Grand Tasting at Marcello's

by Mary Tutwiler

Autumn is the time of the grape harvest, and in a week or so the new wine will be bottled. So it's the right season to raise a glass in honor of the artistry of vintners world wide. Or raise a few glasses. Let's say 50. Now I'm not one to advocate a drunken orgy, but I do so love Gene Todaro's approach to wine tasting. Open all the bottles, all at once, and explore to your heart's content or your liver's capacity, whichever is more tolerant. Todaro is hosting his annual Grand Tasting on Sunday, Nov. 14, at Marcello's Wine Market Café, from 1-4 p.m. Wise man, it's a by-week for the Saints.

Over 70 bottles from all over the world will offer tastes of everything from French champagne to California Duckhorn merlot. But the main focus will be on Italian wines. Manager and wine expert Nicole Jordan says there will be wines from every province, including Barolos and Barberas from the Piedmont and yummy Venetian Amarones.

Marcello's is also uncorking some bottles of cognac and absinthe, for hard core hard liquor lovers.

One great perk about Marcello's wine tasting is the eats. In serious Sicilian style, Todaro offers a spread of all things Italian, from spaghetti to cannoli. You will get enough to eat to balance what you drink, and that's a very good thing indeed.

Entertainment will be by Paul Ferrera, the former drummer for Louis Prima. Jordan says Ferrera has put together a group of his old buddies from Prima days, and they'll be playing an homage to the master.

The whole afternoon costs $40 in advance, a real bargain, or $50 at the door. The Grand Tasting comes only once a year. Don't miss it. Tickets available at Marcello's Wine Market Café, 340 Kaliste Saloom, 235-1002, or The Elephant Room, 2605 Kaliste Saloom, 989-4155.