producers, authors, media personalities and celebrity chefs during this celebration of all things gourmet.

Don’t miss the action-packed week of festivities sure to please your inner foodie and wine lover!

Here’s the event schedule:


English: Southeastern part of the Marina Distr...

English: Southeastern part of the Marina District of Downtown San Diego viewed from Marina Park. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For more information visit www.sandiegowineclassic.com

The Museum of Man in Balboa Park, San Diego.

The Museum of Man in Balboa Park, San Diego. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love to attend the wine auction on the day after the festival where you can meet the artist that creates the wine poster. Here’s the artist and the poster from the 2011 festival:

Creator/Artist of 2012 San Diego Wine Festival Poster

Plan to attend the incredible  Annual Grand Tasting Event held in November at the Embarcadero Park North behind Seaport Village.  This is the largest wine and food festival in Southern California and celebrates the bounty of local chefs, brews and wines.

English: Ocean Beach Pier at sunset.

English: Ocean Beach Pier at sunset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2012

San Diego Wine Festival 2012 Chefs

San Diego Wine Festival 2012

For a preview of this year’s week-long extravaganza, CLICK HERE.

Purchase Tickets > >  here!!

Chef at the San Diego Wine Festival 2012

Enjoy classic San Diego cuisine from 70 of the city’s most talented chefs. Taste over 700 wines from 200 wine and spirit perveyors. There will be legendary California and international wineries as well as spirits and exceptional craft beers.

Wine at the San Diego Wine Festival

There will be 30 gourmet food companies and a “Chef of the Fest” competition with $50,000 in cash and prizes. Musical performances will take place on both ends of the Festival.

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2011

The venue is sublime. How can you possibly beat San Diego’s cuisine, weather and ocean breezes? There will also be an All-Star Mixologist “After Party” and a Special Luncheon/Wine Auction at the Marriott where you can mingle with the Wine Poster Artist and bid on his original work!

Plan to attend the winter San Diego Restaurant Week from January 13-18, 2013


For additional events and attractions visit www.sandiego.org

Watch this video for a flavor of the festival: http://savorsd.com/articles/editors-corner/san-diego-food-and-wine-festival/

San Diego Food and Wine Festival 2011

Moon over San Diego.

Image via Wikipedia

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Filed under 9th Annual San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival 2012, Italy Travel Guides, San Diego Attractions, San Diego California, San Diego Hotels, San Diego Restaurants, San Diego Weather, San Diego Wine and Food Festival 2011

St. Matthias “Friends of the Grape” and “Friends of Craft Beer” Festival 2014 in Chicago

Fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins, potas...

Image via Wikipedia

This is harvest season for grapes in many parts of the country. The harvesting of wine grapes is one of the most crucial steps in the process of winemaking. The time of harvest is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape as measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels.

A green wine grape.

A green wine grape. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. Matthias parish in Chicago celebrates every year on the first Sunday in October.

One Big Weekend—Two Loved Events!

Friends of the Grape & Friends of Craft Beer

Save the Date October 3rd & 5th, 2014

This October Friends of the Grape will celebrate its 15th year!

Last year they added a new tradition called the Friends of Craft beer tasting on Friday evening.  Stay tuned for updates on participating restaurants and breweries, information on our Live and Silent auction items, and how you can get involved!

Tickets are now available shortly in the rectory and on the website.

For more information, visit friendsofthegrape.org



WHERE: Saint Matthias in Lincoln Square in Chicago

Here’s a Friend of the Grape Video http://youtu.be/kmkLpj7eJCk

Friends of the Grape 2011

Friends of the Grape 2011

The students at St. Matthias School were busy stomping grapes this week in preparation for the 13th annual Friends of the Grape Wine Festival and Auction.

Stomping grapes to crush them as part of the w...

Stomping grapes to crush them as part of the winemaking process. Photo taken at Airfield Estates in Prosser, Washington. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The winner of the Stomp was crowned the “Juice King (or Queen)”’ and received a week of grape juice.

This is one of my favorite events in the Lincoln Square area. Here’s a Lincoln Square Foodie video http://youtu.be/E4h6X-BHrLM showing all the interesting sights.

Friends of the Grape Stomp

Friends of the Grape Stomp

Grape Stomp at St. Matthias

Saint Matthias became the 13th apostle. Judas had been one of the original Twelve apostles. When he betrayed Jesus and committed suicide he was replaced with Matthias. He proudly welcomes visitors to his is a beautiful church at Claremont and Ainslie in Chicago.

Saint Matthias

Saint Matthias

The volunteers offer plenty of  food and wine at “Friends of the Grape”.

Bring your checkbook and credit card because there will be over 150 items available at the silent auction. There will be plenty of gift baskets for you to purchase.

Friends of the Grape Silent Auction

Friends of the Grape Silent Auction

The live auction will start at 3pm. Last year, you could bid on a culinary experience for 2 at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris or a six-course dinner for 12 prepared by Chef Marin Wallner.

Live Auction at Saint Matthias Friends of the Grape 2011

Live Auction

The sponsors will be pouring over 40 different wines. There’s plenty of wine for you to purchase.

The vast array of Lincoln Square restaurants will be offering tasty appetizers and wine pairings in the beer garden with live entertainment on Sunday, October 6th between 12:30 and 6:30 at 4910 N Claremont.

This will be the best $40 that you have spent all year. Proceeds benefit the School. Father John is always ready to welcome new parishoners to St. Matthias.

For more information go to www.stmatthiaschicago.org/…

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Filed under Attractions in Chicago, Chicago, Chicago Charity Events, Chicago Food Festivals, Chicago Restaurants, Chicago Wine Festivals, Lincoln Square Wine Festival at St. Matthias at 4910 N. Claremont, St. Matthias Friends of the Grape Festival 2012 in Chicago

The Naperville Wine Festival 2014

From the Esterlina Tasting Room in Mendocino C...

Image via Wikipedia

Plan to attend the Naperville Wine Festival 2014. Wine festivals offer outstanding and affordable Vino con Vista opportunities. Wine connoisseurs can discover new wines, attend wine seminars and meet wine-makers in an outdoor festival setting.

Here’s a short video with some of my favorite Vino con Vista Buddies that I met at the Naperville Wine Festival in 2011:


For the full schedule visit:


The Naperville Wine Festival will return for the 12th Consecutive Year August 22-23, 2014.

The Event will take Place at CityGate Centre, The Home of Calamos Investments, and will Showcase More than 300 Wines From Around The World.

 A Portion of the Proceeds From The Event will Help Support the Naperville Area Humane Society.


Naperville Wine Festival hours are Friday from 4 to 10PM and Saturday from 2 to 8PM Friday Night Ticket Sales End at 8:30 p.m. and Alcohol Sampling and Sales End at 9:30 p.m. Saturday Ticket Sales End at 6:30PM and Alcohol Sampling and Sales End at 7:30PM

  • Adult Wine Tasting Tickets are $28 in Advance and $35 at the Door. This Ticket Price Includes a Souvenir Wine Glass, Ten Tastings, a Festival Program, Access to Food and Wine Demonstrations and Musical Entertainment. Additional Tasting Coupons May be Purchased at the Festival. Designated Driver Tickets are $10 in Advance or at the Door. Tickets can be Purchased Online at www.napervillewinefestival.com or by phone at 877-772-5425 as well as at all Peterson Wine Cellars locations.
  • CityGate Centre is a True mixed-use development that encompasses 31 acres in the quickly growing East-West Corridor submarket of Chicago. In addition to Calamos Investments and Continental Audi of Naperville, the Naperville Wine Festival is sponsored by: Wells Fargo Advisors; Whole Foods; Petersons Wine & Spirits; BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois; Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe; Hotel Arista; Pepsi and Aquafina.

    Naperville Wine Festival Map

    Naperville Wine Festival Map

    Naperville Wine Festival Map


Location: Calamos Investments, Naperville, IL 60563
Start Date/Time: August 23, 2013 – 4 pm
End Date/Time: August 24, 2013 – 11 pm

A celebration of wine, food, music and friends with a wide array of wines to choose from and food from some of Naperville’s most popular restaurants.  Friday 4 pm – 10 pm, and Saturday 3 pm  – 9 pm.



Hess Winery

Hook and Ladder Winery

From author: "From left to right: Iron Ho...

From author: “From left to right: Iron Horse 1997 Cabernet Sauvignon Testarossa 2006 Garys’ Vineyard Syrah Calera 2006 Ryan Pinot Noir Chateau Montelena 2007 Chardonnay Ridge 2007 Zinfandel” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tickets: Adult Wine Tasting Ticket – One day admission
$28 in advance or $35 at the door.
Admission ticket good for either day. This ticket includes a souvenir wine glass, ten tastings, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, and the opportunity to purchase wine at a discount.Designated Driver Ticket – One day admission
$10 in advance or at the door.
Admission ticket good for either day. This ticket includes two non-alcoholic drinks, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment, souvenir wine glass upon departure. Under 21 admitted free when accompanied by paid adult.

Assortment of wine from Domaine Chandon in Yar...

Assortment of wine from Domaine Chandon in Yarra Australia showing their sparkling Chardonnay and Pinot noir wine as well as a still pinot noir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Local chefs will offer foodies an opportunity to taste some of their cuisine. Here’s a list of the restaurants that will be serving food at the 2012 event:

Caoba Mexican Grill and Bar 1619 N. Damen Avenue Chicago, IL 60647 773-342-2622 www.caobachicago.comCityGate Grille 2020 Calamos Court Naperville, IL 60563 630-718-1010 www.citygategrille.com
Heaven on Seven 224 S. Main Street Naperville, IL 60540 630-717-0777 www.heavenonseven.com/napervilleLe Chocolat Bouchard 129 S. Washington   Street Naperville, IL 60540 630-355-5720 www.lechocolatbar.com
SugarToad Restaurant2139 Citygate Lane Naperville, IL 60563630-778-8623 www.sugartoad.comSullivan’s Steakhouse 244 S. Main Street Naperville, IL 60540 630-305-0230 www.sullivansteakhouse.com

The outdoor festival will feature more than 200 wines from around the country and the world with wine seminars and cooking demonstrations. For a nominal charge you can sample pinot Noirs, Cabernet Sauvignons, Merlots and chardonnay wine from various regions.

Here’s a complete list of the wineries and distributors that will be attending the 2012 event:

Peterson    Spirits and Fine Wines
Valley of the Moon Pinot Blanc
Lake Sonoma Chardonnay
Kenwood Table Red
Peterson Zero Manipulation
Peterson Dry Creek Zinfandel
Cantina Aurora Dolce Stilnovo

Peterson    Spirits and Fine Wines
Villa Puccini Pinot Grigio
Villa Puccini Tuscan Red
Entwine Pinot Grigio
Entwine Chardonnay
Entwine Merlot
Entwine Cabernet Sauvingon
Haus    Wines
Schug Sauvignon Blanc
Cline Albarino
Cline Field Blend
Scott Harvey Red Label Barbera
Scott Harvey Red Label Zinfandel
Schug Pinot Noir

Coloma Chardonnay
Lady Slipper Pinot Noir
Nomad Red Blend
Tomei Barbera
Jarvis Tomei Syrah
Lonati Moscato d’Asti
Essential    Wines
Arabella Chenin Blanc
Enon Chardonnay
Arabella Viognier
Arabella Merlot
Arabella Cabernet Sauvignon
Grinder Pinotage

Laird    and Company
Moletto Prosecco
Stival Pinot Grigio
Lunae Vermentino
La Pisara Primativo
Pietrafitta Chianti
Moletto Refosco

Wine    Cru
Secret Coast Sauvignon Blanc
Bennett Lane Maximus White
Prezzolini Chianti
Zolo Malbec
Zolo Cabernet Sauvignon
Bennett Lane Maximus Red
Eola    Hills
Eola Hills Pinot Gris
Eola Hills Chardonnay
Eola Hills “La Ceole” Reserve    Chardonnay
Eola Hills Pinot Noir
Eola Hills “La Creole” Reserve Pinot Noir
Eola Hills Vin d’Or LH Sauvignon Blanc
Martin    Ray Winery
Angeline Sauvignon Blanc
Martin Ray Chardonnay
Angeline California Pinot Noir
Martin Ray Pinot Noir
Angeline Cabernet Sauvignon
Martin Ray Merlot

Cabernet    Corp
La Playa Sauvignon Blanc
Don Rodolfo Torrentes
La Playa Cabernet Rose
La Playa Cabernet Sauvignon
La Playa Block Selection Carmenere
Don Rodolfo Malbec
Ventana    Winery
Ventana Riesling
Ventana Sauvignon Blanc
Ventana Gewurztraminer
Ventana Pinot Noir
Ventana Rubystone Syrah/Grenache
Ventana Syrah

Broadbent    Selections
Broadbent Vino Verde
Broadbent Gruner Veltliner
Dr. Hermann H Riesling
Chateau Musar Rouge
Quintas do Crasto Flor
Warwick Three Cape Ladies
Small    Vineyards
Trevisiol Extra Dry Prosecco
Tre Donne La Perlina Moscato d’Asti
Giocato Pinot Grigio
Perazzeta Sangiovese
Palama Negroamaro
Antonio Sanguineti Nessun Dorma Red

Fess    Parker Family of Wines
Fess Parker SBC Riesling
Fess Parker SBC Chardonnay
Parker Station Pinot Noir
Fess Parker SBC Pinot Noir
Hodge du Podge Red
Big Easy Syrah
Good Pinot Grigio
Belpoggio Verdicchio DOC
Nicolis Valpolicella Classico
Poggio Amorelli Chianti Classico
Villa Donna Moscato d’Asti
Scagliola Petali Di Rose Brachetto
Hahn/Other    Guys
Huntington Sauvignon Blanc
Cycles Gladiator Pinot Grigio
White Knight Viognier
Cycles Gladiator Syrah
Leese Fitch Pinot Noir
Plungerhead Lodi Zinfandel
Duck Pond Winery
Duck Pond Pinot Gris
Duck Pond White Blend
Duck Pond Pinot Noir
Duck Pond Red Blend
Desert Wind Ruah
Desert Wind Barbera
Hook and    Ladder Winery
Hook and Ladder Chardonnay
Hook and Ladder Pinot Noir
Station Ten Zinfandel Blend
Hook and Ladder Zinfandel
The Tillerman Cab Blend
Hook and Ladder Cabernet Sauvignon

E&J    Gallo
La Marca Prosecco
Whitehaven Sauvignon Blanc
Martin Codax Albarino
Las Rocas Garnacha
Bridlewood Cabernet Sauvignon
Louis Martini  Cabernet Sauvignon
E&J    Gallo
Laguna Chardonnay
William Hill Chardonnay
Bridlewood Blend 175
MacMurray Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
William Hill Napa Cabernet Sauvignon
Gascon Reserve Malbec

Domaine Carneros Sparkling Brut
Craggy Range Sauvignon Blanc
Benziger Sangicamo Chardonnay
Domaine Carneros Pinot Noir
Benziger Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon
Sequoia Grove Cabernet Sauvignon
Pinnacle    Fine Wines
Long Boat Sauvignon Blanc
La Crema Monterey Chardonnay
Gaga Rose
Gaga Rouge
Calina Carmenere
Arrowood Cabernet Sauvignon
Bronco    Wine
Silver Ridge Sauvingon Blanc
Silver Ridge Chardonnay
Silver Ridge Pinot Noir
Hacienda Riesling
Hacienda Merlot
Hacienda Cabernet Sauvignon

Graham Beck Brut Sparkling
Jules Taylor Sauvignon Blanc
Skyleaf Riesling
Graham Beck Game Res. Chenin Blanc
Jules Taylor Pinot Noir
Graham Beck Game Res. Cabernet

Hayes Chardonnay
Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay
2009 Tamas Double Decker Red
Wente Reliz Creek Pinot Noir
Spur Meritage
Wente Charles Wetmore Cabernet
Quintesential    Wines
New Age Rose
New AgeWhite
Elsa Bianchi Torrentes
Simonsig Chenin Blanc
Grand Rojo Garnacha
Morse Code Shiraz

Prestige    Wine Group
Starling Castle Riesling
Michel Picard Vouvray
Michel Picard Bourgogne Pinot Noir
Broke Ass Red
Le Grand Noir GSM
Luccio Moscato d’Asti
Jomad    Imports
San Hubberto Torrentes
San Hubberto Reserve Chardonnay
San Huberto Bonarda
San Huberto Malbec
San Huberto Reserve Syrah
San Huberto Cabernet Sauvignon

Cartlidge    and Browne Winery
Cartlidge and Browne Sauvignon Blanc
Cartlidge and Browne Chardonnay
Cartlidge and Browne Pinot Noir
Cartlidge and Browne Zinfandel
Cartlidge and Browne Cabernet
C&B Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
Vibrant    Rioja
Cortijo White
Cortijo Rose
Ramon Bilboa
Ramon Bilboa Limited Edition
Gloriso Reserva
Campo Viejo Gran Reserva

Vina Arnaiz Roble Tinto
Salneval Albarino
Antano Virura
Conde de Valdemar Reserve
Opera Prima Moscato
Don Simon Sangria
V2 Wine    Group
Toad Hollow Risque Sparkling
Dry Creek Chenin Blanc
Dry Creek Sauvignon Blanc
Steel Head Chardonnay
Steel Head Pinot Noir
Dry Creek Meritage

Indigo    Wine Group
Bon Cap The Ruins Organic Sparkling
Bon Cap The Ruins Organic Sauvignon Blanc
Bon Cap The Ruins Organic Syrah/Cab
Robertson Shiraz/Mouvedre/Viognier
Casa de Campo Moscato
Robertson Sweet Red
Classical Wines
Mont Marcal Cava Rosada Brut
Legado del Conde Morgadio Albarino
Bodegas Garci Grande Verdejo
Guelbenzu Red
Lorinon Crianza
Carchelo “C”

Lagnaippe    Beverage
Boomtown Pinot Gris
Schild Estate Chardonnay
Schild Estate GMS
Dexter Lake Red
Boomtown Syrah
Revah Pomegranite
Alias Chardonnay
Cannonball Chardonnay
Alias Merlot
Cannonball Merlot
Alias Cabernet Sauvignon
Cannonball Cabernet Sauvignon

Cape    Classics
Buitenverwachting Beyond Sauv Blanc
Indaba Chardonnay
Mulderbosch Rose
Buitenverwachting Beyond Cabernet
Mulderbosch Faithful Hound Red
Jam Jar Shiraz
Robert    Kacher/Winebow
Tariquet Classique
Tariquet Rose de Pressee
Clean Slate Riesling
Gournier Grenache Noir
Cazes le Canon du Marechal Rouge
Root 1 Carmenere

Kris Pinot Grigio
Argiolas Costamolino
Catena Chardonnay
Valle Reale Vigne Nuove    Montepulciano
Allegrini Palacco Della Torre
Catena Malbec
Palm Bay
Twin Vines Vinho Verde
Arrogant Frog White
Arrogant Frog Pinot Noir
Arrogant Frog Lily Pad Red
Periquita Duoro Red
Santa Rita Reserve Malbec

Peter Lehmen Layers White
Glen Carlou Chardonnay
Peter Lehmen Layers Red
Sequana “Sarmento” Pinot Noir
Artezin Zinfandel
Amalaya Malbec Blend

Sequana Pinot Noir

Sequana Pinot Noir

L. Buillot Rose
DeLoach Heritage Chardonnay
Lyeth ‘Fleur de Lyeth’ Red Blend
Raymond ‘R’ Merlot
Raymond ‘R’ Field Blend
Batoisiolo Moscato d’Asti

Francois Lurton Blanco
Tortoise Creek Pinot Noir
Santa Julia Reserva Cabernet
Tortoise Creek Zinfandel
Araucano Carmenere
Familia Zuccardi  Q Malbec
Hirschbach & Sohne Liebfraumilch
Lucky Star Pinot Noir
Milbrandt Traditions Merlot
Oxford Landing GSM
Oxford Landing Shiraz
Bricco Riella Moscato d’Asti

Diamond    Imports
Domaine Sigalas Athiri/Assyrtiko Blend
Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko
Domaine Skouras White
Domaine Skouras Moscofilero
Domaine Skouras St. George
Alpha Estate Xinomavro Hedgehog Vnyd
Sidewood Sauvignon Blanc
Deviation Road Chardonnay
The Garden Path Shiraz/Cab
Smidge Houdini Shiraz/Zin
Deaf Galah Red
Alliance Shiraz

Opolo    Winery
Opolo Chardonnay
Opolo Viognier
Opolo Sangiovese
Opolo Maestro
Opolo Summit Creek Zinfandel
Opolo Serenade Cab/Malbec
Underdog    Wine Merchants
A Mano Pinot Grigio
Concannon Conservancy Chardonnay
Concannon Conservancy Crimson &    Clover
Cupcake Red Velvet
Flip Flop Moscato
Helfrich Gewurztraminer

Barefoot    Wine and Bubbly
Barefoot Pinot Grigio
Barefoot Bubbly Brut
Barefoot Bubbly Pink Moscato
Barefoot Bubbly Moscato Spumante
Barefoot Moscato
Barefoot Sweet Red
Easley    Winery
Reggae White
Reggae Rose
Reggae Red

Evaton, Inc
Anakena Sauvignon Blanc
Gazela Vino Verde
Gazela Rose
Finca Flichman Cabernet Sauvignon
Finca Flichman Reserve Malbec
Finca Flichman Tupungato
Lynfred    Winery
Vin de City White
Vin de City Red
Illinois Seyval Blanc
Oktoberfest Wine
Plum Wine

St.    James Winery
Velvet White
Velvet Red
Cooper’s Hawk    Restaurant & Winery
Almond Sparkling
Semi-Dry Riesling
Cooper’s Hawk White
Rhubarb Fruit Wine
Cass Winery

Cass Winery

Cass Winery

2010 Oasis Rose
2010 Roussanne
2009 Grenache
2009 Mourvedre
2008 Syrah
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon
2008 Cass Reserve

Constellation Wines
Blufield Riesling
Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc
Estancia Pinot Grigio
Toasted Head Untamed White
Diseno Malbec
Primal Roots Red Blend

Wine Festival

The ticket includes a souvenir wine glass, ten tastings, Festival Program, Food & Wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment and the opportunity to purchase wine at a discount.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Apps @ www.vino-con-vista.com and attend many food and wine events.

Last year, I fell in love with Cass Winery’s Reserve and had a case shipped to my home from the winery. Try the Cooper’s Hawk Barbera; it’s from a local winery near Naperville.

Naperville Wine Festival

Naperville Wine Festival

For more information visit http://www.napervillewinefestival.com

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Enjoy a Vino con Vista in New Mexico Wine Country near Albuquerque

Rio Grande Botanical Garden, Albuquerque, New ...

Rio Grande Botanical Garden, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

New Mexico wine

Image via Wikipedia

In 1598,  Don Juan de Onate led a band of Spanish colonists from New Spain (Mexico) northward to settle the fertile valleys of the upper Rio Grande. The Franciscan monks accompanied the colonists to spread Christianity to the Native Americans.

New Mexico

In 1598, wine was introduced to New Mexico by the Spaniards. The monks needed wine for their daily masses and for about 30 years they imported the wine from the Old World because a SPanish law enacted in 1595 did not allow the production of wine in the New World. The wine was transported from Spain in stoneware jugs and sealed with a cork plug.

English: All Images used are from Wikipedia Co...

English: All Images used are from Wikipedia Commons. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Eventually, the Franciscan monks decided to plant grapevines in New Mexico for sacramental wine. The first vines were planted in 1629 at the Piro pueblo just south of Socorro; New Mexico has the oldest grapevies in the country. The cuttings brought by the missionaries were Vitis vinifera, the “mission Grape” and the variety is still grown in New Mexico today.

The Spanish colonists led by conquistadores also established the vineyards along the Rio Grande  and wine production began in 1633. By 1800, wine became one of the three top exports from New Mexico. By 1884, New Mexico was the fifth leading wine producer in the U.S.

Today there are about 43 wineries and tasting rooms in New Mexico with over 900 acres of vineyards. The high desert elevation, rich soils, sunny days and cool evenings coupled with  controlled irrigation produce a wide variety of interesting wines.

Albuquerque has more than 300 years of history and culture  and has been inhabited by American Indians for hundreds of years.

Albuquerque New Mexico

Founder of Albuquerque

Francisco Cuervo y Valdes

Old Town Albuquerque

Albuquerque New Mexico

The present day city was founded in 1706 when Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez penned a letter to the Duke of Albuquerque reporting that he had founded a villa along the banks of the Rio Grande. Since then, the city that was originally named after the Duke has grown from a tiny settlement to a rich, multi-cultural metropolis of more thatn 753,000 people.

There are many wineries between Albuquerque and Santa Fe that offer amazing vino con vistas with opportunities to taste New Mexico Wine.

New Mexico WIne Labels

The wineries closest to Albuquerque are between Corrales and Bernalillo. Here’s a list of some Vino con Vista opportunities near Albuquerque New Mexico:

1. Anasazi Fields Winery www.anasazifieldswinery.com

The winery sits on the Western edge of the old village of Placitas, New Mexico between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.  The vineyards are surrounded by orchards watered by a spring-fed irrigation system that dates back over 1000 years to a time when the Anasazi People farmed the Placitas Valley. These wines are crafted by fruits and berries other than grapes and include plum wine, apricot wine peach wine and blackberry wine. We also make a slightly off-dry Cranberry wine and three grape-based wines enhanced by one of our old fruit wines.   All of our wines are aged on oak for one to four years. with an annual Placitas Studio Tour for mother’s day weekend

Wine grapes grown in New Mexico.

Wine grapes grown in New Mexico. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Casa Rondena Winery was established in 1995. It is located in the North Valley of Albuquerque in historic Los Ranchos de Albuquerque www.casarondena.com. You can sample the entire portfolio of hand-crafted wines made on the premises at and Tasting Room including:

Viognier – A dry white wine with bright melon flavors and lingering Apricot on the finish.  Viognier is the perfect expression of the Southwestern high desert growing region showing its rich mouth-feel and crispy acidity.

Meritage – This classic Bordeaux-style table wine is a blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.  A bit complex with a lingering finish, our Meritage shows flavors of vanilla and currant.

Sangiovese – A silky, medium-bodied Chianti-style wine, our New Mexico Sangiovese is aged for 12 months in American oak.  The perfect table wine with pasta.

Clarion – A delectable Spanish-style blend of 70% Syrah, 28% Tempranillo, and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cabernet Franc – The original red wine of the Loire Valley in central France, Cabernet Franc grows well here in New Mexico.  It exhibits fruit-forward flavors of blackberries, dark cherry and chocolate while being medium-bodied and soft on the finish.

La Sobrina’s Table – An approachable and comfortable blend of 50% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon.  A great everyday wine for everyone.  Aged in oak 3 months and stainless steel for 9 months.

Founder’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – This is the winemaker’s reserve selection of our best Cabernet Sauvignon, aged 2 years in French Oak barrels.  This wine exhibits earthiness and hints of some black cherry, briarwood and peppers.

Rosé – A luscious off-dry Merlot-based wine with crisp hints of strawberry and plum.

Serenade – With its floral bouquet and lively fruitiness, the blend of 87% Riesling and 13% Gewurztraminer give a perfect balance of sweetness and acidity.

Animante (Port) – A deep ruby red port-style dessert wine made from New Mexico Cabernet Sauvignon aged in French and American oak for two years.

3. Corrales Winery is one of New Mexico’s newest wineries, founded in 2000 www.corraleswinery.com and produces award winning Muscat Canelli dessert  wine, Riesling  and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery incorporates an Indian Pueblo and overlooks the scenic Sandia Mountains.

Gold Medal – 2002 New Mexico State Fair – 2000 Cabernet Sauvignon

Gold Medal – 2002 New Mexico State Fair – Francs

Silver Medal – 2002 New Mexico State Fair – 2000 Riesling

Silver Medal – 2002 New Mexico State Fair – 2000 Muscat Canelli

Bronze Medal – 2001 Connoisseur Classic, SW Wine Competition – 1999 Muscat Canelli

Gold Medal – 2000 New Mexico State Fair – 1999 Muscat Canelli

Peoples’ Choice Award – 2000 Bernalillo Wine Festival – 1999 Muscat Canelli

4. Gruet Winery  www.gruetwinery.com was awarded the very prestigious title of the United States Wine Producer of the Year!  The International Wine and Spirits Competition promotes the quality and excellence of the world’s best wines, spirits and liqueurs. The IWSC was founded in 1969 and is the premier competition of its kind in the world. This honor was accepted by Sofian Himeur of Gruet Winery at the Guildhall, City of London IWSC Awards Presentation and Banquet, on Wednesday 17th November 2010.

5. The St. Clair Winery and Bistro opened in the summer of 2005 near the heart of “Historic Old Town” in Albuquerque on Rio Grande. It is the perfect location to enjoy lunch, dinner and  a wine flight that will allow you to compare and contrast wines while sitting on the patio and listening to live music on Friday or Saturday night www.stclairvineyards.com

New Mexico Wine

Their “Signature Flight” consists of six, one ounce tastes of your choice from the flight list. They have over 20 wines to choose from including:

St. Clair Malvasia Bianca – Honey & tropical flavors with unforgettable floral aromas

Blue Teal Muscat Canelli – Luscious & rich with tastes of raisins, pears and a spicy finish

St. Clair Riesling – Tropical fruit complimented by a pleasant, crisp acid, semi sweet

Blue Teal Riesling – Pineapple, honey & pear flavors with lively acidity..

St. Clair Gewürztraminer – Ripe apricot, spice and hints of green apple

St. Clair Chardonnay – Nose of oak, citrus and a fruity vanilla finish

Red Wines

St. Clair Mimbres Red-A delightful sweet red with lush lingering berry flavors

St. Clair Nebbiolo – An intense red, nice fruity aromas and a tannic finish

St. Clair Cab-Zin – Lightly oaked Cab blended with a young well-mannered Zinfandel

Blue Teal Rio Rojo – Fruity, with lots of luscious berry flavors, low tannins and nice acid

Blue Teal Pinot Noir – A medium body with hints of cherry, pepper & earth

Blue Teal Shiraz – A full-bodied red with juicy berry notes and subtle oak undertones

My absolute favorite was the St. Clair Reserve Zinfandel – Robust red with ripe berry finish with an opulent texture

St. CLair Winery

DH Lescombes Syrah – Nose of pepper, cassis & cherry, with herb & toasted oak finish

Blue Teal Merlot – Nicely rounded with flavors of smooth berries and light oak

St. Clair Reserve Merlot – Pleasant tannins with raspberry and black currant notes

De La Cruz Malbec – Velvety smooth with deep plum, raisin and a hint of oaky vanilla

St. Clair Meritage – Subtle red cherry and dark berry aromas lead to medium body

Blue Teal Cabernet Sauvignon – Lightly oaked character, ripe berry flavors mild tannins

DH Lescombes Cabernet Sauvignon – Notes of black currant, chocolate, herbs accents

Try the refreshing Champagne Style St. Clair Mimosa, a delightful combination of fresh orange juice & dry champagne or order a slushy Wine a Rita at the bar.

New Mexico WIne

New Mexico Wine

The Vineyard express offers delightfully  tasty all inclusive day tours to the wineries and micro breweries of New Mexico on Saturdays April through October www.thevineexpress.com or call the Vineyard Express Tours at 505-292-3657.

Plan to attend the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival over Memorial Day Weekend located 5 miles west of Las Cruces of the I-10 or the New Mexico Wine Festival at Bernalillo over Labor Day Weekend.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and they may be purchased at www.vino-con-vista.com

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Italy’s Vino con Vista Lake District: Lake Como, Garda or Maggiore in Lombardy

View upon the Lake Maggiore from the baroque g...
Image via Wikipedia

The Lake District of Lombardy is breathtaking!!  It rises from the Alpine heights along the Swiss border. The glacial erosion juxtaposed quaint villages and soaring mountains to create idyllic surroundings. Many wealthy Italians built villas on these lakes that have been converted into luxuriously appointed hotels.

(Italian version) Category:Maps of Lombardy Lo...

(Italian version) Category:Maps of Lombardy Lombardy Lombardy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday I met someone who asked me about having a “Vino con Vista” destination wedding in Italy.  I immediately asked if they had considered the Lake District.  This area is the perfect destination for weddings, honeymoons and sophisticated travel enthusiasts.

Mount Mottarone between Lake Maggiore and Orta...

Mount Mottarone between Lake Maggiore and Ortasee, near Stresa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The spectacular scenery has been praised as the closest thing to heaven by authors from the time of Virgil to Ernest Hemmingway. This region resembles the beauty of Seattle, considered one of the most scenic cities in the United States.

Italiano: Un calice di Franciacorta Rosé

Italiano: Un calice di Franciacorta Rosé (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take a cruise along one the beautiful lakes. Have the designated driver navigate, as you sip your red Valtellina Sfurzat or Franciacorta and marvel at the elegant panoramic view. This is an incredible place for a “Vino con Vista!!” The region produces dry reds and sparking white wines. This is a great place to sip a Mimosa or a Bellini.

In Brescia, on the western side of Lake Garda visit the Fratelli Berlucchi winery. Lombardy’s vineyards encompass Valtellina Superiore, Sfurat, Franciacorta and Garda Classico Chiaretto. Winery tours can be arranged at Enoteca del Bardolino in Berlucchi and other local wineries near Brescia.

An excellent find: Ca' del Bosco's Terre di Fr...

An excellent find: Ca’ del Bosco’s Terre di Franciacorta (Photo credit: Sifu Renka)

1. Lake Como is north of Milan and is shaped like a wishbone. The chic towns of Bellagio and Cernobbio are on Lake Como.  Stay at Villa D’Este in Lake Como www.villadeste.com a sister property of Villa La Massa in Tuscany www.villalamassa.com

Lake Garda, Brescia, Italy.

Lake Garda, Brescia, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2. Lake Garda is the largest lake and is located on the eastern edge of Lombardy. Lake Garda is 60 miles east of Milan and is surrounded by four noteworthy cities: Verona to the east, Mantua to the south, Trento is northeast and Brescia to the west. Ferries and hydrofoils transport exuberant tourists around the lakes between Easter and September. Lake Garda is 32 miles long and is arguably the most beautiful Italian Lake in the region. Stay at Grand Hotel Villa Feltinelli in Lake Garda www.villafeltrinelli.com or Hotel du Lac et du Park in Lake Garda www.hoteldulac-riva.it.

Lake Garda, Brescia, Italy.

Lake Garda, Brescia, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are gondola races on Lake Garda in the summer on Saturdays thru mid-August.

Mount Mottarone between Lake Maggiore and Orta...

Mount Mottarone between Lake Maggiore and Ortasee, near Stresa Français : Montagne Mottarone entre le lac majeur et le lac d’Orta près de Stresa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3. Lake Maggiore is 25 miles north of Milan and stretches into Switzerland. On the western side of Lake Maggiore, visit the town of Stresa where you can board a cable-car to the snow-capped peak of Monte Mottarone to experience spectacular views. When you return from this scenic ride, visit the Borromean islands near Stresa. Isola Bella houses the 17th century Palazzo Borromeo with six grotto rooms that are worth visiting.

Stresa - Air View (Postcard)

Stresa – Air View (Postcard) (Photo credit: roger4336)

Take a boat ride from Stresa to visit 50 acres of Botanical Gardens at Villa Taranto near Pallanza. Stay at Grand Hotel Majestic in Lake Maggiori in Verbania www.slh.com/majestic for beautiful views of the lake, mountains and the Borromini Islands or consider Hotel Villa Aminta in Lake Maggiori or Regina Palace in Lake Maggiori www.regina-palace.it

Sacro Monte di Ghiffa, (Verbania), Italy, View...

Sacro Monte di Ghiffa, (Verbania), Italy, View of the park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Overlooking the Lake Maggiore, you can find the Sacred Mountain of Ghiffa. This is a Roman Catholic devotional complex in the comune of Ghiffa in Piedmont located in northern-western Italy. It is one of the nine Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy, included in UNESCO World Heritage list.

Sacro Monte di Ghiffa. Figure

Sacro Monte di Ghiffa. Figure (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sacro Monte di Ghiffa, (Verbania), Italy, The ...

Sacro Monte di Ghiffa, (Verbania), Italy, The St. John the Baptist Chapel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To learn more about Northern Italy and great places in Italy visit www.vino-con-vista.com

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Buon Appetito: Michelin Stars in Vino con Vista Italy

Casamicciola, Ischia, Italy.

Casamicciola, Ischia, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti in Ven...

English: The Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti in Venice, Italy alongside the Grand Canal. Nederlands: Het Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti in Venetië, Italië aan het Canal Grande. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detail of the rooftop of San Marco cathedral i...

Detail of the rooftop of San Marco cathedral in Venice, Italy. Venice patron apostle St. Mark with angels. Underneath is winged lion, mascot of Venice. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Detail of a lion, monument to Dante Alighieri,...

Detail of a lion, monument to Dante Alighieri, Piazza Santa Croce, Florence, Italy. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Front of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside th...

Front of the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls – Roma – Italy. Italiano: Facciata della Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura a Roma. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Grumello del monte, Bergamo, Italia

Grumello del monte, Bergamo, Italia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chef’s all over the world dream of Michelin Stars. There are 6 Three-star, 37  Two-star and 229 One-star restaurants in Italy.


The new Three-Star restaurant in Italy is Da Vittorio. The existing 3 stars are:

1. Dal Pescatore di Canneto sull’Oglio (Mn)

2. Enoteca Pinchiorri di Firenze

3. La Pergola di Roma

4. Le Calandre di Rubano (Pd)

5. Al Sorriso di Soriso (No)

New Two-stars in Italy:

Antica Corona Reale – Cervere (Cuneo)
Piazza Duomo – Alba (Cuneo)
Il Pellicano -Porto Ercole (Grosseto)
La Madia – Licata (Agrigento)
Met dell’Hotel Metropol – Venezia
Il Mosaico – Casamicciola Terme, Ischia (Napoli)
Il Trenkerstube – Tirolo (Bolzano).

New Michelin One- star restaurants in Italy:

Andreini – Alghero in Sassari. ( I’ve written about how much I love this one!!)

Kleine Flamme – Vipiteno (Bolzano)
Ortica -Bedizzole (Brescia).
Maxi – Vico Equense (Napoli).
Roof Garden – Bergamo
Vicolo Santa Lucia – Cattolica (Rimini).
L’accanto -i Vico Equense.
Baldin -Genova.
Hotel Cinzia (Vercelli).
Al Vigneto – Grumello del Monte (Bergamo).
Osteria del Pomiroeu – Seregno, Milano.
Sissi – Merano.
Antonello Colonna – Roma
Glass Hostaria – Roma.
Castel Fragsburg – Freiberg (Merano).
La Fenice – Ragusa
Le Robinie – Montescano (Pavia).
La Meridiana – Piove di Sacco (Padova).
Caffè Le Paillotes – Pescara.
Hostaria del Mare (Modena).
Il Piastrino – Pennabilli, Pesaro.
La Fornace – Barbablu di Noli (SV).
La locanda di Bu – Nusco (Avellino)

English: The Palazzo Comunale (right) and Duom...

English: The Palazzo Comunale (right) and Duomo (left) in Modena, Italy. Italiano: Palazzo Comunale (a destra) e Duomo (a sinistra) di Modena. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Italy Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

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Rome’s Colosseum: A Deadly Gladiator Combat Venue for Blood-Thirsty Spectators

Though in ruins, the Flavian Amphitheatre, now...
Image via Wikipedia

The Colosseum is Rome’s largest amphitheater. It was started in 72 A.D. by Emperor Vespasian and was inaugurated eight years later by his son Titus as an elliptical sports stadium measuring 617 feet long by 512 feet wide by 187 feet high.

This venue was primarily designed for deadly gladiator combat and wild animal fights.  This amphitheater is the largest ever built by the Roman Empire with a base of six acres.

When you tour the inside of the massive structure, you will see the elaborate network of underground passageways. There were 80 entrances that were used during Roman times.

The Colosseum in Rome Italy

Inside the Colosseum in Rome Italy

The exterior of the grand stone ellipse was erected using travertine blocks; held together with metal camps instead of mortar. The marble and granite that covered the Colosseum’s elegant facade was recycled for Rome’s palaces and churches. The travertine blocks and the large holes from the missing butterfly clamps that held the blocks together are now exposed. The clamps were held in place with lead. All of the pre-existing metal from the Colosseum has also been recycled.

The Colosseum is one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and Roman engineering. The stadium could hold up to 50,000 bloodthirsty spectators. In ancient Rome, the spectators were covered with a canopy that protected them from the intense sun called a “velarium”. This canopy was suspended by ropes and masts attached to stone corbels on the upper level of the structure. Gladiatorial combat ended in the 6th century.

Colosseum arches in Rome

Rome's Glorious Colosseum for gladiator combat

The materials that covered the Colosseum were re-cycled for other uses

To learn more about Rome visit www.vino-con-vista.com

Buon Viaggio–

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Forza Azzurri: Vino con Vista Turin and Italian Unification

English: Map of unification of Italy, 1815-70

English: Map of unification of Italy, 1815-70 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coat of Arms of the Dukes of Savoy after Emman...

Coat of Arms of the Dukes of Savoy after Emmanuel Philibert (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palazzo Madama a Torino File:Brogi, Giacomo (1...

Palazzo Madama a Torino File:Brogi, Giacomo (1822-1881) – Torino – Palazzo Madama (1865s).jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Meeting with Victor Emmanuel in Teano

Meeting with Victor Emmanuel in Teano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Palazzo Madama, Torino, Italy

Palazzo Madama, Torino, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Vittorio Emanuele II di Savoia
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Italian Unification was the political and social movement know as il Risorgimento (the Resurgence). The movement attempted to unite Italy under one flag. Italy was officially united into a nation state on March 17th, 1861. On this day, Vittorio Emanuele II, the King of Piedmont-Sardinia proclaimed the birth of a new Italian Kingdom in Turin.

This day has been declared a national holiday and many of Italy’s museums and monuments will be free. In Rome, there will be fireworks and concerts. Milan is celebrating with a free concert and Palermo will have a parade at Villa Trabia.

Turin is the largest city in the region of Piedmont and it was historically under Austro-Hungarian domination. Piedmont is located between the Alps and the Po Valley with soaring peaks and charming vined-cloaked hilly landscapes. It is the home of Italian auto maker FIAT www.turismotorino.org.

Turin was Italy‘s first capital. Her piazzas, palaces and churches are brimming with the remnants of the powerful House of Savoy. The amazing residences of the Royal House of Savoy are UNESCO World Heritage sites. They were inscribed in 1997 and include the Palazzo Reale, the Royal Armory, the Library and Stables.

When Emmanuel-Philibert, Duke of Savoy, moved his capital to Turin in 1562 he began a series of buiding projects. These projects were continued by his successors to demonstrate the power of the ruling house. The Savoy complex of buildings radiates from the Royal Palace in Turin to many country residences and hunting lodges in the surrounding countryside.

“These architectural masterpieces represent a comprehensive overview of European monumental architecture in the 17th and 18th centuries. These structures embody distinctive grandiose style and grace; depicting the prevailing doctrine of absolute monarchs.” UNESCO

In 2011, Turin celebrated 150 years of unification with special events in many regional cultural venues. Turin has more than 40 museums including the National Museum of the Risorgimento, the Egyptian Museum and the Automobile Museum.

Prior to March 17, 1861, Italy was divided into small city-states ruled by other countries like Spain and Austria. In 1861, Italy won her independence following the Risorgimento aided by Garibaldi’s military prowess. The Kingdom of Italy was proclaimed and Torino became the capital of the new kingdom.

Italian sports teams wear Azzurro Blue (azure), the official color of the House of Savoy.  At national sporting events,  the Italians chant “Forza Azzurri” which means “Go Blue.”  Here’s the soccer team in their Azzurro uniforms “Italia Championi del Mondo” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGiuX82im2s&feature=related

Visit the Pinocoteca dell’Accademia Albertina with eight rooms of fine arts and the Galleria Sabauda for Renaissance art. Bellini, Fra Angelico and Fra Filippo Lippi masterpieces are housed in these galleries.

The original Holy Shroud (Sacra Sindone) of Turin is kept in Turin’s Duomo in a silver casket inside a marble coffer. The replica is available for viewing. Carbon testing in the late 1980’s indicated that the shroud dates back to the 12th century; this invalidates the original theory of the shroud.

Facts about the Province of Turin:

The life of “Vittorio Emanuele II: The Gentleman King” will be highlighted with documents, pictures and artifacts in three locations in the province of Turin. Castle Racconigi, the location of his wedding to Archduchess Maria Adelaide of Hapsburg-Lorraine, will display the legend of  “children and families.” In the Gallery of the Shroud of Turin in Palazzo Reale, battle highlights of the Risorgimento will be exhibited.

Turin was the Hollywood of Italy. The “Zombies, Vampires, Mummies and Ghosts” visit the Museo Nazionale del Cinema on Via Montebello.

Get tickets for the  Turin Philharmonic Orchestra.

Holiday Events in Turin:

1. Mercatino di Natale on Via Roma in Turin

2. Presepi da Gustare on December 11th in Comune di Venaus

3. Mercatino di Fine Anno in Centro Storico of Oulx on December 30th

4. Mercatini di Natale in Comune di Sestrieve on December 18 and 19

5. Fiera Regionale del Bovino da Carne in Carmagnola December 10-12

6. Cioccolatorrino in Bardonecchi at Piazza delle Stretta on January 4th

7.  Il Bosco Incantato on Vie del Borgovecchio December 27th thru January 6th

Additional holiday events in Piedmont:

In Alagna, admire the Ice Nativity Scene on Christmas Eve

The Bonfire Celebration in Roatto on Christmas Eve

The torchlight re-enactment of Christmas Eve in Schierano

The “Living Nativity Scene” in Cessole and Maranzana on Christmas Eve

The cafes in Piazza San Carlo present perfect “Vino con Vista” opportunities. Sip wine and enjoy tasty agnolotti (ravioli) and tajarin all’uovo pasta. Your Moscato d’Asti will be served under a fabulous Murano glass chandelier.

King Vittorio Emanuele II would have probably preferred a glass of Barolo wine produced from Nebbiolo grapes to celebrate the unification of Italy. Try a glass of Barbaresco with some agnolotti filled with ricotta or stewed meat and garnished with white truffles. Another regional specialty is Oca alla Piedmontese.

In Piedmont, Barolo the “King of Wines”, Barbara and Barbaresco come from the vineyards of Langhe close to Liguria. This area is one of the most prestigious red wine producers in Italy.  More interesting red wines from Piedmont include Premetta, Torette, Pinot Noir and Petit Rouge. Brachetto d’Acqui, sweet Moscato d’Asti and sparkling Spumante are also produced here. The Provencia di Asti is located in the Piedmont region.

My absolute favorite everyday Italian wine is Barbera. It is produced in the town of Alba, which is also famous for white truffles. Barbera d’Alba is fruity and lighter than Barolo. Dolcetto d’Alba is also quite appealing. Most Italian wine lovers prefer the region’s prestigious Barolo.

The Buon Ricordo options in the Piedmont Region include:

1. Ristorante Torino in Alessandria at Via A. Vochieri 108 (www.bioristorantetorino.it). The signature dish is an extraordinary Rabbit with Peppers.

2. Ristorante La Contea in Neive at Piazza Cocito, 8 (www.la-contea.it) offers a Piedmonte calf-tail braised in Barbaresco  with a charming collector plate showing a cow’s tail wrapped around a glass of red wine. The restaurant is located in the center of town in the picturesque village of Langhe.

To learn more about Italy read www.vino-con-vista.comTravel Guides and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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