WINE TOURING IN
ITALY & GERMANY
I drove to Ripatransone, a small wine town a
few kilometers inland from the sea...
Only the bottle of their Nero di Vite was freshly opened, so I can't say I had a
clear picture of the wines of this property.
The countryside is beautiful and somewhat reminiscent of Tuscany.
I then drove to L'Aquila, a modest-sized city in the center of
the country. It's about halfway between the east coast and Rome on the
My Tuscan friend, Piero Masi, advised me to dine at the restaurant called Tre
I got to town and found a modest hotel. I inquired there about Tre
Marie and was told to walk ten minutes into town.
As I was parking the car for the night, the desk clerk came running out to tell
me Tre Marie closed last summer and is no longer in business!
I found a substitute place for dinner...
The manager came to my table and asked "Meat or fish?"
Since the place had a seafood theme, I said "Fish."
"Okay then...that I have to tell you the menu by voice."
I asked about some typical plates and had a seafood marathon!
What a contract...fresh oysters and "pickled" sardines!
There are bottles of Romane-Conti displayed on the wall, along with various
Gaja wines, so I asked for a wine list. The waiter said "I'll bring
you a nice white." He opened a totally warm bottle of a Trebbiano
d'Abruzzo, a modest bottle at best.
I would have ordered something a bit more deluxe, but this was okay as it had
less minerality than a bottle of San Pellegrino (water).
Mussels and clams.
Mussels and clams, along with a sea scallop and some cannocchie (straw-like
things along the lines of other shell fish).
Mussels and clams with pasta and the lovely, anonymous bottle of Adone
The main plate was quite good...
Coda di Rospo (the tail of an angler fish stewed with a tomato sauce...very
I skipped dessert and ambled through town back to the hotel,
my wallet about $50 lighter.
The next morning I drove to Campania, stopping at the Sannino winery in the
shadows of Mount Vesuvio in the town of Ercolano.
Signor Sannino's directions on the phone were not as clear to me as they were to
him, so I got a great education in driving Napolitano style.
If I had my camera ready, I would post a photo of a car motoring along the road
with a horse being taken for a "run" as the passenger in the front
seat had the horse on a leash!
One of the Sannino brothers and his niece or daughter...
That's Naples in the background.
From there I drove to the town of Taurasi, another major source of Aglianico