Last minute ideas are often the best, and that’s the case with our summer getaway to Italy. After weeks of production deadlines for our new TV series, Goodtaste with Tanji, my husband and I decided we needed a break. So, he tallied up our frequent flyer miles on Amex and discovered we had just enough to fly to Italy, our favorite destination in the world!
It was in Italy some 10 years ago that we hatched the idea for our show. Somehow it seemed fitting, kind of full circle to go back at this time. I thought I would share some of the highlights, sights, sounds and TASTES in case you too are looking for a special getaway to one of the most charming, beautiful countries in the world.
I’ll start with one of the most special evenings – a dinner in the home of the winemaker who inspired our personal journey – Lionel Cousin. Brunello di Montalcino fans may recognize the name, as Lionel is the owner and winemaker of the Cupano Brunellos, truly among the finest.
Lionel and Ornella’s (his lovely wife) winery and home sit about 12 miles west of Montalcino. The carefully manicured property is lined with tall, slender, elegant Cypress trees, just like the ones that adorn their wine labels.
Their lovely home is classic Tuscan—warm and inviting. Their kitchen, truly a dream for any cook with its large center work space and gorgeous, ginormous Italian gas stove…all complete with a window on one end with a view of the Tuscan hillside and a giant hearth on the opposite end of the room.
A little background…we first met Lionel some 10 years ago. We visited his home late one morning for a tasting of his incredible Brunellos. That morning tasting stretched into the late afternoon and was a profound game changer in our lives. That blissful afternoon was spent not only tasting wines but talking about the grapes, the vines, the land – the passion behind it all. Mike and I left that evening in awe. Clearly, Lionel’s passion was his work, which essentially was also his lifestyle. We wanted that for our lives too, a profession that mirrored our passions, so that ‘work’ would have new meaning. That day we discovered what we wanted to do ‘next’ beyond our real jobs.
Fast forward ten years, and here we are…blessed to be pursuing a dream of exploring food, wine and incredible destinations. (Next, THE place to stay in Montalcino) BTW, a huge thank you to our friends at AT&T for keeping us connected while we were away!