Arturo Ciompi

Trained as a classical clarinetist and conductor, Arturo plied his trade for many years in New York, performing with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, New York City Opera, the American Symphony and countless chamber music groups. While living in Durham, Arturo became the wine manager at two iconic gourmet stores: Fowler’s in Durham and Southern Season in Chapel Hill. He had a wine spot on NPR in the ’90s and has been a continuously published wine journalist since 1997. He has won national awards for his work and is currently writing for Durham Magazine and its weekly blog, “Wine Wednesdays”. In addition, he loves teaching the clarinet. Read more on his website.

Where the Wild Wines Are

Many Americans “think” of Sardinia, but seldom go there. Italy’s second largest island (after Sicily) is a bit of a throwback world. I remember my great uncle buying unsullied property there, hoping to build someday, but being thwarted by the myriad laws governing this windswept landscape. In the southwest corner of the island, ungrafted vines …

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Mellow Merlot

Rodney Strong Vineyards runs the gamut in price structure. It has been a joy to see their more exclusive wines, such as the “Alexander’s Crown” reserve red return to the pinnacle ofquality achievements. But what about their more “everyday” wines? Tome, their Sonoma County Merlot, especially in a good vintage, provides the kind of quality …

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From Russia, With Love

Gary Farrell is a familiar name to lovers of Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Since the 1980s, his name has conjured ripe, somewhat exhibitionist wines of substance and appeal. He no longer runs the winery that bears his name, but winemaker Theresa Heredia is carrying on a tradition of exciting wines with the glorious …

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Boisterous Barolo

Barolo is one of those wines that, when it sparks on all cylinders, is unforgettable. In the past, many “venerable” styles of Barolo could be strident and thin with a pale, brownish color even in their youth. But wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, (Barolo, Barbaresco, Gattinara, Ghemme) are never by their nature “heavy”. Like …

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