Blog – a story of wine, food, Sicily & travel

Wild Herbs
Wild Herbs

Anyone who has grown their own vegetables will know how satisfying this activity can be. Well, I have recently discovered the next best thing… foraging! I wonder if some of the satisfaction comes from an antique instinct that we still hold in our DNA. Whatever it is, it’s addictive! My first wild asparagus (two shoots) […]

Etna and the Environment
Etna and the Environment

Sicily has a garbage problem. Although it is home to some of the world’s most spectacular historical and natural legacies and boasts an impressive inventory of UNESCO heritage listed sites, yet there is a year-round garbage problem in many these locations. It is an all-too-common scene and I fear that too many have become just […]

Le Contrade dell’Etna 2022
Le Contrade dell’Etna 2022

Monday 4th April saw the closure of the 2022 edition of Le Contrade dell’Etna. The Contrade is an amazing show case for the wines of Etna. It is a remarkable opportunity to meet with the people behind the labels and taste wines from wineries, big and small; longstanding and new. This year the event was […]

Giovi – Sicilian Distillery
Giovi – Sicilian Distillery

Sugarcane, Shellfish & Spirits Walking into the lab, at the Giovi distillery, I immediately felt like I’d been missing out on something my whole life. Something tremendously exciting, something extremely creative. Shelves and benches are crammed with jars and bottles containing experimental brews. Exotic herbs and spices suspended in amber liquid. A mini alembic constructed […]

James Bond & the Calabrian Salsiccia
James Bond & the Calabrian Salsiccia

What does James Bond have to do with Calabrian salsiccia? A curious coincidence – the 007 producer, Albert Broccoli’s parents were from Carolei, the tiny, picturesque town, close to Cosenza, in which the Pulice brothers produce their salamis and cold cuts.   Francesco greets us at the door and while Alberto organises coffee for us, […]

Fly me to the Moon – Helicopter Flight Over Etna Volcano
Fly me to the Moon – Helicopter Flight Over Etna Volcano

  When Frank Sinatra sang ‘Fly me to the Moon’ I am certain that it was not Mount Etna on his mind and yet this is the song that played in my head when I flew over Europe’s highest active volcano.     I arrive at the helipad a few minutes earlier than my flight […]

Why you should consider planning to visit Sicily for Easter
Why you should consider planning to visit Sicily for Easter

There is a popular saying that you will hear throughout Italy: ‘Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi’. Christmas with the family, Easter with whoever you please. …and indeed, the Easter weekend is usually dedicated to nature walks, BBQs, picnics and day trips to visit antique towns or places of interest, rigorously to be […]

Recipe – Calamari with Zucchini, Capers & Olives
Recipe – Calamari with Zucchini, Capers & Olives

  INGREDIENTS 2 medium size calamari (squid) – sliced into rings (rinsed and dried) 1 largish white zucchini                – diced Pinch of chili flakes 2 garlic cloves green olives to taste                      – better if without stone capers to taste                                – prefer non salted capers 1 small Spanish onion 1 glass of white wine                     […]

Etna’s Native Grapes: Carricante & Nerello Mascalese – on and off Etna
Etna’s Native Grapes: Carricante & Nerello Mascalese – on and off Etna

Slowfood Catania organised an interesting event during Vini Milo, dedicated to two of Etna’s native grapes: the white Carricante and the black Nerello Mascalese, these grapes grown on Etna produce complex wines that age well, but what happens when they are transplanted to elsewhere in Sicily?   Oenologist Salvo Foti, owner of the I Vigneri […]

Bottled Poetry – Al-Cantàra Winery
Bottled Poetry – Al-Cantàra Winery

Wine and poetry have enjoyed a long-established and joyful relationship: since the beginning of time, wine has fuelled and inspired creativity. The Al-Cantàra winery is an enchanted location where wine, verse, art, nature and architecture tell a story of Etna and its inhabitants.   The man behind Al-Cantàra Winery is Catanese financial expert, Pucci Giuffrida. […]

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