Suze Ormann is a pretty slick mama, so when she told me before Christmas to re-think gift giving for our Merry Recession this year, I came up with an idea. What if used all those hours I've whiled away on Ancestry.com for more than just divulging upsetting family secrets at dinner? Inspiration: I could research the wine from my family's Italian villages of origin and give bottles as gifts. Instant family terroir, if you will.
And it worked! Well...mostly. My dad's family is a cinch. They're from Abruzzo, the poor, still relativley undiscovered region west of Rome that's churning out some stellar Montepulciano d'Abruzzo lately - it's recession gold. On mom's side, it turns out the wines from around Lucca in Tuscany are, well, a fave of the Vatican's for centuries. Just try to get your paws on a bottle of that stuff (picturing the pope's wine cellar....mamma mia). So I improvised with a Tuscan red blend from a winemaker that owns several vineyards in the region.
I even gave everyone maps and the village's history of wine making along with the bottles. A hit indeed. If you're ever up for a little help with a similar project, ring me up. I'll research and source the wines for you.