Welcome to this week’s Giro d’Ombra (here’s how you say it), a quick shot of Italian wine, food & culture to get your weekend off to a great start.
Labor Day weekend is in full swing, and if you’re reading this you’re probably like me and staying closer to home. It’s smokin’ hot here in Los Gatos (108 degrees today), and I’m chilling out with my favorite Venetian cocktail, the Aperol Spritz — a perfect pairing for today’s Giro d’Ombra.
This week I’m sharing some secrets on how to find and buy wines online while saving some bucks (most wine shops won’t tell you what I’m sharing). Italy’s grape harvest has kicked off nearly 2 weeks earlier than usual, and winemakers are fretting about the changing climate. And, I’m sharing a secret recipe for Spaghetti alla Scarpara, a Cinque Terre pasta dish that people rave over.
For those in a shopping mood, don’t miss free shipping on wine, coffee, and 10% off everything in our wine shop.
Read on, and stay cool!
How to find & buy wines online (and save money).
Buying wine online used to be scary.
“What if my wine never shows up?”
“What happens to my credit card number once I’ve made the purchase?”
There’s no need to worry, these days it’s really quite easy and very safe. Check out my how-to guide for finding and buying wines online (and how to save big bucks with discounts and free shipping)
The wine grape harvest begins in Italy — and winemakers are fretting.
Italy’s annual wine harvest, the biggest in the world, is off to its earliest start in a decade as the country swelters in a heatwave following months of drought.
“Nebbiolo means the wine of the fog because you picked the grapes in November when the fog is dense,” said Michele Reverdito in the Barolo region. “Now we pick in September! The world is changing.”
See how Italy’s winemakers are dealing with a rapidly changing climate in this New York Times article on the 2017 Harvest.
This recipe is the bomb: Spaghetti alla Scarpara, Vernazza style.
If you’ve been to the Cinque Terre and visited Vernazza, you know there’s a Trattoria on the breakwater called Gianni Franzi.
When it comes to one local Ligurian dish, there is nothing better than Gianni Franzi’s Spaghetti alla Scarpara.
Once you’ve tasted it, you’re a fan for life. The savory flavors of fresh Italian tomatoes, peppers, onions, capers and a fistful of fresh oregano scream Liguria. Pair it up with the local wine and you’re in heaven.
Their Scarpara recipe is a secret, and Gianni is not talking. No worries — I’ve deconstructed it and now I’m sharing this awesome pasta recipe with the pasta-loving world. Come check it out.
Barbera, Prosecco, and Coffee, oh my!
Hey, it’s Labor Day Weekend, and I’m passing along special savings on new goodies that have just arrived.
Check out my new post on How to Find and Buy Wines Online and take 10% off everything in the shop, and get free shipping if you want to stock up on bottles.
Here’s what new or back in stock this week:
- Bartolo Mascarello Barbera d’Alba 2014 — $44
Another rare treat from Maria Teresa’s Cantina, the 2014 Barbera d’Alba is delicious. Very few bottles of her Barbera escape from Italy, and I’m lucky to be able to fly some over direct from Piemonte to share with Mascarello fans. Pink rose on the nose with a burst of cherries, cranberries, currants, and a hint of crabapple on the palate. Check out her 2013 vintage (also now in stock) if you like more full-bodied Barbera.
- Sorelle Bronca Prosecco Extra Dry — $14
I love Prosecco more than any other bubbly (yep, even more than Champagne) because it’s delicious, inexpensive and versatile. Pouring a glass of Prosecco after the end of a long day is a joy, and you can even make great cocktails with it. The Bronca Sisters make the best Prosecco I’ve ever tasted. Here’s a great option that’s easy on the pocket book.
- COFFEE! Tazza d’Oro La Regina Coffee from Rome — $14.95
This superb “Queen of the Coffees” blend of 9 Arabica coffee beans from high mountain plantations is what put Tazza d’Oro on the map, right in the Center of Rome (and within eyeshot of the Pantheon). This is tough to keep in stock, and Fans always wipe me out. Get Free Shipping on your Tazza d’Oro order, just use coupon code TAZZA-DORO-FREE and select Free Shipping at checkout.
Are you enjoying your Giro d’Ombra? If so, please forward this email to a friend and suggest they sign up for their own weekly shot of Italian fun.
P.S. — I’m jonesing for a trip to Tuscany, and thousands of others are, too. Check out this awesome video of a Tuscan fly-over, it’s my most popular Facebook post of last week. Happy travels! ~Michael