Author: Emily O'Hare

Emily O'Hare left her job as head sommelier and wine buyer at London's River Cafe after seven years to spend three months in three different wineries working with three brilliant grape varieties and three fantastic winemakers in Campania, Tuscany and Piedmont. After a magical party on Monte Amiata she decided to follow the casanovas and courtesans she had met at the (fancy dress) party to Florence, and has no desire to leave. She is a VIA Italian Wine Ambassador and writes for Decanter on Italian wine. She hopes to begin teaching the WSET wine program in Florence soon.
March 3, 2017
FOOD + WINE

Going native with Ian D’Agata

He’s one of the world’s favourite wine writers, an expert in native grape varieties and scientific director of Vinitaly International Academy, but he’s also a trained medical doctor specialized in pediatric gastroenterology and pediatric liver transplants who studied at Cincinnati, Harvard and Montreal universities. I spoke to Ian D’Agata about his life and work ahead […]
February 3, 2017
FOOD + WINE

Wining away Valentine’s Day in Tuscany

Romantic spots are easy to find in Tuscany. Just add wine for an even more special Valentine’s experience. Starting in the city there is the Four Seasons, a haven for romantics. Vaunting magnificent dining rooms and bars, Florence’s most luxurious hotel is home to the vastest of gardens, with a weeping beech under which a […]
December 1, 2016
FOOD + WINE

Vin Santo: the holiest of wine

This month I would like to draw your attention to monks. I always feel grateful to monks at Christmas time since my preferred tinsel tipple is Tuscan Vin Santo.   Warming, sweet and nutty, reminiscent of treacle and deeply devout given the ecstasy it is capable of instilling, monks had much to do with this […]
November 12, 2016
FOOD + WINE

Fontodi: the family that tiles the Duomo

For three centuries the Manetti family have been producing terracotta from their furnaces in Greve in Chianti. Eight generations have worked with the unique clay composted of local soils to create terracotta of such quality that the family were chosen to be the official furnisher of tiles, made to Brunelleschi’s original design, used for the […]
October 16, 2016
FOOD + WINE

Challenges, changes in Tuscan winemaking

Grape growers and winemakers are essentially superheroes in Wellington boots. The dangers they face in their vineyards and cellars could be stylized in scream balloons à la Marvel comic book: Dastardly Deer! The Red-Eyed Fly! HAIL! HEAT! Illustrations by Leo Cardini In the last 25 years there have been countless changes in Tuscan grape growing […]
September 7, 2016
FOOD + WINE

Wine 101

Chianti, the Uffizi, Vernaccia, Ponte Vecchio, grappa, the Duomo, amaro, Dante: drinking in Florence requires knowledge.   WHERE Florence is situated within a cork’s throw of Chianti. Like Champagne it is the name of the wine region and not the grape variety. Get out of the Renaissance city by bus, bike or on foot, and […]
July 2, 2016
FOOD + WINE

Winemaker Michele Manelli

Montepulciano, 70 miles southeast of Florence, where the Romans grew vines and named it “Mons Politanus”. In the eighteenth century the term “Nobile” appeared to reference both the wine and the nobles who consumed it. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is a red wine made predominantly from Sangiovese, the great Tuscan grape, the key player behind […]
May 26, 2016
FOOD + WINE

Chianti Rufina: a hidden treasure

Chianti Rufina is one of the smallest of the Chianti sub-zones, producing far less wine than Chianti Colli Senesi and Chianti Classico, so you’ll be (just about) forgiven for never hearing of it. But seeing “Rufina” after “Chianti” should be read as eagerly as one might dig around an X that marks the spot, for […]
May 6, 2016
FOOD + WINE

Winemaker stories: Charlotte Horton, Castello di Potentino

Fifty years ago, Helga Guinness met an Italian woman at a bus stop on a Greek island and mentioned she was looking for a house. A few months later, Guinness received a telegram: a deposit had been made in her name on a simple farmhouse near the Maremma coast. Guinness bought the property, and in […]
April 10, 2016
FOOD + WINE

How to pair wine with pizza

If you make a mistake when learning to speak Italian, I’ve found the locals are generally very encouraging in their correction. Only once have I find it awkward, the time I stopped in front of a salumeria in Orvieto and asked my older male friend, my boss’s husband what palle di nonno were. But if […]