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Shall We Wine July 2019: EXPERIENCE COLLIO, ITALY - White Wines NOW!

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Hi Wine Lover,

The Shall We Wine team is excited to share our monthly newsletter. Our goal is to introduce you to our favorite wines, winemakers, varietals, wine regions and places to buy and drink wine.


The Shall We Wine Team



The wine buzz in Collio, Italy is their Collio Bianco! This iconic white blend is a heavenly offering of the region's soul. To drink Collio Bianco is to travel to its home. The wines smell like spring evenings perfumed with white flowers! They are as fresh as the cool mornings and as voluptuous as Collio’s warm midday air, seasoned with a touch of salt.

Although I was familiar with the wines, this region was not previously on my travel list. And you know what? It should have been! I was invited along with about 40 other wine professionals, journalists and educators by the Consorzio Collio and IEEM for a six-day immersion - a specially curated experience of the wonderful wines, food and culture of Collio. Wine, food, culture…don’t threaten me with a good time!

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Located in the northeast Italian region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Collio is situated in the northernmost part of the Province of Gorizia between the Julian Alps and the Adriatic Sea, bordering Slovenia. The historic DOC (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) includes 1500 hectares of visual poetry! Hillside vineyards situated between the Judrio River to the west and the Inzo River to the east. The climate is ideal for grape growing: hot summers, cold rainy winters, warm winds from Adriatic Sea to prevent grapes from getting dry, and looming mountains to the north which protect them from cold winds. The signature soil, known as Ponca, is layered marl and sandstone, contributing the briny and earthy characteristics of the wines.

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Click Image to View Map of Collio

While strolling the vineyards of Collio, I felt a profound sadness. A mourning for choosing a life lacking the companionship of flowers, vines, and the sea! Their dominance in this place stirs the moment I discounted nature and began to mistrust the presence of bees. In the vineyards of Collio, bees are queens; loved not revered. They fly freely and are honored for their ability to speak for the vines - transcribing to their human caretakers the vine’s condition. The watcher of the vine (a.k.a. the winemaker) has a destiny to assist nature and capture its expression in this beautiful place!

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Winemaking practices maintain a strong connection to tradition. The Consorzio Collio is focused on sustainable practices to protect the indigenous grapes of the region: Malvasia, Ribolla Gialla, Friulano, and Picolit. Wines of international varietals are also produced: (whites) Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Bianco, Müller Thurgau, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer Aromatico. While Collio is best known for their white wines, they also produce reds. Most distinctive is the Collio Rosso, a blend of the red grapes from the region. Other red grapes grown in Collio are: Collio Cabernet, Cabernet Franc, Collio Cabernet Sauvignon, and Collio Merlot.

At our first seminar was led by writer and wine expert Richard Baudains, who sampled over 30 Collio Bianco wines! I know it’s a tough job, but I do it for the wine culture. We experienced an assembly of balanced, fresh and stimulating white wines. The flavors fluctuated between tropical fruit, crisp apples, lime, fresh herbs, caramelized pears, sea salt, marmalade, tart citron and back again. What a journey!



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Some wines evoke an emotional response. I exhausted myself trying to describe how I felt while in Collio, Italy. When I can’t write, I turn to music. Usually I can turn to Me'Shell Ndegeocello, Tracy Chapman or Erykah Badu for inspiration. But these wines called for another genre.

The soundtrack for these alluring wines is Brubeck Quartet's Take Five! The wines - like the tune - lifts you. You are floating on a cloud on the sunniest of days. Smiles... it’s all good. There's a familiarity and an easiness of horns - the slipperiness of lollipops. You're thumping along like you know what's coming next. Tadda, tadda tadda, padda-da, and then, then, here come those drums!!! The commotion you’ve been missing. The acid, the spice, the heartbreak, the unexpected, the pleasure.

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Click Image to Watch the Video!

One of my favorite experiences was a visit to Ca' Ronesca and Zorutti Vineyards for a wine and poetry pairing event! The wines from each winery were paired with an Italian poem by Pietro Zorutti. Zorutti published in the Udine, a Friulian dialect.

Listen to a local actor as he reads Ce Matin. "The poem describes the moment before sunrise; the purity of the air and the moon, the beauty of flowers and vegetation." This wine is paired with the Ribolla Gialla 2018 Ca' Ronesca, Collio, DOCG.



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The food in Collio is influenced by Italian, Slavic, and Germanic cultures. If you read of a sudden shortage of pork in the region, blame it on me! I ate some of the best cured meats, especially the ham! Dinners were a treat from Michelin-Starred Chefs Daniele Repetti and Antonia Klugmann. Lunches were my favorites, with a local menu of flavorful cheeses, fresh vegetables, and pastas.

Pictured above is a local dessert called Gubana, a brioche-like rolled cake filled with grappa-drenched dried fruit and nuts with a dusting of cocoa powder; it’s traditionally served at Easter.

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Click Image to Read the Article

A special thank you to Wine Enthusiast for including Shall We Wine in this month's WineMag! Read about my inspiration and the journey to create Shall We Wine.

"It was a study abroad program in France that sparked Regine T. Rousseau’s lifelong love affair with wine. Today, the Chicago entrepreneur will be the first to tell you that if you love what you do, it’s not really work."



Book Signing Event

Rome Book Love

A special thank you to the Anglo American Book, Rome, Italy for hosting a book signing event during my travels. Feeling the global love! #SearchingForClovesAndLilies

Be encouraged.

Wondering how I was able to book this gig? I Googled American book stores in Rome, and I called. I pitched my book, sent my bio, links to my website and social media pages... and they said yes. Be prepared for every opportunity and most importantly, don't be afraid to try. Paris said, no, but Rome said yes. If I had not tried, I would never had heard the yes!

I hope my journey encourages you to be fearless. Whatever it is that you’re dreaming of start it, grind for it, then invest your entire soul and resources into it! Then watch the universe send angels to support you.

All this Searching for Cloves & Lilies support - both current and new readers - I love it!

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Humbled to have been hosted in Rome. Let's go global and inspire readers around the world!

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The Shall We Wine and Heartfelt Cooking class is a unique curated experience. You will learn quick, flavorful recipes you can recreate for your friends and family. You will learn how to pair the recipes with wines. You will receive all meal and cocktail recipes and list of wines.


1. Chef Cecelia and Regine will start your evening off with prepared appetizers and a cocktail.
2. You will cook in teams, so bring your spouse, co-work or favorite cooking buddy
3. Learn to plate your creation
4. Enjoy a sit down dinner in a lovely open dinning area with beautiful table setting
5. Learn which wines work best (and not so well) with dishes in an interactive environment
6. End the night with a touch of sweetness: dessert and dessert wine
1. Chef Cecelia and Regine will start your evening off with prepared appetizers and a cocktail.
2. You will cook in teams, so bring your spouse, co-work or favorite cooking buddy
3. Learn to plate your creation
4. Enjoy a sit down dinner in a lovely open dinning area with beautiful table setting
5. Learn which wines work best (and not so well) with dishes in an interactive environment
6. End the night with a touch of sweetness: dessert and dessert wine

Here's an example of the cooking vibe we had during a previous Heartfelt Catering event!

Note: Each event is specially curated. Offerings will be new and differ from one another.



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At Shall We Wine make learning about wines fun! Tired of hosting the same kind of events and looking for something to make them different?

Shall We Wine also plans experiences for corporate events! We work with our corporate clients to create wine, beer and spirit-focused experiences. These experiences include: wine dinners, wine tastings, team building "cocktail" exercises and more!

Just some examples of the upcoming themes we’re hosting:

Wines for Under $15

Mixology Class

Bourbon Basics

Blind Tasting Highs and Lows


To remain in the loop with upcoming happenings and cool info, make sure to follow us on social media!

Did Shall We Wine PUT YOU ON something new?

Use the hashtag #shallwewineputmeon on your posts and share!





So you know us for our pop up events, but did you know that our consultants host mini pop-ups every weekend at your local wine shop and/or grocery stores? Next time you're tasting wine at Binny's, Whole Foods, Mariano's or your local wine shop, ask the consultant if they are with Shall We Wine!

Sounds like a fun gig? We are hiring wine and spirit enthusiasts! Send your resume to and follow the link below to apply.

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Learn, Drink, Repeat!
The Shall We Wine Team

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