Ernest Hemingway once said, “Always do sober what you said you would do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.”Whether or not Tom Dolan had a glass in hand when he decided to make an annual wine-centric sojourn to Italy, he has for years continued doing what he said he would. Every summer, to enhance the guest experience at his restaurant, Toma, he spends a couple of weeks exploring a particular Italian wine region, walking village to village up to twenty miles a day as a prelude to fantastic food and wine at local establishments at night. He then returns to Toma with his latest finds. In past years, Tom has hiked through Piedmont, Tuscany, Umbria and Alto Adige. Last summer, he headed for Friuli and the Gorizia wine region in the northeast, and neighboring Slovenia. He pursued the famous white Friulano varietals, plus a bit of Ernest Hemingway’s legacy. “Papa” traveled the Gorizia Valley as an ambulance driver for the Italian army during World War I and later described it in his novel A Farewell to Arms. Tom followed a century later and brought back Friulano white wines that pair nicely with seafood dishes, especially mussels, clams and calamari. Step into Toma, and you can write your own little story on that theme.
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