Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

To the Max

20 Nov
2012

The phone buzzed annoyingly at my work desk. I suggested to my colleague seated next to me that she pick it up because the likelihood of it being for me was slim.

To my surprise, five seconds into her telephone conversation she handed me the receiver, “There’s a Max wishing to speak to you.”

Max is quite the distinctive name. There are not that many famous people with the moniker, unless you consider the American Max Factor of the cosmetics company. My head quickly reeled through the people I know and the only one who I could safely assume was on the other end was fellow wine industry person, wine writer and mandolin virtuoso, Max Allen.

Continue reading

The Sound of Wine

9 Oct
2012

The hills are alive…with music and wine.

There are some who consider these two elements to hold a romantic link with one another. I could be referring to Alois Lageder in Trentino-Alto Adige playing classical music to his fermenting wines, or Shadowfax’s Matt Harrop playing Triple R radio non-stop to his stainless steel tanks. In this particular case, I draw your attention to a Sicilian producer called Tasca d’Almerita who forwarded this promotional video to me.

However there is a twist.

Instead of the traditional concept of playing music to wine…this talented group use the wine to make the music. 

Enjoy the Sound of Wine – sans Julie Andrews…

The Fathers, the Greats, the Gods and the Kings

4 Sep
2012
vintage photo, cane, book, sartorial,

Vintage photo by The Sartorialist

It was the second day of Spring, a glorious, bright blue filled the wide open sky and the sun was brimming with warming rays. It was Father’s Day and I was down on the farm eating and relaxing with the family. This setting made me realise that it is not often enough that we get to celebrate a person we hold so dear and admire so much. In fact, they should be honoured, loved and cherished at every possible opportunity. So here I am with what I thought might be a lovely idea by commemorating the greats, the fathers, the gods, or more fittingly, the kings. 

Continue reading

A tidbit of La Donna del Vino in Australia’s Wine Business Magazine

21 Aug
2012

Two weeks ago I returned home from work and stuck my hand in the typically empty mailbox. Today was unlike every other day as there in the cold steel box lay the latest copy of Australia’s Wine Business Magazine (WBM). I threw it onto the dining table, made myself a cup of tea and began to flick through its pages.

A couple of months prior, WBM had put a little spiel by an unnamed wine blogger in their weekly e-newsletter called The Week That Was (TWTW). At the end of the piece they suggested to any other wine bloggers out there that they too should send in their story. A few days later I submitted a little piece about the La Donna del Vino blog to the magazine. The editor, Anthony Madigan, was in touch a couple of weeks later to request some photos as he may print it in the upcoming TWTW or the WBM. I was not holding my breath and the subsequent e-newsletters and magazine released immediately after did not contain the piece. As you can then imagine with this following issue, I was not expecting to be flicking through and stumble across this little tidbit on page 52 in the all-important Social Media section. I didn’t exactly squeal, but I did choke back a little gasp.

The title read: “Late one night after a bottle of Nebbiolo…”

Click through to read the article: WBM La Donna del Vino

Fifty Shades of Grey

7 Aug
2012


Continue reading

Random: To make you smile

24 Jul
2012

Today I am simply sharing a beautiful quote and a 1964 clip that never fails to put a smile on my face. They both come from the great man, Signor Luciano Pavarotti.

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.”
Luciano Pavarotti

Wine Reviews June

19 Jun
2012

Continue reading

“Let us proceed to the Amontillado”

12 Jun
2012

I came across Amontillado (a pale medium-dry sherry from Spain) at the tender age of ten. Do not worry. This story is a little less devious than you might think.

Continue reading

Being Indiana Jones and the Hula Hoop Queen

5 Jun
2012

I want you to picture yourself sitting in a room, overcome with an insatiable thirst and your favourite wine is sitting before you.

Now imagine that that bottle of wine is just out of reach. Frustrating, isn’t it?

Continue reading

The Nonno Diaries – Chapter 4

29 May
2012

Recap: Elio is my grandfather, my Nonno. For someone who is known around his hometown as the man with a perpetual smile on his face, I can only hope to be as content as he is one day. These are simply the stories that he has recounted to me with a twinkle in his eye and that I hope to keep alive by writing them down.

THE NONNO DIARIES

To read ‘Chapter One – The Journey Over’ click here.

To read ‘Chapter Two – School & The Depression Era‘ click here.

To read ‘Chapter Three – The War Years’ click here

CHAPTER FOUR

LIFE, LOVE AND VERA

Continue reading

Wine Reviews May

15 May
2012

MONTEVECCHIO Rosso 2011

Heathcote, Victoria

RRP $23.00

wine, label, heathcote, victoria

Continue reading

In the Face of a Deluge of Red Wine…

8 May
2012

Leftover cooking wine, poached pears, recipe

It happens to the best of us. You drink too much red wine and then are left with the problem of what to do with the remnants that have gone past their best after a week exposed to air. There are a few options to consider: Continue reading

Flight of the Vermin

24 Apr
2012
vintage ad, old advertisement, laxatives

Referring to the upper advertisement, not the lower, but don’t take my advice…

An excerpt from ‘Sleeping and Waking‘ [December, 1934] in F.Scott Fitzgerald’sOn Booze‘ notebook.

My own experience with night pests was at a time of utter exhaustion – too much work undertaken, interlocking circumstances that made the work twice as arduous, illness within and around – the old story of troubles never coming singly. And ah, how I had planned that sleep that was to crown the end of the struggle – how I had looked forward to the relaxation into a bed soft as a cloud and permanent as a grave. An invitation to dine à deux with Greta Garbo would have left me indifferent.

But had there been such an invitation I would have done well to accept it, for instead I dined alone, or rather was dined upon by one solitary mosquito.

Continue reading

Love and Games and Walter James

17 Apr
2012

An excerpt from the memory banks [2008] of La Donna del Vino

Zorro, scene, movie, black and white, tumble, fall

Precariously climbing barrels. Scene from Zorro’s Romance.

Continue reading

The Nonno Diaries – Chapter 3

3 Apr
2012

Recap: Elio is my grandfather, my Nonno. For someone who is known around his hometown as the man with a perpetual smile on his face, I can only hope to be as content as he is one day. These are simply the stories that he has recounted to me with a twinkle in his eye and that I hope to keep alive by writing them down.

THE NONNO DIARIES

To read ‘Chapter One – The Journey Over’ click here.

To read ‘Chapter Two – School & The Depression Era‘ click here.

CHAPTER THREE

THE WAR YEARS

Continue reading

Great Grange & Grand Italians – A wine tasting event

20 Mar

2012

Penfolds Grange is unquestionably Australia’s most famous red wine and has reached celestial heights in terms of adoration and expectation. From its experimental inception in 1951 by winemaker Max Schubert, Grange has been lovingly crafted to shine as a uniquely Australian wine of longevity, power and class.

“Grange’s aesthetic quality and remarkable aging potential is the stuff of legends.”

Andrew Caillard MW

In line with the 20-year celebration of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, an event was arranged that could commemorate the significance of this anniversary. Two bottles each of Penfolds Grange 1971 and 1976 (tested by the clinic in 2011) were obtained from a close friend of the owner of my workplace. The extensive museum Italian wine list was pulled out for perusal. It was like being a kid in a candy store as eight other wines were chosen that hail from Italy which would sit alongside Australia’s most iconic wine. The wines selected are classified in the upper echelon of quality and come from the most respected producers. These include rare wines such as Ceretto Bricco Rocche Barolo Brunate 1990, Produttori del Barbaresco Montefico 1985, Mastrojanni Brunello di Montalcino Schiena d’Asino 1990, Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella ‘Monte Olmi’ 1991, Castello di Ama Chianti Classico 1997 and even the famous Toscana IGT wine Antinori’s Tignanello 1985 and Bolgheri’s inimitable Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia DOC 1987.

In total, the combined age of these wines is over 200 years. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one that I feel privileged to have been able to pour at. Below is a visual diary of the evening with small commentary made as to the condition of the wines.

La Donna del Vino savouring a glass of Grange

Continue reading

Where The Wild Things Are

6 Mar
2012
Wild Boar, shooter, gunman, hunter

Source unknown

Continue reading

The Nonno Diaries – Chapter 2

28 Feb
2012

A young Elio

Recap: Elio is my grandfather, my Nonno. For someone who is known around his hometown as the man with a perpetual smile on his face, I can only hope to be as content as he is one day. These are simply the stories that he has recounted to me with a twinkle in his eye and that I hope to keep alive by writing them down.

THE NONNO DIARIES

To read ‘Chapter One – The Journey Over’ click here.

CHAPTER TWO

SCHOOL & THE DEPRESSION ERA

Continue reading

Light My Fire – The Aphrodisiac

21 Feb
2012

Sharon and Darren were out on what was officially their third date. Being such an auspicious occasion, he had brought her to the swankiest restaurant in town overlooking the bay. They both sat perusing the menu with Darren’s eyes immediately scanning the list of entrees. Underneath the kingfish and salmon lay the particular item he had been hoping for.

Oysters.

He had heard they were meant to be an aphrodisiac, ‘The perfect accompaniment to start what will hopefully be a perfect evening with Sharon’.

Or so he thought.

Continue reading

Wine Reviews February

14 Feb
2012

FIGHTING GULLY ROAD ‘Aquila’ 2010

King Valley & Alpine Valley, Victoria

RRP $24

wine, review, Heathcote, white wine, chardonnay, petit manseng, viognier

Continue reading