The Corrected Coffee

Caffè CorrettoI love coffee. It’s one of my favorite daily pleasures, especially upon waking in the morning and after an afternoon nap – the rich aroma of roasted beans grinding, the dark bitter liquid frothing in the percolator. It’s mouthwatering. The only thing that ever makes it better is the correction.

The caffe corretto is generally accepted as an Italian specialty. However, fortified coffee drinks have a long international tradition that goes far beyond the colloquial “spiking” of your coffee. Through the centuries coffee drinks featuring some form of local distilled spirit have provided soldiers, sailors, farmers, and urbanites energy and courage to face war, long sea voyages, the elements, and another day at the office.

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Follow Your Nose To Pleasure

Photo Courtesy of Eligible Magazine © 2014

[This article is written by Benjamin Spencer, AmericanWineWriter, and published by Eligible Magazine. Follow this link to the full article]

There is no human sense more closely tied to seduction than our sense of smell. We can be roused by the way something looks or tastes or feels or sounds, but if that olfactory magic is not there, if what I’m smelling doesn’t somehow scintillate my frontal lobe – where aromas are perceived by the brain – I’m onto the next thing. This is as true about wine as it is a potential mate.

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Moschofilero, Football, and Friends in Nemea

20140615-073632-27392108.jpgI arrived in Greece a few hours ago. In the last few hours, I have traveled from Athens to the Peloponnese, had an incredible lunch, and a walk through a vineyard. Now I’m watching the World Cup, trying two white wines before we kick off the #NemeaWineTour2014 in the morning. Both wines are made from the Moschofilero grape … something I have never tried before.

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Greece #NemèaWineTour2014, Part One …

Wine Communicators attending #NemeaWineTour2014 (See links for each at end of article)

Wine Communicators attending #NemeaWineTour2014 (See links for each at end of article) From left to right, starting at top: Luiz Alberto, Ana Sofia de Oliveira, Karin Luize De Carvalho, Magnus Reuterdahl, Karina Aggarwal, Ted Lelekas, Benjamin Spencer, Roger Kolbu, Rita Toth, Jonas De Maere

If the ancient story of Hercules slaying the Nemean lion could serve as a metaphor for Greece’s economy, it would be to represent the struggles that wineries have faced in recent years, the cunning that they have employed to succeed, and the (perhaps impenetrable) quality of the new wines that are coming out of the Peloponnese peninsula.

In recent years, Greek wines have won a few coin tosses in international markets and competitions. Unfortunately, many wine lovers can’t make heads or tails of Greek wine.

To help simplify things for you, I will be traveling to Greece with a team of wine communicators this month, to see what’s happening on the ground in Nemea and with the autochthonous/native grape variety Agiorgitiko. Hopefully, I won’t encounter any lions but if I fall, if I die, know I lived it to the fullest

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RECIPE: Watermelon vodka granita

Granita_rossaI love granita. Since I moved to Sicily in 2012 I have been sampling as many different types and flavors as I can find. In the summertime granita can be found everywhere. We eat it morning, noon, and night. Not only does it keep you cool, it’s a delight to the senses.

The simplest recipes for granita include shaved ice and some type of flavoring – lemon juice, coffee, fresh berry juice.

According to the locals, during the winter the snows from Mount Etna were piled into caves on the mountain. The snows were formed into ice blocks and stored until summer when they could be used for the local markets to keep produce cool. It was here that granita was born – lemon was reportedly the first flavor.

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A Better Mimosa

OrangesThe perfect mimosa recipe begins with the best ingredients. The oranges might not like it, but you will love it.

I have friends who are eaters. They will put (just about) anything in their mouth. Like most of you, however, I enjoy drinking. But when drinkMakers take short cuts, opting to use ‘acceptable’ rather than fresh ingredients … I have to say … “There is a better way to make a Mimosa.”
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A Tourist Guide: Strategies For Driving in Sicily

Those are not Christmas lights!

Forget everything you’ve ever learned about driving. Your parents, Drivers Ed coach, and the books you’ve read are no help for you here. In Sicily, your “rules” do not apply.

The “modern vehicle” is not the convenient and potentially lethal method of human transport that the rest of the world considers it to be. In Sicily, operating a vehicle is simply a means for you to transport your ego from one place to another. If you happen to simultaneously avoid some of the more “annoying cultural advances” like common human decency, well … complements to you!

Growing up in the United States, I learned very early that sensible, safe driving is a virtue. After living in Sicily for more than one year, I have learned that driving is a national sport, and that the sport of driving is a virtue. I have not yet learned all the “methods of engagement” but so far as I can tell, the only prize seems to be getting from point A to point B. Any other personal drama that you wish to bring to the table, feel free to improvise.

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