Italian Authorities Uncover Counterfeit Tignanello Wine Scheme (Wine Spectator)

Italian authorities have arrested three suspects in a scheme to sell at least 11,000 counterfeit bottles of the legendary super Tuscan wine Antinori Toscana Tignanello in Italy, Germany and Belgium. First reported by Italian media, the arrests were confirmed to Wine Spectator by Alessia Antinori, vice president of Marchesi Antinori. She said the bottles were labeled as the 2009, 2010 and 2011 vintages of Tignanello but were filled with low-quality wine.

The Parma Public Prosecutor and the health divisions of Italy’s national police in Florence and Cremona uncovered the fraudulent bottles. The police were able to prevent the fake wine from being distributed, and arrested Matteo Fazzi, 31, who remains in jail, as well as his mother, Maria Alessandra Morini, 57, and another man, Sergio Papa, 54, both placed under house arrest. The investigation is ongoing, however, and there are at least six others who are suspected of involvement.

Alessia Antinori says that Marchesi Antinori has begun adding anti-counterfeiting measures to its wines in recent years, including Tignanello, a super Tuscan red made on a small estate in Chianti Classico. “Starting with the 2013 vintage, we put the embossed logo [on the bottle],” she said. “With the 2015 vintage we added the embossed ‘Tignanello’ name and since 2016 we have been using a small label on the bottles to defend against counterfeiting.”


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Traditional African Food in Las Vegas

Taking a trip to Vegas has long been on my bucket list and before I head on vacation, I like to
check out the history of my destination. Las Vegas has a rich and winding history. Once
inhabited mostly by railroad workers and ranchers, the city had a reputation for fast living, and
with this lifestyle, drinking and card games. This reputation saw an enormous rise in speakeasies
and illegal casinos.
After a while casinos became legal once again and with enormous building and regeneration
projects taking place across the city, business boomed. New casinos and cabarets seemed to be
popping up everywhere and by the late 1940s Highway 91 was well on its way to becoming The
Strip that we know today. Las Vegas’ name was sealed as a tourist destination by the 60s, when
fans would visit to see the likes of Elvis and Frank Sinatra perform.
By the 90s Vegas was home to 13 of the biggest 20 hotels on the planet and nowadays receives
around 40 million visitors annually. It’s a must visit for anyone who wants to experience that big
city feel, or even try their luck at the slots. However, here we’re only interested in the food, so if
you wanted a travel guide to Las Vegas for your next casino spree, then there are plenty of other
sites to check out! So without further ado, here’s my guide to the best African food you’re likely
to find in Vegas.

Merkato Ethiopian Restaurant

A reliable favourite of mine is Merkato, one of the few really good chain restaurants around. The
Las Vegas joint was no exception, offering a big (but not disconcertingly big) menu full of
traditional Ethiopian flavours. Honestly, I love a nice piece of meat, but the vegetarian platter
here is so good and so plentiful that I’d struggle to choose anything else!
There are eight or nine different veggie based dishes, some refreshing salads, others fiery curries.
Everything is served as it should be on injera, which you use to eat with instead of knives and
forks. I’d recommend a cup of Tej, an Ethiopian honey wine; it goes beautifully with curry as its
sweet and soothing on the palate. The best news? A truly enormous meal, a glass of wine and a
coffee set me back less than $20. Can’t say fairer than that!

Photo by Merkato restaurant

Nigerian Cuisine by Folaf

If jollof rice is on the menu then I always order it. I find the simplest dishes are usually the best
judge of a restaurant and this place does the perfect Nigerian jollof rice. The food here isn’t super
spicy, so as not to alienate the largely Western clientele, so be sure to ask for it hot. They’re
pretty accommodating for people with dietary requirements – and extra accommodating for those
who just want a really large portion; perfect!

It’s nice to see pounded yam on the menu as it doesn’t get more comfort food than yam. They
serve all of their rice dishes with a meat stew, with the goat being my personal favourite. The
other dishes come with a simple soup with a choice of veggies. Whilst a main course here is
more than enough to fill you up, try to save room for some ‘snacks’; the suya is only a couple of
dollars a stick and is a real taste of home, whilst the meat pies are pretty filling, but again a must
try.

Lucy Ethiopian Cuisine

Another Ethiopian restaurant, Lucy’s has a couple of other establishments across the US and for
me it more than competes with Merkato. The stand out dish for me here was definitely the Misir
Wot, with perfectly spiced red lentils and that wonderful savoury garlic flavour that reminds me
of proper home cooking.
The vegetables are also great here, spears of sweet root vegetables are treated to a liberal rub
with turmeric and cardamom before being roasted. They are absolutely delicious on their own,
but are on another level when enjoyed with the Yebeg Wot, a rich and melty lamb stew full of
proper Ethiopian herbs. There's the choice of a few imported beers here, which is a nice touch,
all of them sourced from Ethiopia.

John Zimcosky Wins Wine Spectator’s 2018 Sweepstakes (Wine Spectator)

John Zimcosky is on a path familiar to many wine lovers, toward a deeper engagement with the people and places that make the wines he loves. As the winner of Wine Spectator‘s 2018 Top 100 sweepstakes, he can now use the Top 10 Wines of 2017 as roadsigns along the way.

“I love the overall variety of the Top 10,” Zimcosky says of his prize. (See the list.) “I’ve never had a great Gigondas. I am just beginning to explore great Bordeaux; I have a case of Pavie Macquin 2010 but haven’t tried it yet. I’ve only had one wine from Duckhorn, and not the Three Palms Merlot. That’s the one I’m most excited about,” referring to Wine Spectator‘s 2017 Wine of the Year.

The Chicago-based options trader, 33, began his exploration of wine when his former boss encouraged him to visit Napa Valley. “It was six or seven years ago,” he recalls. “My wife, Laura, and I were dating at the time. Then in 2014 we got married there, at Brix restaurant in Yountville.”

The couple have approached wine from multiple angles. They’ve visited Napa Valley on several occasions, where they joined a number of winery wine clubs, and have made trips to Sonoma, Oregon and Tuscany. John has explored the auction market through Hart Davis Hart. They’ve accumulated about 300 bottles so far.

“Wine is something that’s interesting and fun to learn about,” he says. “I’m curious about ageable whites. I think that’s an area that’s overlooked. My main focus now is Oregon Pinots and Chardonnays. They offer value, and I think it’s an exciting time to be involved with the Willamette Valley.”

“Mostly, I like to collect wines that come from places where I have a personal connection. I have to give a shoutout to Henri and Claire Vandendriessche at White Rock Vineyards in Napa. Henri is in his 80s but still working. We’ve gotten to know the family. The winery was damaged in the 2017 fires, but they’re recovering. White Rock has a special place in our hearts.”

The couple subscribe to Wine Spectator magazine, and the publication led them to Altesino in Tuscany, where they loved the wines. Though two small children may limit their mobility and budget for the time being, Zimcosky has no thought of leaving the wine roads.

“I guess it’s evolved into a bit of an obsession,” he admits. “I wish we lived in wine country. I think Oregon is a great place. But for now, we’ll just keep learning and enjoy the journey.”