I first met Monica bouncing along on a bus to Lecce, Italy on a press tour with Zonin wines. I was immediately taken by her charming and engaging personality and utter fluency in English and Italian which she spoke briskly in statements that intertwined the two languages with barely a breath.
Over the next few days we got to be friends and I was dazzled by her endless knowledge of Italian wine and winemakers. This has not gone unnoticed as in 2010 Monica was awarded Best Young Journalist of the Year for the second time by Grandi Cru d'Italia Committee made up of 120 of the country's top wine producers.
She has had a great influence in the Italian wine scene with her reviews and editorial coverage of Italian wines for Wine Enthusiast Magazine. Monica lives in Rome, just steps away from the Colosseum. While born in the US she has spent time in Italy since age 11.
No stone goes unturned, I hear she is seen all over Italy in her bright red Mini Cooper to find all the best stories on wine, food and travel.
She has authored the books, In Love in Italy: A Traveler's Guide to the Most Romantic Destinations in the Country of Amore (Rizzoli) and Living, Studying, and Working in Italy (Henry Holt). I read that she is now writing a guide to traveling in Italy in the slow lane. I'm all for that, only way to go.
Monica is a sommelier with the Italian Association of Sommelier (AIS). but her passion for wine finds roots in her family-run vineyard and winery in Santa Barbara, California, Larner Vineyard.