BOOK REVIEW: How Andrew Cotto unravels his Cucina Tipica novel is cleverly maneuvered. I just couldn’t put the book down for much else, until I got to “The End.” As I was about to finish his book, my heart was pounding and so wanting an ending I could live with. Cucina Tipica is story about finding an identity, for someone disheartened, which dates back to our hero’s birth right. Jacoby Pine had an isolated youth, for reasons you’ll want to explore, and it’s doled out in measured increments.

Life hasn’t been easy or entitled for Jacoby, and a trip to Italy soothes his soul in many ways. But does he have to return to a life on the East Coast of the US, which was so unfulfilling? The anxiety had tears running down my cheeks, while I feigned irritated eyes to my husband. The one delight I have with any novel written, by someone who’s wine and region knowledgeable, is that I learn so much about our wine business and its culture in the process, almost as much as visiting a wine region. The fact that this book was written where I had just traveled? It held me in spellbound suspense, right up to the time when I finally and reluctantly closed Cucina Tipica, having all of the answers.


As I was on the last page of Cucina Tipica, my eyes swelled and a tear indiscriminately rolled down each cheek. I know, I know, it’s a girly thing. Still, it’s also a guy thing, if – in any way whatsoever – you (guy) can related to the main character Jacoby Pines. And I know there are plenty of guys who can relate…

Last October, I had the good fortune to accompany Michael Yurch, of Bluest Sky Group, to visit two of his Italian clients, located on Central Italy’s peninsula (Castello di Meleto and Colonarra Viticultori), as a guest writer. It was life altering in many ways. Now, if an unexpected inheritance should ever happen, I’d buy an Italian villa, fill it with my entire family, and never look back. That was what I was thinking then, and it’s what I’m still thinking.

I had no more finished and written a review for Root Cause, by Steven Laine, set in Tuscany, when I received an Email from Andrew Cotto. He’s written a novel entitled Cucina Tipica, and he wanted to know if I’d also read and review his book. If the book’s name didn’t just drag me in immediately (which it did), the fact that it was set in Tuscany absolutely sealed the deal. Yes, indeed, I’d love to read this book… If only because – like Steven Laine’s book Root Cause – the book still had me exploring Tuscany. (I’m not really ready to let anything Italian go.) This blog page is my evidence, if you just search on “Italy.”  My recent readings, including Cucina Tipica, are keeping a piece of my soul solidly on Italian soil.

About Andrew Cotto, from his Website 

Andrew Cotto is the award-winning author of three novels and a regular contributor to The New York Times. Andrew has also written for Parade, Men’s Journal, Rolling Stone, The Huffington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, Italy magazine, Maxim, and more. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is an educator at local colleges.

If you’d like to know more about Andrew Cotto, this YouTube video is very insightful.