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July 29, 2011

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Page 8 POST-GAZETTE, JULY 29, 2011 Authur Robert V. Camuto Wine enthusiast and writer Robert Camuto de- cided to visit and study as many wineries he could in Sicily and take time to visit his ancestral home of his grandfather in the slopes of Mount Etna. He arrives in Scoglitti hun- gry. The restaurant he se- lects proves to be superb. Lacking menus he selects his wine with a connois- seur's pitch. Assisted by able waitresses Camuto begins his many-coursed meatless meal that consisted of a pair of raw marinated langous- by Claude Marsilia Palmento: A Sicilian Wine Odyssey by Robert V. Camuto Hard Cover * 250 Pages * Published by University of Nebraska Press tines, a few prawns in lemon and oil,-seasoned merluzzo, grilled squid and swordfish, drizzled octopus and steamed mussels. I almost forgot that Camuto was served, in ad- dition, two bowls of pasta, which he ate sleepily but joyfully. Camuto describes each morsel with heavenly bliss. Camuto begins his narrative by explaining how the vineyards in Sicily were de- stroyed by the phylloxera para- site during the latter part of the nineteenth century. Nonetheless, the comeback of Sicily's promi- nent wine makers is well on its way, assisted by the rich red Nero d'Avola and the elegant Nerello Mascalese wines to name a few. Camuto's highly descrip- tive wording of the wines he tastes can only be rivaled by his lip-smacking descrip- tions of the varied tasty food ing, "We stuck our noses in torian and political philoso- pher. Obviously, Camuto is impressed by De Grazia's presence, accentuated by a Roman nose and curly brown hair. De Grazia tells Camuto, "The Golden period ended with the double blow of phyl- loxera and the unification of Italy." On the edge of Etna in the small town.of Solicchiata, Camuto meets Belgian born Frank Cornelissen who spoke perfect Italian and our glasses. It smelled as American English without a warm and- omplex as a:vil European accent. He stored lage bakery off a spring his witie4n amphorae urns ' swe but morrurng, i itasted ..... surflceff-to their necks in at the sai e' time a ient as lava sand. Also, he does not an old church missal, and it add any sulfur to his wines seemed it could last in the because Etna produces sul- Camuto begins his narrative by explaining how the vineyards in Sicily were destroyed by the phylloxera parasite during the latter part of the nineteenth century. he indulges in. Camuto's undisputed description of wine tasting is featured when he writes the follow- mouth for hours." As Camuto travels through Sicily he en- counters a vari- ety of person- alities, some were quite so- phisticated. One in particu- lar is Marco de Grazia who was born in Washington DC. His mother was a painter-sculptor and his father, Sebastian, a his- phurous volcanic gasses. Camuto declares, after his discussions with Frank Cornilissen that Frank had become Sicilian. Another foremost wine maker and producer of a large range of vegetables is Diego Planeta who declares forthright that Sicily had thousands of grape varieties that need to be tested and selected leading to Sicily's enormous potential. He adds, *Sicily has a lot to offer the world." P.all DiSil lietm lkm 1-888-316-9047 7 ltaiW chanr.ds + euronews ITALIA now on lt#ianol As you read Camuto's reflections of a variety of wine producers in Sicily, one senses the ebb and flow of the progress in wine mak- ing, His stops in Marsala and the capital city of Palermo a~e exciting but disturb- ing when C describes the ancient sur- ou t Alberto Tasca who reflects, "a generation of young Sicilians who came of age ~round th~ tim~ of L11~ Falconc and Borsellino as- sassinations and vowed not to leave." Tasca is the CEO of a company with vast hold- ings of productive land. To his delight Camuto is taken by helicopter to visit Tasca's vineyards. Camuto's discovery of women managing wine- making facilities I found somewhat surprising as well as fascinating. Read this: "Francesca, a mother of two infant daughters who is mar- ried to a dentist, runs and oversees the family's wine operations." Camuto says he is not a wine expert. This extraordi- proves he is a humble connoisseur. ] found this book to be knowledge- able and interesting and to once again increase my desire to visit Sicily and mingle with what I consider the most remarkable people I have ever met. The fascinating photos of the Sicilian wine-makers and their land adds color and depth to this remarkable book. Read it and you will see what I mean. PRAYER TO ST. JUDE May the Sacred Heart o~ Jesus be adored, glorified, loved and pre- served throughout the world now and forever. Sacred Heart of Jesus pray for us. St. Jude, worker of miracles, pray for us. St. Jude, help of the hopeless, pray for us. Say this prayer 9 times a day and by the 8th day your prayers will be answered. It has never been known to fail. Publication must be promised. My prayers have been an swe red. A.T.P.