Above: Italian wine-focused author, journalist, and super cool sommelier and restaurateur David Lynch (left) with Californian winemaker Jim Clendenen (photo by Jasmine Hirsch via David’s Facebook).
This year is already shaping up to be a great one for Italian wine and food in Texas.
Tomorrow night I’m attending a dinner with winemaker Luca Currado at Tony’s in Houston where he will be pouring top wines from Vietti. Super psyched for that. (As of yesterday, there were just a couple of seats available.)
Thursday, I’ll take part in the Benvenuto Brunello seminar and tasting in Houston. I’m so geeked to see this A-list event return to the Bayou City. (I have no idea if registration is still open but I can’t imagine that they will turn people away.)
That’s just January, folks!
Another primetime event that I’m super stoked about is the third-annual Taste of Italy Houston fair, presented by the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce of Texas, on Monday, March 6. The chamber asked me to join their team last year and I’ve been giddily involved in planning this year’s gathering.
The coolest news is that David Lynch (above) will be our featured speaker this year. David’s a friend and one of the people working in Italian wine whom I admire most. We met many years ago when we were both living in New York and he was working on his landmark guide to the wines of Italy, Vino Italiano. At the time, no one knew the history he would make with his brilliant list at Babbo, a program that literally reshaped the future of Italian wine in this country.
David is also one of the most engaging wine speakers I’ve ever encountered. I couldn’t be more thrilled that he’s agreed to moderate a panel at the event.
Some of the other great food and wine personalities who will be speaking at the fair this year: J.C. Reid, who has written extensively about Carbonara for the Houston Chronicle; sommeliers Jaime De Leon and Thomas Moësse (two of the coolest dudes working in wine in Texas today imho); and my good buddy Joseph “Grappa” Kemble, the Italian buyer for Spec’s (one of the biggest retailers in the country). And I’ll be speaking, too…
When I moved to Texas in December 2008, a close friend from my NYC days was worried for me: “what will you drink?” she said at the time. Between Slow Wine, Benvenuto Brunello, and all the super groovy Italian winemakers who are coming to Texas these days, I’m happy to report that I’m drinking just fine…