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On a beautiful Fall Saturday in November 2020, my wife Leslie, my daughter Sylvia and I drove up to Sonoma Valley to Muscardini Cellars. As many of you know, Michael Muscardini is a member of Il Cenacolo, and he graciously spent time introducing us to his wines.
This particular Saturday was a blind tasting outside on Muscardini’s covered and heated front deck. Michael and his staff had socially distanced the tables for COVID-19, and served us wearing masks and gloves. While Michael regaled us with stories from his career and his winemaking, the four red wines were individually served on top of a tasting placemat as our server provided one sentence hints for each. Tasting and guessing was a fun way to pass a Saturday morning!
When we completed our tasting, Michael gave us a final treat of his line of grappa! An original Italian brandy produced from grape-based pomace, it is an acquired taste for some, and a must for those who know about it! Michael produces three delicious variants–the standard clear form, and then two additional–Oro and Riserva. While the standard was great, we really enjoyed the complexity and flavor the oak barrel maturation added to the Oro and Riserva. Should Michael happen to be available for your visit, you simply have to have him tell you his story about trying to get his grappa bottle licensed and approved. The rules for bottling simply are not simple!