Tracie P’s new blog, heading @SottoLA, and Give Greece a Chance

In case you hadn’t already seen it, Tracie P has a new blog called Sugarpie where “mommy maximus” reflects on what it’s like to be a first-time mother and our experiences as new parents. I’m so glad that she’s blogging again and that she’s been applying her irresistible humor to the ups and downs of parenting… I love her and Georgia P so much and her humor, spirit, and beauty are an antidote to the often overwhelming challenges of being a first-time parent.

In other news…

On Friday and Saturday nights, I’ll be working the floor at Sotto in Los Angeles where we’ll be launching our new wine list for 2012. There are a lot of the old favorites on the new carta dei vini but there are also a bunch of new lots as well, like the Cornelissen Munjebel Bianco.

In today’s New York Times, Eric the Red wrote that Cornelissen’s wines are “unlike almost any others on earth, which people tend to love or hate…” Bring it on!

If you happen to be in LA this weekend, please come and see me and I’ll pour you something great!

And on a more solemn note…

With everything that’s been going on “on the ground” in Greece, it’s been really difficult to find inspiration to write about Greek wine for the Boutari Wines Project this year.

Evidently, my blogging colleague Markus Stolz — author of Elloinos, the world’s top Greek wine blog — has been suffering from the same aporia and he, like me, posted today about the Give Greece a Chance project: it’s a print media PR campaign spearheaded by Greek business leaders who are trying to raise awareness of the human suffering that’s happening there.

I highly recommend this page: it provides some background and some basic information on the grave situation there.

See also what Markus has to say.

Markus lives with his family in Greece and is watching this tragedy unfold firsthand.

“A lot of real human suffering,” he wrote to me today in a tweet. “I like initiatives like the one we both posted about, builds community and leads to change.”

Let’s hope so… And let’s not forget our sisters and brothers in Greece. Una faccia, una razza…

Isn’t she lovely? The most beautiful mamma in the world…

Just had to share this photo I snapped of Tracie P last week. Isn’t she lovely? :)

The day after Thanksgiving, we recycled her scalloped potatoes as a spuntino for out-of-town guests who came over for a visit…

Did I mention that the girl can cook? ;)

A little bubbly helped to wash it down…

I always love the focus and precision of Jacquesson… one of our favorite houses (among those that we can afford!)…

I can’t smile without her

Photo by Riccardo Zanotto.

I’ve been weepy all day since Alfonso and I took her to the airport this morning and she departed for Texas.

We had such an amazing “second honeymoon” in Italy. The sun has never shone so bright, the colors have never been so brilliant, the flavors and aromas have never been so satisfying and rewarding… Just yesterday I gazed upon her by the clear, fresh, and sweet waters and today I have only my salty tears to console me in the emptiness she leaves behind…

I just can’t smile without her…

Tracie P and Tony V

There’s more to come… but first I just had to share this photo I snapped of Tracie P and Tony V, who was our host for the New Year’s eve holiday.

In our family as in his, we love to talk about food and when Tony V and Tracie P get together, I can guarantee that they will engage in finely calibrated discussions of how and when onion and garlic may be applied (never in tandem!) and how al dente al dente should be. The above photo is clear evidence of this phenomenon!

More on what we ate and drank later…

Get this woman some unyeasted, unmaloed Falanghina STAT!

The other day, when I was having lunch with BrooklynGuy in Brooklyn (of all places), we chatted about my life Texana and the wonderful “humanity” I’ve found here, even in places coastal dwellers wouldn’t expect in this mostly red state. At a certain point, he stopped me, looked me in the eye, and asked with a smile: “you’ve really fallen for Texas, haven’t you?”

Anyone who follows my blog knows that I love my wife dearly, I love my life Texana, I love my Texan family (from cousins Joanne and Marty to Mrs. and Rev. B) and I love Texas. But Texas has a problem.

Texas does not allow out-of-state retailers to ship to Texas. Technically, it has to allow them to ship here. But the big wine distributors’s shime-waza on the Texas legislature has allowed them to create a logistical obstacle, making it virtually impossible for out-of-state retailers to ship here (I’ve written about it, with documentation, here).

As a result I cannot get my beautiful wife (above) the unyeasted, unmaloed Falanghina that her heart calls out for. Please read her most recent post where she plaintively writes:

    So here we are back in Texas, and my heart calls out for the real thing. My DoBianchi brought home a shiny white ball of Mozzarella di Bufala and a bottle of Cantine del Taburno Falanghina, but, alas, I am still searching for an unoaked/unmalo-ed/non-acidified yet certified stateside version. I won’t give up. I can survive on the fumes of my memories just a little longer.

Get this woman some unyeasted, unmaloed Falanghina STAT!

In other news…

Yesterday, we officially launched a new project I’ve been working on, also close to my heart, a blog I’m writing for Houston restaurateur Tony Vallone.

We’ve been working on it for a month and I’ve really come to look forward and cherish our weekly hour-long chats where we talk about a day in the life of an Italian restaurateur in America. Check it out. I think you’ll enjoy it as much as I do.

Buona lettura, ya’ll!

Wedding photography is here!

tracie parzen

Every since we got on a plane, two Wednesdays ago, to leave for La Jolla for our wedding, life has been nothing but a dream: the preparation for the wedding, the rehearsal dinner, the ceremony (the incredible moment the stunningly gorgeous Tracie P née B appeared to walk down the aisle!), our first kiss and embrace as wedded couple, the reception, the Bollinger NV rosé (and the 1998 Grand Dame!), New York, Sant’Angelo in Colle, Bologna, Barolo, Barbaresco, Rome, and then finally the long trek homeward. At the end of those two weeks, Tracie P and me were ready to come home.

The best news? Next week, we finally move into our first home together, a little house we’ve rented on the north side of Austin.

As hard as it is to come down from the high of the last two weeks, we’ve been enjoying the afterglow of these magical days, cooking at home and staying in to watch movies at night.

The other good news: the first official wedding photos, by our lovely and immensely talented (you’ll see) friends Jennifer (Tracie P’s childhood friend) and CJ Nichols, are here!

In Tracie P they found a cover-girl as their materia prima. In me? Well, they found the same old schlub I’ve always been. But, hey, Tracie P must see something in me, right? I guess she loves me for my brain… ;-)

Enjoy the wedding photos here!