Are you passionate about wine? Have you had your first "ah-ha"
wine moment?

All it takes is one experience...

I've always been interested in wine, having lived in Italy, where wine was part of the culture and everyday life. Even when I was young, my dad would slip me a little glass of wine during our big Sunday dinner. I also had several uncles who grew their own grapes and made their own wine.

I began studying wine around 1993, but my first "ah-ha" moment didn't come until 1995. My girlfriend at the time knew I was very interested in wine -- she heard me talk about it quite a bit -- so for Christmas she gave me a bottle of 1991 Far Niente Napa Cabernet Sauvignon. The first sip I took of that wine changed my life forever. It had such an incredible mouth feel, almost like velvet and the complex aftertaste seemed to last for 3 minutes. I had never tasted a wine like that before; I was floored. The relationship didn't last, but my passion for wine flourished. A few weeks later I signed up for an adult education wine class (Wine Tasting 101), and started reading wine books anytime I had a free moment. I also started attending wine tastings on a weekly basis. Over the years I've continued to take classes and seminars, as well as attend special tasting events. I've had several wine "ah-ha" moments since 1995, but my first was that life-changing experience with the 1991 Far Niente. As the Romans used to say, "Wine is life" -- and that Far Niente definitely changed my life.

Matteo Ursino

Far Niente

Red Wine

Vino Enthusiast was conceived with 3 simple goals in mind:

  1. To share my interest, passion and excitement about wine, and by doing so hopefully inspire similar excitement in others.
  2. To promote Italian Wines from lesser-known regions. Italy has been going through a wine renaissance since the early 1990s (the time when I began getting seriously interested in wines) and is now one of the undisputed leaders in the world of wine. My goal is to find and promote new grape varieties that are not yet well-known in the US—grapes like Nerello Mascalese, Fiano, Grillo and Aglianico, among many others.
  3. To show that wine appreciation does not have to be stuffy or pompous. Wine is first and foremost a beverage to be enjoyed with a nice meal; its real purpose is to enhance the taste of food and to be shared as a form of celebration.