Sweet Memories of Wine Making

I’m here in Toronto at Pusateri’s to demo/book sign at the Avenue Road Location. The staff not to mention the customers are world class – very warm, friendly and welcoming!

During my three day stay with my parent’s, catching up with neighbors and friends brings back wonderful memories. Not to mention, it’s that time of year where the garages turn into wine making magic. Everybody has cases of grapes ready for grinding as they hose down the driveways from the excess fruits and those nasty fruit flies!

As a child I remember our families all made their own wine. My dad would use and then loan out his grape grinder, as well as offer free consultation about the lunar cycle and when to add sulphites. This traditional process, which he swears by, was successful for all, year after year.

I also remember my grandfather would treat us to slices of our homegrown peaches, gently dipped in his homemade wine. The perfect wine pairing from organic and local fruits in our back yards!

This is the perfect time of year to check out your local wine shops as we get ready for the beginning of the Holidays!

In my book, Breaking Bread in L’Aquila, my dear friend Jocelyn Klemm (www.thewinecoaches.com) was very helpful with summarizing the many attributes and characteristics of wines in Abruzzo. Like me, Jocelyn feels that you should be informed, but let your taste—as opposed to trends—dictate what wine you enjoy. So, if you don’t particularly enjoy white wine, choose a red that would complement your dish (and vice versa). Though we’ve suggested wines that match the meals, we suggest that you also explore and experiment.

L’Aquila is situated in genuine wine country, within the province of Abruzzo, between the sea and the mountains. Though not as well known as Tuscany or Veneto, Abruzzo places fifth in terms of production among Italy’s wine regions. And while the flagship Montepulciano d’Abruzzo has had a reputation as a mass market wine, this prolific, plump and juicy grape makes good, even great, wines, with its deep color, lower acidity, and soft, sweet tannins.

Abruzzo wine styles range from dry “still” wines (bianco/white, rosso/red, or rosato/rosé) to sweet passito (dessert) wines. The wines feature indigenous grapes of the region: Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Pecorino, Passerina, Malvasia and Cococciola, as well as international varietals like Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

In white wine, Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is most prominent; a light, neutral wine with higher acidity.

The red wines of Abruzzo are distinctive. Montepulciano d’Abruzzo comes in two main styles of red wines: the first is young, fresh-tasting, robust, fruity and uncomplicated.

There’s a third style of wine made with Montepulciano, the appealing rosé wine Cerasuolo, named for its cherry-red color.

Drink wines that you and your guests enjoy! Here’s to a glass of your favorite vino and appetizers!

If you are in Toronto – I’m at Pusateri’s from noon to five pm. I will be featuring pasta and two types of tomato sauce (one plain tomato sauce and the second, I add pancetta)!

a presto,


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