We headed out of Fermo and literally just passed the old town walls when we had to turn into a quiet lane that led us straight to the winery. The Cantina Ortenzi is located in a beautiful setting with wonderful views all around. Even before we tasted the wine, the inebriated hills eased us into a warm sense of hospitality.

One of the co-oweners, Christian, came out to meet us and show us around. The vines were sloping down in a southerly direction and more were being planted in order to expand production. 

Amos, Falerio-Pecorino, La Cantina Ortenzi 

Named after the Hebrew word that describes one who loves to make things, the Amos is a lovely golden colour.

Aromas of apricot, honey, acacia. As we waited, the wine continued to display new characteristics, including hints of butterscotch.

It is rich with good acidity, giving it good length. I would love to enjoy a bottle with local truffle and mushroom risotto.

We also tasted the red wine here which is also delicious.

Rosso Piceno, Baruc (Hebrew for Benedict)

This is an easy to drink wine with aromas  of raspberries and blackcurrants and then a second, more delicate layer of rose petals. There are hints of oak but it not overdone. The DOC rules that all wine rosso piceno wine must have at least 12 months in oak. This wine has been aged for 2 years before it is deemed ready for serving. this means the flavours are well integrated and drinking this wine leaves you feeling very warm and satisfied. What could be better?

For a food pairing, I would suggest either: antipasti of cold meets and vegetables, or rich gamey meats cooked with local Marche herbs. The food here is exceptional, so it is great that the wines are getting the recognition that they deserve too. So many matches made in heaven!

web: http://www.cantinaortenzi.it/

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Last week a picture was posted on Twitter of vines in Shabo, a large estate that lies to the west of Odesa on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea coastline. The image seemed benign at face value but the reality, of course, is that the city of Odesa has been bracing itself for attack by Russian forces. 


As COVID-19 conspires with the grimmest of winds and rain to force a societal retreat behind our own front doors, the word ennui springs to mind. The muddle of displeasure is pierced when Natalia hands me a large bulbous glass of a liquid I do not recognise.



Britain’s lamentable exit

On the eve of Britain’s official departure from the EU, my partner and I decided to explore a small town on the Italian Riviera where thewintry cold doesn’t feel so much like cold war bite.

I had warned my significant other that I would be having an inverse departure party, a release of the sanity valve if you like!


Sitting inside the ancient castle walls inside the town of Soave, a short drive from Verona in northern Italy, the unique slightly almond aroma of the indigenous grape, Garganega, rises gently from my glass. The castle sprawls up the side of an extinct volcano that gives the region its variant soil structures that mark out the better quality of Soave wines.


Tanisha Townsend decided to move to Paris 4 years ago after regularly passing through the city en route to the world’s most famous vineyards. In fact, it was about 2 years ago at the Printemps de Champagne Bouzy Rouge tasting in Reims that I saw (who we shall now refer to as) GirlMeetsGlass chirpily speaking to her web followers on Snapchat.


The cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of Saint James, rises out of the landscape, infested with antiquity. The rambling steep streets give way to shafts of dramatic light, emblazoned chapels, and tightly packed tapas bars, dusty, as old novels pressed together in antiquarian bookshops.


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