Friday, May 12, 2023

Weekend Cooking/Blog Tour: A Taste of Italian Sunshine by Leonie Mack

In this week's Weekend Cooking post I am sharing a review  of A Taste of Italian Sunshine which is all about life in the hills of Veneto. There's lot of information about making prosecco and grappa, and plenty of delicious sounding Italian food!


Jenn Park has a nose. I mean, most of us have noses, but Jenn has a particularly fine sense of smell which is exactly what she needs in her job as a successful wine taster. Her boss, Filippo, has sent her to the hills of Veneto in Italy in her first solo gig as a buyer. Her tasks is to get an in with the producers of prosecco wine and make a deal so that their wine’s can be stocked in the hotel’s locations around the world.

The only problem is her nose is very sensitive. And bubbles are something that doesn’t agree with her, causing her senses to explode. She therefore doesn’t like tasting prosseco. She also is great at tasting, but she is something of a lightweight when it comes to drinking. She also doesn’t have a drivers licence which is going to be a problem getting around the various wineries she needs to visit. She was never going to tell Filippo that though, given that she has had an unrequited crush on him for a long time.

Jenn is booked into stay in an old farm house where Tiziano lives in a converted out-building, helping out his Nonna as she needs, as well as numerous other friends and family. Tiziano gives every impression of being a bit of a layabout. He lives in his grandmother's barn, spends his time doing a bit of farming, a bit of fishing, a bit of this and that. But Tiziano isn't exactly what he seems. He has secrets from his past that still continue to impact him.

Jenn tries to bulldoze her way into the various wineries in the area, Tiziano tries to show her the way of the locals, the importance of relationships, of understanding the history and the traditions of the town, and of the vineyards.

After initially being resistant to her surroundings and to Tiz, uptight Jenn begins to loosen up, with Tiz by her side in various situations, often secretly shielding her from the things that trigger her, and yet fully respecting who she is. They both know that Jenn is going to need to go back to her life in London, so they have a limited time together, but it could be that this short time is going to prove to be a catalyst for them to both move on in their lives. The question is, will they move forward together or separately.

I have to say I loved Tiziano. When you read a fair amount of romance novels, you begin to think that a lot of male love interests are somewhat cookie-cutter. They are always tall and muscular, with great abs/pecs yada yada. Tiz is somewhat wirey, with a tongue piercing, a sparkle in his eye and a bit of a mischievous attitude. 

Last year I read Leonie Mack’s Twenty One Nights in Paris. I was impressed with her sense of place, the way she described Paris. Now, she has turned her focus to the vineyards of Veneto and once again she took us right there. There are the hills covered in vines, the river, the food, the people and a lot of interesting information about the production of both prosecco and grappa and I found it all fascinating. For example, did you know that there is a type of prosecco which has a lower fizz factor?  We also get Jenn's tasting notes for some of the wine throughout the book

I wonder where Leonie Mack is going to take us next? Wherever it is, I will be joining her through the pages of her book.

Check out other links on the tour for their thoughts.

Rating 4.5/5

Thanks to the publisher, Rachel's Random Resources and Netgalley for the review copy!

About the book

A Taste of Italian Sunshine

Jenn has always prided herself on being a city girl – she insists on easy access to good coffee, great food from around the globe, not to mention an easy commute. So, when her job takes her to one of the most famous Italian wine regions in search of the perfect Prosecco, travelling to meetings on a tractor is a bit of a culture shock.

Tiziano hates the city. He was made for the mountains and vineyards of Veneto, and generations of his family have earned their living from the land. But times are changing even in the Italian countryside, and the arrival of Jenn at his grandmother’s B&B opens up a window on a different world.

Jenn has two months to persuade the Prosecco producers to trust her with their business, and Tiziano has one summer to persuade Jenn that there’s more to life than the rat race. But can a city girl and a country boy ever find enough in common to see a future beyond one long summer of sun…

Purchase Link -

About the author

Leonie Mack is the bestselling author of romantic novels including My Christmas Number One and Italy Ever After. Having lived in London for many years her home is now in Germany with her husband and three children. Leonie loves train travel, medieval towns, hiking and happy endings!

Social Media Links –

Facebook: Leonie Mack - Home | Facebook
Twitter: Leonie Mack WE'LL ALWAYS HAVE VENICE (@LeonieMAuthor) / Twitter
Instagram: Leonie Mack (@leoniejmack) • Instagram photos and videos
Newsletter Sign Up: Bookbub profile: Leonie Mack Books - BookBub

Weekly meals

Saturday - 
Sunday -  
Monday - Chicken Schnitzel, chips and gravy
Tuesday - 
Wednesday - Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Bolognaise
Thursday - Beef Stroganoff
Friday - Takeaway

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book reviews (novel, nonfiction), cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs, restaurant reviews, travel information, or fun food facts. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page


  1. The book definitely sounds right up my alley! And I do love Prosecco, telling myself all the fizz is an aid to digestion.

  2. This book sounds intriguing and - before I remembered that I had promised myself to read some of the books piled on the floor before I got any more library books - I checked and my library has it as an audiobook (and her Paris and Venice books; I wonder which one to start with?). Also, to some extent, I agree with you that it is nice not to have a cookie cutter hero. However, I do have suspension of disbelief when the author goes to the other extreme and provides male protagonists who have so little in common with the heroine it is improbable they could even share even a smile. A Greek peasant in something I read recently! But in another one, the sullen tour guide turned out to be a doctor who had lost a patient and his self-confidence so I suppose that is acceptable although cliched in its own way.

  3. There is a new competitive cooking show coming to The Food Network Ciao House.

  4. Sharing my mom's favorite Raw Apple Cake, have a great weekend!