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Wine Lady: the 3 ladies of Italian wine in the USA

Wine Lady: a title for Monica Larner, Karin O’Keefe, and Alison Napjus, tasters of Italian wines for Robert Parker-Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast and Wine Spectator

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Wine-Lady-Monica-Larner

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

If the American wine market is not entirely dominated by women, but we are nearly there. Let me introduce you to 3 different Wine Lady, the women who taste Italian wines for the main USA wine magazines. They are great experts, young, intelligent, open and hard workers as they work without rest.  Monica Larner, Kerin O’Keefe, Alison Napjus are the ones who give the ratings to the Italian wines for the most influential magazines on the American market Robert Parker-Wine Advocate, Wine Enthusiast and  Wine Spectator. Their ratings open the doors to Canadian monopolies and get wines into the wine lists of the most exclusive restaurants; they also help wineries in starting rapports with new importers. In other words they help in launching towards success.

Let’s get to know these three wine women better

Kerin-O'Keefe-Wine-Lady

Kerin-O’Keefe-Wine-Lady

MONICA LARNER

Monica Larner is from California but lives in Rome. She comes from a family where wine and cinema cohabit and it was during filming of the TV series “World War II” that she arrived in Italy in 1983. Her life continued between the family winery in the Ballard Canyon in Santa Barbara (California) and journalism that she studied in the universities of Boston and New York. In her professional life there are some experiences with daily newspapers such as La Repubblica and The Herald Tribune, the AIS sommelier course, many books on Italy and an immense photo archive of about 50.000 images. Read more…

Food bloggers in Italy: is it a hobby or a job?

In Italy there are 280 food bloggers: is this an activity you can live off or is it only a cost for those who do it without compromise? Let’s find out together

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini, Montalcino, Casato Prime Donne

Italian-Food-blogger-Sonia-Peronaci

Italian-Food-blogger-Sonia-Peronaci

The case with  Giallo Zafferano is emblematic. Born in 2006 thanks to Sonia Peronacci and her partner, both accountants who in their free time wrote and photographed recipes to then divulge online. This has become a venture that employs 30 people and has 2 million contacts per day, important investors…. But in the end  Sonia ended up not recognizing herself in this project, and has sold her shares and got out. Now she is concentrating on <<video recipes in English too (there is practically an online encyclopedia and I wish to open it up abroad”), and a wider view regarding the cuisine. “Something a little more modern in its contents with respect to GialloZafferano” for example intolerances>> she said in an interview for  Gamberorosso.

Italian -food-blogger- Ada-Parisi-siciliani-creativi-in-cucina

Italian -food-blogger- Ada-Parisi-siciliani-creativi-in-cucina

Another high end food blogger who has a similar passion but is oriented towards haute cuisine and refuses any publicity,: Ada Parisi from “Siciliani creativi in cucina”. When she came to prepare the “polpettine di tonno” and the “caponata” (a dream that you would just not believe) for the Casato Prime Donne award, I asked her <<but being a food blogger has a costs you?>> she touched her glasses and closed her mouth tight <<I am a journalist for a large agency, I try the recipes and I publish them as I like to cook them and share, if I must prepare them with ingredients I do not like, then I don’t do it! >>. “Siciliani creativi in cucina” grows in followers month after month, and maybe it is its rigor that is the key to success .

Read more…

Extra virgin olive oil, too many frauds and not enough : buy it in the countryside

3 restaurants out of 4 do not respect the rule of using closures against top ups, there is a 278% increase in products confiscated because adulterated, or false oils

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extra-virgin-olive-oil-fraud

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

Information regarding frauds and advice for those who want at home an extra virgin olive oil to exalt the taste of food and is good for your health.

Frauds are destroying the wonderful reputation Italian extra virgin olive oil had. Prestige that had taken years and years of work and investments to get qualified olive groves, olive mills and employees. A million hectares of olive grove, the most olive oils with an appellation (44) in Europe, and the largest number of olive varieties in the world with  395 cultivar (see Cronache di Gusto).

On September 28th, the day dedicated to olive oil, that took place in Florence, became a court case, with Coldiretti on the defensive and 10,000 angry farmers who arrived in the city on their tractors.

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Extra-virgin-olive-oil-Fattoria-del-Colle-Bruschetta

Frauds have quadrupled; with in prime position the sale of foreign oils as if it were made in Italy and even sunflower seed oil labelled as extra virgin olive oil. So Roberto Moncalvo President of the Coldiretti asks for names <<of the companies where the oil from abroad is destined>>. This is in fact what is most scary for those who bring in tankers full of oil of dubious provenance and quality; Let us know their names.  29,5 million euro of sequestered goods,  58 people reported to the authorities have not in fact been sufficient to stop this ever growing scam: I buy oil abroad, I bottle it in Italy, and I sell it as if it came from our olive groves. Read more…

Social media wine’s virtual grapevine

Blog, newsletters, social media, reviews portals, local searches, OTA: the many forms of online wine grapevine that creates an image and turnover

Wine- virtual -grapevine-Cantine-Barbera

Wine- virtual -grapevine-Cantine-Barbera

By Donatella Cinelli Colombini

The virtual wine grapevine is the major instrument for the growth of wine tourism. Up until 2013 it was a human chain mouth to ear, today the viral action that takes place on the web among wine lovers who publish images of their visit and comment the experience, wine bloggers who write posts that then get shared … A procedure that must be cared for and fed and in so doing you create a community with whom there is a daily dialogue. One of the most efficient instruments for this scope is the creation of a newsletter to be sent via internet every 15 days always the same day and time) to those who have visited the winery or who have made contact through the web site. It should contain offers reserved for faithful clients (events, special releases) ..the next few appointments and some news. The client becomes a friend –follower and is regularly updated with what is happening on the estate, so as to become aware of the daily goings on. The newsletter is also useful to sell courses, tastings, shopping to a particularly attentive and faithful clientele.

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Wine- virtual- grapevine-Wine-Marketing-&-tourism-conference

Obviously the mother of all news is the blog or the news section in the web site. Many wineries have a blog but only Marilena Barbera, of the Sicilian Barbera wineries has been able to get into the first positions in the international ratings as wine blogger. Each producer has their own style. There are those like myself who write about everything that makes me curious even out of the estate and then there are those who rigorously write only about their own wines and tourism proposals. All techniques are right if they bring visibility and clients.

Read more…

Chaimaa Fatihi, Giuseppe Casciaro, Bruno Gambacorta and Filippa Lagerback Casato Prime Donne 2016

The Casato Prime Donne jury; with for the first time Donatella Cinelli Colombini as President, have chosen a Muslim young woman who is against Isis

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Casato Prime Donne Award 2016 – Chaimaa Fatihi

3 big names have been chosen among those who divulge this territory: Giuseppe Casciaro editor of the Repubblica supplements, Bruno Gambacorta with his Eat Parade and Filippa Lagerback with her tourism by bike.

Chaimaa Fatihi, 23 years old, is studying law in Modena and is the commissary for the Giovani Musulmani d’Italia (young Muslims in Italy) at the Forum Nazionale Giovani, straight after the attack at Bataclan spoke for the Koran followers who are horrified by violence with an open letter -to terrorists then published on the front page of “Repubblica” <<Maledetti Teroristi– Damned terrorists>> she wrote <<My faith is in Islam, a religion that preaches peace …. As a Muslim I disclaim you, I fight you with words, with information, with the voice of those who live daily their faith and being an example of its teachings>>.

Casato-Prime-Donne-Awaed-2016-Filippa-Lagerback

Casato Prime Donne Award 2016 – Filippa Lagerback

In this young woman who has affronted the fundamentalists wearing her veil and bare handed, the Jury of the Casato Prime Donne Award – made up of Donatella Cinelli Colombini president, Rosy Bindi, Anselma Dell’Olio, Anna Pesenti, Stefania Rossini, Anna Scafuri and Daniela Viglione- has seen an example of courage and a new type of femininity able to move consciences

The prizes for the journalism sections, destined to those who divulge the Montalcino territory and Brunello went to  Giuseppe Casciaro for the article Dall’albergo vicino a Montalcino un panorama suggestivo. Castello di Velona published in “La Repubblica”, Bruno Gambacorta for his TV programme called 50 anni della DOC sent on air byTG2 Eat Parade and Filippa Lagerback for her TV programme In bici con Filippa: Montalcino sent on air by “Bike Channel”.

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