Sicily (aka Heaven)

Sicily

The first time I visited Sicily, I called my husband past midnight, a few glasses of wine into the evening, and tried to convince him to move there. Yes. It's that amazing.

Sicily, the big football-shaped island that Italy's 'boot' appears to be trying to kick, is the strangest amalgam of cultures you will ever find. It isn't really 'Italian', or rather it IS Italian, but is simultaneously many other things, also. Over the centuries, Sicily has been ruled by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Muslims fron North Africa, Normans, Spanish, and finally Italians. Consequently, it has the air of a land apart. The food, the wine, the language, the architecture- all have retained a bit from each ruling group. The result is unique.

And why did all those nations want to control Sicily? For military advantage? Shipping routes? Maybe, but I have another theory. I think Sicily is so hypnotically beautiful that each succeeding conqueror was motivated mainly by the lust to possess it.

Sicily has everything. Beaches of incredible beauty, with water so blue you're convinced the word was made to describe just this. Mountains, including two active volcanoes. Soil so fertile that fruit practically drips off the trees. History that pops up on every street corner. And-perhaps best of all-stunningly delicious food and wine absolutely everywhere you look. Sicily should be on everyone's bucket list. Period.

Sadly, I cannot physically take you all to Sicily. But I can do the next best thing: I can introduce you to George Schwartz and Bill Nesto.

George, aka 'Mr Italy' around here, is our first and best source for gorgeous Italian wines. He's bringing us 9 wines from 4 different Sicilian wineries, a little grappa, his inimitable personality, and his famous caponata.

Bill Nesto, one of only two Masters of Wine in Massachusetts, wrote the book on Sicilian wine-literally. He'll be here discussing his book and signing copies.

We'll taste the wines, try out some other Sicilian foods, and generally have a grand old time. You'll leave with a signed book, some new favorites (at great discounts), and-I guarantee this-a burning desire to visit Sicily. Don't say we didn't warn you.