Summer in a Can: Tiamo Organic Canned Wines

I consider myself a very savvy bevvie-on-the-go person. I’m renowned for being able to carry an always cool Rosé wherever I go. When I heard about the new Tiamo organic wine [made with off the beaten path grapes, Montepulciano and Grillo] in a can, I was onboard. I paired them with the beach, popcorn and long walks on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Not only wonderfully incognito and convenient, they taste really good!

Brand: Tiamo wines are one of the many labels of the pioneering, British husband and wife team of Mel and Janie Master, their son Charlie along with the Sager family. Renowned for bringing great value wines to the US, Mel was responsible for introducing and promoting the wines of Georges Duboeuf in the US. Through the years, the duo has consistently brought fantastic value wines to the US, along with setting up their own wineries [Jordan Winery, Les Jamelles, Tortoise Creek].

In addition to the cans, Tiamo Wines also produces bottled, organic Barbera, Chianti, Pinot Grigio and Prosecco from Italy. All the grapes are sourced from small growers and cooperatives.

Tiamo Organic Rosé Terre di Chieti IGT 2016

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from organically farmed, hillside vineyards with chalky soils in the coastal region of Abruzzo, in and around the village of Chieti, central Italy.

Tasting Notes: Pink with coral highlights in colour, with aromas of candied cherry, strawberry and wildflowers. Fresh cherry and strawberry flavours are accented by a streak of light minerality. Citrus zest lingers on the crisp, dry finish. Refreshing, easy drinking perfect with all summer activities.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Picnics, BBQ, boating, the perfect all-purpose wine, great as an aperitif or with seafood, pasta and cheese.

100% Montepulciano
Terre di Chieti IGT
12% Alcohol
$19.99 for a 4 pack [SRP]

Tiamo Organic White Terre Siciliane IGT 2016

Winemaking: Grapes are sourced from organically farmed, hillside vineyards with limestone and sandy soils in Sicily.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold in colour with aromas of grapefruit, honeysuckle and fresh summer herbs. Light apricot and pear flavours are given tiny drop of honey and complimented by grapefruit and citrus zest on the zippy finish. A friendly, sunny sip.

Pairing Suggestions from the Winery: Perfect with sunsets, sitting on docks, ball games and as an aperitif or with seafood, pasta or cheese.

100% Grillo
Terre Siciliane IGT
12% Alcohol
$19.99 for a 4 pack [SRP]

Sample submitted for review purpose.

Fazio ‘‘U Marusu’ Grillo Terre Siciliane IGT 2014


Estate: Casa Vinicola Fazio is a 4th generation family estate located in the province of Trapani in northwestern Sicily. Headed by Girolamo and Vincenzo Fazio, the family is committed to respecting nature and limiting the environmental impact, thereby protecting the land for future generations. They practice integrated farming and use only organic substances. Solar panels provide 100% of the electricity for the estate.

Winemaking: Grapes were sourced from hillside vineyards in the Erice DOC. The cool, windy climate combined with the “particular geological soil” of the vineyards contributes to the fresh flavours and bright acidity their wines are known for. Slow, temperature controlled fermentation, aged for 4 months on the lees.

Tasting Notes: Pale gold with green hints in colour with aromas of lemon, wildflowers, sea salt minerals and nuts. Tropical fruit flavours are glossed by bright lemon and savoury herbaceous elements. Zippy acidity and traces of nuts comprise the dry, saline mineral finish. Wonderfully refreshing, a wine made for the heat of summer.

100% Grillo
Terre Siciliane IGT
Bottled by Casa Vinicola Fazio Wines
12.5% Alcohol
Enjoy now

Kobrand Tour d’Italia; First Stop, Sicily for Nero d’Avola & Grillo


I was delighted to attend the 4th annual Kobrand ‘Tour d’Italia’, featuring iconic wines from their exclusive Italian wine portfolio. Kobrand is a family owned importing company founded in 1944, it serves as the exclusive agent for many fine European wines and additionally owns many of the brands in its portfolio. The tasting was held in the stunningly beautiful Bowery Hotel in NYC, and was a fantastic opportunity to speak directly with iconic winemakers representing many regions of Italy, from the north to Tuscany to Sicily. Many producers brought new releases and assembled vertical tastings of some of their best vintages and labels. With so many exceptional wines, it was difficult not trying them all [although I did give it my best attempt in the couple of hours that I had!]

The Sicilian estate of Feudo Maccari, established by Antonio Moretti in 2000 is located just over a mile from the sea on the southern tip of Sicily. Moretti also owns his renowned family estate of Tenuta Sette Ponti in Tuscany, along with Poggio al Lupo in Maremma. The 250 acre Sicilian estate was assembled from numerous owners with more than 50 separate vineyard plots on the hillsides near the town of Noto.

Winemaking: The extreme dry heat makes the use of chemicals unnecessary. Vineyards are 240 feet above sea level with predominantly volcanic soils, with the occasional chalk deposit. There are newly planted vines, though the average age runs between 30-60 years.

The very gracious Giovanna Moretti, Antonio Moretti’s sister and co-owner of Tenuta Sette Ponti, presented the wines:


Feudo Maccari Grillo Sicilia IGP 2014
Ms. Moretti introduced this as an “easy wine” best enjoyed “very cold”. Aged in stainless steel, and absolutely brimming with lush tropical fruit flavours highlighted by heady honeysuckle notes, followed by clean minerals on the crisp finish. Incredibly glugable with a fantastic integration of fruit, floral and minerals elements.
$10 [average price]


Feudo Maccari Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGP 2014
Described by Ms. Moretti as the estate’s “basic Nero d’Avola”, sourced from vines aged 12-34 years old, this is 100% Nero d’Avola aged in stainless steel and absolutely dazzling in its simplicity and clarity. Fruit forward with black cherry and red currant flavours atop a fresh acidity and traces of menthol leading to a clean, dry finish.
$9 [average price]

Feudo Maccari ‘Saia’ Nero d’Avola Sicilia IGP 2012
Saia is a velvety expression of Nero d’Avola, grapes are sourced from 20-30 year old vines in volcanic soil with white sand and chalk deposits, then aged for 1 year in French barriques followed by 6 months in the bottle. Oak adds depth and is a good foil to the morello cherry, dry tannins and hints of mint. Sweet raisin notes shine of the spicy finish and keep you reaching for more.
$20 [average price]



Media Event Sponsored by Kobrand

Natural Wines of Sicilia and Sardegna Tasting at Otto Enoteca

I was absolutely delighted to attend “Natural Wines of Sicilia and Sardegna” wine tasting and class at Otto Enoteca in NYC a couple of Saturdays past. It was a fun, informative tasting led by Sommelier Dan Pucci and featured 5 wines from Sicily and Sardinia crafted by winemakers using only natural, organic and biodynamic methods. Each wine was distinctive and told its own story; from the funky Tami Grillo to the just released Bonavita Rosato to the rare, native Tenute Dettori Pascale, all remarkable and engaging!

Tami’ Grillo 2012

Arianna Occhipinti is the owner and winemaker behind Azienda Agricola Occhipinti in Vittoria, Sicily. She is renowned for her fantastic Frappato and Nero d’Avola. In 2009, she founded the TAMI label with a vision of making natural wines accessible to everyone. The wines are unoaked and fermented with only native yeasts, and are crafted to be “everyday wine of simple taste, and well made”. Grillo [also known as Riddu] is a white grape indigenous to Sicily and has been known for its use in producing Marsala. Recently winemakers have been adding it to white blends and experimenting with it as a standalone varietal.
Fresh lemon and wet wool radiate in this funky white, roasted nuts and honey linger between each distinctive sip. Biodynamically crafted with only a minimal amount of sulphur imparts a pleasant yeasty, IPA beer-like essence.
Terre Siciliane
Bottled by TAMI srl
12.5% Alcohol

Bonavita Terre Siciliane Rosato 2012

The Scarfone family has been cultivating their vineyards in Messina located in the northeast corner of Sicily for over a century. Today Emanuela and Carmelo Scarfone are assisted by their sons Giovanni and Francesco on the 6 hectare estate, of which 2 hectares are vineyards he rest consists of olive, oak and chestnut trees. One of their main objectives is to produce wine in harmony with nature. They do not use any chemical substances at all, and organic fertilizers are only applied in the autumn. The average vine age varies between 6 and 50 years.
Clear bright brick-red in colour with aromas of sour cherry and cranberry, juicy cherry and strawberry flavours were backed by savoury rosemary and earthy traces in the light to medium body. Clean, refreshing and super easy drinking, this is a fantastic glass on its own or with a wide variety of dishes.
Produced by Azienda Agricola Bonavita, Messina
13.5% Alcohol

Cos Nero Di Lupo IGT 2011

Azienda Agricola Cos was established in 1980 by three friends when they purchased Joseph Cilia’s family winery, Cos is an acronym of the founders Giambattista Cilia, Ciusto Occhipinti and Cirino Strano. Their mission is to “recreate the work of their ancestors” and to interpret e the unique terrior of Vittoria. To that end they adopted the principles of biodynamic viticulture along with a few ancient Greek cellar methods, such as fermenting and ageing in clay amphorae that are partially buried in the ground. Using native varietals, they “allow the grapes to express themselves naturally”, as well as “represent their time and place”.
Dense aromas of raisin, autumn woods and sandalwood introduced bright black cherry notes along with black tea tannins, iron minerals and lingering traces of dried strawberry. This is a clean and lean glass that will disappear with a lithe swiftness before you even notice.
100% Nero d’Avola
Bottled by Azienda Agricola Cos
12.5% Alcohol

Tenute Dettori Ottomarzo Romangia IGT Rosso 2010

The Dettori family has been “cultivating the earth and the vine from time immemorial”. They are dedicated to crafting wines that express themselves and reflect the place from which they come. The family takes care of all activities in both the vineyard and cellar, and these are all carried out by hand. Passionate about preserving the environment and harmony between man, vines and animal, they practice “common-sense agriculture”, do not use chemicals of any type, and craft their wines without filtering or clarifying. Badde Nigolosu is there “Cru”, it is a natural amphitheater located on the highest hills in the Romangia region, Pascale is an indigenous Sardinian grape that has been cultivated there for many centuries.
Cherry, strawberry, and raspberry fruits abound in the fresh, gossamer-like body [which is seemingly unbelievable with a 15.5 % alcohol content!], whilst sweet tobacco, Chinese spice and gamey, earthy nuances linger enticingly between each sip. Absolutely fascinating, this is an enchanting glass that appreciates conversation and dinner.
Badde Nigolosu/Romangia/Sardinia
100% Pascale
Produced and Bottled by Tenute Dettori Societa Agricola
15.5% Alcohol


All prices listed are the internet average cost.