Wine and Dime Episode 76 - CARE About Education with Judge John

Welcome back Wine and Dime listeners. In this episode, I welcome the Honorable Judge John Ninfo, II. Judge John is a retired bankruptcy judge who also founded CARE (Credit Abuse Resistance Education). In this episode, John shares some great stories about the importance of personal finance education, the founding of CARE, and we even talk about the wines that he likes and his true enjoyment of a good scotch. You can read some of Judge John’s weekly columns at (search “Ninfo”).

If you enjoyed the episode, please be sure to rate and subscribe! And thanks again for listening!

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John C. Ninfo, II

Judge Ninfo was a bankruptcy judge for the United States bankruptcy court, Western District of New York. He was appointed to the bench in 1992 and served as Chief Judge from January 1, 2000 until December 31, 2006. After 2006 he served as a judge until December 31, 2011.

Education and early life

Judge Ninfo attended Georgetown University for his Bachelors degree in 1968 and Boston University for his J.D. in 1973. From 1968 until 1970 he served in the United States Marine Corps, becoming Chief Legal Clerk to the Judge Advocate General of the 4th Marine Air Wing.


From 1970 until 1992 he engaged in private law practice with the Rochester firm of Underberg and Kessler, specializing in creditors' rights and bankruptcy law.

CARE program

In 2002, Ninfo founded the Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) program. It is a personal finance literacy education program in which bankruptcy judges, trustees, attorneys and court staff go into high schools and colleges and meet with businesses, faith groups and veterans in an effort to educate them on staying out of debt and financial responsibility.


CARE - Credit Abuse Resistance Education

CARE's mission is to educate individuals, with a focus on young adults, on the responsible use of credit and the fundamentals of financial literacy, as well as the potential consequences of poor money management and credit abuse.

Founded in 2002 by now-retired US Bankruptcy Court Judge John C. Ninfo II, Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) was created to teach high school and college students about the responsible use of credit and the consequences of credit card abuse. Judge Ninfo grew the organization to have a national presence by helping other bankruptcy professionals start their own CARE programs across the nation.

Upon his retirement, Judge Ninfo turned CARE over to the American Bankruptcy Institute in Alexandria, VA, where it expanded and developed into a nationally branded organization. In 2016, CARE received its 501(c)(3) status from the IRS and has emerged as a national nonprofit community service organization dedicated to inspiring smart financial-decision making by students and young adults.

Now, 15 years after its creation, our organization recruits and trains professionals in the bankruptcy and other financial services fields, who are then invited to schools and other venues to teach the fundamentals of personal financial management.


Wine For Normal People

This week we discuss Sicily, the largest island in the Mediterranean that has a wildness, a culture, and a wine portfolio all its own. From the islands that make luscious sweet wines, to the hot interior churning out fruity reds, to the elegant reds and whites of Mount Etna, Sicily has something for everyone and is on the rise.

Sicily Overview

  • Largest island in the Mediterranean, volcanic– huge with rough infrastructure

  • Harvest lasts for over three months, beginning in the August heat in Trapaniand ending in Mount Etna in mid-November

  • As the author Nicolas Belfrage, “Brunello to Zibibbo”, Sicily has the potential to be “California, Australia, Chile, southern France, Jerez and middle Italy all rolled into one”

  • Long storied history of winemaking traditions there exist since Greek, Roman and medieval times.

  • Number of DOCs: 23: Etna, Marsala, Moscato di Pantelleria (sweet wine), Cerasuolo di Vittoria (DOCG – mostly Nero d’Avola with some Frappato).

  • Also: Catch-all IGT Terre Siciliane (25% of the island’s production)

  • Main white grapes:Cataratto, Trebbiano, Inzolia, Grecanico, Chardonnay, Grillo, Viognier, Caricante, Zibibbo

  • Main red grapes: Nero d’Avola, Syrah, Merlot, Nerello Mascalese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Frappato, Nerello Cappuccio

Leading Sicilian producers:

  • Benanti, Ceuso, COS, Corvo (Duca di Salaparuta), Cottanera, Cusumano, De Bartoli, Donnafugata, Feudo Montoni, Firriato, Florio, Frank Cornelissen, Gulfi, Il Cantante, Morgante, Occhipinti, Planeta, Regaleali, Tenuta di Fessina, Terre Nere

This episode was presented by

Amy Irvine


The Seneca Lake Wine Trail