Big Guns of Italian Wine in Town


Giuseppe Tasca D’Almerita and Daniel Bellino Zwicke, Vittorio Fiore with Marilisa Allegrini, and Angela Macullan at Winebow Tasting 2008


Some ot the “Big Guns” of ITALIAN WINE where in Town and at the Winebow Portfolio Tasting on September 16th & 17th. First-Off was Vittorio Fiore, one of the Greatest Italian Winemakers of this time or anytime. Vittorio was Show his renowned Super Tuscan Wine “Il Carbbonione”
Vittorio produces Il Carbbonione on his beautiful wine estate Podere Poggio Scalette high up in one of Greve’s highest vineyards where you can see the whole Chianti Classico wine zone from this vantage point. It is a beautiful sight where I have been forunate on two occasions to spend time tasting wine with Vittorio and his sons while nibbling on the wonderful homemade Salami and Prosciutto that son and Vineyard Manager Jyuri Fiore makes with the help from great old friend “Dante.” Dante is a wonderful old village farmer who knows how to make fantastic Salumi, among other things. He’s a absolute gem!

Il Carbbonione is made of 100% Sangiovese. The 2004 vintage that Vittorio was pouring at the tasting was absolute perfection, strong but not too concentrated, exhibiting nice Black Cherry and earthiness in ,the mouth. Vittorio says it is one of his best vintage ever, “I agree completely.”

Merilisa Allegrini (another Heavy Hitter) was on hand as well. Showing all the great Allegrini wines, including; La Grolla, La Poja, and thier 2003 Amarone, which as usual is one of the regions top producers of famed Amarone.

Giuseppe Tasca d’ Almerita was present. Giuseppe and his family make one of Sicily’s most famous and renowned wines “Rosso del Conte” Rosso del Conte is mad of 100% Nero d’Avola. This wine along with “Duca Enrico” is the greatest and most prestigious in all of Sicily. When tasted, I had a incrediable explosion of Ripe Red Fruit flavors in my mouth. The wine was phenominal, smooth, silky, and perfectly balance as Rosso del Conte usually is. This is one of Italy most consistenly wonderful primium wines. “Always Great!”

reported by Daniel Bellino Zwicke

>Totonno’s Pizzeria Napolitano



There’s always a big debate on who makes the “Best Pizza in New York City.” It’s never ending, and with the World of Youtube and Blogs, the coverage that Pizza and the Pizza Parlors of New York is absolutely “Astronomical.” Hundreds of people comment on Pizza and New Yorks Pizzerias every single day. Who has the “Best Pizza Overall,” who has the “Best Slice” in town, who makes the best Coal Oven, the best wood, or the best gas fired Pizza? Who? Firt-off, when it comes to, which city in the United States of America makes the “Best Pizza,” this is the “Easiest Thing on Earth.” There is no contest!!! It’s “NEW YORK.” Everbody knows it. For Pizza, when it comes to the “BEST,” there’s no place else!!! There’s ONLY “New York.”

So, who has the “Best Pizza in New York.” Now that’s not so easy, but there’s Lombardi’s, Totonno’s, Di Fara, Patsy’s, and John’s (Bleecker Street). Well, “I Love them all, but I have two that are most dear to me, and they are “John’s,” of which I have been going to for over 25 years, and Totonno’s that I discovered about fifteen years ago.

They both make absolutely “Perfect Pizza.” They both have “Monster Coal Fired Ovens” that reach temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees and give the crust that perfectly cripy blistered finish that any “Great Pizza” must have. The Clssic Pizza Margherita has a perfect balance of ingredients of dough, tomato, mozzarella, olive oil, and Pecorino Romano and cooked to “perfection.”

“Totonno’s Pizzeria Napoltano,” I won’t argue with anyone that it might be the Best of New York.

If you wonder why we use the words “perfect” and “best” so many times in this report, its just that no other words would fit when you are talking about; John’s Pizzeria, Totonno’s, Lombardi’s, Patsy’s and “New York Pizza.” They’re perfect and they are, the “Best” Pizza in the country. “Take that Chicago.”


“Artichoke Basille’s Pizza Taste Like Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup”

Well, I finally made it over to Artichoke Pizza. I wanted to like it, “I really did.” I sorry to report, It’s on par with Chicago Deep Dish, Mediocre to Good at Best. Just as Chicago Deep Dish “Artichoke Pizza can’t hold a candle to the Best of New York, places like Tottono’s, John’s, Lombardi’s, and Patsy’s. These places make some of the best Pizza in the “World” Forget about these places, “Artichoke Pizza” is inferior to most “Runof the Mill” Pizza Parlors. The Pizza is very flawed. First off, the crust is awful, way to dense as it is not “proofed” long enough and feels like a ball of lead.

I arrive there, and sure enough, there was a line. The place looked pretty cool, “Nice Decor.” I was excited and hoping for the best, like a reaally good to great slice of Pizza. Unfortunately, I was highly disapointed. I waited about ten minutes and got my slice, “The Artichoke.” Man it was big. It looked really impressive. If found a place to sit on the “Stoop” of the building next door and bit in.

What a “Suprise.” I couldn’t beleive it. “It tasted “EXactly like Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup,” something I Loved, but handn’t tasted in years, “Cream of Mushroom Soup.” If nothing else, “Artichoke Pizza” brought back memories of my childhood.

I have to say, I know these guys are trying hard, but this Pizza Just Can’t Cut the Mustard. It’s mediocre, and I’ve got to say, “These Guys are Lucky as Hell to be putting out just a fair product, and making a small fortune doing it.

FACTS ABOUT “Artichoke Basille Pizza” Americans and Keith Richards

1) the “Artichoke Slice” taste like Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom Soup

2) Keith Richards likes it. “We Love Kieth, but what does he know about Pizza?”

3) Many people like “Artichoke Pizza” In fact many Love it.

4) Many Americans also like such awful garbage like; “Hip Hop,” Soup Operas, and

Sitcoms. That doesn’t make them good.