Villa Bucci – wine from Le Marche

July 19, 2010

2008 Bucci Classico Superiore DOC

From Alessandro Mauceri and Il Grappolo Divino (Frascati) I acquired two bottles of wine from Villa Bucci, a red and a white one. Villa Bucci is located in Montecarotto (Pongelli), in the Le Marche region. The wines from this region are little known by the mainstream but definitely worth to be explored further.

Villa Bucci Verdicchio

Villa Bucci is a jewel of a winery from the Le Marche region. I was so happy with this discovery. Their Verdicchio wines are all made from their own grapes, grown on 21 ha at Castelli di Jesi.

Italy is maybe the place with the highest number of native vine varieties. Verdicchio, mainly grown in Le Marche, is one of them. High in acidity, the grape makes excellent white wines, fruity and nutty (almonds) with a capacity for aging gracefully.

Back label of 2008 Bucci Verdicchio

My bottle from 2008 had no time for that. We consumed it on a beautiful summers night with a delicious pasta. It is a young but elegant wine, with a golden greenish colour, fruity and fresh with a light almond aroma.

Thanks Alessandro for this selection. I highly recommend to everyone to try the wines from Villa Bucci in particular and Le Marche in general. Great learning.

Our pasta dish

Azienda Agricola F.lli BUCCI
Via Cona, 30
60010 Ostra Vetere (AN), Italy
Tel./Fax +39-71-964179

Restaurant review: Orazio, Rome

July 15, 2010

It is wonderful to be again in the town which was my home for three years (1988-90). Rome is just stunning, a wonderful city. In 1990 I witnessed here the soccer world cup. Ten years later I was invited as visiting professor by the Food and Agriculture Organization to conduct a study on property rights in Asia. In 2010 I am back because my children thought that the celebration of my 20th wedding anniversary deserves a special treat.

Everywhere I go, I am also somehow confronted with my past. As all old man, I am reminiscing. One special place is the restaurant ‘Orazio di Caracalla’. It was here were we had – after the ceremony at the “Campidoglio” (capital hill) – our wedding lunch. The restaurant is located right at the end of the Terme di Caracalla on the way to Porta Latina. It has a splendid garden and a big car park with old trees.

Menu of ‘Ristorante Orazio’

We casually strolled in after visiting the Colosseum on a beautiful summers day with blue sky and temperatures around the mid thirties.

As with many good restaurants in Rome, little changes over the years. Interesting I also find that the waiters seem to be part of the place. So it is at Orazio. They are observant and discreet, and very friendly.

Mixed starters

On hot days, plates of antipasti are always a welcome start of a meal. Both dishes (above and below), the mixed selection of starters and the melon with ham, were just delicious.

Melon and ham


Although not in the “carcioffi” (artichoke) season, we could not resist ordering “Carcioffi alla Romana”. I had to go for “penne al arrabiata”, one of my favorite pasta dish.

Penne al arrabiata

The local wine we selected was, of course, a Frascati. This blend of Malvasia and Trebbiano (sometimes other white varieties are added) is ideal accompaniment of Roman food on a hot summers day.

Casalgentile is a very well known producer of the Castelli Romani. It’s ‘Agrospino Bianco’ blend has earned various awards. So have many of Pietro Mergé’s other wines.

A wine from Lazio: Frascati

Family lunch

As the photo above shows, we had a great time.

Ristorante Orazio
F.lli Valentini
Via di Porta Latina 5
Tel.: +39-6-70492401
Fax: +39-6-77207339
Closed on Tuesday

Cappuccino cornetto in Ariccia

July 13, 2010

The cafe where we had our breakfast in Ariccia

We visited Ariccia, one of the small towns in the Alban hills near Rome. Ariccia is a very picturesque place with great views of the coastal plains. We very much enjoyed strolling through its narrow roads and soaked in the atmosphere.

Cappuccino cornetto

We also enjoyed a simple Italian breakfast with cappuccino and a cornetto. The owner of the cafe was very friendly. We felt like locals.


The two cornetti were most delicious. Trip adviser: if in Rome go and see Ariccia.

I love Frascati – Poggio le Volpi

July 12, 2010

My Frascati – Poggio le Volpi ‘2009 People Frascati Superiore’

It is hot in Europe. Since our arrival in Rome there was not a single day without sunshine and blue sky and temperatures between 32 and 38 Celsius. This makes you tired. Today I am even to tired to blog.

But I enjoyed a bottle of ’2009 People Frascati Superiore’ from Poggio le Volpi, Frascati which we had bought last week from Alessandro Mauceri at his wine show: Il Grappolo Divino.

Poggio le Volpi is run by the enologist Felice Mergè, third generation wine maker of the Mergè family with about 30 ha under vines.

The ‘2009 People Frascati Superiore D.O.C.’ (13% alc.) is, as all wines from the Frascati region, a blend of 70% Malvasia bianca di Candia (late harvest), 20% Trebbiano 20% and 10% Sauvignon Blanc. It is a fruity wine with some lemon aromas, fresh and clean, just the right drink for a hot summers day (or any day, I guess).

When in Rome, do as the Romans do: drink Frascati wines!

Il Grappolo Divino
Via dell’Olmo, 37
00044 Frascati
Tel.: +39-6-89026061

Poggio le Volpi S.r.l. – P.IVA: 08491921006
Via Colle Pisano, 27
00040 Monteporzio Catone, (Roma), Italia
Tel. +39-6-9426980
Fax +39-6-9426988

Frascati: vini, vini, vini

July 9, 2010

The main square of Frascati

While strolling through Frascati, the small town in Latio, central Italy, on the Alban Hills about 20 km southeast of Rome, we found the a “enoteca”, a wine shop in the historical center. Like a magnet it drew us in.

Il Grappolo Divino wine selection

Inside a friendly young man helped us with the wine selection. His name was Alessandro Mauceri and it turned out that this was the very first day of the opening of his shop, and we were his very first customers. How auspicious can it get?

Margit with Alessandro Mauceri

We selected a couple of bottles, as many as we could carry in about 35 degree heat to the car which was parked at the other end of town. Alessandro carries a wonderful selections of wines from the main Italian wine regions. He expected a major delivery from Frascati itself that;s why his selection of local wines was still small. Alessandro advised us on the following selection (all wines between 7 and 16 EURO):

– ‘2009 People Frascati Superiore’ from Poggio le Volpi, Frascati

– ‘2008 Epos Frascati Superiore’ from Poggio le Volpi, Frascati

– ‘2008 Bucci Classico Superiore’ from Azienda Agricolo Bucci in Ostra Vetere

– ‘2007 Poliziano Rosso di Montepulciano’ from Azienda Agricola Poliziano

– ‘2007 Bucci Pongelli Rosso Piceno’ from Azienda Agricolo Bucci in Ostra Vetere

– ‘2007 Vietti Nebbiolo Perbacco’ from Langhe in Piemont

The treasure I carried home

More on the wines in my next blog entry.

Il Grappolo Divino
Via dell’Olmo, 37
00044 Frascati
Tel.: +39-6-89026061

Elbling wine in Echternach, Luxembourg

July 8, 2010

We went on a drive along the Mosel river to make good use of our limited time in Germany. It was a beautiful summers day with blue sky and temperatures in the low 30ies. We drove upriver to Wasserbilligerbrueck and north along the Sauer, a tributary of the Mosel.

The two towers of the main church of the abbey

Echternach on the Luxembourg side was our aim, a beautiful medieval town in eastern part of the Grand Duchess at the border to Germany. Echternach is famous for the rhythm of its annual procession, the “Echternacher Springprozession”: two steps forward, one step backward, the rhythm of many political reforms.

The orangery

Elbling is an old grape variety with an obscure origin but it has been widely planted in the Mosel wine region for many centuries. From medieval times until the 20th century Elbling was the most planted variety in this part of Germany. Nowadays it is a variety in decline. Not much is left of it, though, maybe only about 600 ha in Germany and about 150 ha in Luxembourg.

Elbling grapes make a rather neutral white wine with high acidity. It is the wine for every day in the southern part of the Mosel wine region. More often than not it is used for sparkling. In wine tastings Elbing does usually not feature at all.

There is even a revitalized Elbling wine route along the Upper Mosel at the right side of the river from Thorn, Palzem, Wincheringen, Nittel, Wellen, Temmels, Oberbillig until Wasserliesch and at the left side of the river from Igel to Langsur and along the Sauer river, a tributary of the Mosel from Mesenich to Metzdorf.

Local Elbling

We explored the town, the cathedral, the abbey and many of its public places which were filled with locals and some foreign tourists. When we finally settled in a small cafe, it was clear what we were going to order, the house-wine of the place. While the children enjoyed an ice cream, we indulged in a local Elbling. It was dry, clean and crisp with fine acidity; a great drop for a hot summers day. Come and visit this part at the heart of Europe. It’s worth it.

Gone for a while: time out for bloggers

July 2, 2010

Hurray, since today, folks, I am on holidays. I do not know when I will write the next blog entry. I will be in Europe for a while, traveling to Germany, Italy and France. I will catch up with old friends, indulge in good food, fine wine and superb culture.

I do not know what internet access we will have but bear with me and do not abandon me. I will write again and let you share my European experience. Cheers folks and thanks for visiting:

The Man from Mosel River