Too Much Tuscan Wine by Dario Castagno

Too Much Tuscan Wine by Dario CastagnoToday we’re talking about Dario Castagno’s Too Much Tuscan Wine, his third book following up Too Much Tuscan Sun: Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide and A Day in Tuscany: More Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide.

Dario is a London-born son of Italian wine importers who moved to Tuscany with his family at age nine. For many years, Dario gave tours of his beloved Chianti hills, but he quickly became a main attraction himself, particularly after the publication of his first book.

Not one for the celebrity lifestyle, however, Dario quietly stepped out of tour-guiding on a grand scale and now meets with smaller, select groups, speaks internationally about Tuscany, and works on various film and DVD projects. Oh, and writes books.

Check out Dario’s latest news at DarioCastagno.com.

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Don’t you love it when you pick up a book, and you’re 50, even 100 pages into it before you look up again? And then you put it down because you have other things to do but you find yourself sneaking peeks in between tasks, balancing it in one hand while you stir sauce with the other, and, ahem, even carrying it into the bathroom?

Dario CastagnoI do, and that’s exactly what happened to me with Too Much Tuscan Wine, Dario Castagno’s wildly entertaining book about his experiences with, not surprisingly, too much Tuscan wine.

I know it’s cliché, but I really did laugh and cry through various parts in the book—rather appropriate as a long evening of drinking wine can lead to very similar emotional reactions.

As wonderful as Dario’s tales of friendly challenges (the “truss” wine tour of Siena bars), animal encounters (the snoring boar in the backseat), the “Poolio” (a makeshift poolside version of the Palio), and general drunken debauchery are, my favorite part of the book was the glue that held it all together: the tale of the mysterious Mia, an American editor who contacted Dario via e-mail and urged him on with each new chapter he wrote.

I won’t spoil anything by adding more details, but I can’t stress enough how much I was touched by the magic of this seemingly random e-mail and what came of it.

It probably goes without saying that I give this book five out of five espresso cups:

5 espresso cups out of five!

although I suppose wine glasses are more appropriate in this instance.

If you love wine, Tuscany, Italy, entertaining stories, and just really fun reads, get this book. Then pour yourself a nice glass of your favorite red (I’m with you, Dario–no white for me either!) and dig in.

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50 Beans of Wisdom to “Too Much Tuscan Wine by Dario Castagno”
  1. Gil
    05.24.2009

    Books that are so easy reading that you don’t want to put them down are about the only kind of books I can stand to read these days. Not being a big drinker (any more) it doesn’t take too Tuscan wine to be too much for me!

    Hah it doesn’t take too much for me either, Gil, but a glass at lunch and/or dinner is always welcome here :)

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  2. jessica
    05.24.2009

    I have heard good reviews of his books but haven’t had a chance to read them yet! This one sounds interesting!

    jessica’s last blog post..Overheard in Verona # 1

    I’m definitely looking forward to reading his others now that I’ve read this one :)

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  3. 05.24.2009

    Can there be too much Tuscan wine? ;-)
    We are coming to Italy in just three days. I am counting the hours :-)

    Yay! Buon viaggio!

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  4. Ciao Michelle! I have been looking forward to Dario’s new book, and I can’t wait to read it now after your glowing review. I laughed so hard while reading Too Much Tuscan Sun! My boyfriend is a tour guide, and so many of his stories are just like Dario’s. (And I think some of the people from that book have also visited the Amalfi Coast!) Look forward to hearing the results of the contest! :-)

    You’re probably right on the visitor overlap! Best of luck :)

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  5. 05.24.2009

    Oh my goodness, I’m going to have soooooo much reading to do this summer! Michelle, do you need to read the other two first? This sounds like so much fun!

    jen of a2eatwrite’s last blog post..In Which I am no Longer Cinderella at the Ball

    I haven’t yet read the other two, so feel free to go ahead and read this one first like I did, Jen :) I have lots of summer reading planned too….

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  6. Ann Dello Iacono
    05.24.2009

    I lived in Tuscany for 17 years and I can still remember the many meals accompanied by “too much Tuscan wine”…it never seemed to be enough!!

    I hear you, Ann :)

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  7. 05.24.2009

    I can’t get enough of the books you review on this site! Every one ends up on my wishlist!

    Heather’s last blog post..So They Say

    Hah, I hope some authors are reading! ;)

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  8. 05.24.2009

    Oh I have to get hold of a copy of too Much Tuscan Sun. Can’t believe I missed it. These books on Italian life ring so true!

    Scintilla’s last blog post..The Path of the Gods or How to be Thankful for Roads again.

    This one rang especially true for me as Dario has been living here a long time…his village sounds similar to mine in many ways :)

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  9. 05.24.2009

    Thanks for the recommendation – I’m always on the lookout for a good Italian-themed book.

    Ciaochowlinda’s last blog post..Swiss Chard Stalk Fritters

    Me too, and you’re welcome :)

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  10. Jill
    05.24.2009

    I loved Dario’s first book and am definitely looking forward to reading this one! Thanks so much for the review, I did not know about this one (or the second book!)

    Best of luck, Jill!

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  11. zenfreckle
    05.24.2009

    I love books that make you lose track of time, procrastinate your day away, and make you think of it days after finishing. This book sounds great and I can’t wait to read it.

    Thanks for the great review!

    zenfreckle’s last blog post..Close one door and another one opens

    Best of luck, and if I may, what a *fabulous* name you have! Thanks for coming by :)

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  12. 05.24.2009

    LOVE your review. Count me “entered.” :)

    You’re in Nino! Best of luck :)

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  13. 05.24.2009

    You make me want to run out to the bookstore and pick up his other books! I can’t believe I haven’t bought these already. Thanks for the recommendation.

    I can’t believe I haven’t either! I still have to catch up on the other two :)

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  14. My first experience in Italy was in Tuscany. Now I drink mostly cabernet and merlot due to my NE location but love to remember drinking hardier Chianti and driving through the Tuscan hills.

    Plus I am thinking about taking a sommelier course next year and this book could be a fun introduction to aspects of Tuscan wines!

    Sounds great to me, Irene! Best of luck :)

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  15. 05.24.2009

    I tried picking up this book at my local bookstore but they didn’t have it. I really want to read it!

    Michele’s last blog post..Mom’s Chicken Soup with Cavatelli

    Gah! They must order! Or perhaps you’ll win….

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  16. 05.24.2009

    Looks like another trip to Feltrinelli International is in the cards… sounds like this would be a great read on my way up to Bolzano and Salzburgo.

    Willym’s last blog post..Meme and More

    Absolutely, Willym…*great* traveling book, I’d say!

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  17. 05.24.2009

    Oooh – would love to be entered to win a copy :)

    Done! Best of luck :)

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  18. 05.24.2009

    Every year I attend the annual vendemmia at a Tuscan agriturismo farm belonging to friends. It’s a yearly appointment with gorgeous relaxing landscapes and friendly, communal meals. At the end of the wine picking, we celebrate the vinification with a banquet fit for kings, washing it all down with Too Much of the previous year’s vintage.

    I will have to get my hands on the Dario Castagno trilogy now. Thanks for the educating review and the entertaining snippets from the book.

    Ciao!

    Lola

    Lola’s last blog post..Into the mystic

    I hope you love the book as much as I did, Lola!

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  19. 05.24.2009

    I love your book reviews.

    Esme’s last blog post..Clafoutis and a tribute to Thomas Buergenthal

    Thanks, and great…because there are several more coming in June!

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  20. 05.24.2009

    I am LOVING all these great book recommendations… keep them coming! I’m reading them all and now can’t wait to get to this one!

    Elle’s last blog post..where I’ve been

    Actually there *are* more book recommendations to come…I had a stack to review and now they’re written and will be posted throughout June :)

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  21. Carlene
    05.24.2009

    What a great review. I had not heard alot about Too Much Tuscan Wine, but now I know it is for me. It is going on my list of books I must read. Thanks again for the great review.
    Carlene
    iluvreading(at)verizon.net

    Best of luck, Carlene! And thanks for coming by :)

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  22. oh I just LOVE the way he writes…and could not put down the Too much Tuscan Sun book…HILARIOUS!

    my fingers are crossed :) I’d love to read this one!

    erin :: the olive notes’s last blog post..spring in italia :: pt 3

    Best of luck Erin!

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  23. carrieitly
    05.25.2009

    It would be such a treat to win this… as it doesn’t appear to be available on Amazon UK yet :-( .

    I noticed that as well when I went to put up my review…hopefully soon!

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  24. 05.25.2009

    Lovely, Michelle. I’ll be back to read more when it’s not Sunday night. But wanted to alert you that I think there’s a typo in your intro. Entry by 31 May & announced 2 May. I can’t help myself: former copy-editing makes me a sicko. Will be back tomorrow to read rest………..xoxo susan

    Susan/GG’s last blog post..Felinity on la Côte d’Azur – Week’s End

    Oops! Thanks so much Susan :)

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  25. 05.25.2009

    Sounds like a fantastic read! I am dying to get to Tuscany, someday I will make it happen! Thank you for the contest!

    Heidi / Savory Tv’s last blog post..Smoking on a Gas or Charcoal Grill

    Best of luck, Heidi :)

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  26. 05.25.2009

    Heading to Tuscany in July. Can’t wait. I have Tuscan dreams. In my dreams I am bronzed by the sun and drinking Red.

    marge’s last blog post..

    Hee hee…enjoy Marge!

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  27. 05.25.2009

    the book sounds great! I’m in!

    Best of luck Ally!

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  28. 05.25.2009

    That book sounds wonderful. I love wine and Italy…would live there if I could :)

    poppy fields’s last blog post..Weekend over

    And you’re so close :)

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  29. 05.25.2009

    Sounds like a great read. Is it just me or does he look a bit like Lapo Elkann though?

    Caro’s last blog post..Shoestrings

    I actually thought that myself when I saw Lapo on TV the other night!

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  30. I read his first book and thought it was hilarious.

    Looking forward to reading this one.

    Hmmm is there such a thing as too much Tuscan wine? Not sure about that. ha

    nyc/caribbean ragazza’s last blog post..Campo dei Fiori – Sunday afternoon, music and food

    Hah, excellent point :)

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  31. 05.25.2009

    This sounds like another “must-read”! We just returned from Tuscany – and nothing surpasses long relaxing dinners and langusihing after with bottle after bottle of local wines – and listening to the locals tell you why one is better than another! They take such pride in even the local ‘table’ wines – and they are wonderful! Can’t wait to return!

    Valentinoswife’s last blog post..Springtime in Italy – Or Why It’s Easy to Love Italy

    Table wines can definitely mess you up…or at least they can me…yum :)

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  32. Andem!
    05.25.2009

    Ah yes, ‘ubriaco’ in the afternoon, singing along to the fabulous Italian song that features the english refrain “I am ready to drink” with a bunch of cherished Italian friends at the end of a day playing frisbee on the beach in Rimini. Then (OMG!), the foooood! Eating till 1am. And……. the vino…. lashings of delicious vino! Lashings of velvet nectar!
    Then we got talking about Italian communist parties and for some reason ended up laughing & crying on the floor. Shouting at some bewildered Americans nearby “Vota Communista!”…. I think I laughed as much in that one night as I had in the previous year!
    I came home and bought Ian Belfrige’s excellent 2 books on Italian wine. My kind of bedtime reading.
    Italian wine is a gateway to a parallel universe where you get lost in a world of human warmth, of a friend’s ‘nona’ spending all day cooking and baking. All her food flavoured with love for the young, happy people that have come to stay.

    God, I love Italy! I’ve been fantasising about moving there for the last 2 years. I’ve got as far as thinking I might like country life in the verdant hills of Parma or Reggio Emilia…. Over a number of years and many trips something as simple as capers just sends me dreaming…
    I’d love to win a copy of this book!
    Failing that I’ll buy a copy.

    Ciao for now,
    Dave in Cork (Ireland)

    If I weren’t picking the winner randomly, Dave, you’d be a shoe in. *Excellent* comment–thank you :) And best of luck!

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  33. 05.26.2009

    Hmm -this is making me home sick for Italy and right now I could use a good book right about now. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Alex’s last blog post..Where in the World??

    Hope you enjoy it, Alex!

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  34. 05.26.2009

    Hello Michelle! There can never be too much Tuscan Wine…I’m headed back to Italy next Friday and would love to read the new book! Ciao Bella!

    Deb R’s last blog post..Finding time to enjoy the moment.

    Best of luck, Deb!

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  35. carol
    05.26.2009

    Hi Michelle,
    Win or not…..I’m definitely reading this one!!!

    You’ll love it, Carol!

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  36. …shamefacedly commenting after too long away, ma: un concorso?! Pronto io!!
    ;-)

    paul of the clue-by-four’s last blog post..the downtown deer and other memorials

    Bentornato! You’re always welcome here you know :)

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  37. 05.26.2009

    Italy? Wine? Books? Three of my absolute favorite things! I’d love the chance to win this book. :-)

    Christina Arbini’s last blog post..May Book Giveaway Contest!

    Hee hee…I hear you! Best of luck :)

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  38. Cristina
    05.27.2009

    The title is an oxymoron-how can you have too much Tuscan wine? I enjoyed his first book and look forward to reading this one. Cristina

    Best of luck, Cristina!

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  39. Beautiful review, Michelle… enter me in your contest (and pick me! pick me!) :-)

    Cherrye at My Bella Vita’s last blog post..The Life of a Saint: Nuno Álvares Pereira

    In bocca al lupo Cherrye!

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  40. Kendall
    05.28.2009

    Sounds like another trip to the bookstore for me!

    Hope you enjoy Kendall!

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  41. Lori Parolini
    05.29.2009

    I read Dario’s first book “Too Much Tuscan Sun” and am just finishing Dario’s second book “A Day in Tuscany”. Both were enjoyable reads, and I am so sad to be nearing the end of the second book. Dario satisfies my longing for Italy – a country that I will never tire of visiting. His stories weave together truths of Italian life and well as escapades that entertain. (whether reality or a stretch of the truth). I can’t wait to get my hands on “Too Much Tuscan Wine”.

    Best of luck, Lori! And thanks for stopping by :)

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  42. Lesley
    05.30.2009

    These books sound like great fun, three more for my wishlist – thank goodness for Amazon 8-)
    Couldn’t agree more, Lesley!

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  43. I am always on the lookout for great books for our Italian book club to read. I loved his first book, but have missed out on these last two. Thanks for the great review.

    Lenora http://wwwitalyretreat.blogspot.com’s last blog post..Biscotti Recipe

    Ooh these would be great for an Italian book club!

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  44. Carmen
    05.30.2009

    Ahhh, Italy! Ciao Bella!

    Ciao…and best of luck!

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  45. 05.30.2009

    This sounds like my kind of book. Having been to Italy a number of times, mostly in the south, I can only say that I never get enough of things Italian. I’m thinking of moving there – hoping for the euro-dollar exchange to get better!

    Ciao

    Miss Footloose

    Miss Footloose’s last blog post..EXPAT CHILD IN PAIN: HUNTING DOWN THE DOCTOR

    Ooh I’ll second that request on the euro-dollar thing….

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  46. 05.30.2009

    I just recently heard about this. I was thinking about looking for it.
    I’ve told you in the past how so many of your recipes make me home sick, from what I understand the book will do the same.
    (Off to have some peaches and wine)

    Mmm I can’t wait till our peaches are ready!

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  47. 05.31.2009

    What a great review! I need to start gathering books for my own summer reading! Making notes based on your reviews….

    Lori’s last blog post..Paddleboats and Root Beer Floats

    Isn’t summer reading the best?! Best of luck, Lori :)

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  48. AdriBarr
    03.05.2010

    This sounds like another winner from Signore Castagno, and how great that one of us will be lucky. Best of luck to all who enter!!

    Thanks for coming by (although the contest has been over for some time!)

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  1. [...] you didn’t win the Italy guidebook contest I had here last week, here’s another contest you ... italylogue.com/news/italy-news-052509.html
  2. [...] and in case you’re wondering who won a copy of Too Much Tuscan Wine, it was faithful reader and fe... bleedingespresso.com/2009/06/the-jewel-trader-of-pegu-book-review-and-giveaway.html

Add your two beans of wisdom.


Recipes

 

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake