Valentini Trebbiano, Isole e Olena Cepparello, when in Italy drink with Italy!

Valentini Trebbiano d'Abruzzo 2003
 There is a story with this wine.  Beyond the wafts of mint or hints of sage.  It is not a grand story, but one whose meaning touches my heart with a fingertip.  Nor is it a story as indelible as the legacy of Edoardo Valentini himself and his invaluable indigenous trebbiano clone with staggering potential for
aging.  Think, fast: how often do you drink Italian white wines over five, six, seven, eight years old? If you said often then you probably have a trick or two up your sleeve.  Like (a) you own a restaurant (b) you have imported or work for an Italian wine importer or (c) okay you are just way too F'in cool.
No, this story is not about Edoardo the wine maker and how he only used about 5% of his harvest to make Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, and Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo -- the rest of the grapes he sold.  This is truly a great white wine and typically overpriced in the U.S. if you are a European traveler.  In Italy it is affordable and more than worth the price.

Being on Elba Island can be quite adventuresome.  There are perhaps three thousand beaches divided by four plus ten minus five hundred and eight.  Some of these beaches are easy access, horseshoe shaped with yellow sand.  Others are rocky and available only by hiking down huge boulder cliff sides.  While hiking to millions of beaches everyday I discovered the veracity of what made Massimiliano a better sommelier or wine appreciate than me.  His nose opened and eyes narrowed as we walked.  Often he would side step to grab a flower and smell it.  "What is this called in English?" He would look at me over and over again.  "What are you doing?" I was uplifted that my boyfriend was smelling flowers and weeds and every
We had dinner at La Stella Marina in Portoferraio.  We also had
lunch there.  The food is very good.  The wine list is well priced.  The
service sucks when they are busy and the staff waivers from being
very nice to completely indifferent.  When they saw us a second
time the service increased greatly.  Note their outside seating,
though table setting beautiful, overlooks Gynormous cruise size boats
and the parking lot.

 single dried herb/plant there was on the island.  "This smells like Pigato.  I've been looking for the plant that smells like Pigato."
I had an epiphany that shouldn't have been an epiphany because I already technically knew that Italy has plants that we don't have in the U.S., but when you experience the occasion it has greater impact.  How many times have I tried to explain an Italian white wine being limited by the fruits and herbs that I am familiar with as an American?

As Massy and I both smelled the Trebbiano, after I said, "mint," and he said "sage," Massy concluded -- "no, it's the plant we smelled on the ocean cliff side."  The one we don't have a name for, but now know that it exists.  That is my story.  Fingertips on the heart.

The difference between Massy and I when we eat gelato is that I would be eating the bottom dripping part so it wouldn't get my hands all dirty, and he just eats everything from the top down and doesn't care.  He also gets the large cone with three scoops plus whip cream and I, only two scoops without the whip cream.  

We stayed in a rental apartment in Priocca.  I highly recommend it -- and the owner is Super Cool (speaks English and Spanish maybe more?), even has his own sail boat offering day trips.  Stefano Damiani

We were conveniently located a three minute walk from town that leads directly to a nice sized sandy beach.  We love this town because there is a great Enoteca that sells almost thirty wines by the glass, not exaggerating.

We had a sunny private deck in which we used daily for our aperitivo.  We emjoyed a 1999 Isole e Olena Cepparello -- a supertuscan: barrique aged, 100% Sangiovese.

In my experience, the only way to really understand the wines of any region is to drink a lot of them.  Tuscany has this amazing power that seeps through the vein of its wine and there seems to always be some form of cherry or Tuscan wild cherry mixed plum layered with a rich earthiness from tar, to tobacco, to rocks and ink.  The Tuscan landscape is a world on its own.  It's not hard to imagine why its wine is so amazing.

What a feeling of happiness to eat everything uncooked and unaltered, perhaps with some local olive oil and salt

Another difference between the way Massy and I digest wine

 After a very long year of not traveling anywhere warm or bright with color, I was obsessed with anything other than grays, browns, and deep hues that crossed my path.

Jordana NicoleComment