The Lion, the Vigneron, and the Castle

Società Agricola Bussoletti Leonardo S.S.
Ciliegiolo di Narni “0535” 2018
Umbria IGT
Narni, Umbria, Italy
100% Ciliegiolo di Narni
Organic and spontaneous fermentation
Winemaker and Ambassador of Ciliegiolo: Leonardo Bussoletti

Deep ruby color but shining like a piece of stained glass window. Scents of cherry, roses, a mellow berry, and a pinch of cola. Flavors of dark and sweet cherries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries with their seeds included to give a little good bitter kick

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: deeper, darker, and sweeter

Chill it a little, it’s really good that way. This is your summer red.

When I first looked at the label with the lion and the name of the town being Narni, I immediately thought of C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia. Even if C.S. Lewis never set foot in Narni (previously named Narnia), he did discover it in an atlas, underlined it, and told his biographer (Walter Hooper) that the name had inspired his magical realm. In 2009, Walter sent the same atlas to Narni’s local historian (Giuseppe Fortunati), so it all comes full circle. How cool is that! Narnia was a place I spent many hours in my childhood visiting through the pages of his wonderful series, and now I get to travel there by glass.

Another image on the label is Narni’s square fortress Rocca Albornoziana. It looks like it could have fallen out of C.S. Lewis’ world or even GOT. There’s four towers, a moat, and a second wall of protection. You would seriously need a dragon to get past all that. It’s also been a home to popes (one holed up in there to escape a plague), military officials, and in 1906 a Russian prince, when he bought it for a song. Now it’s back in the hands of Narni.

Narni also has secret below known as “The Underground”. Back in 1979, six young men who loved exploring caves, stumbled upon quite the discovery of an underground chapel, frescos, tunnels, and many other closed off rooms. Over the years, research (some also from Vatican documents) and preservation continued and it turns out that this hidden treasure was part of the Papal Inquisition. No one ever expects the Papal Inquisition! There are scratch marks on the walls from tools of torture. There’s a cell where prisoners left their mark, one of them is in a code that no one has been able to crack. Chilling to think of these poor people being forced to confess to heresy.

Ok, I can’t leave this wonderful city on such a dark note. Each year, from July through part of August, Narni has the Narnia Festival of music, dance, theater, exhibitions, workshops, etc. Check out their site  and here.

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My Oh My Pie!

Willie’s Superbrew
Hard Seltzer with Real Fruit
Sparkling Pear and Cinnamon
ABV 4.5%
Charlestown, MA
Acquired at Sugarburg

Very light golden pear pour and tiny champagne-like bubbles. Before I even get it anywhere near my nose, cinnamon is full on present and then pear or maybe apple pie. Sipping in pear/apple pie and cinnamon. Taste is true to the scent. It’s fresh and crisp and not at all sugary. Even though it is called a cold weather hard seltzer. I think this is yummy in any weather.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: cinnamon mostly disappears. This is now the third beverage where I have to say, “IN NO CASE SHOULD YOU PAIR THIS WITH CHEEZ-IT’S!”

Willie’s Superbrew, is really into the environment. In the past they’ve made a call to their fans to help “Clean up the Cape”; and they are committed to donating 3% of their profits to an environmental cause every year. They also want the public to help them select who receives this donation. Check out their site and nominate who you believe in, and then join in the vote!

@SugarburgNY @sugarburgbk @drinksuperbrew @cheezits #williessuperbrew #hardseltzer #beer #cheezit @worldbyglass #wine #pairswithcheezits




Rosato, Rosè and Roses

Tenuta I Fauri
Baldovino 2018
Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC
Chieti, Abruzzo, Italy
Montepulciano 100%
Sustainable farming
Winemaking family: Luigi and Valentina Di Camillo (brother and sister)

This is a cherry red Rosè. Elegant fresh breath of flowers and more specifically roses. Cherry and strawberries start to pop in too, the more it warms. Delicious swig that has my tastebuds dancing. Definitely cherry, plummy and strawberry sweetness. It’s fruity but not overwhelming. It’s more refreshing, oh and something floral in the taste too. Wait something woody nutshell emerges, but not bad. The more I think about it, it’s almond and not the shell. Been eating quite a few when we were locked down. Yes, I do eat other things than just Cheez-It’s.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: say goodbye to the almond and hello to a gush of fruit

Tenuta I Fauri was founded in 1978 by Domenico Di Camillo (Luigi and Valentina’s dad). This is another lovely story, of a family falling in love with wine and passing it down the generations. Also brother and sister both studied oenology and then came aboard the family business. Quite the power team with some great PR. They were picked by Forbes back in 2019 as one of five small wine producers to watch. From this bottle alone, I can definitely see why.

@docwineshop @docwinebarny @tenuta.ifauri @wineberry.newyork @cheezits #cheezit #pairswithcheezits #wine @worldbyglass #needmorewine #italy #chieti #abruzzo #rosè #rosato #rose #montepulciano #tenutaifauri

Familiar Feeling

Quinta da Lixa
Escudo Real
Vinho Verde 2019
Minho, Portugal
35% Loureiro, 35% Arinto, and 30% Trajadura
Sustainable wine with an under $10 price tag
Winemaker: Carlos Teixeira
Note from winemaker: Drink Very Chilled

Very pale delicate gold with tiny little bubbles. The first breath is a bouquet of flowers, apple cider, and something creamy like vanilla, and finally honeysuckle. Here comes the taste of tangerine, lemon, orange (do I get my daily allotment of Vitamin C from this?), tangy herbal and a pinch of spice. There’s that verde bubble sizzle. It’s crisp, fresh and has a beautiful body. Let’s head down to the river with a few in the cooler and strap it in the middle inner tube. Let’s go a floating.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: makes it creamy and have even more body with a hint of lemon

It gives you that familiar feeling of summer that a Vinho Verde should but with more oomph, complexity and just something special. This is now my favorite ever Vinho Verde!

Let’s hit the dance floor with another Familiar Feeling: Moloko. Also for the first time dedicating a post to my S.O. who absolutely loves Vinho Verdes. This wine and song is for you!

@vinewinenyc @quintadalixa @skurnikwines @harmon.skurnik.wines @cheezits #wine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits  #cheezit #vinewinenyc @worldbyglass #vinhoverde #minho #portugal #Loureiro #Arinto #Trajadura #moloko #roisinmurphy




A Glass and a Dance

Malaparte Vinos
Dindi Blanco 2019 (I think)
Cuéllar, Segovia, Spain
Albillo Mayor (mainly), Jerez, Huerta del Rey, and Verdejo
Natural farming, no pesticides or herbicides, indigenous yeasts and spontaneous fermentation
Winemaking family: Mariano de Frutos (dad), Elisa de Frutos (daughter), Ruben Salamanca (son-in-law)

Color pale golden yellow. Looks refreshing! Smelling a blend of citrus, melon, some vanilla sweetness, then salty smoky, and something greenish like grass. Sipping cantaloupe and honeydew, a twinge of apple, tangy orange, and lemon tart (with a not so sweet yet toasty vanilla savory crust just lingering in the back). As it opens more, it’s sultry but still has a mineral granite lick. Medium body with an acidic finish. In other words, the best of both worlds

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: more melon, more fragrance

Reading up on how Malaparte Vinos, grew from a dream of Mariano de Frutos. Back in 1996, (wow when I typed this, I was thinking that’s not that long ago, but in reality, yes it is…time flies.) he started planting only Tempranillo in a small 3.5 hectare vineyard, but over the years it has branched out to a variety of grapes such as mentioned above in the wine notes. Very glad his dream has been realized and shared with his daughter Elisa de Frutos and her husband Ruben Salamanca.

Mariano’s dream started and is still in Cuéllar, so off we go to check out the town. If you happen to arrive the last Sunday of August, better keep watch of what’s happening around you. Early each morning (the Festival of Nuestra Señora del Rosario lasts 5 days) the bulls are released to do the infamous run through the streets. I think I’ll stick to just visiting the Dukes of Alburquerque castle. Awe inspiring gothic and renaissance architecture are blended in this incredible structure. Quite a fortress, that became abandoned after the dukes left the neighborhood. Much later in 1938, it became used as a prison and later a sanatorium for TB infected prisoners. What a change from being an exalted lap of luxury. As of now though, it has become a vocational school. Can you imagine going to school in a castle! Oh wait, that makes me think of Hogswart. That could be magical.

Let’s check out one more place in the nearby town of Iscar, the Museo Mariemma. Guillermina Teodosia Martínez Cabrejas, otherwise known as Mariemma, was one of Spain’s most important and influential dancers and choreographers. Born in Iscar, but due to her father wanting to make a better future for his family, they packed up and moved to Paris. From what I’m discovering about her past, she often danced in the street and was discovered for her talent at the age of 9, and then sent to study with a professional. By the age of 12, she was already performing as a soloist at the Olympia Theater. She passed on her love of dance, knowledge and creativity by teaching at Real Conservatorio de Arte Dramático y Danza de Madrid, and forming her own school: Mariemma Ballet de España. If you want to learn more about Mariemma, check out Daniel G. Cabrero’s documentary, “My Paths Through Dance”. Now I have another museum to check off my visit list whenever I get to travel again.

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Solid Beer with a Purpose

Non Sequitur Beer Project
The Little Dipster
ABV 7%
Hops: Galaxy and XJA 46
Brewed by Keg & Lantern for Non Sequitur Beer Project
Brooklyn, NY
Acquired at Sugarburg

Cloudy straw color with a thick foamy head. After the foam has settled there’s tangerine, grapefruit, peach, and mmmmmm pineapple, and they say candied papaya on the label, but I’m not sure. Also a little funky armpit, but then my S.O. is an IPA drinker so that may be my point of reference. Taking a swig and it’s bitter piney, pineapples, grapefruit and a splash of some other citrus. To me this is more of a solid IPA and not a NEIPA in taste. No matter what, I know my S.O. and his IPA buddies in Cambridge would love this, so crack a can and celebrate summer! Would have also fit in well back in the day at Mugs Alehouse, and their Mystery IPA contest. Man, those were the days.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: does not change it one iota

Non Sequitur Beer Project has been donating to a lot of great causes from New York Immigration Coalition, Planned Parenthood, to the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation and more. Check out the rest on their site and help them continue doing the good work!

@SugarburgNY @NonSequiturBeerProject @cheezits #beer #cheezit @worldbyglass #needmorebeer #pairswithcheezits #brooklyn #newyork #neipa #ipa


Cantina Argiolas
Turriga 2011
Isola dei Nuraghi IGT
Sardegna Italy
Cannonau (mostly) with Carignano, Bovale Sardo, Malvasia Nera

Hesitantly opened back in 2018. One of my favorites, and I didn’t know when I would get it again. From what I remember of that night (and my sparse notes), it was deep, dreamy, dark fruit, some herbal thing like fennel, and as it grew chocolate/coffee. Elegant and strong and just filled with love. Was a gift from my dear, but here is the problematic part, did he get it here or was it a bottle he brought me back from Basel? Shhh… don’t tell him I can’t sort where my present came from. I swear my brain has been so fried memory-wise since lockdown, and I didn’t take a picture of the back of the bottle. It may have come from Paul Ullrich AG in Basel or it could have come from D.O.C. Wine Shop. It’s a coin toss at this point, so giving both a nod of credit. Either way, still one of the Sardinian wines I ABSOLUTELY LOVE! Oh, and this is from the pre-Cheez-It’s era.

Cantina Argiolas

@ArgiolasWinery @docwineshop @docwinebar @paulullrichag #wine @worldbyglass #worldbyglass #needmorewine #sardegna #sardinia #italy #Cannonau #Carignano #BovaleSardo #MalvasiaNera #argiolaswinery

Falling for a Renegade

Folias de Baco
Uivo PT Nat Renegado Bruto 2019
A blend of more than 20 different red and white indegenous and old vine varieties (wow!!! 20+?)
Methode Ancestral
Alijó, Duoro, Portugal
Wild yeast, unfined and unfiltered, vegan-friendly
Winemaker: Tiago Sampaio

Raspberry deep rose pink or a dark cosmo color with delightful fizzy bubbles. Inhaling strawberries and they lean back into raspberries, mineral, and some weird smoothness figuring it out. Sipping those same raspberries, strawberries, and hello… cranberry. It’s tart and dry but still there’s a hint of twizzler. Wait that’s that smoothness I couldn’t figure out. The smell when you open a Twizzler pack, and then the taste when you first take a bite, yet it fades when the Pét-Nat tingle tart hits you again.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: the fruit goes deep and dark and even more dry

Been reading about how Tiago Sampaio, ended up in wine. Yes, he had the tradition that many do of growing up in a family of farming and vineyards, but it grew past that. This young man left Portugal for Oregon State’s Viticulture and Oenology PhD program. For those of you familiar with Oregon State, know what this means…this howling wolf was first a beaver. If you’re not acquainted with Benny, here’s a little clip.

@vinewinenyc @foliasdebaco @tiagosampaio_winemaker @saviosoaresselections @saviosselections @cheezits #wine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits  #cheezit #vinewinenyc @worldbyglass #petnat #Alijó #Duoro #Portugal #methodeancestrale #tiagosampaio #uivo

Not Your Parents Soave

Garganega 2019
100% Garganega
Soave Classico DOC
Veneto Region
Monteforte d’Alpone, Verona, Italy
Sustainable farming, spontaneous yeasts, no sulfites added (and any there are naturally occurring)

Winemaker: Daniele Nardello

It’s a cloudy deep orange golden…kind of like Tang. You remember… the astronaut beverage. First off scent of oranges, salt, pretty little flowers, and a little natural funk. Slightly sizzling sip of tangy sassy orange, peachiness, dried apricots, a little hay, and something soft candy feel, like maybe those classic old circus peanuts. There’s also mineral and as it warms up it becomes richer.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Hmmm more of the sizzle feeling. More funk. Darker orange

Years ago (in the US) Soave wines got a bad rap due to mass produced ones you could pick up anywhere. I remember in childhood the old tv commercials hawking the bottles. The wines of Soave Classico DOC kick that antiquated ideal to the curb. The volcanic soil in Monteforte d’Alpone, really enhance the two vineyards and the wines of Nardello. Honestly, I’m not sure which of the two, Robian’s Garganega comes from. It actually could even be both. Either way this orange wine with it’s crunchy crystal sediment is a great summer drinker.

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Rustic Family Roots

Terra di Briganti
Nato Nudo
Aglianico 2017
Benevento IGT
Casalduni Campania Italy
Aglianico 100%
Organic, biodynamic, vegan, and indigenous yeasts
Winemakers: Toni and Romeo De Cicco

Dark garnet that I can’t see through. Breathing in dark cherry, prune, and an earthy spiciness. Whoa the first sip is darker than I was expecting. Someone please bring me a lamb chop or maybe even better a lamb sausage. Rustic cherry including the pit and tart ripe blackberries some velvet plum/prune. There’s also something herbal or maybe…no wait, it’s oil cured black olives that I used to eat like a madwoman in college. It’s that luscious old school bitter.

Pairs with Cheez-It’s: Less bitter and more fruit

Senza Solfiti Aggiunti are magical words to my ears. I love no added sulfites! This is my third Terra di Briganti wine and all three are greatly diverse yet consistent. Every one is well structured and true to their grape. You can feel the passion and care in the wines. I love this quote from their site: “It’s the proper equilibrium between tradition and innovation and the ideal synergy that is found amongst the Earth’s gifts and the art of wine. Because wines of quality aren’t the fruit of coincidence.” This family is devoted to the land, the grape and the nature that nurtures. Does my heart good to see them passing this knowledge down the generations. Check out these lovely pics of everyone pitching in working the vines and wine.

@docwineshop @docwinebarny @TerradiBriganti @steephillwine #steephillwine @cheezits #cheezit #wine #worldbyglass #needmorewine #pairswithcheezits #italy #aglianico #Benevento #Casalduni #Campania #organic #biodynamic #vegan