Sunday, June 05, 2011

Everything's Bigger in Texas - Including the Italian (Wine) Expo

From the "are we having fun yet?" dept.

"Grappa Joe" Kemble - the "brains and the bag man" for the highly successful Italian Expo held every year in Houston

“What’s with you and Palermo?” my pal Giulio asked me. I reckon it’s time for a little divertimenti, so while my Puccia obsessed pals in Apulia kill me with the food shots, I’ll take a note from that play book and put down the serious conductors baton and get all light and fluffy on you for this Sunny Sunday in Texas. I’ve got the top down and a trunk full of Franciacorta and am on the Italian wine trail in Texas for the next few days.

Huge kudos to Joseph Kemble and the fine folks at Specs and the Italian American Chamber of Commerce for another great Italian Expo in Houston. And a huge Grazie to all the Italian wine partners who made the trek from Italy and all over the USA to show the Italian wine love to Joseph and his company. It means a lot to me and the folks who sign my checks.

Happy Sunday y’all – Drive Safe – and remember – don’t drink (or text) and drive, ya hear? Enjoy the glam shots below...

:"Sausage Paul" DiCarlo drove down with me in the "borrowed" bosses car and we just had to stop at Kenny &  Ziggy's for the #4- "Give me Liverty or give me Schmaltz" - an over the top triple-decker of chopped liver and pastrami with tomato and Russian Dressing 

"Why are you taking a picture of me from this side?" the fiancee of Lorenzo Sassetti asks. "Because you have a noble Tuscan profile and you should be proud of the history in your genes," I reply. Awesome wines too

Two of my favorite people in the Italian wine business, Giulio Galli and Paul Di Carlo

Monica Marcucci, export manager for Baronicini in a rare moment with her eyes open while Alberto Chioni of Bellavista looks on pensively. Alberto was finishing up a grueling USA tour and planning his next conquest of Asia while Monica was leaving on a jet plane today for a Brunello conference in São Paulo, Brazil

Elie Massoud, the olive oil Baron raises fine some of his Bohemian crystal filled with  lovely Franciacorta Rose to toast with Sara Pedrali of Bellavista and Contadi Castaldi

"Sharpshooter Tony"  Laveglia was showing the new Zaccagnini wines including the stunning 2010 Cerasuolo of Montepulciano

Jim Pettit pours a favorite Sicilian red of mine while his wife gives her feet needed and earned break. Standing for 10 hours on concrete is tough work, even when the wine is flowing

Wine and photography pal, Joe Pat Clayton strikes a somber pose in B&W (& Red & Yellow) with his Veneto line, Tommasi

Tiffany Ross pleasing the crowds with the Zonin Prosecco - which is on fire in Texas!

Maura McNeany  of Winebow proudly displaying a Tiefenbrunner white with one of her BGFF's

Of course no Italian Expo would be complete without the fashion show

This enigmatic image puzzles me - It's so Italian, isn't it? I have no idea what is going on here but look for this image to pop up in another blog post down the road

Speaking of the road, I need to get myself to Austin quick, as I have a full day tomorrow working on my special secret project to make the world safer for Italian wine in the City by the River. I hope there will still be some BBQ left on the way and will call ahead to make sure my boss doesn't mind if I keep the car for another day.

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