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Strong Coffee to Red Wine Posts

Gnocchi with Pistachio Cream Sauce

Gnocchi with Pistachio Cream Sauce Pasta with Pistachio Cream sauce was Gary’s go-to meal when we visited Sicily. His favorite pasta was gnocchi, although the cheese ravioli was a close second. So when we did the Sicilian wine tasting for our clients, I served the dish with gnocchi as one of the food pairings. It was a huge hit, and I was asked for the recipe by practically everyone. So I decided to post it here. Unfortunately, I have no pictures from when I made it, so I can only show you the end result of three meals in Sicily.…

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Taormina Sicily In One Day

This post is the fourth in a series about our trip to Sicily. This post is about Taormina, our first stop on our two-week excursion. Gary and I spent a day wandering the streets, enjoying the cuisine and sipping wines and limoncello. Check out our first, second, and third posts if you missed them when they were first posted. Taormina! We ate, we drank, we walked and walked and walked (17,000 steps), and we shopped. Then we dropped. Side Note: If you watched or are watching Season Two of The White Lotus on HBO Max, you have seen Taormina. When…

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Often, Not A Lot… #1

I don’t drink a lot… I drink often. Part One New Discoveries T. Berkley Wines from Calistoga, CA, makes wine from two grape varieties, Cabernet Franc and Chenin Blanc. Ophelia is his entry-level Cab Franc retails for about $39.99. Sadly 2019 vintage, as well as the 2020 vintage, are already sold out. But 2021 is hitting shelves now. It has only been “in bottle” since August, so I might be inclined to buy and sit on it for about a year as it will only get better and better. The T. Berkley 2019 Oak Knoll Cabernet Franc was just released,…

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Caruso e Minini ‘Perricone’ Sicily

The last winery visit during our Sicily adventure was to Caruso e Minini in Marsala. This is a relatively young winery that was created when fourth-generation winemaker Stefano Caruso partnered with Northern Italian marketer extraordinaire Mario Minini to create this brand that now exports mostly indigenous Sicilian varieties, including Grillo, Catarratto, Grecanico, Inzolia, Zibibbo, Nero d’Avola, Frappato and Perricone as well as some international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Merlot. Today, the company is helmed by Stefano’s two daughters, Giovanna and Rosanna. I am a huge fan of their wines. In addition to the Perricone, I  have enjoyed…

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The Weekly Pour #2

The Weekly Pour is the culmination of the micro posts on Strong Coffee to Red Wine. Each week subscribers will be notified via an email that posts are available to read and enjoy. This does not apply to folks using another RRS feeder. Contesa dei Venti 2020 Vittoria Doc Nero D’Avola Sicilia Last October in Sicily, on our visit to Donnafugata, we had the good fortune to have Tommaso Bellisola, the Senior Hospitality Manager at the Vittoria tasting room, lead our tasting. His depth of knowledge and his passion for Donnafugata wines was a perfect match for our needs. Contesa…

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2022 What a Year !

The other day Gary and I shared a bottle of LXV Rosé of Cabernet Franc. It was the perfect way to cap the day. As we drank it, I kept thinking about how fortunate I am. And that led me to think about the year that was 2022. But also the depth of gratitude I feel for the folks surrounding me. 2022 Gratitude… for Some Important People in my Life My Husband – we are approaching 35 years together, and I would not do it with anyone else! My Sisters – I am not sure what our parents did, but…

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Etna DOC – Wine on a Volcano

The inhabitants of Sicily have been making wine for millennia. However, the Phoenicians in the 1100 – 1000 BCE brought vines, advanced enology, and viticulture knowledge to the island, which began the quest for quality wine. Sicily’s wineries have been raising the bar ever since. Wine grapes are grown all over Sicily, including 23 DOC sub-regions and one DOCG sub-region. The island is most known for wines from Marsala DOC, Vittoria DOC, and Etna DOC. Etna DOC wines drew me to Sicilian wines, so we started our trip there. Side Note: In preparation for this trip, I read a couple…

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Sicily – 2 Weeks Tasting and Exploring

We have been home from our wine trip to Sicily for two weeks. Jetlag was a real ogre. I was almost non-functional for days. But now there is excellent clarity. We were on the island for a two-week trip using my self-guided itinerary. We accomplished a lot and covered a lot of territory, probably too much. But when I am in a new foreign location, FOMO takes over. I fear I may not return, so I cram the schedule full. Even though I left several days for sightseeing, it sometimes felt rushed, and I did not like that. But such…

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