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26 February 2019

The Great Red of Umbria: Preview Tasting of Montefalco Sagrantino 2015

The year 2015 had been outstanding, rated five stars out of five by the Consorzio Tutela Vini Montefalco (Consortium for the Protection of the Wines of Montefalco). The winter was rainy, while spring was sunny and windy, and summer was dry, warm and sunny. It was an ideal climatic condition for the growth of the grape vines with just enough rain showers at the last phase of maturation and harvest that allowed to get balanced and perfectly ripe grapes. With the healthy grapes having reached optimum phenolic maturity and excellent concentration of sugars, the wines produced in this vintage had shown their best with regards to aromatic level, balance, structure and complexity. It is also good to know that Sagrantino is one of the grape varieties that has one of the highest content of polyphenols. In a nutshell, expect Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG 2015 to be an excellent vintage to put in your glass or better yet, to stock in your cellar! 

25 February 2019

Le Verger des Papes in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France: Wine Tasting and Dining

Le Verger des Papes stands on a historical position just next to the 14th century castle of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the summer residence of the popes during the Avignon Papacy. The restaurant has a panoramic terrace shaded with trees where tables are laid out during the warm months. Overlooking the top of the village, it gives a picturesque view of the rooftops of the village, rows of vineyards, Mount Ventoux, Avignon and the Palais des Papes. For dining, indeed it boasts a great vantage point in seeing everything around Chateauneuf-du-Pape.

10 February 2019

Fornace Stella in Rome, Italy: You'll Love This New Pizzeria

The idea of a pizza meal in Italy is a kind of casual and quick dining to be enjoyed with family and friends. That's what proprietors and friends Enrico Mercatili and Roberto Priora had in mind when they created Fornace Stella in Piazza Lecce (a short distance from Piazza Bologna). The place is big enough, accommodating about a hundred patrons but without making you feel the vastness of the space because the tables are distributed in four well-insulated and cozy rooms that absorb excessive noise. With the architecture of Strato and consultancy of Laurenzi Consulting, known for their excellent works in other Roman restaurants, Fornace Stella is able to provide a cozy ambience in its maze of four beautifully designed welcoming spaces.

09 February 2019

La Mère Germaine in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, France

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is small village that lies 12 kilometers north of Avignon in southeastern France with just over 2,000 of population. Its popularity is attached to the red wine production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) and in the medieval period, the castle that sits above the village that was built for the popes who have resided in in the 14th century in nearby Avignon after moving away from Rome.

05 February 2019

Wines in Magnum Bottles at Ardengo Bistrot in Prato (Tuscany), Italy

Ardengo is a bistrot at the center of Prato that centers on a distinctive level of dining experience linking good wine and innovative food created by their chef Cristina Liguori. Opened in July 2017 by Mirko Banacchioni and Lorenzo Filippini who are both sommeliers with baggage of experiences, highlights one whole wall of the bistrot as its particularly interesting wine menu. The concept is greatly inspired by their mentor, the late Renzo Priori, one of the most distinguished experts on wines and a collaborator of important food and wine guides. With the eye catching magnum bottles of their white and red wine proposals line the wall upon entry to the modern and minimalistic space. The wine bottles are only available in magnum format as well as in glasses, with the use of the Coravin system that extracts the wine from the bottle without the need to pop the cork.

04 February 2019

Hiromi Cake, The First Japanese Pastry Shop in Rome, Italy

The opening of a traditional Japanese pastry shop finally completes the circle of one of the most favored cuisine in the capital. Hiromi Cake was opened by Pastry Chef Hiromi  in the Prati area of Rome where she maintains a laboratory for making yogashi, sweets of foreign origin and wagashi, the traditional Japanese sweets that are best enjoyed accompanied with a cup of green tea.

02 February 2019

Restaurant Christian Etienne: 30 Years of Michelin Star in Avignon, France

Avignon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a dramatic city to explore with a rich history to reveal as you take every single step in its cobblestone roads. Between 1309 to 1377, during the Avignon Papacy when the popes moved away from Rome, seven successive popes resided in the Palais des Papes. Even after the papacy moved back to Rome, the city remained under the papal control until late 18th century when it finally became united with the rest of France after the French Revolution.

01 February 2019

Hotel Shangri-La in Rome, Italy: Reopening with Style

When Hotel Shangri-La closed its doors for the last time last 30 July 2017, the capital lost a piece of its modern story because for 47 years, the Romans had a token of memory attached to the elegance and hospitality that the hotel provided. In December 2018, after a year and a half, Hotel Shangri-La opened its doors once again revealing a total new look and identity. The hotel was purchased from the Corsetti family and completely refurbished by the Lo.An Group of the Lazzarini family, hoteliers for over 35 years.