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The All-Italian Wine Experience of David Maione’s Vino Italiano in Waltham

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The joy of writing this column is being able to present you the world of Italian wines in and around the Boston area. This month, I met with someone living out one of my dreams: owning and operating not only a wine shop, but an Italian wine shop. It doesn’t get any better than that when you have a passion for Italian wine like I do. With David Maione, owner of Vino Italiano located on Main Street in Waltham, we discussed what got him into the business and peaked his interest and love in Italian wines. Maione’s family originates from ...

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Tuscan State of Mind: Bottega Fiorentina’s Andrea Ferrini

Bottega Fiorentina owner Andrea Ferrini (photo ©Nicola Orichuia)

Firenze, Florencia, Florence — no matter where you’re from, or how you pronounce the name, this Tuscan city is one of the most enchantingly beautiful in all of Italy. Firenze is like a painter’s palette, vibrant with color from all the periods of its lengthy history. From cobblestone alleyways shaded by medieval facades, to visions of the revered Duomo, and finally to the Ponte Vecchio, the bridge that connects the city divided by the Arno River, visitors can’t help but get lost in its magic. But among the grandeur, there is a certain solace that exists, a particular tranquility that ...

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Al Fulchino of Fulchino Vineyards

Jennifer Martin with Al Fulchino of Fulchino Vineyard

This past month the Meetup Group called “Passion for Everything Italian” that I host visited Fulchino Vineyards, a local winery of Italian origin. Located in Hollis, New Hampshire (about one hour from Boston), the winery is situated in a residential neighborhood. As you venture off the highway, you’d never think there is a winery situated there, but that’s part of what makes it special. To be able to drive to a local winery and sample the fruits of the land that we live on is pretty amazing. We’re so used to drinking wines from around the world, especially Europe and ...

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The Frozen Bliss of The New Art of Gelato

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As we meddle through spring, with summer fast approaching, we ask ourselves: “Is there any better way to satisfy our taste buds than with a cold, confectionary treat?” Although we all tend to become increasingly more aware of our figures during this time of year, we can’t help but associate warmer weather with frozen desserts that help cool us down. But with so many options — traditional ice cream, the seemingly ubiquitous frozen yogurt, slush, and gelato — which does one choose? It seems, yet again, that all we must do is turn to our Italian neighbors across the ocean ...

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Cristina Mariani May: Carrying on the Banfi Legacy

Cristina Mariani May

The Banfi name is well-known when it comes to Tuscan wine. I recently had the honor to attend a seminar and tasting with Castello di Banfi owner and Banfi Vintners co-CEO, Cristina Mariani May, at an event held at Tuscan Kitchen in Burlington, Massachusetts. Mariani May is the third generation of the Banfi family to run the business. I was surprised when she first started speaking. There was no trace of an Italian accent. Later, I’d find out Cristina currently resides in Long Island, but travels back and forth to Italy. The Banfi brand was established in the 19th century ...

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Mucci Imports Unearths Lesser Known Italian Wines

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Mucci Imports, owned by Nick Mucci, is a Boston based Italian wine importer specializing in unique Italian varietals from producers he has hand picked throughout his travels from living in Italy and developing special relationships with the winemakers. Mucci started the company in 2013, towards the end of the summer. When I first met him, he was introducing his wines to folks at Ball Square Fine Wines in Somerville and I was intrigued by his selections when I saw the announcement. Being an Italian wine blogger, I love the opportunity to try Italian wines, especially those that are unique to ...

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A Family Farm in Tuscany – Fattoria Poggio Alloro’s Sarah Fiorini

Paul Turina and Sarah Fiorini

At a recent wine tasting, I had the privilege to meet Sarah Fiorini from Fattoria Poggio Alloro, who was visiting the United States. Accompanied by Paul Turina of Due Fratelli Imports, we met at one of my favorite wine shops, Lucia’s Bodega in Windham, NH. Paul brought along his family’s wines from the Lake Garda region of Lombardy: A wide range of the area’s indigenous varieties, including a marzemino, which was one of Mozart’s favorite wines. Sarah is the author of the cookbook “A Family Farm in Tuscany,” which not only shares the wonderful traditional recipes that she enjoys cooking, ...

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Mellace Siblings’ Pet Express Sets Standard for Quality

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Pet Express owners Rob and John Mellace recently took part in a select group of retailers from across the country that were called by the American Kennel Club to form a Retail Advisory Committee. Along with their sister Lucia, the Mellace brothers founded Pet Express in 1995. “It was all Rob’s fault,” says John while smiling. The oldest of the three, Rob had worked in the pet retail business for seven years before deciding to start his own business in Lynn. “Our parents were there to support us, both morally and financially,” says Rob. At the time, Lucia was in ...

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Weymouth’s Masciarelli Wine Company a Global Powerhouse

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I recently had the pleasure of receiving an invitation and meeting the President and CEO of Masciarelli Wine Company, Roberta Masciarelli-Spagnuolo, and her husband, Joseph, at their grand portfolio tasting at the Boston Harbor Hotel. It was a wonderful presentation of all their wines, but of course I was there to explore their Italian portfolio and to experience what the many wineries of Italy had to offer. They had some great obscure grapes from Puglia, Sardegna and Sicily that I featured on my blog, Vino Travels, along with some of the most highly respected wines in Italy, including Barolo, Barbaresco, ...

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Cumar’s Ivo Cubi: A destiny carved in marble

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Editor’s Note: In our magazine teaser item for this profile, we had Mr. Cubi actually roaming the hills of South America in search of precious metals as a young adult, rather than simply dreaming of it. His life has been adventurous enough without that erroneous excursion, and we apologize to the interviewee and author alike for the inaccuracy. No matter how hard he tried, Ivo Cubi could not have done anything else for a living. His last name, to begin with, in Italian literally means “Cubes.” Plus he was born into a family that, in one capacity or another, has ...

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The North End’s Connah Store

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There is no denying that us New Englanders, and especially us Bostonians, have a language all our own. We have an accent, an attitude, and a way of doing business that is specific to each of our neighborhoods. In the North End, the Connah Store is the place that everyone goes for late night snacks, iced tea and ice cream that speaks to tourists and natives alike. The North End holds a special place in the hearts of Suffolk students and Boston transplants as the place to go for a home-cooked meal when you are lonely, hungry or looking for ...

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Giuseppe Argentieri: The Ambassador of Italian cheese

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“I don’t like it when they call me the king of mozzarella. That title is loaded with pressure and responsibility,” Giuseppe Argentieri says with a smile as he supervises the production of the day’s batch of fresh burrata before shipping it to specialty stores all over the Boston area. Then, after swallowing a chunk of the white, chewy, still-warm product of a morning’s work and giving the nod to the cheese maker — who puts these balls of goodness together by hand — he suddenly becomes serious. “All I’d like to be considered is the one who makes the best ...

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