“Vivre con leggerezza” – Notes on a Wine Card


This Saturday I am honored to have as my special guest at The Tasting Room, Andrea Contucci of Contucci Winery located in Montepulciano, Italy. The Contucci family have been making wine since 1008.  That’s no typo, the year 1008. Andrea is 40th generation Contucci family member to be involved in the family wine business.

Andrea will be pouring his family’s lineup of outstanding wines from Montepulciano to be served alongside some delicious Lasagne con Funghi and Polpette al Pomodoro.  The event is sold out but we will have his wines in the shop next week so you can taste what 1000 years of experience and tradition tastes like!

By the way…Andrea lives life lightly! Viva con leggerezza! No pressure, be spontaneous, live lightly! Live the good life!

Congrats to Villanova (go Augustinians!) for winning the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship this past Monday.  I had them winning it all but by son still won the pool between us as he had more winners throughout the tournament.  Now we turn our attention to the greatest game on earth….baseball.

Every time baseball season comes around, I can’t help but think of the James Earl Jones speech in the movie “Field of Dreams.” One of the most moving moments in movie history in my opinion. Check it out here if you’ve never seen it or if you just want to feel good all over again. Field of Dreams Speech

Vin Scully was like fine wine – he aged so beautifully and graciously.  I sure do miss his voice and the unique way he called baseball games. He recited the famous Field of Dreams speech also and did an outstanding job. Check his version out here… Vin Scully Field of Dreams

Did you know Major League Baseball teams have their own wine selections?  Check out the wine page at MLB wines and find your favorite team’s wine.  I am just wondering if the White Sox and Red Sox wines exhibit a little dirty sock aroma or if the St Louis Cardinals wine is holy and only served at communion or the 7th inning stretch? Is the Marlins wine only good with fish? Lastly, is the Colorado Rockies wine a beer? (They play at Coors Field in case you didn’t know)

If you think the wines aren’t any name brands you’ve heard of, think again.  The San Francisco Giants (boo hiss) have a 2014 Mumm Napa Limited Edition Championship Brut to commemorate their championship from that year. Giants – evil, Dodgers – good.

This week’s tasting is all chardonnay!  I constantly hear people remarking at The Tasting Room that they can’t find a single chardonnay that is drinkable. My inner voice says they aren’t drinking the right chardonnays.  When chardonnay is done properly, it is an excellent wine.  My outer voice has to say that they need to keep tasting and I’m sure they will find a good chardonnay. So I was challenged to find some good ones….

I believe I have found 4 chardonnays that will appeal to everyone.  Two French Chardonnay along with two California Chardonnay.  All price points, inexpensive to whoa! So stop by Thursday or Friday and see if you agree with my selections.

Bernier Chardonnay, Val de Loire 2016 $9.99

Capitain Gagnerot Haut Cotes de Beaune “Les Gueulottes” 2015  $26.99

Lea Chardonnay, Moorman Vineyard Santa Barbara County 2014  $29.99

Shafer Chardonnay, Red Shoulder Ranch Napa Valley Carneros 2015  $59.99


Grenache is fast becoming a darling of the wine world.  Mostly known in the past as a grape from Spain or southern France, grenache is making its mark around the world.  The revival is due to producers making wines that are elegant and with nuances of finesse.  These aren’t the behemoths from California that went into cheap jug wine.  The wines are more subtle now with bright fruit and savory finishes. We have several in the shop currently that you should check out. Mallea Grenache Santa Barbara County 2015 for $24.99 is one that I have been enjoying lately.

Last word comes from Babe Ruth – “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”  Keep swinging away and keep on tasting!










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