Random thoughts on a few provocative reads that have come my way this week:
- It looks as if Amazon.com is going to make one of life's more enduring pleasures a little easier to realize. That would be a glass of Port on the table under the reading light while you're captivated by a finely honed novel. In addition to selling books, Amazon.com just may be gearing up to go into wine retailing, according to this report from the online version of The Financial Times.
- Italy is the fourth leading country in the consumption of Champagne. Italy has lost 2 percent of its vineyards over the past six years, enough to cover the region of Umbria. These are just two facts gleaned from VinoWire, an online news wire devoted solely to the world of Italian wine. It's just been launched by Italian wine critic Franco Ziliani and American blogger Jeremy Parzen. With Italian wines more popular than ever in the United States, their timing is perfect for enthusiasts who want to know more of the wine scene throughout Italy.
- Looking for some inspiration for some weekend cooking? Check out the new blog by columnist Mark Bittman of the New York Times, whose recipes in his many cookbooks and articles almost invariably are stimulating, reliable and timely. At Mark Bittman on Food he's posting a new recipe a day, along with reports on eating out in Liguria, preparing octopus, debating food issues and the like.