My martini lunch and news from Italy

Above: chilled beet soup and martinis for lunch yesterday at Lucques in West Hollywood.

My editor at Princeton University Press will kill me: I was supposed to be working on my final edits of my translation of a Guide to the History of Italian Cinema yesterday but I played hooky and met the producer of a Swiss (yes, Swiss) vodka, Xellent, for lunch at the fashionable Lucques in West Hollywood. Maybe she’ll forgive me: after all, the 3-martini lunch used to be a given in the world of east coast publishing!

In other news…

The Siena Farmers Union is meeting tomorrow to discuss potential changes in the Rosso and Brunello di Montalcino appellations. Click here for the story.

Good weather holds in Montalcino for harvest today.

And far-flung Do Bianchi correspondent Italian Wine Guy reports from San Benedetto del Tronto in the Marches:

Harvesting trebbiano today—the much maligned ugni blanc. This AM the fishing boats came in from the sea. Lovely stuff on the adriatic.