Luxury Wine Tour of Apulia with The Toasted Hostess

April 1, 2010 by

A luxury wine tour of Puglia, south Italy, is now available with a great introductive HD video on The Toasted Hostess page, for further details about the tour take a look at

The Toasted Hostess and her friends at Hallmark Travels have decided to synergize and share some cellar doors of the ragged rough untouched Apulia from southern Italy. From taste temptations to truffle hunting and gaining new culinary skills…

A fantastic opportunity to visit the unspoiled Puglia region with its amazing wineries, tasting their delicious wines and experiencing the quality of the regional cuisine.

Hope you will appreciate…

Truffle Hunting Weekend

March 19, 2010 by

Puglia white truffles and black truffles from Corigliano d’Otranto (Lecce, Apulia) are among the best ones in Italy and available for almost every day of the year (from january until august).

The hunter arranges this exciting truffle hunt, with his loyal dogs, customized for truffle lovers from abroad. Choose our Truffle Tour and we will give you memories to last a lifetime…

The expert hunter will give you a taste of Italy and take you step by step on the entire truffle-hunting journey, from digging up and processing to use it in recipes. Concluding this experience with brake bread at his table for a delicious meal prepared with the precious truffle.


Apr 16, 30 – May 14, 28 – Jun 11, 25

Please note that other tour dates could be available upon demand, for private groups of minimum 8 people.

(click here to see the video)

Flavors of Puglia

March 19, 2010 by

Flavors of Puglia,  a fantastic opportunity to visit the unspoiled Puglia region with its amazing flavors, tasting its delicious food and wines…in other words experiencing the quality of the regional cuisine!

Great food&wine, astonishing landscapes, deep culture&traditions, charming accommodations…always feeling the warmth of locals!!!

Born as “cuisine of poverty”, the cuisine of Puglia is as tasty as anywhere in Italy and celebrated as one of the best examples of the healthy Mediterranean Diet (three things are essential to the Apulian kitchen: wheat, vegetables, and olive oil). In this culture of sparsity, nothing is wasted: stale bread is crumbled and toasted in oil to make a garnish for vegetable dishes, vegetables themselves are dried at the height of their season, etc.

The food of Puglia is in essence a home-based cuisine, not marked by the influence of great chefs or restaurants, based on women cooking at home rather than male chefs in professional kitchens: thus a recipe becomes a manner of speaking rather than a rule.

All tastings included in the tour will start with an introduction to the production cycle hold by the owner or his delegate.

OTHER TOUR DATES: May 29 – Jun 19 – Sep 25 – Nov 06

Group size: The trip is based of minimum 8 travelers.

Luxury Wine Tour of Apulia

March 19, 2010 by

Luxury Wine Tour of Apulia, a fantastic opportunity to visit the unspoiled Puglia region with its amazing wineries, tasting their delicious wines and experiencing the quality of the regional cuisine.

Great food&wine, astonishing landscapes, deep culture&traditions, elegant and luxury accommodations… always feeling the warmth of locals!!!

Wine production in Puglia is among the first ones in Italy, with Apulian producers mostly focusing on quality production.

Puglia is rich of autochthonous grapes having great potentials, such as Negroamaro, Primitivo and Uva di Troia, which in the last years have become more and more popular, therefore contributing the the rebirth of Apulian wines. The wines mainly representing Apulia are reds and roses, however in the region are also produced interesting white wines, also with autochthonous grapes.During the tour you will taste the following grape varieties: Moscato of Trani, Verdeca, Malvasia of Salento, Primitivo, Salice Salentino and Negroamaro.

All visits to winemakers (Rivera; Cocevola; Albea; Rubino; Due Palme; Leone De Castris) involve a visit to the cellars, an introduction to the wines produced hold by the owner or the local oenologist and a wine tasting with some local food appetizers.

OTHER TOUR DATES: Sep 05, Oct 10

Group size: The trip is based of minimum 8 travelers.

(see the video overview)

Italian Wine Highlights

April 7, 2009 by

Here is a link to some great Italian wines to seek out. They might be a treasure hunt to find some, I suspect the journey will find some other delights along the way.

Every sip you take: Singer Sting is selling wine

March 13, 2009 by

This was part of today’s wine news. Naturally, Sting is most welcome to share more with Italian Food and Wine

ROME (AP) – After singing of “Fields of Gold,” British rock star Sting is tending fields of grapes as he prepares to market red wine made at his country estate in Tuscany.

Some 30,000 bottles of wine produced on the property will go on sale in September, mainly in Britain and the United States, Paolo Rossi, the estate’s manager, said Thursday.

In 1997 the former Police frontman purchased a 16th-century villa, called Il Palagio, in Figline Valdarno, a small village some 19 miles (30 kilometers) south of Florence.

Over the years he has turned the surrounding 860 acres (350 hectares) into an organic farm that also produces honey, olive oil, fruit, vegetables and Tuscan salami.

“When I came here to Figline I wanted first of all to feed my family,” Sting said on Tuesday during an event at the village where the 57-year-old star spoke of the time he spends at Il Palagio.

You can read the rest of the article by clicking here

Trip Report From Vines and Villas

March 11, 2009 by
Crostini toscani served at an osteria in Florence.
Image via Wikipedia

Here is a quote from Bill at Vines and Villas on a recent tour in Tuscany…

“October is the loveliest time to be in Tuscany, I’m salivating already!

I’m not usually drawn to tours but this tour has a soul to it. This is not your run of the mill greatest hits of Tuscany line up:

I lived in Florence for years before discovering little gems like Castellina in Tuscany. I promise you that you will never approach food the same way again after actually taking a cooking class in Italy.

Bring home a wheel of pecorino and some packets of dried porcini mushrooms. Buon appetito!”


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Vignai da Duline

March 9, 2009 by

Here is a great wine story from David Weitzenhoffer who imports artisan Italian wines.

Vignai da Duline is a husband and wife team producing incredibly small quantities of wine from old vines. When I say small quantities most people don’t realize how small: 400 cases of pinot grigio, 250 of Tocai, 150 of Refosco, 200 cases of chardonnay, etc…. Many producers, certainly distributors, and even some consumers would ask “why bother?”  ………

To read the full story and watch a short video follow this link.

To find the wines in the USA please contact David directly.

Italian Food and WineTV

August 26, 2008 by

Have a great Italian food, wine or travel story and want it included, please send an email with your ideas.