talian cantucci

A story of wanderlust and wine

Tasting the world

WWMD What would Margaret drink?

Margaret Pearman is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list at Charlie’s Coastal Bistro. Here are her sipping suggestions for June:

People often wonder how I developed my passion for wine, but to me, it was almost inevitable. My father, Charlie, was a true wanderer, driven by an insatiable thirst for life’s experiences. With a modest inheritance in hand, he set off for Paris in pursuit of the joie de vivre. During his time in France he immersed himself in the culture, mastering the art of French cuisine, fluently speaking the language and forging enduring friendships. Upon returning home, he felt the pull of adventure once more and joined the Peace Corps, landing in French-speaking Senegal, where he shared his knowledge as an English teacher. Throughout my formative years, travel was woven into the fabric of our family life. Dad made it a priority, whisking us away on annual wine excursions. I still remember the long weekend in Amsterdam when I was just 11 and the whirlwind European tour during my eighth-grade summer break, when we visited Greece, Italy, Switzerland and France in a matter of weeks.

My appetite for exploration only grew as I entered my teenage years. By my sophomore summer I eagerly accepted the opportunity to spend a month with Dad’s friends in Toulon and Montpellier, immersing myself in the rhythms of southern France. During my time at Tulane University, I seized the chance to participate in a year-long exchange program in Florence, Italy, diving into Italian culture and language with gusto. With every journey, I felt my passion for travel and cultural exchange deepening, shaping my aspirations for the future. It became clear to me that I needed a career that embraced the world’s diversity, and wine emerged as a natural choice. Beyond its exquisite taste, wine served as a universal language, fostering connections and enriching conversations around the table.

The wine that truly captured my heart and solidified my love for oenology was the vin santo of Tuscany. Crafted from Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes dried on straw mats, this amber elixir boasts a delicate sweetness reminiscent of sherry. Paired with almond biscotti, known as cantucci, it transforms a meal into a timeless experience, extending the dialogue well into the night. For those eager to embark on their own journey through the world of wine, I recommend indulging in Borgo Scopeto Vin Santo Classico — a sublime tribute to the “saints” of Tuscan wine making.

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