Taste with me online and in person in Houston: Thursday 1/13 Chianti tasting/seminar; virtual dinners “at” Roma with favorite producers.

Many of us in the U.S. wine industry had hoped that January would see the return of Italian winemakers to the U.S.

Unfortunately, as all of us know too well, that’s not going to happen. Even though Europeans are allowed to travel to the U.S. right now, wine industry professionals are rightfully concerned that they might test positive while overseas and not be able to return until they test negative.

From what I’ve been hearing on the ground, all the big distributors are telling their producers not to come because so many clients have canceled in-person tasting with sales reps etc.

Even the venerable Italian Wine Guy, now retired and blogging from his Dallas home, is telling Italians, “don’t come to America now.” Yes, you heard it from the horse’s mouth.

The good news about Italians not coming to the U.S. is that we are revving up the virtual wine dinner program at Roma in Houston where I’ve been writing the wine list since last June. Even though the Italians aren’t locked down right now, many of them are happy to get up at 2:30 in the morning to connect with clients and consumers since they can’t be here in-person.

I’m presenting a virtual dinner this Thursday 1/13 (Tenuta San Guido’s Le Difese). Just me on this one but it’s going to be a fun one. We’ll be talking about wine, yes, but what I’m really excited about is telling the story of Italy’s most famous racehorse, who was bred at San Guido.

On 1/20, Valeria Odero, owner of Frecciarossa in Oltrepò Pavese (my favorite producer of Pinot Noir in Italy), will be joining us for a virtual dinner featuring her Pinot Noir Giorgio Odero. We have the 2013 vintage here in Houston. I’m super geeked about that.

On 1/27, Alberto Cordero, legacy grower at Cordero di Montezemolo, will be joining us online to taste his family’s 2017 Barolo Monfalletto (what an incredible wine; Tracie and I drank it over the holidays with friends). Alberto is a super cool dude and we finally have his wines in Houston, which is great.

DM me if you want to attend any of our virtual events.

It’s still not clear whether or not Slow Wine will be coming to Texas later this month. I spoke to one of the organizers last week and he told me they still hadn’t made a decision on whether or not to cancel. Just fyi.

But the Chianti consortium is moving ahead with its in-person seminar and tasting this Thursday, 1/13 in Houston. I’ll be masked up and presenting. (Please mask up if you plan to attend.) Some of the producers have dropped out. But the gregarious Chianti consortium ambassador Luca Alves will be there to do a technical presentation. The seminar is full, I’ve been told, but there is a waiting list. And there is still space for the walk-around tasting. Click here to reserve.

Whatever you’re up to this month, please stay safe and mask up. And please hit me up if you’d like to join one of our virtual events this month in Houston. They are super fun.

Thanks as always for the support.

Image via RomaHouston.com. Photo by Al Torres Photography.

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