Support earthquake-affected wines from Marche, Umbria, and Abruzzo by buying them in your hometown
An American in Pollenzo

Support earthquake-affected wines from Marche, Umbria, and Abruzzo by buying them in your hometown

If you ever traveled to the Italian regions of Marche (Marches), Umbria, or Abruzzo, you know that part of their charm is how underdeveloped they are. Especially when compared with the once pristine wine growing areas of the north, for example, where industrial expansion has radically reshaped the landscape over the last three decades, these … …read more

The Roundup narrative: The most pernicious form of food and wine writing?
An American in Pollenzo

The Roundup narrative: The most pernicious form of food and wine writing?

Yesterday, the New York Times reported the a most astonishing, although not surprising, statistic: “Over the last two decades, Monsanto has genetically re-engineered corn, soybeans and cotton so it is much easier to spray them with the weed killer [Roundup], and some 220 million pounds of glyphosate [the herbicide used in Roundup] were used in … …read more

Carbonara: Debunking the “Carbonari” myth
An American in Pollenzo

Carbonara: Debunking the “Carbonari” myth

Earlier this week, I was a presenter at a major Italian food and wine fair in Houston where I live. The marquee event of the festival was a seminar on Carbonara, including a talk on the origins of the history of the dish by me and my colleague Chris Reid, a food writer for the … …read more

Regulatory wine writing and America’s mercantile paradox
An American in Pollenzo

Regulatory wine writing and America’s mercantile paradox

This week, I wrote a post for the Houston Press on a proposed bill that would change the way wine is sold and distributed in the state of Texas where I live. The new legislation was put forth by a lawmaker from the Dallas area. If the bill were to pass, it would lift a … …read more

The saddest kind of wine writing: Tabloid journalism
An American in Pollenzo

The saddest kind of wine writing: Tabloid journalism

This week, I found myself writing a — how else to put it? — lugubrious post for a client of mine in Prosecco country. My post was a bullet-point summary and overview of a lengthy Italian-language blog post by an Italian writer who specializes in agricultural journalism and marketing. In his post he countered claims … …read more

Wine writing in the era of fake news
An American in Pollenzo

Wine writing in the era of fake news

The other night, in an effort to avoid watching the depressing news coming out of Washington, D.C., my wife and I stumbled upon the 1997 action-thriller movie, “Air Force One” with Harrison Ford and Glenn Close. At a certain point in the story, news of the president’s planing being highjacked is “broken” by CNN. A … …read more

Sex, drugs, and foie gras: Pain, longing, and desire in food blogging
An American in Pollenzo

Sex, drugs, and foie gras: Pain, longing, and desire in food blogging

Above: “[The Murder of] Paolo and Francesca,” painting by 19th-century Italian artist Carlo Arienti (image via Wikipedia Creative Commons). Unless you entirely missed out on the Western canon, you have surely read about Paolo and Francesca, the star-crossed lovers who Dante and Virgil encounter in the fifth canto of the Inferno. It’s one of the … …read more

Osteria del Boccondivino in Bra: Where a grand (intellectual) tradition continues
An American in Pollenzo

Osteria del Boccondivino in Bra: Where a grand (intellectual) tradition continues

osteria, Italian for tavern or inn, more commonly used today for restaurant, often in the country and generally a venue where traditional and locally specific dishes are served. The word comes from the Latin hostes in the sense of guest, stranger, or foreigner. One of the most memorable experiences from my first stint teaching at … …read more

What is wine writing? What are the functions of wine writing?
An American in Pollenzo

What is wine writing? What are the functions of wine writing?

Over the past couple of weeks here on the American in Pollenzo blog, we’ve started to take a look at the morality and ethics of wine writing. Before we continue, I wanted to take a step back and start to formulate a list of “functions of wine writing.” It’s inspired in part by (although not … …read more