A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italy

By Sergio Esposito
Broadway BooksApril 2008

Hardcover304 pages, $24.95, ISBN: 978-0-7679-2607-2
Subject: History / Regional / Identity

 Infused with captivating images of a Neapolitan boyhood and a career devoted to the incomparable wonders of Italian wine, Passion on the Vine is an enchanting love letter to a singular destination, written not by an outsider but by one of its most devoted sons. This is the story of a boy who grew up relishing the fresh ingredients of his family's table and was given thimblefuls of Sangiovese mixed with water. Herbs, cheeses, wild game, and vegetables were all available from local vendors and cooked with a reverence for fresh flavors. When he emigrated to New York with his family, such simple splendors became nothing more than a memory in a world where large portions of bland, processed food reigned, and Italian wine was dismissed as inferior.

Sergio Esposito has spent the rest of his life traversing two worlds, and American wine lovers rejoice because of it. Now the nation's most revered authority on the vintners of Italy, with a business that attracts thousands of high-profile clients to his Manhattan store, Esposito takes us with him on his lively buying trips to his homeland. In chapters that blend poignant memories and hilarious family anecdotes with the poetic, sensual beauty of Italy's old-world fields, Passion on the Vine introduces us to the artisans who cherish traditional fermentation methods and have elevated Italian wines to the world-class status they deserve.

True to his pioneering character, Esposito has produced a unique book that defies categorization. A tender family saga, an inspiring tale of immigrant success, a captivating armchair-travel experience that whisks you to locales that even most Italians are barred from entering, this intoxicating memoir yields much for your reading group to savor.




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