Posts tagged #italy

Ask A Wino: Epsiode 5

Italy! Grapes! Hangovers! Wine Lips! A wine I cannot remember the name of until the very end! Enough "um"s and "like"s for my father to hang me in the town square! All in this episode of Ask A Wino!

Ask me questions about wine, life, love, poms, cats, Mexican food or Mac DeMarco on Twitter @MarissaARoss with #AskAWino or email me at 

Posted on August 13, 2015 .

Vini Rabasco Vino Rosso "Cancelli"


Rabasco Vino Rosso "Cancelli"
Varietal: Montepulciano

Region: Abruzzo, Italy
Year: 2014

Price: $29.99
Retailer: DomaineLA

I can't think of anything in the world I want more than to go back to Italy. I think about it every day. If I could pick up my life as I have it now and move it anywhere, I'd take it to Rome in a heartbeat. To stroll through Trastevere hand in hand, jasmine wafting on the wind, humming Nino Rota, stopping for a quick Spritz before dinner at Osteria Barberini. Walking through Villa Borhese at dusk, and cocktails at Harry's. Ugh. I just threw my head back in agony just thinking about it. 

I've never lived anywhere but Southern California. IE, OC, LA. All over, and yet, nowhere. And life has been good. I can't complain, but sometimes I wonder if my California anchor is what makes me who I am, or if it is holding me back. Some days, I would really like to just move away and start over. I'd love to be someone no one knows, in a place I truly need to explore. I've never had either of those things. I know it's not too late, but as things stand now, it would be a really stupid decision. 

But, this longing to leave and be an adventurer for once aches in my bones.  

Maybe one day. After I have a bit of money and before I have children. Maybe then.

Until then, I will listen to Nino Rota in men's underwear with a fan on my face in Silverlake and Vini Rabasco "Cancelli" in my glass, sighing along with each orchestrated crescendo. 

This wine reminds me so much of Italy. Its vibrance pulsating through me like a crazed taxi navigating traffic around the Seven Hills of Rome and its unmarked roundabouts, while maintaining such a calm and casual elegance. Have you noticed that about Italians? They're relatively unexcitable and very sophisticated. A cantankerous tank of a woman running the register at a market in Italy talking shit about me she doesn't realize I understand still has more poise than I do on my best night in Los Angeles.

That's not to say they aren't passionate though. Lord knows Italians have unbridled passion for basically everything, myself included. And that's what makes them even better. How can they be so restrained and so god damned wild all at once?

I'm not entirely sure. But what I do know is that this red blend of Vini Rabasco's embodies all that. The "Cancelli" is a rampant Fellini character: archetypal yet complex, simple yet so god damn sensual. It's Sylvia in the Trevi fountain, asking Marcello to come to her. She is in a beautiful gown, in a god damn fountain. THE TREVI FUCKING FOUNTAIN. IT IS SO CLASSIC AND ANCIENT AND REVERED AND THEN, HERE IS SOME BUXOM BLONDE CELEBRITY JUST JUMPING IN. JESUS CHRIST IS IT JUXTAPOSED BEAUTY AT ITS FINEST. ELGANT AND SO DAMN WILD.

I want to live in Fellini's Rome, but living in LA with this Rabasco will suit me just fine until then. 

Tasting Notes: In the glass, bright ruby. On the nose, blackberries, cherries, wet Raven's Revenge sour candy from the 90's. On the palate, it is so lively cranberry and tart black fruits and a beautiful mineral linchpin. I could just die. So smooth yet mysteriously gripping. The finish is sybaritic, tipping on downright sexual. Nope, JK, I would straight up fuck this wine.  

Ross Test: Better in a glass but still good. HEY, EVERYTHING IN ITALY IS GOOD. 

Evviva!: Wines I Enjoyed In Italy

I spent nine glorious days in Italy. Here are my favorite wines I had, in no particular order. They are all refreshing, light whites and bright, airy reds-- the kind of versatile and approachable wines that are crowd pleasers even (when you're traveling) with non-wine-drinkers. I wish I'd taken more meticulous notes other than, "This is really fucking good", but hey, I think that is the most important note of all. 

I can't wait to add them to my personal wine collection back here in the states!

• Elena Walch 2012 Pinot Nero Alto Adige

• Tramin Lagrein 2013

Contadi Castaldi Rosé

Giuseppe Quintarelli Bianco Secco & Pinot Grigio

Antoniolo 2011 Juvenia Coste della Sesia Nebbiolo

Angiolino Maule I Masieri Bianco Veneto

• This one that I can't freaking find anywhere, it looks like "M1oo0 Lazio" but my photo is too blurry and I didn't have service in the restaurant and then I forgot to look it up again. Sigh. I will add it as soon as I find out from the restaurant what it was because it was fantastic.

• One million Aperol Spritzes 

• All the free champagne first class would give me

Posted on June 16, 2014 .

The Pinot Project Pinot Grigio

Photo by  Antoin Huynh   

Photo by Antoin Huynh 

The Pinot Project Pinot Grigio
Price: $12
Year: 2012
Region: Italy

I was just in traffic for over an hour to go sixteen miles. Sixteen miles of pure, unadulterated, Friday afternoon bumper to bumper bullshit complete with cases of run of the mill Angeleno road rage and the kind of cramps that make you want to rip a gash into your torso and shove a gun in it a la Videodrome, except you actually fire the gun into your reproductive organs before your torso takes the gun for itself.

(If you've never seen Videodrome, I am both sorry for you and envious of you. It is a really fucking weird, kinda traumatizing 80's Cronenberg flick a dude took me to see on a date once and then, we did not have sex after. Or ever. )

Never have I been happier to come home to a bottle of wine than I was today when I came home to The Pinot Project Pinot Grigio (and medical grade painkillers). I'm such a fan of the Pinot Project Pinot Noir, and was beyond thrilled to hear they started producing a Pinot Grigio. I ran in, roughhoused my pets and then immediately put this in my mouth. No glass, just right down the hatch. Straight up OG 23-year-old-broke-ass-blogger-hatin'-life-Marissa style.

It had been awhile since I Ross Tested a bottle out of necessity. Life has been weighing heavily upon me this week, and I really needed to fucking chug wine. And it was amazing. Suddenly everything was Fleet Foxes' "White Winter Hymnal". That's what this wine tastes like to me. That melody. So light but so structured, specific but floating. Harmonious and zen-like. 

Not the actual lyrics though. This wine is nothing like coats or scarves. It is heat wave wine, wine to be drank like water in a lawn chair. I mean, we could replace "strawberries in summertime" for "pears and limes in the summertime" and that would work. 

I just wish I had nine more bottles of this. I can't believe I only have one, and I only have a few sips left. It is so, so delicious and versatile. It could go with anything you're cooking or anything someone else is cooking for you. This needs to be one of your staple summer whites. And as honorary Queen of Summer as voted by people on the internet, bow down bitches and drink this shit.

Tasting Notes: Lovely citrus-centric bouquet and palate. Fruit forward but perfectly dry without a hint of the fermentation process. Tastes like something you'd bite into straight off the tree in an orchard. So fresh.