The Italians are back! Photos from Roma’s sold-out dinner with Alicia Lini.

Man, it’s been an insanely busy couple of weeks between work and our girls’ music and school.

But a lot of hard work and many moving parts culminated last night in a sold-out wine dinner with my wonderful friend and longtime client Alicia Lini at Roma in Houston where I serve as wine director.

As far as I know, Alicia is the first Italian winemaker to come back to Houston. Her wines have done extremely well in Texas and the fact that she chose our city as her first wine dinner stop wasn’t lost on me or the crowd yesterday evening.

But more than anything else, it was amazing to feel that energy again. The packed patio of guests was literally abuzz between getting to meet Alicia in person (she had done two virtual wine dinners with us from Italy during the lockdowns at 2:30 a.m. Italy time) and tasting her wines paired with an all seafood menu (which was super fun and delicious, thanks to Chef Sandro).

It reminded me of one of the elements that’s been lacking since trans-Atlantic travel has been attenuated: that precious human contact with the people who make the wines that we love.

So far I haven’t seen a lot of Italians making plans for events in the U.S. between now and the end of the year. But I know a lot of people will start to come back in early 2022.

In the meantime, I’m just glad to be feeling a renewed joy in what I do for a living. What an amazing feeling to watch Alicia working the room as people enjoyed her wines and the food!

Tracie, the girls, and I are all looking forward to some much needed downtime next week for the holiday. But right now I’m just feeling pumped and high from the thrill of sharing my passion with our guests last night.

Thanks to everyone who made it possible through their support and heartfelt thanks to Alicia who made Houston her first stop!

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