This event was made possible with the support of the Italian Foreign Ministry’s “Authentic Italian Table” and “True Italian Taste” campaigns. Please follow both on social media using the following hashtags: #iffoodcouldtalk #trueitaliantaste #extraordinaryitaliantaste.
On Monday and Tuesday of this week (September 21-22, 2020), the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce South Central held its first-ever virtual Taste of Italy trade tasting in cities across Texas.
Participating winemakers and food producers were asked to ship samples to the U.S. earlier this year.
Texas-based food and wine professionals and food and wine-focused media used a new virtual platform scheduling tool create specially for the event by IACC partner GrapeIn.
The IACC then distributed the products among trade members and influencers in Houston (where the chamber’s offices are located), San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas.
Starting at 9 a.m. on Monday (4 p.m. in Italy), participating producers and the Texas-based professionals took part in Google Meet calls, each with the same wines and/or foods in front of them.
“I had never tasted a Gutturnio,” said an Austin-based wine importer, a veteran of the trade. “I was excited to learn about a new appellation.”
“In my more than two decades as a wine writer,” said a leading Houston-based wine educator and blogger, “I had never tasted a still wine made from Lambrusco di Sorbara. There’s a first for everything and this one was thanks to Taste of Italy!”
More than 20 producers in Italy took part in the two-day event and more than 40 trade members and 20 media community members participated here in Texas.
“The best part,” said a Dallas-based influencer, “is that I get to keep the bottle of traditional balsamic vinegar!”
Despite a few minor technical hiccups, it was an unmitigated success.
“We were extremely pleased with the results,” said IACC director Alessia Paolicchi. “It was challenging to coordinate the delivery of so much wine and so many food products but the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, on both sides of the Atlantic.”
“Our overarching mission,” said deputy director Maurizio Gamberucci, who coordinated the event, “is to promote awareness of authentic Italian wines and food products and to create connections between Italian and U.S. businesses. We were really pleased with the results and we plan to develop and expand our virtual trade events moving forward.”