Holidays in Sicily with a glass of wine in hand

Five wineries and their wines to taste this summer, traveling long and wide on the island

Between past and future
From the unique territory of Etna and the craftsmanship of generations who work on the slopes of the volcano, a “new” wine is born. Or rather, a new excellent expression of Nerello Mascalese, High Mora Feud of Mid-Cusumano. First vintage 2014. Why between past and future? Well, meanwhile it is a product that is born in a precise landscaping and historic farming context, with still old dry-walled screws. Half feudo is actually a cru obtained from a vineyard of 80 years averaging 2 hectares of cultivated saplings. The future is in the bottle, in its content, resulting from a contemporary philosophy and innovative technology, which allows you to obtain a high quality product. But perhaps more than philosophy, in the case of Cusumano, it would be more correct to talk about poetics. Poetics of wine and poetics of making wine today. The company explains it well in a nice video, spread just for the launch of the wines of the Alta Mora line.

With the malolactic in wood, the Nerello finishes in big barrels and this first edition, the wine is still young, already imposes itself as an important and authoritative bottle. Its intense and complex scents, but fresh and delicious in the mouth, so that it can be perfectly matched with seafood pasta dishes.


Black and white
Fresh black wines are also born from the dark black ground of Etna. Like those produced by another important company in the area, Cottanera. We are talking about two precious bottles: Etna Bianco Doc 2016 and Calderara 2015. Two different interpretations of the Carricante, the extraordinary autochthonous vine spread on the Sicilian volcano, the soul of many of the best Sicilian whites. His first interpretation is the Etna Bianco, which affords the yeast in steel for at least 6 months. More than a base wine, horrible expression, is a bottle that portrays the Carrier with an essential palette, with almost the only basic colors, citrus and mineral notes of this wine. And the body decided in the mouth.
While the Carrier of Contrada Calderara tells another story. It comes from vineyards of 45 years old up to 750 mt above sea level. Fermented and aged 12 months part in wood part in concrete tanks. In short, nature is part of it, but also the cellar wants its. So here we do not find only the citrus freshness, but also the greater flavor. And still the floral and herbaceous notes on the nose. Both wines combine perfectly with raw fish dishes.


Looking for the perfect bottle
Perhaps Stefano Caruso and his brothers are convinced they have found it. In the sense that they have come back to produce the wine that best expresses the philosophy of their wine-making work, the philosophy behind the whole production of the Marsala Caruso & Minini company. A philosophy, born of the competence and passion of Nino Caruso, then of his heirs. And precisely the name Nino brings the prince’s bottle of the cellar, the superb Rosso Sicilia Igt. (15% alcohol), which we had the opportunity to enjoy at the ancient Baglio di Marsala of the family of producers (see the opening photo above). Nino is born from two distinct stages of vintage with a strict selection of grapes (Nerello, Nero d’Avola, Frappato and Perricone). The second harvest occurs after a natural baking of the bunches. The wine then affinates four years in French and American wooden tonneaux, but made in Sicily, and another 12 months in bottle. Another particularly representative wine of Caruso & Minini is certainly the Perricone, also known as Pignatello. Sachia is the name of our bottle with this purest grain. A fresh and powerful wine, fragrant nose and elegant on the palate. 6 months in steel tanks and 3-4 months in bottle. Work on this autochthonous Sicilian grape is another challenge won by the Marsala winery. Finally, we point out three more bottles to try: the Catarratto Isula, the Black Avola Reserve Cutaja and the sumptuous Syrah Riserva Delia Nivolelli.


Speaking of Sicily one can not but mention a Cricket. A Cricket, for example, like the Kados of Duke of Salaparuta from the estate of Risignolo. It is a bottle that well represents this variety, with its floral bouquet. For about 40 days, half of the grapes ferment in barriques, while refining takes place in vitrified cement tanks. The fruit of the work in the vineyard and in the cellar is therefore a wine of remarkable complexity and structure and a combination of great pleasure in the mouth. More demanding and important is certainly Bianca di Valguarnera, Insolia in purity.

Grammy Awards 2016, triumph in 3 to Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Mark Ronson

The “Oscars of the Music” assign a “throne-shaped sofa 3” but Kendrick Lamar, winner in rap, what gets the most gramophones

More than a throne, for the winners of the Grammy Awards in 2016 it would take a three-seat sofa: is Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars and Ed Sheeran the winners of the most important categories of the 58th edition of the “Oscars of the music”.
The album of the year 1989 the former queen of the country, the song is (and could be no doubt) Thinking Out Loud of hair fawn songwriter, while the 2016 record goes to Mark Ronson (feat. Bruno Mars) for the catchphrase Uptown Funk.
All three artists, they are then awarded a further upside statuette (Swift even 2), in dedicated to pop categories.

From a quantitative point of view, however, Kendrick Lamar is the true king of the ceremony, as he took home four awards, all in the categories dedicated to rap; tied in their respective genres, The Weeknd (R & B, Contemporary) and coupled with Skrillex Diplo (dance).

But they were the result, perhaps, to make it even more special than usual the evening dedicated to the music.

Which side live, he confirmed Lady Gaga undisputed queen of the moment: he promised a medley tribute to the late David Bowie, and so it was. And how, if it has been in recent years, the pop diva will also have made some mistakes in the recording industry, but to live is now unreachable.

In addition to David Bowie, they were also dedicated tributes to other artists who have left us in the last year: Stevie Wonder and Pentatonics sang a cappella for Maurice White (founder of Earth, Wind & Fire), while Glenn Frey was remembered by his Eagles. A Lemmy Kilmister has been devoted the first television performance of The Hollywood Vampires (the band composed by Johnny Depp, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry), rather to remind B.B. King played Chris Stapleton, Bonnie Raitt and Gary Clark Jr.

Among the performers that have inflamed the stage of the Grammys 2016, Rihanna was the great absentee: confirmed for some time, the singer has given package at the last minute for a health problem.
The standing ovation went to Adele, another great return “guest” (the album was released after the time limits for records of the year), despite a technical problem could make it out of tune on All I ask. Maybe it was the effect of Lionel Richie, honored as Person of the Year Award, and that months ago had been accomplice of a funny parody of Hello … A Richie was paid a performance by John Legend Group, Demi Lovato, Meghan Trainor, Luke Bryan and Tyrese on the classics of the singer, who then took the stage to sing the evergreen All Night Long. Kendrick Lamar, perhaps galvanized by the awards, has performed in a very intense live; other performances of the evening: Justin Bieber, The Weeknd, Ellie Goulding, Carrie Underwood and Sam Hunt, Andra Day.


Album of the Year: Taylor Swift – 1989
Song of the Year: Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
Record of the Year: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Best Country Album: Chris Stapleton – Traveller
Best New Artist: Meghan Trainor
Best Pop Solo Performance: Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
Best Pop Duo / Group Performance: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
Best Pop Vocal Album: Taylor Swift – 1989
Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar – Alright
Best Rap / Sung Collaboration: Kendrick Lamar feat. Bilal, Anna Wise & Thundercat – These Walls
Best Rap Song: Kendrick Lamar – Alright
Best Rap Album: Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp A Butterfly
Best Dance Recording: Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber – Where Are Ü Now
Best Dance / Electronic Album: Skrillex And Diplo, Skrillex And Diplo Present Jack Ü
Best Rock Performance: Alabama Shakes – Do not Wanna Fight
Best Rock Song: Alabama Shakes – Do not Wanna Fight
Best Rock Album: Muse – Drones
Best Alternative Music Album: Alabama Shakes- Sound & Color
Best R & B Performance: The Weeknd – Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey)
Best Urban Contemporary Album: The Weeknd – Beauty Behind The Madness
Person of the Year Award: Lionel Richie

Oscar, a racial issue (since 1929)

The Oscar nominations are not a multi-ethnic society. The scandal exploded in 2016 but, retracing the history of the Academy and doing the math, the question seems rooted

The boycott of the Oscar night by Spike Lee (who was to receive an Academy Honorary Award), Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Tyrese Gibson for the lack of representing color in the list of nominations pushes to reflect. The Academy, after the fuss that was raised, ran for cover announced plans to change the rules (for example increasing the number of members “black” and of different ethnicities) and calling to attend the ceremony on 28 February, the musician and producer Quincy Jones, who will participate, however, only if he is given the chance to hold a five-minute speech on diversity. We’ll see what will happen and especially those who will participate.
Meanwhile, here is a selection of actors, producers, directors, musicians and technicians of color that have won the Oscar.

Sydney Poitier (Lilies of the Field)
It ‘a bit’ the standard-bearer of African American actors. In fact it was the first black actor to win an Oscar for his portrayal of Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field. It was 1964. In 2002 he received an Oscar for lifetime achievement.

Denzel Washington (Training Day)
It was the second black performer to win the statuette in the category “Best Actor” for the film Training Day (2001). The actor was not new to the premium, he had already received in 1990 as “Best Supporting Actor” for Glory – Glory Boys.

Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
Quincy Jones as part of the production was to be appointed the first time in 1986 for Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple. A win in the category, however, the first was Steve McQueen in 2014 (also nominated for Best Director) for 12 Years a Slave.

Irene Cara (Flashdance)
In 1984 Irene Cara was the first African American woman to win an Oscar in a category that would go beyond the recitation. Who does not remember his song Flashdance … What a Feelig? The following year, she touched in with the legendary Stevie Wonder I Just Call To Say I Love You, inserted in the film The Woman in Red. Recently (2015) the rapper Common and John Legend won for the wonderful Glory. The film was Selma – The road to freedom.

Halle Berry (Monster’s Ball)
2002 was a historic year for black actors. In addition to Denzel Washington he won an Oscar also connects Halle Berry for his performance in Monster’s Ball, while Will Smith was defeated by Washington despite its good performance in Michael Mann’s Ali. Halle Barry even today remains the only black actress to receive the statuette in the category “Best Actress”.

Hattie McDaniel (Gone with the Wind)
Women outnumber men in the “non-actors”: 6 to 4. Hattie McDaniel became the first black to win an Oscar. Remember Mami Gone with the Wind (1939)? Unforgettable. They followed Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost in 1991, Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls in 2007, Mo’Nique for Precious in 2010, Octavia Spencer for The Help Lupita Nyong’o in 2012 and for 12 years a slave in 2014.

Russel Williams (Dances with Wolves)
He won two Oscars for mixing the sound. One in 1990 for Glory – Men Edward Zwick’s Glory, the other in 1991 for Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner. But the first black man to win the statuette in the category was Willie D. Burton for Bird Clint Easwood. It was 1989.

Lionel Richie (The Midnight Sun)
After receiving a nomination in 1982 for the song Endless Love, namesake of the Franco Zeffirelli film (in Italian Endless Love), Lionel Richie withdrew the statuette in 1986 for Say You. Say Me, theme song of the film White Nights. Richie in the same year he was nominated along with Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton for the song Miss Celie’s Blue inserted in The Color Purple.

Jeoffrey Fletcher (Precious)
It was the first African American to win an Oscar for “Adapted Screenplay”. The film that gave him the coveted prize in 2010 was Precious. John Ridley was in fact the second thanks to 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, from whose novel drew the winning script. The year was 2014.

Oprah Winfrey (from The Color Purple in Selma)
In 1986 he was nominated for “Best Supporting Actress” for The Color Purple, she played Sofia remember? In 2014 he wanted at all costs to produce Selma – The road to freedom, which last year was put on the list of the best films. In 2012 however he received a special Oscar: the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.