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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Antonio Forcione & Les Vignes de l'Aire Effet Papillon Cotes du Roussillon Rouge

Antonio Forcione is an Italian-born guitarist-composer. Forcione was born in a village on the Adriatic shore of Molise in southern Italy. He first drew public attention at 13 when he toured Italy with his own band as a guitarist, mandolinist and drummer. He and a couple of older friends would pile into a car and travel to villages to play at local festivals. Antonio would play guitar and occasionally the drums and bass. The boys earned some pocket money and Antonio began to hone his craft on the guitar and composing new songs.

He obtained a Diploma in Art and Sculpture from the Art Institute in Ancona on the eastern coast of Italy where he also studied percussion, later moving to Rome to study harmony and mime in his early twenties. In 1983 he moved to London, but unable to speak English, he joined the ranks of the city’s street buskers. Within two months he caught the eye of the BBC which led to a television appearance and a major European tour opening for  Barclay James Harvest.  After the tour, he returned to the streets, gigging in wine bars and pubs. He built up a cult following that resulted in a contract with Virgin Records.

He’s won a boatload of awards and has released 17 albums of mostly original material. He tours internationallyand has performed at numerous charity events and festivals. I’ve heard him called the “Jimi Hendrix of Acoustic Guitar,” but I’m not sure it’s appropriate. To my knowledge, he doesn’t play with his teeth nor has he ever set his guitar on fire, but he is one heck of a guitarist.

Antonio deserves a special wine and I just received a case of the perfect pairing, the 2012 Les Vignes de l'Aire Effet Papillon Cotes du Roussillon Rouge. I’ve only seen this one offered by Moore Brothers in New York/New Jersey, but at $12.00/bottle including shipping it’s worth ordering a case or two. The wine is a mixture of Grenache and Carignan and is produced by the Cave Cooperative de Rivsaltes under the direction of St├ęphane and Marjorie Gallett of my favorite winery Roc des Anges. It’s deep purple with wonderful aromas of cherries dusted with dark chocolate and spices. The palate follows with a combination of dark cherries and blackberries. Tannins are light and don’t overpower. The biggest problem with this wine is that it’s hard to sip. I drink it too fast. Of course, I do have a case, so I’ll be okay for now. I bet Antonio would love it too!


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