Well, if you aren't now, you will be after you read this book! My inlaws sent the book Passion on the Vine by Sergio Esposito to me as a birthday gift this year. I read it, as has been my m.o. lately, on a business trip, one of many I've taken this year.
I love Italian food, and I think Italian wine is pretty damn good too. I grew up with a tiny little Italian grandma who made her own pasta, served us plates of sauce drenched meat with every meal, and made the best baked ziti I've ever had.
Passion on the Vine details the life and times of the author and his family, following them from their home in Italy to a new, unfamiliar life in Albany where they did not know the language and the food was dull and processed in comparison to what the family meals in Italy. Sergio truly grew up with wine as a part of daily life, and it followed him into his adult profession, first opening a liquor store with his father and brother, then as a sales man for wine distributor, and eventually to opening his own specialty wine shop.
My favorite part of the book (and really the vast majority of it) accompanies Sergio and his family, including his wife, children, and parents, on a trip across Italy, as Sergio discovers new wines, eats delicious meals, and ultimately comes across a bottle of wine like he has never had before.
I drooled over the descriptions of the multi-course meals prepared with care, over the wine consumed with them, and was jealous over his adventures at various Italian wineries. The book made me want to go scoop up as many native Italian varieties as possible and cook up delicious cuisine to go with them. A great easy to read book for my many (sadly domestic) business travels!