Book Reviews

Book review: Palmento – A Sicilian Wine Odyssey.

The author is an award winning journalist and travel writer to a number of American magazines and newspapers and resides in southern France.

His Italian heritage gravitates him to Sicily to discover this island’s gastronomy, culture, and wine philosophy.

This a heartfelt book written by a passionate author interested to discover how Sicilians and “foreigners” who choose to live and work there think, act, interact, and live.

He travels in Sicily for a whole year from Marsala on the western end to the vineyards and wineries of Etna in the north eastern part, visiting poor or famous winemakers, tastes their wines, and break bread with them.

Robert Camuto writes with enthusiasm using descriptions that captivates the reader forcing him/her to continue reading until the completion of the book.

His trip to the island of Pantelleria and description of how different winemakers proceed is enlightening. While reading that chapter, the reader feels compelled to open a bottle of Moscato di Pantelleria, just to experience this nectar of a wine.

wine in general are fascinating libations, but well-made dessert wines even more so, and the author successfully captures the essence of winemaking, especially sweet winemaking on both islands (Sicily and Pantelleria).

But the reader will also learn about history how the Arab occupation of Sicily and its satellite islands influenced the cuisine, the way of thinking and even the DNA of the population.

Through evolving Sicilian culture and winemaking we will find more idiosyncratic wines from this paradise-like island on North American liquor store shelves.

This is a highly interesting, well-researched informative book that may even change your life.

Read it and enjoy every page.

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