Brick Fire Tavern and the Great Pizza and Wine Pairing Expedition

EAT-aly! It is one of the most prodigious food destinations in the world. And, you may have noticed, its wines are pretty good, too. Viticulture has thrived in the region for thousands of years, and the culinary heritage of Italy is the spellbinding synthesis of food and wine. At the table, wine is not an option, it is a presumption. I like this country already. 

While Italy is not a geographical behemoth (its length is comparable to that of California), the culinary traditions from north to south vary tremendously. In every corner of Italy, enthusiasts can experience flavors, aromas and techniques that make each region unique, vibrant and special. 

With an expansive Italian diaspora, today we are extraordinarily spoiled with the opportunity to experience and taste a more complete portfolio of Italy’s marvelous regional culinary mosaic. I would humbly suggest that we do so, immediately. In a three-part series, I embark on a culinary expedition through the mountains, valleys and shores of this food haven, showcasing the flavors and wines that make each region uniquely delicious.

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Old World vs New World: The Vinous Deductive Challenge, Revisited

Last week, I provided a rudimentary Guide to Blind Wine Tasting. Taste, hypothesize, repeat. This newfound knowledge was immediately put to the test in a blind wine tasting event for the Friends of Italy Society of Hawaii. Italians unrelentingly boast of their wines as unsurpassed anywhere in the world. They are confident, but are they correct? Time to determine whether they can blindly discern the difference in a crowded and diverse lineup. Challenge presented ...

The event commenced with a few elementary tasting tips, followed by a blind tasting of six wines - three Old World Italian and three New World. Those New World newbies couldn’t possibly keep pace with the refined, elegant wines of Italy. Could they? The patrons, as laudable arbitrators, held the final verdict. Would their vinous paesani blindly prevail?

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