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|[01/17/2021, 14:54] ||What Miles Davis and John Coltrane taught me about wine|
Lately, I?ve been organizing my musical recordings. I?m a big jazz fan. Somewhere along the line, during college, while I loved to listen to rock, especially the San Francisco style in the 1970?s, I veered over to jazz. There was a great FM radio station in Los Gatos, California, KTAO. But even before that, I was interested. I remember going to a Miles Davis concert in1967 at UCLA. It was his quintet, with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and Wayne Shorter. Miles didn?t allow any photography, we had to take our cameras back to the car. But the music was brilliant.
Living in California after college, I got into all kinds of jazz. John Coltrane, what?s not to love? So, when I got a Miles/Coltrane CD for Christmas, I was really excited. And then I got to listening to the music.
It was from the final tour in 1960. But it sounded different than the music I?d grown accustomed to hearing from those two jazz giants. It was vaguely familiar, but they were experimenting, taking the sounds out to a more intellectual ledge. It got me thinking about wine styles of late.
There are many reasons to enjoy wine. I?ll admit that my main reason is for taste. And with that taste, I enjoy wines that convey a sense of deliciousness to me. Everyone has different inflection points in that regard. But I look for a good healthy dose of fruit. I enjoy acidity, in check, not overblown. I can deal with tannins, if they are part of the structure of the wine. And dryness, depending on the kind of wine it is. Lastly, balance. Without that, I find it hard to finish a glass, let alone a bottle. Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Last month I opened up a bottle of Vitovska from Friuli. I?ve enjoyed wine from this grape since I first encountered it 10 years ago. Nice acidity. Good fruit, and often well balanced. There are producers who take the grape down a naturalistic path, which is popular among fledgling enophiles. And I?ve had ones I enjoyed, all the way to the edge with the orange wines.
This one I had, over the holidays, was from that camp. In its appearance, it was caliginous. I took a sip. It was like sipping on a just struck match. Hot and adamantine. I set is aside, for it just wasn?t the right wine to go with the food we were having that night. I was disappointed, but know sometimes wines, when they are first opened, are sometimes reluctant to go out into the world. Cutting the umbilical on this one just wasn?t going to happen. It would have to fall off on its own, in its own time. I?d come back to it in a day or so.
It happened with the music of Miles and Coltrane, with that compilation I got for Christmas. I could recognize some of the classic tunes, but I couldn?t quite decipher their meaning. And it was like that with the Vitovska, too.
I relate this experience because there has been this movement, or a trend, to take a position on wine, and winemaking, by many of us who have never made wine. But we?re experts, influencers, and our opinion matters, so we say to ourselves. But I just cannot burrow down into that polemic rabbit hole. Something, call it an aesthetic constraint, draws me back to my initial notion of what a wine should taste like, and what music to my ears should sound like. I can appreciate the effort. But sometimes, I just can?t go there. Or, I just don?t want to go there. I want to listen to Miles Davis and John Coltrane play the music that drew me to jazz, which I still love. And I wanted that Vitovska to match up with the Frico, not be a freaking antagonist.
So, I put another record on the turntable. And I open another bottle of wine. And I search for beauty and balance and that ambrosial moment. It?s not an argument. It?s a longing, a pursuit. Just like Coltrane looking for that note that will transform an intonation into the call of a thousand cranes.
That said, I have and will follow Miles and Coltrane down a musical rabbit hole from an intellectual point of view. And I will try any and every kind of wine out there. And I will not relent from seeking out what it is that calls me to music and wine. And for that I have to thank Miles and ?Trane and all my winemaker friends who have made my exploration into wine (and music) so much more meaningful and compelling.
written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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|[01/10/2021, 18:24] ||The Epiphany (and the room where it happened)|
Once, on a fast run up the autostrada from Ancona to Verona, an old friend and I were talking about epiphanies. He?d had many in his life and had distilled it down to its essence. ?It?s a bolt of lightning - Il Fulmine.? I?ve thought about those moments lately, as it seems we?ve been having more than our share of ?Il Fulmine? in today?s world. And as we sail through time, many of us have those moments when our purpose is distilled in a flash, and everything is bright and clear, if only for that moment.
It?s much like a photograph. 1/100th of a second. And then something else. Not gone, but no longer there with the energy and the force it initially struck with. I guess you could say it?s a bit like those times when you are intimate with someone and for a moment everything disappears and there is only light and passion, and emotion and energy.
And while it wasn?t quite that dramatic when it happened, looking back on that day, I realize I was then bound to wine, it made an indelible impression. Let me tell you about it.
It was harvest time, 1977, in the hills of Calabria, between Cosenza and the Tyrrhenian Sea. I was with my young, new family, traveling around Italy and Greece. We?d made it to Calabria and had found my mother?s family on her mother?s side. We were staying with them, getting to know them, and them, us. They were people of the land, working it, clinging to their little side of the hill and pulling out whatever they could to provide sustenance. It was right up our alley, as back in California, where we lived, we?d made the attempt to live simply. We were young and poor. The economy was faltering. And there was a movement to go back to the land.
I saw that my relatives were living that life, not dreaming about it. Perhaps they were wishing for a more glorious life. But they had the basics of life. And with that they had fresh air, clean water and a place to live that was unencumbered with the useless detritus of civilization. And, they could see the stars at night.
One of those nights, after dinner, my cousin invited me down to the cellar. ?We have a little work to do,? he said, ?Vieni qua.? I followed.
As we ventured into the dim subterrane, several of his other relatives and friends, all elder men, joined us. I thought of the sweat lodge ceremonies a Native American friend once told me about, and wondered if this was going to be something akin, ala Italiana. Indeed, there was a prescience to that feeling, but one that would not materialize for years and miles.
In the corner of the room the new wine was gurgling. In another niche, an ancient hutch held bottles of all kinds and sizes, filled with older wine. A solitary, bald lamp hung above, illuminating the cold, damp room.
I was almost expecting flames to appear above our heads, the stage was set for the possibility of a portentous juncture. I didn?t know what to expect. But, as with anything unforeseen, one can evade it or one can embrace it. I was all in, regardless.
When one falls in love, it does unpredictable things to the world around and inside of one. Time stops, then times speeds up. Then time disappears, along with space. Butterflies appear, amidst a cosmic storm of unheralded expectations. It?s a giant swirl of emotion coupled with a visceral grip that feels like a roller coaster gone off its tracks. It?s exhausting and exhilarating.
Have you ever been in a dream where some thing had you in its grip and wouldn?t let you go? It can be frightening if you tense up and fight it. It?s like being in a wave that has just pounded you. But, if you just relax and let go, eventually the waves subside and you pop up above the foam, just in time to grab a much needed breath of air. Free, and still very much alive.
As it happened, a simpler scenario played out. It seemed that the new wine needed to be bottled and the old wine in the bottles was taking up room. A fitting metaphor for life if I ever heard one. And one that shadows us all on the wine trail.
The grapes were ancient ones, with names like Greco and Moscato and Calabrese. The aromas were as seductive as the Sirens from the islands in that nearby western sea. The musty, ebullient sapidity of the older wines, released from their urns, stirred all who sat at that wobbly table, both veterans and inductee.
So, we went about the business of emptying the bottles, one by one until the wee hours of the morning. I swear my Italian was never better in those moments. I was being initiated into the mysteries of Bacchus. Little did I know this ceremony would portend a life, and a livelihood, that I didn?t know was stalking me. I?ve often spoken of being a slave to the wine gods. This was the moment I was conscripted into that legion.
Later that day, after much needed rest (and coffee) it dawned on me that I had witnessed something momentous, but I didn?t know exactly what. It would only be years later, many years, that the meaning of those hours in the room where it happened would shine a light upon the path that I had tread all these years. It was the epiphany, that bolt - Il Fulmine - that provided me with a purpose.
And it unfurled among the humblest of places, with family and friends.
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
|[01/03/2021, 17:00] ||How Italian wine will thrive in the 21st century |
Transformational over Transactional
Something I am detecting, acutely, in these early days of 2021, are the relationships that were shaped while working in the wine trade. How many times did I sit at someone?s mother (or grandmother) table enjoying a home-cooked meal while tasting the wines they also made? What did they get out of it? Another meal for a bunch of American wine buyers. Another lost night. More free wine consumed, eating into the margins.
It?s something I ask a lot. Then, maybe it was because they knew I had buying power. But not now. I?m done with that. So, why, if at all, do some of those folks still stay in touch?
I?ll go you one even better. How many times did I send a consumer to a winery in Italy for a visit and those folks at the winery rolled out the red carpet? I mean wine, dinner, maybe even a place to sleep. And for what? Maybe a couple of cases in someone?s cellar, at best?
There has to be more to it than a mere transactional sentiment. It doesn?t make any sense to spend time and money and labor and all that only for a couple of cases of wine. I say this not because I am cynical of my Italian winery friends motivation.
No, I really think many of my Italian friends in the wine trade in Italy aren?t thinking about the transaction as much as the need to transform the hearts and minds of Americans (and other nationalities too). It wasn?t that long ago that they (we) had to spend an inordinate amount of time apologizing for the wine we made (or sold) because they (we) felt it might not be rising to the standards set by our French cousins. I know, that seems like a lifetime ago. But the need to please can often outweigh rational and proper business practices. In other words, transformational relationships surpass the merely transactional ones, over time.
And that is so funny right now, to me, because I have been examining my old wine trade relationships and have found too many of them were merely (to them it seems) the price of doing business. The newly landed wine blogger who didn?t know anybody, who was short of cachet and needed a little support, emotionally (and maybe even financially). The executive who was trying to make inroads into the greater world of Italian wine and wanted to tag along to make some of my relationships also theirs too. The wine buyer, the sommelier, the list goes on. Sadly, those folks, in the post-Covid world of stark, brutal reality, have fallen by the wayside. The friendships have dissolved, gone. Sad.
But, in the transactional world, one knows that nothing is forever. You get a great by-the-glass placement that?s making everybody a bunch of money, and the competition takes the wine buyer to a strip club and gets him a lap dance, and badda-bing, you lose the placement. The wine buyer got a better deal. It was just another transaction. Not even a good business decision, by the way.
So, back to the Italians who have made transformative relationships more important than their business transactions. An example.
There is a wine producer in Piedmont, and I will not use his name, because the person is a very humble person who would be embarrassed by the story I am about to tell you. But for years this person has had me in their home, taken me to dinner, spent time with me, both in Italy in in my own home. We?ve become friends.
Yes, for a short while we did a little business together but the importer changed and it became almost impossible to do business in the future. But always at Vinitaly there was a moment to have an espresso, talk about books, ideas, or the blue sky, even though this person never made a bloody red cent off of me or my influence.
I felt guilty, for sure. I always wanted to do something, something more. But the stars never aligned.
But I also realized that both of us are doing fine in the world. Why couldn?t it be more than a transaction, a real relationship, a friendship? And that was really what it was and is.
[I know, not a tasting note in sight. Alfonso walking the plank with another one of his cockamamie ideas.]
We?ve all had a lot of time to think. We?ve shed a lot of things. Some of us have died. I?ve given away books, clothes, tools, music, money, and yes, stepped away from people I thought were my friends, but for some reason or another are no longer. We?ve all sacrificed something in this past year.
But my friend in Piedmont, is still my friend. I drink his product at home from time to time. I think warmly of him, and he isn?t the only one. There are scores of people in Italy whom I think about in that regards, even though they have nothing ? I repeat ? NOTHING ? to gain from my present position.
This is the golden nugget that makes Italy and her people and her wine so indisputably ascendant. Because these people know something about the value of real relationships, they are and will continue to succeed even in these trying times. And you know what? I?m going to be there with them, raising glass after glass for them, and with them, because that?s how you succeed in the wine business. When you give it all your heart, and then some.
Happier new year, y?all!
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
|[12/28/2020, 22:21] ||Happy Birthday to the Dinosaur ~ On the Wine Trail in Italy Turns 15|
|If only this blog were a young girl who was turning into a woman. It would surely be more apt for these times. But a quincea?era it is not going to be for this old dinosaur of a blog, on the wine trail in Italy. |
Fifteen years in most cases is a relatively young age. But for a wine blog? It?s ancient. Some would say pass?. Lord knows, I?ve tried a lot of different things to keep it upright and sailing right along. But It is work. No doubt about it. Although it is also a labor of love. Don?t get me wrong, I?m not quitting or hanging it up. Not yet. I still have things to say, and if there are people who still want to read what an elderly white male who came from the wine trade has to say, I?ll forge on. But there is a life to everything, whether it is a bottle of wine, a human life or a relatively insignificant wine blog.
All this to say, I?m glad to have made it this far. And grateful to the impressive volume of readers who come to this site once a week for my essays.
But blogging, and wine blogging in general is in a bit of a slump. Maybe we?ve all said everything there is to say. I know some folks have just stopped, while others have morphed into a pay-to-play newsletter format. Some have gone on to work in journalism, while others, some, have passed away, or just faded away. Nothing is forever.
What still gets me excited about my ?Sunday sermons?? Well, there is no lack of drama or change in the world of wine. And as I?m, more or less, specialized on this blog in Italian wine and culture, for sure there is plenty to write about. But, that said, I?ve pivoted from the newsy and gossipy to what most people perceive to be a bit more esoteric of paths. And there is more than one path. I?ve been experimenting with this blog in those areas, for those who have been following. I love science fiction. In fact, I love stories. And I don?t think they always need to be the hard factual stories a journalist cuts their teeth on (I have my wine column in the Dallas paper for that). I?ve probably written this a time or two on these posts, but one time when I was sitting there having a bottle of wine with Eric Asimov, he asked me ?What is it you?d really like to write about?? I cannot believe I spontaneously answered to him, ?Oh, I?d love to write a science fiction novel!? Yeah, I said that to the nephew of one of the greatest science fiction writers of all time, Isaac Asimov. But I did do that. And even though it was momentarily embarrassing (to me) there was more than a kernel of truth to my affliction for science fiction. And some of that has been bleeding onto these pages.
Also, I?m very curious about the elasticity of time. The past. The present. The future. All that. I?ve gone into the past and interviewed winemakers and ancient souls. I?ve time traveled to the future to talk to Italians and wine makers hundreds of years from now. Why not? It is my blog, after all. And nobody is charging anyone to read. Yet. It?s fun. It allows me to press my creative juices, possibly making for a good bottle of who knows what? I?m very interested in the child inside all of us. And during my career in the wine trade, I spent a lot of time and effort trying to be a good, reliable, responsible adult. But now that activity is for the younger adults in the wine trade. My time, now, is to reconnect with ?little Al,? as my nonna called me, and see what I can come up with. Again.
But writing is not at the top of my queue. Nor is wine, really. Italy still commands a lot of space in my world, real or imagined, for sure. But it?s the visual part of this world that really has me hooked. I?ve been a photographer for 55 years. That?s 80% of my life. My (analog) darkroom is fifteen steps from my (digital) office. So, there?s a reckoning coming. Everything is ready. I?ve been to Italy more times than I could remember, if I didn?t keep a spread sheet of those 59 treks back to the wellspring of so much inspiration and affection.
The Italy I knew in 1971 is nothing like the Italy I hope to revisit in 2021. Think about it, a half century. Holy crap, it?s a little scary! But I like what I see, even when I close my eyes and imagine what it must be like. Thanks to films, music, friends, and any number of other connective ways, Italy stays in touch with me. And when the screens go dark, there is always the invisible, the imagination, the dreamscapes that keep sending me messages, keep staying up with those of us who are listening.
While I?ve gone over my 800-word limit (again) I want to thank you for being here all these years and for commenting and reading and coming back from time to time to check in. I?m not going anywhere, yet. There still is a lot of Italy, her wine, and my real (and imagined) realms to discover.
|[12/20/2020, 15:18] ||The Alacrity of Hope|
ell, this sure has been one doozie of a year.? How many times, at year's end, have you murmured that to yourself, over the past dozen or so years? Let me see, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012. I could go on. 2016. 2018. And now, 2020. And yet, I remain one gullible and hopeful sonofabitch.
When we taste an older wine, the year in which it was made provides a base. In that, I mean the conditions of that year offer the basic building blocks by which the grapes grew and matured and ultimately were crushed and turned into wine. But along with that comes the more intangible attributes by which we sometimes measure the quality and the impact of the wine, often from the comfort of our cr?che, in a safe place, with or without friends or loved ones. That is when the wine takes on all sorts of cockamamie facets. That is when one?s imagination may supplant the data on the fact sheets. That is when the fun begins, as we run the bus off the road.
So it has been this year, drinking older wines in the (1st) year of the coronavirus. Now when I drink a 1990, I think of the run-up to the first Gulf War. Now when I drink a 2008, I think about the economic meltdown that was happening at the same time the grapes were being transmuted into wine. Now when I drink a 2016, I think about narrowly escaping death in Sicily in summertime only to face the asteroid of the fall when our world went into free-fall for many of us in the autumn. Now, intangible has been usurped by insatiable. We must run for the exits of 2020 and flee to a new year, a new order and a new hope. The alacrity of hope.
It is such a personal view, wine. it really is a mirror into one?s credibility. What one says about any particular wine leaves a tell-tale stain on the holiday table cloth, often impermeable. The red wine of Ravera from 2010 lies next to the lighter, blanched stain of Vermentino from Liguria. Off to the corner a blemish from an older Vin Santo competes with the splotch from a raisin dropped while eating the panettone. Our human stains recalling the work of others, their passions, their mistakes, all laid out on the 4x8 foot table top, as if a recreation of the battle of Waterloo.
But along with the carnage there is also the promise that this decimated plane will generate new life, new plans, new ambitions. And yes, more hope. I?d love to be able to tell you which Champagne you should be drinking right now. But if you?re on an oxygen machine, how could it matter to you? I?d relish showing you pictures of the opulent array of meats and cheeses, roasts and robiolas, that might adorn the table in the upcoming days. But if you?re hunkered down in your home or in an ICU, how would that benefit you? Or any of us? Not to dwell on the maudlin, but we?re not all in the same boat here. And the sea has gotten very, very choppy, of late.
We are facing a slew of Viking funerals lately. From family to friends, the storm is passing by a little more closely and with renewed rigorousness. One must keep the sword of vigilance swathed within the blanket of optimism. But one must keep their eyes wide open.
How will we think about the wines of 2020, those of us who will have survived, in 5, 10, 20 years? Will we forget? Will the wines be opened by souls who were not here when we went through this patch? Will any of the energy, the passion, the fear, the ongoing, the dread, be passed on to the person with the glass of wine in their hand? I don?t know. But I do know that wine is more than the sum of fruit and acid and tannin and water and everything tangible that goes into making it. There is that unseen aspect, the imaginative dollop, that makes every bottle a new and unexpected experience. And that my friends, is what I am looking forward to. And hoping like hell for.
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
|[12/13/2020, 21:20] ||5 of the greatest Italian wines (that I want to drink in 2021)|
|? It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas ?|
When one is marooned on an island, you have a lot of time to think and imagine all kinds of future scenarios. One of my favorite things, vinously speaking, is to look at wines that have aged for a decade or multiples of a decade. In 2021, that would mean 2001,1991,1981,1971,1961 and so on. It provides a neat measure to time with regards to how these little living things inside (and outside) the bottle are doing.
Another aspect to this exercise is also to use those years as a personal reference. Maybe you were born that year, or married, or a child was born, or someone died. Anything that would be considered a particular landmark in time. It gives context beyond just the wine and the score it received.
I have had every one of these wines before, and while they are considered iconic wines, especially in regards to the prestige they proffer to the greater world of wine, they also imprinted my sensibilities towards an unabashed conviction that Italian wines are as good as any (e.g., French) wines in the world. It was not the case when I started out. In fact, I spent much of my early career expending my most persuasive capabilities in an effort to dispel the myth that Italian wines were somehow inferior to other wines. Now, not so much, as Italian wines are finally the darlings of the sommelier and collector universe. The mill of God grinds slow but exceedingly fine.
First up would be the Giacomo Conterno Monfortino Barolo Riserva. I seldom get to try this wine anymore, since it has become part of the club that wines like Jayer, Gaja and DRC belong to. Inotherwords, untouchable by mere mortals. You have to be a corporate finance mogul in Singapore or Frankfurt, where $1,000 to them is like $10 to us dirt-treaders. But, once upon a time (when I was younger and poorer) I experienced Monfortino at least once a year. So, I have cherished memories of the wine, and have written about it on this site over the years. Like the man on death row who is going to be executed in the morning, who is granted the wish for his last meal, I?d like just one more time, to drink a Monfortino.
This is not to say that there aren?t other wines just as worthy from the Barolo world. There are many, and I have some to drink in my little wine closet. But Monfortino has a special place in my heart, not because some critic has lauded it but because of our relationship to each other. It was one of the first Italian wines that knocked me out in less than 3 minutes. Gorgeous, and so extraordinary. I can still remember that first time. It must be love.
Year to drink in 2021: 1961
My next pick would be the Bruno Giacosa Barbaresco Riserva Speciale Santo Stefano.
An old friend in Fort Worth, Texas, an Italian chef, had a thing for this wine. He also had a thing for buying them real cheap on closeout from unsuspecting wholesalers who didn?t know what they had. So, he amassed a cache of these wines from the ?60?s and ?70?s. Every Tuesday he?d make a lunch for the local wine salespeople and we?d occasionally drink one of them. Then I?d stumble back to Dallas, fully caffeinated and exhilarated by the length and depth of this wine.
Eventually I came to represent the winery on several occasions, and was able to go to the winery a time or two and become fully baptized in the world of Bruno Giacosa. These are wines that we most likely will never see again, for a number of reasons. Bruno is gone, for one, and that kind of sourcing is near impossible to manage in this period when the property values are so high. So, we move forward, leaving a little of our soul behind. Sure, one can still find the wines in collections and on auction (I?m sure there?s a Rudy K wannabe willing to grant you whatever wish you desire in regards to Giacosa). I?ve had my day with these wines, I?m happy to have had the opportunity to be alive and enjoy Barbaresco from a master.
But, if we ever get out of this place and in 2021 there is an opportunity to drink one more Barbaresco from Bruno Giacosa, I?d like it to be a Riserva Speciale Santo Stefano.
Year to drink in 2021: 1971
Leaving the Langhe, let?s dart on down to Abruzzo where my next choice would be the Azienda Agricola Valentini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo. I have a deep and profound love from the wines of Abruzzo. I was weaned on them early on in my career, and my wine closet has a chunk of these wines, some in large format bottles, going back to the ?70?s. I am hesitant to part with them or drink them, because when I do, it?s like letting go of a part of the young me. And even though when I look in the mirror, I no longer see a young me, one sometimes still has an attachment to things that one was attached to in earlier years. One of my most favorite memories was drinking Valentini wines at Villa Majella and eating the food from chefs Angela Di Crescenzo and Peppino Tinari. Talk about coals in Newcastle, that was a night! And Valentini flowed freely that night, from the olive oil (yes!) to the whites, the rosato and the red. I?m not one for trophy hunting, but that was a memorable night. And I?d like one more night to be able to drink a Valentini Montepulciano, from another master, Edoardo. He made the wine I want to drink. In fact, so far, all the wines I want to drink have been made by people no longer with us. I wonder what that says about me?
Year to drink in 2021: 1981
And on to Tuscany for the final two. First stop Gianfranco Soldera and his Case Basse Brunello di Montalcino Riserva.
Again, you?d have to be a hedge fund manager to be able to afford this wine on a regular basis. But I didn?t think that was the initial intention of the winemaker. I came late to this winery, it was 2005. But everything I put in my mouth from the winery has been nothing short of illuminating. Can wine really move the soul? I don?t know. Looking at it here, on the screen, that seems a little silly. But I do know that whatever this life is that we are in, one of the great pleasures is food and wine. And a wine like that, while it may or may not move mountains, I?d surely sign up one more time to check and see if my inner Richter Scale registers any displacement within. I?d reckon more like a hum, maybe even a purr. What a weird confluence of things, Soldera Brunello and the inner purrings of a wine lover. But there you have it, that?s what wine does to some people. I?d like just one more goblet, please.
Year to drink in 2021: 1991
And off to the coast for the outlier. I know to some it might seem a bit jejuneto offer up this wine, the Tenuta San Guido Sassicaia Bolgheri. But we go way back, all the way to 1968. Well, the wine at least. I remember selling the wine, always as a grey market offering, in the mid 1980?s. And at the time I was offered a stash of Sassicaia from that legendary year. I sold it, bought it back, resold it again (for $300), and along the way had a bottle or two. After all, I was selling it for something like $28.00 wholesale, initially. So, it was affordable.
I eventually was able to amass a small cache of various vintages from 1979 to 2015, purely for reference, of course. I like the wine, most of the time. But what I really like about it is the story, which is emblematic of the Italian spirit. And that is, don?t rest on what it is everyone thinks you?re good at. Break the rules once in awhile, open the gates and let the mind roam into places not thought of. Really? All of that from an Italian Cabernet? Well, to me at least. Yes, it?s now basically unaffordable to most people, so now it?s not the rebel we once knew it to be. But hey, "play Misty for me" one more time. And I?d like it to be about the same age as the ?68 was when I first drank it, at about 20 years. Just for old time?s sake.
Year to drink in 2021: 2001
Famous last words
There you have it, my ?list? for the holiday season and 2021. Next year is going to be a big one for me, so I?d like to add one more wine. I?ve had one from my birth year, and it was lovely. But I also spied one in the cellar at Pio Cesare (looking like a cast-off Molotov cocktail), and I?d sure like to add it as a coda to the aforementioned wines. So, while we?re making up things to believe in in 2021, let?s throw another wine in the mix and that would be Pio Cesare?s 1951 Barolo ? just for shits and giggles.
Ok, drop the curtains now?
written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
|[12/12/2020, 05:59] ||Bolle Restaurant ? Lallio (BG) ? Chef Marco Stagi, Patron Angelo Agnelli|
Il Bolle Restaurant e? il nostro AWARD come Ristorante Emergente 2020.
Uno Chef Marco Stagi in pieno controllo e di grande personalita?, una sala che accompagna con organizzazione e mestiere, una proprieta? che a differenza di imprenditori che si improvvisano nel mondo della ristorazione attraverso sciagurate consulenze, contribuisce quotidianamente a fornire strumenti di lavoro di eccellenza a tutti i migliori stellati. Insomma un know-how di spessore, una forza, una voglia, una sana energia che entusiasma e ti fa stare bene. Proprio come piace a noi!
Ma veniamo al nostro abituale reportage dettagliato della nostra esperienza…
Al piano terra, troviamo il nuovo Show Room Agnelli, un vero “parco giochi” nei sogni di ogni Chef quanto di ogni bruciapadelle casalingo.
Chef : Stagi Marco
Sous Chef e Chef de partie secondi : Riccardo Palermo
Chef de partie primi : Nicholas Carrara
Chef de partie antipasti : Maicol Dellanoce
Pasticceria : Noemi Favero
Commis de cuisine : Riccardo Caputo
Plongeur : Hakim Bouslim
Direttrice : Fulvia Rota
Maitre : Michele Mazzola
Chef de Rang : Claudio Brembilla
Un concentrato di Bolle
5 portate per farvi scoprire la nostra cucina di terra. 55?
Con aggiunta di due portate di quinto quarto 70?
- Vini in abbinamento
Percorso da 3 calici 25?
Percorso da 5 calici 40?
Il menu a Degustazione ? consigliato all’intero tavolo
La nostra interpretazione del pescato in 5 portate. 55?
Con aggiunta di ?Mare Crudo? 75?
- Vini in abbinamento
Percorso da 3 calici 25?
Percorso da 5 calici 40?
Il menu a Degustazione ? consigliato all’intero tavolo
Mare crudo, marinature e condimenti 30?
Soffice di patate e porri, rago?t di finferli e limone salato 14?
Capasanta arrosto, radicchio in carpione e crema di noci 18?
Merluzzo carbonaro in olio cottura, crema di cipolla rossa e finocchio, camouflage di pane speziato 18?
con l’aggiunta di 10g di caviale 32?
Pluma di maialino iberico, cavolini di Bruxelles alla senapee salsa verde ai capperi 16?
Caviale di storione siberiano 30g? 50?
Risotto al Pomo d?Oro 18?
Risotto come un casoncello 18?
Spaghetto integrale turanico, fresco di capra, ostriche e caviale 22?
Pappardella ripiena di rag? d?anatra,succo di mela e sedano, lattuga marinata 16?
Mezzemaniche, ricci di mare,emulsione d?arrosto e zabaione ai funghi 18?
Tortelli di pinoli e castagne, gambero rosso, infuso di bosco e shiso 18?
Piccione, cime di rapa, polvere d’acciuga e mirtillo selvatico 30?
Ombrina mediterranea dorata, puntarelle di cicoria, basilico e spuma di patate e cozze 23?
Ricciola, olio di zucca, cardoncelli e aglio nero 23?
Animella di vitello arrostita, carciofi, emulsione di lattuga e pistacchio 25?
Lombata di cervo, rape, ibiscus e frutti rossi 24?
Mela al caramello, semifreddo alla vaniglia e frolla speziata 9?
Nocciola 3 9?
Sorbetto ai frutti rossi, pistacchio e meringa 9?
Acqua Oligominerale Frizzante o Naturale 3?
Caffe 100% arabica “selezione Bolle restaurant” con piccola pasticceria 2?
Spirits e Miscelazioni 12?
Pane con lievito madre e finger food di benvenuto 4?
Iniziamo con un aperitivo servito al tavolo dello Chef direttamente in cucina.?
– Chips riso venere, senape e cipolla
– Chips amaranto soffiato e teste di gambero
– Ampolla con centrifuga di mela verde e sedano
– Spaghetto croccante, maionese alla soia, caff? ed erbe spontanee
– Meringa al curry, polvere di limone e aglio nero
– Finanziera alla zucca, acciuga e mandorle
– Cuscino di farina di Storo, bisque di gamberi e pesto in polvere
– Consomm? topinambour e chinotto
– Sfera all’Amaro San Pellegrino.
– Sfera all’Amaro San Pellegrino.
Pane al lievito naturale alla crusca di farro e segale.
Grissini all’ avena, origano e olio all’erba cipollina
Olio extra vergine d’ oliva, Monocultivar , Nocellara del Belice. Castelvetrano Sicilia.
Cavolo nero, fonduta al pecorino, mandorle e cialda di scalogno
Soffice di patate e porri, ragout di finferli, capperi fritti, maggiorana e limone salato
Calamaro,porri fondenti, aglio nero e tamarindo.
Capasanta arrosto, radicchio in carpione e crema di noci
Spaghetto integrale turanico, fresco di capra, ostriche e caviale.
Risotto come un casoncello
Risotto al Pomo d’Oro
Ricciola del mediterraneo all’ olio di zucca, crema di zucca, senape e carpione.
Animella di vitello arrostita, carciofi, emulsione di lattuga e pistacchio
Piccione, cime di rapa, polvere d’acciuga e mirtillo selvatico
Potevamo farci mancare una coccola con il Tartufo bianco ??
Uovo (Le Selvagge) in cocotte con fonduta di parmigiano.
Pre dessert :
- Bon Bon castagna gianduia e mirtillo selvatico
- Spuma tanaceto, lime e cassis
- Ghiacciolo di pera. vin santo e consomm? di pere
- Passato di cachi, dulce de leche capperi fritti e cioccolato ghiacciato al caramello
- Ouverture al Pistacchio ( Biscotto al pistacchio salato,Fragoline di bosco,spuma al pistacchio e calvados, tegole al the matcha e carbone nero.)
Mela al caramello, semifreddo alla vaniglia e frolla speziata
Caff? Carissimi “Selezione Bolle” Miscela 100% Arabica
- Cioccolatino al limone e amaranto soffiato
- Bign? alla fava tonka, cocco e mandorle
- Cacomela e caff?
- Fragoline di bosco
- Pentolino d’argento Baldassare Agnelli con gel di pera e namelaka al pistacchio
Un grande GRAZIE a tutti. Ed un arrivederci a presto!
INDIRIZZO: Via Provinciale, 30 – 24040 Lallio ? Bergamo
+39 035 0900208
L'articolo Bolle Restaurant – Lallio (BG) – Chef Marco Stagi, Patron Angelo Agnelli proviene da ViaggiatoreGourmet alias AltissimoCeto!.
|[12/06/2020, 17:59] ||The current state of Italian wine in the world|
I remember as a kid, going to a birthday party. I was living in the desert of Southern California, Palm Springs. And the parents of the birthday child were proud Mexican-Americans. The food was great (they had a fabulous restaurant), the music was cheerful, it was a fun, fun party. And to top it off, after the birthday girl opened all her presents, we all took a swing at a stuffed pi?ata shaped like a donkey.
When all the kids took their swing, the poor creature finally burst opened and all manner of shiny and sweet things flew about the field and we all scrambled for the treasures. I don?t know why, but that memory reminds me of 2020 and Italian wine.
Over the past year, many of us have had to look at Italian wines from a distance. Save for the few brave (or foolish) souls who ventured from America to Italy, or those who were already ensconced on the peninsula, we all have had our bottles, our pictures, our memories and our longings.
And how has that worked out, you might ask?
For myself, I see it as a reset. I have looked long and hard at what Italian wines I have gathered, which account for 75% of what sit in that cold, dark closet, awaiting their release or their rendering. Most of them are well, but ready anytime from now until the next 20 or so years. I guess one could say I?ve created my own little Italian wine oasis on this island, these islands, we all call home during this dilemma.
Yes, I have scores of pictures and films and music and all the necessary hooks to catch my attention, to not let it sway too far from the heart, this love for Italy, her wine, her food, her art, her culture. Meanwhile, back in Italy, though, nothing stands still. The grapes still grow, as do the inventories. The wine has got to go somewhere, even if we won?t be opening them up in front of a fantastic vista overlooking the Roero or the Arno.
?All travel is circular... After all, the grand tour is just the inspired man's way of heading home.? ? Paul Theroux
It seemed that, for many of us, the ease and relative affordability of air travel conferred a right that one might have taken to be immutable. An obscure virus from the Hubei Province in the People's Republic of China changed all that. The forces of destiny shattered the pandemic pi?ata and spilled the virus to all corners of the field, this time the whole earth, and many of us took up the bounty with ensuing consequences.
Still, many of us wax and wane (and whine) about what we?ve lost. If you?re reading this you haven?t lost the ultimate gift, that of life.
Yes, you cannot go to your favorite trattoria in Rome and drink that amazing bottle of wine with your pasta alla Amatriciana. For now. Not forever.
But the winemakers and the wineries and the works in those ventures, the lab technicians, the gardeners, the pruners, the cellar rats, the marketing pros (the ones who stand all day long, every day, behind the counter at Vinitaly and Prowein, and explain for the umpteenth time, their wine), and on and on. Thousands, hundreds of thousands of souls who rely on the orderly transition of the grape harvest from year to year, into the bottle, into the glass, moving, always moving. Not a circular grand tour, as Paul Theroux waxes elegiacally. And those souls also have to fend off the Corona pinata prizes that scatter across their world. They are not thinking about going skiing this month to Cortina d'Ampezzo or Courmayeur. No one is booking flights to Phuket Island or Tahiti, or if they are, they sure as hell shouldn?t be.
So, all this to say, what? You?ve walked us out to the end of the plank, now what are you, what are we going to do?
In reality, who knows. But with what I have to work with, right here and right now, in the present moment, here is what I propose:
Keep drinking and enjoying Italian wine, or wine, in general.
Enjoy it with your family, or your pod, for the time being.
Try not to think about the way things used to be. They were only that for a moment. And now they are something else. Deal with being in the present moment.
Drink up some of the old and rare bottles, for no reason other than you have made it through alive so far. Who knows about tomorrow? No one does.
Plan? Yes plan, but don?t lose sight of today for a tomorrow that really is indeterminable. Work with what you?re given.
Find new ways to connect with Italy and Italian wine. Read books, like the recent one by Ian D?Agata, Italy?s Native Wine Grape Terroirs, or his classic, Native Wine Grapes of Italy. Or a harder to get one, like The Modern History of Italian Wine, edited by Walter Filiputti.
Watch movies. Italian movies. Old neorealism one or newer ones from the likes of Paolo Sorrentino, Edoardo Ponti, Alice Rohrwacher or Laura Bispuri.
Write to your friends in Italy. Letters, not emails. Not just zoom calls. Not just WhatsApp conversations. Write a letter and see how long it takes to get there. Those kinds of things received these days are precious, pre-pandemic gifts from the soul. Don?t just expect to receive. Give.
Whether it is olive oil or Pelaverga, mineral water or pasta, embrace all that Italy is sending to you through this time. Yes, we can?t be there, most of us, but there is not the plane that can take your spirit to the place that your spirit cannot already get there on its own. Look up, move forward, don?t look back.
And keep swinging.
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
|[12/02/2020, 07:50] ||#Staycation @ Hotel I Portici ? Bologna (BO) ? Chef Resident Gianluca Renzi, Chef Ospiti Daniele Bendanti & Massimiliano Poggi|
Ai Portici Hotel di Bologna nella cornice del teatro che ospita il Ristorante I Portici? abbiamo partecipato ad una bellissima cena a sei mani con pacchetto #Staycation (Cena con pernottamento e colazione). Gianluca Renzi ha accolto nella sua cucina gli chef Daniele Bendanti di Oltre Bologna e Massimiliano Poggi di Massimiliano Poggi Cucina per contribuire alla valorizzazione della ristorazione bolognese in un momento cosi? difficile. E? stata una serata che ci ha fatto respirare voglia di ripresa, di ripartenza. Ritornare a tavola a cena anche solo per una sera e? una esperienza che contribuisce a farci respirare normalita?, e aiuta il nostro mondo a crederci e andare avanti. Non dobbiamo fare mancare il nostro supporto e contributo in questo momento. Al Ristorante dei Portici Hotel propongono un calendario di belle serate con chef ospiti che si trovano con i ristoranti chiusi causa Dpcm. Una rassegna di serate che ci sentiamo davvero di consigliarvi! Come quella di questo prossimo Venerd? 4 Dicembre 2020…
Il benvenuto che troviamo ad aspettarci in camera…
Dettagli che fanno la differenza, come il caricatore wifi sul comodino.
O il temperamatite a manovella sulla scrivania.
Aperitivo al Bistrot dell’Hotel.
Gnocco fritto della tradizione e tigelle ad accompagnare un tagliere misto di salumi e formaggi.
Come beverage abbiniamo un Americano ed un Negroni.
Bruschetta con salsa verde e pomodorini confit.
Prima di sederci a tavola, cogliamo l’occasione di visitare l’incredibile Ghiacciaia de I Portici.
Al suo interno si organizzano eventi privati e cene.
E scendendo ancora pi? in profondit?, vi ? ospitata la cantina.
Eccoci pronti per accomodarci a tavola ed iniziare l’esperienza della cena a sei mani.
La Sala del Ristorante I Portici, ristorante stellato dell’Hotel I Portici.
F&B Manager e Sommelier Luigi Bonomo
Chef Gianluca Renzi
Maitre Marco Farina
Riportiamo, come di consueto, anche la proposta dei men? degustazione ed alla carta del ristorante.
Emozioni dello Chef
Men? Degustazione 5 portate
Abbinamento vino 3 bicchieri
Men? Degustazione 7 portate
Abbinamento vino 5 bicchieri
Men? ? la carte
Panzanella scomposta con ricciola marinata al lime e pomodoro ? 27,00
Carpaccio di spigola con banana, basilico e curry verde ? 28,00
Tartare romagnola, cachi e maionese di prosciutto ? 28,00
Animella su consistenze di parmigiano reggiano 36 mesi ? 27,00
Raviolo d?anatra, spuma di patate e porcini ? 29,00
Fusilloni, frutti di mare e ristretto di prezzemolo ? 31,00
Spaghettone Felicetti con acciuga marinata delle Valli di Comacchio,
cime di rapa e pecorino ? 30,00
Riso Acquerello con Tartufo nero, zucca e anice verde di Castignano ? 30,00
Tagliolino, scorzanera e tartufo bianco dell?Appennino ? 38,00
Piccione, miele fermentato e bieta ? 45,00
Lombo di agnello, acqua vite ai frutti rossi e rapa ? 47,00
Filetto di Rombo, besciamella di mare, broccoli e nduja ? 43,00
Astice blu con radici e funghi dell?Appennino ? 45,00
Maialino, patata dolce e yuzu ? 43,00
Entrecote di razza romagnola (per 2 persone) ?Grass-Fed?, pastinaca,
porcini e castagne ? 70,00
Coperto ? 4,00 – Acqua Panna o San Pellegrino 75 cl ? 5,00 – Espresso ? 4,00
Lorenzo Costa, patron di numerosi locali cittadini di successo (Oltre, Ahim?, Nasty Burger Club, Sentaku Ramen) ci d? il benvenuto.
Iniziamo con la degustazione? dei vini in abinamento al calice.
Ferrari trento DOC Perl? Nero – Annata 2010 – in formato Magnum.
In arrivo il cestino del pane fatto in casa.
In abbinamento l’olio Varignano di Varignana ottenuto da una cultivar di Nostrana.
Nel cestino abbiamo: Pagnotta a lievitazione naturale con grani antichi locali, grissini acqua di pomodoro e pepe, Carta musica e Taralli con cipolla e olive.
Aperitivo a base di vari snack preparati dal resident chef Gianluca Renzi.
Obulato al pecorino e pepe, chips di topinambur, fegatini e lampone, tartelletta con ricotta e visciola, ravanello in agrodolce.
Mousse di mortadella, prosciutto e ricotta.
Bao ripieno di rag? e besciamella alla salvia.
Crescentina ripiena di crema di zucca e mostarda bolognese.
Pappa al pomodoro.
Amouse bouche, sempre preparato da chef Renzi:
“Ricordo di Pan Dorato”?. Pane raffermo immerso nel latte, passato nell’uovo e fritto nel burro chiarificato e servito con panna acida, caviale e foglia d’oro. In accompagnamento, brodo di cipolle bruciate.
Il secondo vino in abbinamento alla prima portata ? lo Champagne Latitude Extra Brut di Larmandier- Bernier.
Come antipasto abbiamo la?Ricciola cruda, curry verde, basilico e banana by Chef Gianluca Renzi.
Spaghettone Felicetti con acciuga marinata delle Valli di Comacchio,
cime di rapa e pecorino.
Raviolo d?anatra, spuma di patate e porcini.
Prosegue l’abbinamento al calice.
Gli iconici?Tortellini con il “nostro” ripieno tradizionale in brodo di cappone by Chef Daniele Bendanti di Oltre.
Filetto di Rombo, besciamella di mare, broccoli e? polvere di nduja by Chef Gianluca Renzi.
Un calice di rosso in abbinamento ai secondi in arrivo.
Astice blu con radici e funghi dell?Appennino by Chef Gianluca Renzi.?
Filetto di manzo alla Bolognese by chef Massimiliano Poggi.?
Ed eccoci al dessert:?Cocco e Lime by Chef Gianluca Renzi.?
Un saluto agli chef… Congratulazione a tutti!
Caff? 100% Arabica di montagna, Torrefazione Manuel Terzi e piccola pasticceria?per concludere in bellezza.
Un dolce risveglio con la colazione in camera!
Un GRANDE GRAZIE a tutti! Bella serata da ripetere. Eccovi la prossima!?
L'articolo #Staycation @ Hotel I Portici – Bologna (BO) – Chef Resident Gianluca Renzi, Chef Ospiti Daniele Bendanti & Massimiliano Poggi proviene da ViaggiatoreGourmet alias AltissimoCeto!.
|[11/29/2020, 19:03] ||Everyday Italian Wines for Everyday People in Extraordinary Times |
For some, this is a way with a deep-seated furrow. The road often taken. The commonplace. The not-so-out-of-the-ordinary. But predictable? Not necessarily so. Wine is a living, breathing, evolving thing. And with that, even an ordinary wine can act extraordinary in these unprecedented times.
That was how I started out with this odd holiday, Thanksgiving. Like Columbus Day, Thanksgiving has come under fire by some who see it as having racist origins, representing a celebration of the conquest of Native Americans. I get that. I also know we, as a country, need something to unify us in this time of discord. I don?t think cooking a bird or smoking a ham will save us, I?m not that na?ve. But I do see people finding ways to make moments for peace and serenity. And if celebrating Thanksgiving in the old way that the story was told to us is behind the times, can we not shift from that to a less highly charged observance? We cannot go back and undo what the Anglo-western world did to the indigenous souls here in America. But we can recast the day with thoughts of gratitude and clarity. No, we Americans aren?t the greatest nation the world has ever seen. We aren?t even handling something like this pandemic as well as many other nations on the planet. We have failed miserably. But we cannot shirk away and pretend that all that came before didn?t. We must admit, even concede, that we are not great again, and we must start over again, with the hindsight that we didn?t do it right, all these years. We must change now.
And what does that have to do with wine? Well, this is, sometimes, a wine blog. And over the last few days, many of us have been hunkering down and eating foods that provide comfort, maybe even solace, away from our families and normalcy and the world we once lived in, which is no longer.
I often come back to one word ? resilience ? to chart my course in rough seas. It has worked many times. And now it is a big part of what I believe will get many of us through this cultural dust storm, which has blinded so many from seeing the simple truth.
And now, on to food and wine. This is where it gets tricky. Why? I know well enough that there are scores of sites with wine notes. People attempting to talk about this wine or that wine, with superlatives and adjectives and a laundry list of attributes that we?re all supposed to understand, nod our heads in agreement, and rush to the store, or our online merchant, and order up. Those notes are really more for the individual writing them, a journal of sorts, of their perceptions and observations about a particular wine. I get little or nothing from them when I read them, and there is no reason to think if I were to continue with that kind of exercise here, that any of you would really get to ?know? a wine with my words.
But two wines in the past week have given me pause to think more about them and their context in my life. They were accompanied by food, and they caused me to consider how ordinary wines might become extraordinary, when the times are out of the ordinary.
The first, a 2011 Abbazia di Novacella Gew?rztraminer. My son, on Thanksgiving Day, came over early and took the helm of the HastyBake to smoke a turkey breast. He asked me if I had any Gew?rztraminer on hand, as it was a wine that he had cherished memories of. I pulled out an older one, from 2011, and we chilled it up.
I noticed two things about the wine right off. It was too cold, and the flavors were closed in. So, we let it warm up and breathe. Now, I?m a fan of Abbazia di Novacella. I love their Kerner and their Sylvaner. During a visit to the winery, probably ten years ago, I marveled at the amazing repository of knowledge their library held. It is on the Via Imperii and was one of the stops along the way for religious pilgrims on their spiritual path to Rome. One of the oldest wineries in Italy, it oozes history. One can spend a moment in the chapel or the library, for reflection, meditation and the hope of clarity.
The wine wasn?t oozing with spice as Gewurztraminer is often cast. It was more like a pulse, a heartbeat. I watched and listened and sipped this wine over several days. At nine years old, a white wine, and an ordinary wine at that, it was full of life and balance and even pleasure. It doesn?t qualify as a vino da meditazione by the usual parameters one expects of such a wine, but it nonetheless ignited a moment of contemplation.
The wine was so pure, so clear, so focused and clean and balanced, and it matched well with the smoked turkey my son labored over for hours. In one word? A joy.
Over this time, I had harvested the last of the eggplant from the garden. Those scraggly, twisted weather-beaten aubergines would be a challenge when making the Parmigiana. It would be a rustic version. I am already predisposed to a grittier version of the dish, as my cousin In Calabria taught me.
And this time, the Parmigiana was coming together like a nest of hornets. If it was music, it was Bartok and his peasant singers, not Leonard Bernstein and his West Side street gangs dancing till their last breaths.
A funny way to look at food? Maybe. But everything?s a little funny right now, isn?t it? So, why not?
For the wine I wanted something red and not too old or important. I chose a 2014 Barbera d?Alba ?Il Cerreto? from RobertoVoerzio. Not the cheapest Barbera by a longshot, but probably one of Voerzio?s more affordable wines. I was in the mood for a Barbera with a Parmigiana, so Voerzio?s it was.
I didn?t look at the vintage when I opened it. When I cut the umbilical cord, and the wine entered into the world at 6 years of age, at first sniff and sample, I?ll admit I was a bit disappointed. I remember saying to myself, ?Why didn?t I just open a bottle of Montepulciano d?Abruzzo?? The answer to that question would have been, ?Because I didn?t have a normal, young, everyday one in sight.? So, I set the Barbera aside and proceeded to direct the oven to make a hearty, rugged crust on the top of the Parmigiana.
The Parmigiana came out bubbling and frothing, sizzling and whistling. A musical Parmigiana, it was not Pavarotti. But it would dance well enough to Bartok?s Romanian polka.
Meanwhile, the wine, 20 minutes later, was warming up to its new life.
I was engrossed in the Parmigiana, because it was one of those times I made it and it rose above the ordinary, the just good. It was, can I say it? Yes, I can. It was perfect. It was ?last meal on earth? perfect.
So, it went from an ordinary, husky dish with an everyday Barbera, to a lightning bolt moment. The wine was right there with me and my Parmigiana.
It was like an octopus, a shape-shifter of a wine, in which one moment it was scratchy and tannic and fruit-laden, to the next, when it was velvety and rich to the point of plush. But there was no self-awareness imbued within the walls of that bottle. It was rocking into its life, dancing and swaying. Such a pleasure. No, I didn?t need to open a 20-year-old Brunello this night. Or grab my one of my last ancient bottles of Hermitage. The Barbera would suffice. And then some.
It wasn?t meant to be a night for such an epiphany. It just happened that way. And the reason why I started on this lengthy post and this perambulation was for this: You don?t always have to grab for, or hope for, a ?great? wine. You don?t need to be jealous of your friends in New York or Singapore, when they post their umpteenth bottle of Soldera or DRC. It isn?t necessary. Sometimes the shy little one in the corner is as good of a dancer as the princess or the queen, maybe sometimes better even. It really relies upon your soul and the way you look at things, to take their gifts in. If you have an open mind and an open heart, you will be rewarded. You may not get 300 likes, but really who cares? The ?like? will come from you. And that is something no one can ?block? or take away.
And that is the little secret about everyday Italian wine for everyday people.
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
|[11/22/2020, 20:12] ||Doctor Notti on Italy, wine and the intergalactic dust storm of 2016|
On July 18, 2016, an intergalactic dust storm - Mendacium Collocatio ? plowed into earth, broadsiding North America. It modified the brainwaves of half the people it hit, and created synaptic disruptions in them, for which we are just beginning to understand the ramifications. It also appeared that those who were affected also acted as transmitters of turmoil, impairing about 20% of the people they came into contact with. It was during a hotly contested political campaign, and this was not noticed for what it was. It was thought at first that the activities of people were aroused due to their emotional connection to one or the other candidate. We are only learning now that was not the case. The earth had been hit with the equivalent of 15,000 kilotons of this cosmic micro dust, 10,000 times more powerful than the bomb that exploded over Hiroshima. And while the dust storm didn?t spread toxic and lethal radiation like a nuclear blast, it nonetheless caused widespread disruption. And it has been theorized that it made the human population on earth more susceptible to dormant viruses lying in wait, creating a confluence and causing a Perfect Wave scenario. The last time this planet experienced such a Perfect Wavewas 66 million years ago.
What does this have to do with Italy and wine, you might ask? Nothing and everything. Intentional wine comes out of a civilized society. And a country like Italy, being civilized for a few thousand years, has not witnessed this kind of dissonance since the Inquisition. But that was a man-made occurrence. This just came out of the blue.
What scientists are not sure of, is how long earth passed through that cloud. Or if we have even passed through it yet. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, is moving at 1.3 million miles an hour. From July 18, 2016 till now, we have traveled over 50 billion miles. It is possible, in the infinite reaches of the universe, that such a cloud could be a big as 50 billion miles wide. The jury is still out on this, mainly because our instrumentation to measure these particles are not as sophisticated as it needs to be. And so, we surmise. We conjecture. We guess.
Dr. Gia Notti, an Italian scientist and wine lover, works at the Large Hadron Collider near Geneva, Switzerland. And on her Fyzzics blog, she has offered up some interesting ideas about this dust storm, and how it might be changing the face of not just Italian wine, but wine all over the world, and how the wine trade is being reformed because of this conflux. I was able to reach her, via Skype, and ask a few questions about this situation. She had only a few minutes, but was willing to share her speculations. The following has been edited for brevity:
Q. Hello, Dr. Notti. Thank you for your time. I?ll launch right into this subject and ask you: What do you think happened?
A. Hello, America. What we originally were able to determine was that this so called ?cloud? has altered the neural pathways of those whom it has affected. I?m neither a neurologist nor a psychologist by training, but my colleagues in that field back in Italy have surmised, and I agree, that the main alteration had been in a suspension of belief in the truth. Or rather, those affected are unable to tell the difference between the truth and a falsehood. Those more deeply affected, as well, have shifted to a reality that exists only inside their mind. Inotherwords, they are bereft of the sense of reality that most of us share, which allows for civilizations to grow and flourish. This is problematic in modern man, and woman, in that the basic building blocks of civility could cease to exist, causing a regression of some of the humanity on earth, mainly the poor souls in North America. Not limited to North America, even though your country took the brunt of the hit. But in time, the cloud has managed to work its way through Europe and parts of Asia, and some of the larger countries in the southern hemisphere closer to the equator. That?s the basic theory.
Q. If this affects one?s sense of reality, how does that intersect with wine and the appreciation of wine?
A. Ah, an interesting side bar in this time of crisis. Well, on the basis of something that requires sensory appreciation, if one is unable to live in the reality that most of us agree upon, then a sour wine, or a corked wine might seem agreeable to the affected person. It is capable of causing great disruption in your wine trade (and the world-at-large) in the foreseeable future, as we do not know if these symptoms are temporary or permanent. Or how long they will remain, past the duration of the time which we passed through the cloud. We are not sure if we have even passed through the cloud. So, there are still a lot of questions. But, one thing is for sure: everything you know about Italy, about wine and about the wine trade (my father had a vineyard in Liguria), it?s as if someone took a blackboard filled with information and wiped it clean.
Q. I?ve noticed a shift here in America, more towards the younger professionals, but also more toward women and black and indigenous people of color. Is this by any chance a byproduct of this gas we?ve passed through?
A. I?m not sure, and not being a sociologist, you?d have to ask someone with more expertise. I don?t think this ?sudden? shift toward a more egalitarian system, which would include women and, how do you say, BIPOC, needed a cosmic dust storm. But it might have provoked an opportunity for them to take a more ascendant role. We have run some numbers, and an unusual large percentage of people affected by the dust storm are men, and older men, and older Caucasian men. I cannot offer any conclusions from this, but it is something we are studying and following in our spare time. After all, we have another mission here and that keeps us pretty busy.
Q. Last question, and then I?ll let you get back to your work. Have you, or anyone in your group following this, noticed if any of the affected, mainly those elderly Caucasian males, have been able to shake off whatever it is that is infecting their brains and their sense of reality?
A. Ha! That?s a good one. And this is probably a question that goes beyond 50 billion miles and four years inside an intergalactic dust storm. For sure, the majority of these people have experienced profound neurological changes, but, and this is a big but, it could be they were the best hosts for whatever this dust storm was promoting. What we know now is this: the main result of those affected is the loss of reality and the inability to distinguish between the truth and a lie. I think that has been a problem on earth for a lot longer than four years. It may have just exacerbated an already endemic situation in these poor souls. Whatever it is, we?re going to have to figure out how to live with them, and they with us, for the duration of this storm, If we ever pull out in our lifetime, or our children?s children?s children lifetime.
In the meantime, I?m drinking a bottle of Pigato from my father?s vineyard tonight, with the hope that we?ll make a turn in the universe and find ourselves out of the mess we find ourselves in. I think we all could use a drink to get through this.
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
|[11/21/2020, 09:47] ||Botteghe oscure ma non troppo. (Oppure: cose che ho scordato di dire)|
Ieri ? andata in onda la chiacchierata enotecaria del vostro quipresente, assieme a Guido Porrati, ospiti di Alessandro e Daniele di Papille Clandestine. Siccome la diretta era in orario lavorativo, ogni tre per due mollavo la postazione e servivo qualche cliente - con la conseguenza un po' comica di dire al cliente di cui sopra "scusa ho una diretta Facebook in corso con..." e registrare le varie reazioni, tra il comprensivo e il "ma chi se frega, vendimi il mio vino" ad opera del mio cliente (fintamente) brutale preferito, che peraltro legge sto blog e quindi saluto. Peccato non aver fatto la diretta dentro la bottega (ero nell'ufficio), sai che bel tranche de vie?
Tra un vai e vieni ho perso qualche passaggio e mi accorgo ora di aver anche saltato un paio di domande, per esempio questa
quindi adesso faccio una cosa metacomunicativa (butto l? un parolone a caso) e integro il filmato con un post.
La questione ha a che fare con aspetti che ho segnalato nell'incontro, specialmente quel che io vedo come un'involuzione di alcuni ambienti comunicativi, tipo Facebook, afflitti da un fragoroso rumore di fondo che limita l'efficacia delle conversazioni. A questo proposito (quando avete tempo) vi linko un paio di letture che ho citato, "La teoria dei giochi e il Covid-19. Perch? sapere troppo rischia di non farci capire niente", ma anche "Se i social ti hanno stufato, ? ora di costruirti un giardino digitale".
(Appare buffo dire durante una diretta Facebook che Facebook ? un postaccio, ma ? un mondo buffo, in effetti).
Venendo alla domanda in questione, a cui ho risposto parzialmente, Francesco chiede "Come vivono le cantine e le aziende vinicole questo momento?" - ecco, ho omesso di dire che chi produce vino si ? attivato, e bene, a vendere online direttamente: con i principali clienti (ristoratori eccetera) bloccati dal lockdown, ? stata una conseguenza naturale. La stessa cosa stanno facendo anche molti distributori e grossisti, e tutto ci? aumenta la famosa disintermediazione.
La disintermediazione in apparenza ? un fatto che, ancora di pi?, comprime i margini di quelli come me, destinandoli a diventare, forse pi? velocemente, statuine del presepe. Tuttavia, per un paradosso riassumibile col brutto "tanto peggio, tanto meglio", questo fenomeno accresce ancora di pi? la portata del flusso oceanico di ulteriore rumore di fondo che aumenta la confusione nei nostri clienti. Ecco perch?, per paradosso, un giardino nemmeno digitale alternativo e utile ? rappresentato, ancora, dalla piccola bottega che ha una sua ragione, propositiva, di esistere. Del resto qualcosa del genere l'ha detta pure Guido.
Concludo parlando di vino, se non altro perch? questo ? un wine blog e ogni salmo finisce in gloria. La chiacchierata termina chiedendomi quale vino consiglio. In maniera davvero meta, ho consigliato esattamente quello che avevo venduto un minuto prima (dopo la mia ennesima sparizione dal set) ad un cliente: il Merlot rosato di Armin Kobler, semplicemente perch? ? un vino fenomenale ma pure confortevole - e insomma, c'? bisogno di comfort, eccome.
|[11/15/2020, 18:52] ||An introvert?s guide to Italy (and Italian wine) in the era of Covid-19 |
It?s been an incredible journey
By now, you?re pretty sick of staring at the screens. The Zoom calls, the virtual wine dinners, the Instagram Live events. You?re tired of the ?stories? that Facebook hoists on you mercilessly like robo calls from the latest MAGA-PAC. Inotherwords, you want to go back to Italy. But there are a few problems, the first not being Covid19. You?re an incurable introvert. So, what to do?
Well, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first schlep. So, let?s get a plan together, remembering the introvert part. Oh and, it?s not like any of us, in the USA, at least, can book a flight easily to Bella Italia right now.
One of the things about being in this phase of my life, this endless summer camp, amid occupation permanently adjourned, is that I can plot this out, albeit with the sand rushing a little faster down the hourglass. Nonetheless, there are opportunities to reconnect with Italy and with Italian wine, while we wait to come through whatever cloud of cosmic dust our planet, our solar system and our galaxy seems to be traversing, causing well-nigh ubiquitous bewilderment and contagion. We are marooned on this little blue-green marble as we soar through space. And while we endure this in time, there is the Italy inside of us to tap into to.
I felt this the first time I stepped onto the soil of Italy. It was as if I?d been plugged into a telluric recharge annex. Boom, a magnetic induction baptism. And it felt so good.
One can reassemble Italy without having to step on a plane. That will make it easier, and simpler for now. What we have accessible from Italy now are pictures, videos, books, music, food and wine. It?s really all in how you assemble the components.
What do you love about Italy, and her wine? Do you love sitting in a wine bar or trattoria in Rome and sipping on Frascati? What about the foods you love? Is it all about the gnocchi? Or is it a seafood from the Maremma? Do you love anything musical about Italy? Does Vivaldi make our heart flutter? Or is it Baby K? Whatevah, get your play list ready if that thing gives you juice.
Pictures, movies, videos, whether being projected out or shown within. We introverts have a pretty good inner home theatre. But if you need to throw something up on the LG - 65", so be it. There?s a great little series by Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend. It transports me to the outskirts of Naples, just as I did the first time on my own in 1971. A website like Italian Cinema Today is a goldmine of resource for all things Italian.
Maybe you?re a hybrid introvert, or someone who had to be in sales to survive, and tamped your introvert down from time to time, when in the outside world, to get through the work week. I feel ya. Had to do that too. The extroverts had it so much easier before Covid-19. Now it?s the introverts world. This is doable.
Let?s assume not everyone has spent years collecting Italian wine, and you have to go out into the world and seek some. It?s never been easier, although there are some folks out there who will complain it needs to be less ridiculously hard like it has been, thanks to the 3-tier system. I say this: Do you want to get your Italian wine drink on? Then you will find a way, the politics and power grid notwithstanding. You can change the world when you get vaccinated. Or not. Feel free to burn everything down right now. That seems to be one of the prevalent political prerogatives of late.
One thing I learned about sales, which I was reluctantly led into, was that the end goal was to find a way to make the sale. I added ?and make sure everybody is happy.? Part of my caregiving mantra. It worked out OK for me. But we?re talking about YOU getting a cache of Italian wines that you can utilize to access that life, that world, that feeling, the one you so long for, of your Paradise lost. This can help.
|My neighborhood store (not my car)|
If you don?t have a great little Italian wine store nearby, or a wine shop that is par excellence, then you have online options. There are a lot of deals right now. Look into this. But these are the mechanicals. I?m talking about tapping into something deeper, more ephemeral.
This has been a thread of this blog ever since I started it 15 years ago. Accessing the real Italy, the one the tourists never see, really don?t want to. Because it?s a little more work than taking a flight to Rome, reading some Travel Advisor recommendations and running around to catch all the must-see sights. You didn?t come here for that.
This takes a little bit of naval gazing, I?ll admit. Or, consider this a meditation on how to find your inner Italy. Yes, music can help. Images can recall feelings. Movies are a great diversion. But something more visceral, like food, or in this case, wine, can really put you on the track to discovery.
Example. This week I opened up a bottle of Pigato from Liguria. It was bright and juicy, great acidity, healthy, fresh, lively. And then I tele-transported back to a trip I made to the region in 2007. I was in in Cisano Sul Neva in Savona, sitting with this winemaker I met, Fausto he was called. Fausto had a gray torrent of uncut hair, covering ears that have still black hairs around the openings. An Italian surf bum, but not a lazy guy. Behind the furrowed brow, two eyes peered out, full of life and not a little mischief. Fausto makes Pigato, an unlikely wine, but one that works very well in his life. As we jumped into his little 2-cycle utility truck (really a glorified scooter), he grabbed a bottle of white and we headed off to his sister's sports bar. At a table, a plate appeared, tiny piquant sausages in a fiery broth that only a Pigato can quell. Fausto teased one of the cook's daughters, and one could see his life was carefree and happy. Almost every day Fausto goes there, to eat his lunch and drink the wine that makes his life lighter and brighter. And I was back there with him. No masks, no jetlag.
This happens often. Like last week when I met my friend outside and we shared two bottles of wine, a lovely white burgundy, mine a 12-year-old Barbaresco. I knew, when I popped the cork on that Barbaresco, that I wasn?t in Dallas anymore. I smelled the earth of the Langhe. I tasted the wine as I?d tasted it in a little trattoria in Barbaresco, Trattoria Antica Torre. The food before us, in present time and space, was a little different, but my soul was right there, under the tower, eating lunch with friends. I was traveling again, this time, back in time. But not just rear-view mirror traveling, I was also going forward, with the wine. It was a magical moment. It was a miracle, considering where we?re at right now with this dilemma we find ourselves in.
No, I wasn?t eating in a Michelin starred bistro, in a swank metropolis, on the other side of the world, surrounded by an amazing wine list and a beautiful young dining crowd. But I?m an introvert, I didn?t need all that. All I needed was a catalyst, boom, to get me into the headspace. And I got it. And you can too, with a little imagination and will.
This is just an outline, not a blueprint. Italy isn?t a one-size-fits-all experience. And what it is you?re missing about Italy might be different from what I?m looking for. And if you?re an introvert, or an introvert-in-training now, until things change, it?s all there, accessible, but it?s going to take some work on your part. And a good imagination. Go forth, proceed, do it, and enjoy your own little slice of Italy, with, of course, Italian wine.
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
|[11/06/2020, 11:23] ||La comunicazione del vino passa per vie inaspettate|
Entra il corriere con una bella pila di cartoni neri, eleganti come l'etichetta del suo contenuto, Gelso Nero di Podere 29. Dice "devo consegnare questo vino bio". Io, che la so lunga, lo correggo: Gelso Nero non ? mica biologico.
Lui, che sa leggere un documento di trasporto ed ? meno distratto di me, replica "oh, qui c'? scritto bio".
Ed ? cos? che scopro che la vendemmia 2019 di Gelso Nero, uva di Troia, pugliese nonch? decennale del vino, ? diventato ufficialmente bio. Ecco, le vie inaspettate di cui al titolo. Grazie anche all'addetto alle consegne.
|[10/30/2020, 10:35] ||Qual ? il vino che preferisco|
Almeno una volta ogni enoqualcosa se l'? sentito chiedere: qual ? il vino che preferisci? Io, che quando dico cosa faccio nella vita dico "faccio l'assaggiatore di vino", normalmente ottengo quella domanda come prima reazione. Ogni volta mi invento una risposta nebulosa, del tipo ? il prossimo che assagger?, ? quello che non assagger? mai
. Il fatto ? che non ho una risposta a quella domanda. Sono curioso e volubile nei gusti, oggi mi piace una cosa domani un'altra. Dipende dall'umore, che pi? del cibo per me determina l'abbinamento.
Anche se, in effetti. Ultimamente mi succede un fatto.
Mi pare di aver sviluppato, per la prima volta, una possibile risposta alla domanda. Credo proprio di avere una generica preferenza per le rifermentazioni naturali
. Che sono quei vini frizzanti ottenuti dalla presa di spuma in bottiglia - un po' come il metodo classico, ma senza il degorgement
, cio? col fondo. Ormai quando vedo una produzione di qualsiasi vitigno che vada a formare un qualche tipo di rifermentato naturale, tac, lo voglio. Non ? sempre una bevuta perfetta (la formula della perfezione enoica non esiste) ma quasi sempre va a finire che mi piace. Come mai? Ci sono diversi motivi.
1. Sono vini antichi per? moderni. Sono la prima forma arcaica di bollicine, e ora sono diventati la modernit?. Strano, vero? Questo paradosso spaziotemporale mi diverte assai.
2. Sono bevute allegre e spensierate. E lo sa il cielo quanto gli enoqualcosa hanno bisogno di prendersi una pausa dalle formule rituali come "colore giallo paglierino scarico, naso di mela e banana, in bocca fresco e sapido".
3. Stanno bene su tutto come il blu. Sono turboversatili in abbinamento, probabilmente anche per quel che dicevo al punto due.
Ormai per me ? un riflesso condizionato, mi versano una bollicina torbida e opalescente e dico "benissimo". L'ultima volta era domenica scorsa, seduto all'aperto in un'osteria piacentina, l'oste arriva al tavolo con un vino cos?, che abbiamo prosciugato in un attimo.
Cos? veloci che manco ho fatto la foto, ecco, per dire quanto m'? piaciuto. Quindi a titolo di esempio qui sotto metto un rifermentato che vendo - non serve dire che mi piace. La foto in alto, idem.
|[10/21/2020, 08:10] ||Birre di Franconia e difetti. Un laboratorio con Simone Cantoni|
Ed ora qualcosa di completamente diverso. Ho seguito un interessante laboratorio sui difetti riferibili alle birre di Franconia, tenuto da Simone Cantoni a Genova, al pub del cuore (Scurreria). L'argomento, declinato a quel modo, pare un po' tremendo, ma in realt? ? stato un lavoro di studio alquanto interessante, reso anche facile dall'abilit? del relatore.
Si ? parlato di difetti pur avendo nel bicchiere birre non esattamente difettate, ma semmai contrassegnate dal carattere rustico della birra fr?ncone - non ? stato un assaggio di birre didattiche (cio? cattive), ma un viaggio attraverso i possibili difetti che, tra un'olfazione e un sorso, potevano essere descritti attraverso quegli elementi di carattere. Queste le birre che hanno accompagnato il lab:
1. Hofmann Gr?fenberg Helles, 4,9% vol
2. Pfister Schwarzer Keller, 4,9% vol
3. Elch-Br?u Dunkel, 5,1% vol
4. Knoblach Stammberg Bock, 7% vol
Ecco il (lungo) estratto video, in due parti. Mettetevi comodi, possibilmente con una birra fr?ncone nel bicchiere.
Per sapere qualcosa in pi? sulle birre di Franconia, consiglio questa lettura.
|[06/11/2020, 09:44] ||Cronache della fase due. Nelle Cinque Terre, per vigneti e terrazzamenti|
|La festa della Repubblica, il 2 giugno, ? stata l'occasione propizia per la prima uscita dopo-lockdown, e nello spirito localista che animava ancora la normativa di quei giorni, solo le gite regionali erano concesse: ? un segno, ho pensato, me ne sto nella mia Liguria - a Vernazza, nelle Cinque Terre, per la precisione, dove c'? la cantina di Cheo. Quanto tempo ? che rimandavo? Troppo. E dire che sono un po' di anni che quel cinqueterre ? uno dei miei vini del cuore. Anzi, come fosse un wine blog, ecco gli assaggi recenti.|
Cinque Terre Perci? 2019. Che deve il suo nome al contadino che conduceva quel (micro) vigneto prima di Bartolomeo Lercari, che con la signora Lise Bertram oggi manda avanti l'azienda. Quello aveva un intercalare, diceva sempre "perci?", e tac, ecco fatto il nome del cru. Che contiene tra l'altro un vitigno un po' inedito, il piccabun. Il risultato ? un biancone fragrantissimo, tutto mare e luce, e non sono condizionato dalle visioni del panorama. Fiori frutti e salsedine, in bocca guizza come un'acciuga. Vabbe' sono un po' condizionato.
Liguria di Levante Rosso 2018. E a proposito di vitigni insoliti, Cheo ha un bel po' di filari di refosco dal peduncolo rosso, gambu russu lo chiama, finiti su queste terrazze a causa di un'ascendenza friulana tra i parenti. Assieme c'? syrah e cabernet sauvignon, si fa un anno met? in barrique e met? in acciaio, poi in bottiglia. Il risultato (again) ? un rosso esorbitante di frutti e succo, davvero una roba pi? unica che rara per le Cinque Terre (qui ho peraltro messo la mia rece su Intralcio) e per me ? stato ammore con due emme a prima vista. Mai pi? senza.
Vi risparmio la rece sul loro Sciacchetr? 2017 perch? ho finito le esagerazioni. Negli appunti per la prossima Guida Essenziale ai Vini d'Italia che ? in lavorazione ho scritto, tra l'altro: "bocca dalla dolcezza gloriosa, miele amaro e inedita astringenza, potenza in equilibrio con un corroborante finale di freschezza agrumata". A volte faccio l'assaggiatore serio.
Ma di un tour del genere, quel che merita sono i paesaggi. I terrazzamenti delle vigne a picco sul mare danno dignit? di fotografo pure a un incapace, quindi come se fosse un photoblog ecco un po' di immagini.
Sulla spiaggia di Vernazza potreste scorgere la lussuosa imbarcazione aziendale dei titolari. Il tipico gozzo ligure
Il panorama dai vigneti, sopra Vernazza
Il panorama come sopra, col particolare dei carrelli della monorotaia che ci porta quass?. Bello ripido, eh
Una botticella che contiene Sciacchetr?
La cantina, con gli spazi ristretti, tipicamente Cinque Terre
Ultimo ma non ultimo: per salire fin lass? serve accomodarsi (si fa per dire) sui carrelli della monorotaia che risale i pendii. E come fosse un videoblog, ecco com'? stare l? sopra.
|[05/06/2020, 15:02] ||Fase due, e altre forme di Intralcio|
|Ora che ? iniziata la fase due, sto in enoteca con un orario quasi normale - pomeriggio, ma anche la mattina quando capita. Sempre meglio che far niente, e comunque mi piace stare qua, nel mio luogo deputato, nella mia enoteca. Anzi, in un momento di incoscienza, sto dilapidando gli ultimi spiccioli in acquisti di nuovi vini - ne riparleremo. Mi piace, come sempre, far entrare cose nuove, ed ora pi? che mai compro cose che mi piacciono o che mi sarebbe piaciuto comprare, solo rimandavo perch? boh, aspettavo tempi migliori. Ma 'sti benedetti tempi migliori non arrivano mai, tanto vale buttarsi avanti. E siccome sono un enotecaro indie, compro e vendo quel che mi va, a volte faccio entrare etichette che i clienti guardano un po' sconcertati: ma questo che ?? Perch? ce l'hai? La risposta a queste domande, il racconto, ? una delle cose divertenti del mio lavoro.|
Con il dovuto ritardo, manco avessi molte cose da fare, annuncio anche che ? partito il progetto di Intralcio, un nome a caso, un ripostiglio di appunti di assaggio ad opera di una squadra molto nutrita (doppi sensi) di assaggiatori. Nel manifesto c'? spiegato cosa io, e tutti quanti, facciamo l?: riversiamo assaggi. Non ? un blog (basta, abbiamo gi? dato) e non ? nemmeno un magazine. E' un posto dove mettere quelle cose che forse buttavamo un po' incoscientemente nelle reti sociali, Facebook soprattutto, e lasciavamo che l? tutto affondasse nel nulla. Ecco cos'ha di buono (tra le altre cose) Intralcio, non ? una rete sociale, siccome di quelle reti sociali io ne ho davvero abbastanzissima. Molto tempo fa scrivevo qui il perch?.
|[04/06/2020, 13:57] ||Cronache dall'Area X. Oppure: vini da bere a casa|
|Raro caso di post in cui ci sono due titoli, il secondo ? quello sensato. Il primo si riferisce al libro che sto leggendo, e sembrava comunque riferibile ai tempi che viviamo. L'enoteca durante il lockdown resta chiusa se non in modalit? on demand, cio? su appuntamento, oppure con consegna a domicilio: basta una telefonata e si decide assieme che vi pu? servire (a proposito, il mio cellulare ? sempre: 347 5566554). Comunque sia venerd? che sabato prossimi l'enoteca ? aperta con orario pomeridiano, 16-19,30, che hey, arriva Pasqua.|
Nel frattempo che si beve, chiusi a casa? Difficile fare una statistica ma in generale a me pare che stia fissando una specie di tendenza. Nel cartoncino da sei bottiglie, che viene acquistato per la consegna a domicilio, normalmente ci stanno un paio di rossi leggeri, un paio di bianchi altrettanto, una bottiglia di bollicine e un rosso, o bianco, un po' pi? importante e/o tosto. Si copre, all'incirca, il fabbisogno della settimana - che, lo sapete, dovete bere poco. Lo sapete, vero?
Il magazzino non si rifornisce facile, data la situazione (non ho ancora scritto coronavirus e scusate, mi faccio i complimenti da solo). Un po' per fortuna e un po' perch? a me le cose easy piacciono, combinazione di 'sti tempi ho trovato le due etichette che vedete in immagine, e taac, sono davvero i vini che servono, adesso. E infatti si avviano ad essere best seller - o almeno, io me lo auguro, ecco.
Roagna, il nome del produttore, non ? quel Roagna di Langa, quello superfigo e costoso, ? Giuseppe Roagna, quell'altro, area Roero. per la precisione, abbiamo:
Langhe Dolcetto 2018. Finalmente un tono alcolico non ingombrante, 12,5%, che mi consente di iniziare una scheda con il grado, cosa che non faccio mai. La leggiadria ? la cifra di questo rosso fragrante e croccante, coi tannini accennati e un finale di mandorlina che innamora. Jolly per molti abbinamenti possibili, compagno di tavola confortante. Di questi tempi, poi. Prezzo: euro 10,80.
Langhe Favorita 2018. "Attento a quel che cerchi, potresti trovarlo". Io cercavo un bianco fine e teso, appena petillant (eh s?, l'hanno imbottigliato con un soffio di bollicine, solo un soffio), con frutta bianca e freschezza scattante in bocca, che il bicchiere finisse in un sorso solo. Ol?, trovato, adesso devo resistere alla tentazione di aprirne un'altra bottiglia. Sui nove euro.
E questi sono solo due esempi. Restate a casa, bevete poco ma insomma, bevete bene, e per ogni altra cosa restiamo a disposizione.
|[03/20/2020, 10:42] ||Cronache da qui, puntata indefinita|
|Sta finendo la seconda settimana di fermo, e non credo che vedremo presto la fine. La cosa peggiore, ammesso che si riesca a fare una classifica, ? non capire bene quando finir?. Tanto vale attenersi a quel che dicono i dottori, e non uscire, stare a casa il pi? possibile e resistere. Per quanto mi riguarda so che posso reggere su tempi lunghi, in questo genere di prove, ma appunto: quanto lunghi? Pure il mio lavoro non regger? questo fermo per molto. Ma adesso non ci penso.|
Intanto leggo, guardo film e serie (come tutti quelli che conosco, direi) e bevo cose messe via o pescate a caso nella mia enoteca. Anche il lavoro, fermo com'?, ? una scusa per uscire se e quando c'? un cliente che ti chiama per una fornitura. E comunque esco col senso di colpa. Ieri sera ho risentito la lumassina (rifermentazione naturale in bottiglia) di Cascina Prai? (prodotta assieme a Sancio, raro caso di collaboration tra cantine) ed ? stata decisamente una bevuta confortevole e confortante. Soprattutto, ? sempre la solita storia del vino che quando arriva in enoteca ? poco pronto, ma dagli un po' di tempo e taac, diventa un capolavoro. Peccato che sia anche finito. Davvero, questo 2017 appena arrivato era tipicamente citrino, immaginate un succo di lime alcolico ed effervescente. Ieri sera invece era disteso e complesso.
Bevuto nel gotto sbagliato apposta, niente calice da assaggio: non si tratta di abbruttimento da casalinghitudine, era pi? una scelta ideologica, essendo quello vino contadino e retr?, ci voleva il bicchieraccio proletario. Quindi ? un'altra forma di snobismo, s
|[03/16/2020, 14:56] ||Tutti a casa|
|Alla fine pure qui si cede al virus, e si sta a casa. Direi che non serve spiegare quale virus, nemmeno si sente il bisogno di scrivere ancora mezza parola in pi? su quel che succede - e su quanto surreale e pazzesco sia tutto. Che poi, in effetti, nemmeno ho idea di quanto tutto sia in corso di sovversione e cambiamento. Come cambieranno le cose, da adesso in poi? Non sono in grado di formulare risposte. Posso immaginare scenari, e non mi piacciono. Cerco di ridurre al minimo il rumore di fondo, e questo post serve solo per annunciare che l'enoteca ? chiusa fino a nuovo ordine. Sono possibili acquisti su appuntamento, e/o consegne a domicilio (gratis) chiamando il numero 374 5566554.|
Lavorare, cio? stare aperti, con un clima da coprifuoco era impossibile. E probabilmente non aveva gran che senso: per ora ? chiaro che stare a casa previene le possibilit? di trasmissione e contagio, quindi per la salute mia e di tutti, ? meglio ridurre in ogni modo le occasioni di uscita. E fine.
Quindi tutti a casa, anche io. Credo che sar? un periodo interessante, mi dedicher? alle letture e prover? a tenere un diario. Magari, anche, delle cose che bevo e leggo, a partire dall'immagine l? sopra, pescata a caso nella mia galleria del cellulare (in questi giorni pure troppe foto cos?, ho inserito). Esco solo nelle situazioni consigliate (o consentite), lavoro ad un nuovo progetto, vivo e attendo. Spero tutto bene anche voi.
|[01/24/2020, 14:11] ||Grillo, nel senso del Rossese di Dolceacqua (non quell'altro)|
|I lavori in corso per il prossimo Genova Wine Festival hanno lati positivi e divertenti. Per esempio si cercano, e si trovano, aziende nuove e inedite. Succede anche di trovare un produttore del quale non ci sono nemmeno due righe sull'internez. Mai recensito, sconosciuto. Sito in costruzione. E allora che si fa? Facciamo noi il primo passo.|
Grillo ha due ettari di vigneto nella zona del Dolceacqua (Rossese di). L'azienda in realt? fa olio, il vino ? un fatto recente - e almeno quel sito esiste. "La passione per il nostro territorio ci ha invogliato a creare un'azienda vitivinicola, che si estende per due ettari, dove nasce la nostra produzione di Rossese". E fine della presentazione, non male come minimalismo ligure, vero?
Quindi che vuoi fare, assaggiamo. Ho aperto i vini in due riprese. Prima il Rossese di Dolceacqua Superiore 2018, che dal colore profondo si annuncia un po' stipicizzato, se per tipico intendiamo il colore scarico. Il naso segue a ruota, pi? frutta che scattanza, ma comunque bella bevibilit?, certo non pesante nell'esecuzione (per fortuna). Piacevole, e da risentire. Il Rossese "base", o classico, sempre 2018, aperto il giorno dopo ha dato una gran bella prova, forse anche pi? attraente, adesso, rispetto al pur buono Superiore: ? scarico al colore e il naso ? un mix un po' selvatico di terra e frutto, la bocca ? snella, insomma scatta bene. Mi piace.
Alla fine promossi, saranno al Festival. L'impressione ? positiva anche data la vendemmia 2018, che da quelle parti non ? stata facilissima. Ai posteri (e ai visitatori del GWF) la sentenza, speriamo non ardua.
|[09/04/2018, 07:01] ||Guide for Choosing a Good Dentist|
If you have dental issues or complications, it is necessary that you find a good dentist who will take care of your needs. However, the issue is, there are many dentists the market today and settling for the best may be tricky. For this reason, you need to take time and find the?best dentist in Miami who will offer the type of services you require. Dentists have various types of services they offer. There are those who have specialized in a particular field while some are general dentists who deal with almost all dental issues. If you are looking for a dentist, here are quick factors that you can consider looking at so that you get the best dentist.
Check on Experience
First, when searching for a dentist to offer dental services to you, we recommend that you try checking out the experience of your prospective dentist. This is a crucial aspect to check on because the longer the experience, the more quality services the dentist will offer. A dentist who has been offering dental services for years will be well placed to handle your dental needs than one who has just started practicing. This is applicable because past experiences will help the dentist be in a position to handle and manage any dental complications.
Check on Specialization
Secondly, when you want to settle on the best dentist, it is essential that you first understand the kind of dental service you need. This will help you know the kind of dentist you need. Dentists have various services that they offer. Some offer specialized dental services, and that means you need to know exactly what you are seeking for.
Check on Training
With the increased need for dental services, some individuals will want to take advantage of that and start offering dental services but they are not qualified. Therefore, to avoid falling prey for such fake dentists, it?s essential that when searching for a dentist, you should check to know if the dentist is trained. The dentist should declare his or her qualifications and show you the documents which give evidence for that. This way, you will get dental services from dentists who have undergone proper training in dental health.
Consider the Reputation
When searching for a good dentist, it is also advisable that you consider knowing the reputation of your prospective dentist. You need to know how many successful cases of dental procedures the dentist has offered. Similarly, you need to know what people feel about the services that the dentist offers. This way, you will understand if the dentist will be suitable to offer dental services that you may need.…
|[08/26/2018, 05:19] ||Six Hints to Choose the Best Drug Rehab Nj|
Addiction to the drug can ruin your life. It reaches a point where you want to get rid of the addiction, but you cant that easily. If you are at this juncture, you should visit a respected and reliable drug rehab NJ. An excellent drug rehab center will help you to stay away from drug or alcohol addiction. The hints as discussed below will help you to decide the best drug rehab NJ for your recovery.
Perhaps, this is the first issue that you should reconsider before determining a drug rehabilitation center. Facilities that don’t have valid licenses might not help you to recover fully. Lack of a valid license means that the facility that you are visiting is not recognized by the authorities and might be operating against the law. Stay away from rehabs without licenses as they will only rob you of your hard earned money.
The treatment protocols used at a facility might raise or reduce your chances of recovery. For instance, you should find out whether your chosen facility provides detox together with other therapies and counseling. When you come across a drug rehab?that offers such treatment, then you will be on the right path to quick recovery. High-end facilities also offer yoga when they think its necessary.
Highly Qualified Staff
The level of experience of the employees working at the rehab center that you choose might impact negatively or positively on your recovery. If you decide to go for an inpatient facility make sure that that the staff are available around the clock. You should also check whether the staff are registered by the relevant authorities to confirm that they have the necessary experience.
High Patient Staff Ration
If you get admitted to a rehab center with few staffs, then you might not get the attention that you want. Rehab centers that have more doctors and nurses will give you the care that you need for quick recovery.
Once you are done with your rehabilitation program, it’s essential that you are closely monitored to reduce your odds of succumbing to drug abuse again. The aftercare you require varies depending on your requirements as well as the degree of addiction. However, it’s suggested that you see your doctor weekly or once in a fortnight after leaving the rehab center to chat about your progress and the difficulties that you might be encountering.
Pricing and Insurance
Most people don’t know that rehabilitation therapies can cost you a fortune. For this cause, you should find out how much the treatment will cost in advance to avoid nasty surprises. In most cases, expensive rehabilitation centers offer the best care. If you have a valid medical insurance policy, you should discover whether your chosen facility accepts it and how much it can cover.
If you are having an uphill task trying to get away from drugs, it’s better to get treatment sooner than later. You will come across a number of drug rehab NJ centers to pick from online and to make a sound decision keep the hints as explained above in mind.…
|[08/23/2018, 14:03] ||Coming up With a Weekly Meal Plan|
Healthy eating is essential for your general well-being. The type of food you eat plays a critical role in determining the health status of your body. Most health or diet experts advice one to take in a balanced diet to keep their bodies in the perfect shape. The Dad Quarters have some of the best reviews and health advice that can help keep you in good shape. Your food should be made up of proteins, vitamin, carbs, and irons.
There are a number of food deficiency illnesses you can contract if you fail to consume a balanced diet. The most common ones include malnutrition, rickets, and scurvy. Most of these conditions are usually common among kids. Failure to take in a balanced diet can also weaken your body?s defense system.
Your body will not be able to fight certain conditions, and this will leave you weak or falling sick most of the time. Proteins play an essential role in the growth and development of your body. They do help increase muscle mass. Carbohydrates help provide your body with energy to carry out some activities. They act as fuel to your body.
Vitamins boost your immune system and improve your body functions. You can find all these nutrients in different foods. One thing you can do to make sure you consume a balanced diet is come up with your own menu that has all types of meals. This might be a difficult task for many. Here is how you can come up with a weekly meal plan that is made up of a balanced diet.
Look for Recipes
The first thing you should do when coming up with your home menu is to look for recipes. Look for recipes used in making different types of meals. Make sure the different types of meals make up a balanced diet. Getting different recipes will help make your job more comfortable when it comes to creating a weekly meal plan.
Sort your Recipes
The next thing you should do is sort out the different recipes according to the nutrients contained in them. One that is used for cooking a protein-rich meal should be separated from one that is used to prepare a meal with any other type of nutrient. Make sure that each day you have a meal rich in a specific type of nutrient.
Stock your Kitchen
You can now stock your kitchen with the different types of foods so that you can have easy access to them. Failing to do so may see you change your meal plan because you are not able to reach the type of meal for that particular day. Do not overstock because some of them may go bad quickly. Cook the perishables first.…
|[08/22/2018, 16:17] ||Facts About Provillus|
This is one of the hair supplement used in preventing hair loss. Hair loss is common in both men and women. This condition is associated with family history, hormonal changes, and certain medical conditions. It is also caused by scalp infections such ringworms. Drugs uses in treating cancer, arthritis, heart problems and blood pressure are the ones that cause hair loss. The other causes of this issue include emotional shock, excessive weight loss, a high fever, and radiation therapy. Provillus is purely natural and it can be used by both women and men. Apart from preventing hair loss, this product is effective in promoting regret of the lost hair. Again, it has complex ingredients that prevent hair loss.
Ingredients of Provillus
It contains natural ingredients such as pumpkin seeds, zinc, propylene glycol, nettle root, water biotin, and vitamin B6. These components are beneficial for hair growth and for the hair follicles? health. Again, they are well combined to bring the desired results. Provillus works by providing vital elements and necessary?nutrients needed by the hair.
Vitamin 6 is one of the essential vitamins for maintaining a healthy hair. Its natural character is helpful for reducing side effects and allergic reactions. It should be used regularly to restore weak hair, prevent hair loss and make hair thicker. Individuals who take this supplement regularly can enjoy their hair coverage after three months. You can get many customers testimonials in the internet.
Advantages of Provillus
- It is effective in promoting hair growth in bald spots and other hair thinning areas
- Its active ingredients have potent hair regrowth properties
- It shows positive results after a few months or weeks
- It has become very popular due to its many positive reviews and effectiveness.
- It contains essential vitamins, and minerals making it easy for use.
Negative Effects of Provillus
- You will be required to use this product continuously for you to enjoy its benefits
- It can cause some side effects when used in higher amounts than indicated. It can lead to a feeling of?light-headedness or dizziness, and swelling of tongue and lips. Individuals who experience these side effects are advised to consult a doctor.
How is Provillus Used?
You should take one capsule every day. It should be taken with food such as breakfast. It is very hard to get it for the local drugstores. It can be purchased from its official website.…
|[07/07/2018, 03:48] ||Factors to Consider When Choosing Pet Food|
Age of the Pet
Age is an important factor to consider when choosing your pet’s food. Your pet needs to be fed appropriate food for his or her age. This is important as a certain amount of calories and proteins are needed for your pet to grow to adulthood properly. By providing your pet with his important current life stage diet, you will be meeting his growth requirements.
There are different types of pet food ranging from those for young pets, adult, and senior pet. If it?s your first time buying packaged food, read the labels to know what components a certain pet food has.
Consider the Breed Size
Choose the pet food based on the size of your pet’s breed. Young pets will need to consume well-balanced nutrients for immune functions, healthy skin, bone development, and growth. Most pet foods are usually categorized by specific breed factors which only include breed size since there is no other major difference between breeds.
Small breed pets have fast metabolism rates compared to medium and large breeds. That is why small pet breeds need more fatty nutrients than others.
Check for Food Allergies
Be extremely careful while choosing the food for a pet with thin coat quality, sensitive skin or redness of the skin. Food allergies are most common in dogs so if your pet is a dog lookout for allergy signs like scratching.
Don’t confuse food intolerance with food allergy; this is because lactose intolerance and poor digestion are as a result of food allergy.
Feeding your dog sources of carbohydrates and protein for 3 months triggers a strong immune response that helps alleviate allergic reactions.
If you are feeding your pet a complete commercial balanced diet, you might not require adding a nutritional supplement like vitamins. However, with old pets, of a particular breed or with a certain disease condition may need a dietary supplementation. Check with your veterinarian whether supplementing your pet with fish oils, additional anti-oxidants or joins supplement could improve your pet’s health.
Reproductive Status of a Pet
A pet that is neutered or spayed has minimal maintenance energy requirements. It is, therefore, recommend to reduce their calories intake by approximately 25-30 percent from the usual recommendations.
If a bag of your dry pet food recommendations is feeding approximately one cup daily, you should only feed 2/3 to 3/4 of the same cup daily. Always consult the veterinarian while changing the diet and before starting a pet on any weight loss program.
Is the Food Easy to Digest?
Just like humans proper digestion is very important and affects the pets well being too. If essential nutrients in the dog food are not digestible, then look for another food. You can determine whether you have the right food by checking how well your pet defecates.it will tell you whether what is in the food bonds well with the pet.
Packaging and manufacturing of the pet food products is also an important factor that you must consider. Pet food has certain health limitation that comes with food use and quality. This involves both packaging and the pet food. Go for pet food that has packaging date labeled.
Food with short shelf life should be consumed faster than those with a longer shelf life. This ensures …
|[07/06/2018, 11:45] ||Do You Need Massage Therapy?|
Going for massage therapy is the best way to relax. If you have been working very hard, then you need to look for a way to relieve the stress and tension. When going for massage therapy, it is important to look for a skilled and experienced therapist.
A Massage therapist in Glasgow will help you in achieving the full benefits of the therapy. When choosing a massage spa, make sure that you look for factors like hygiene and also the massage methods that they use. Here are signs that you need to go to massage therapy:
You are tired
Massage therapy is very important in helping you relieve fatigue. Working six days a week can be very tiring. You need to take one day to work and go for a massage. The therapy will help you in relieving fatigue.
When we work in many ways, our body builds up tension in various parts of the body like the neck, shoulders, back and also limps. It is important to look for a way to get rid of this tension so that you can relieve fatigue. When you relieve fatigue through massage, you will increase productivity at work.
You are in pain
If you are dealing with pain from an injury or ailment, then massage therapy will help you. Going to therapy will help you in healing the affected areas. This is better than taking painkillers that might be detrimental in the long run.
The massage therapy will encourage the flow of blood to different parts of the body. With a proper flow of blood in the body, it will be easy to relieve pain.
You have poor posture
It is possible to improve your posture just by going to the gym. Improving your posture is the best way to live a healthy lifestyle. If you have a desk job, then you might be having problems with your posture.
The good news is that you can improve your posture by going for a massage. The massage therapist will work on your back muscles and help you in restoring your posture.
You need to relax
Living a high-stress life is not good for your health. You need to make sure that you live a stress-free life. The only way to relax is to go for a massage once in a while.
Going for massage will help you to relax and avoid tension that comes with stressful activities. Living a stress-free life means that you will live a healthy life.…
|[06/19/2018, 04:16] ||Tips for Finding and Knowing the Health Status of a Pet|
If you like to own a pet, then there are things that you need to consider so that you get a healthy pet. It is not wise to rush out and buy the first pet you get, buying a pet involves more than just the looks.
But for first-time owners, there are simple but essential things that you should inquire from your seller before making the purchase. These necessary inquiries include the pet?s health and treatment record. However, before you start asking about the health of a pet, some people do not know how to find a pet to buy. If you are looking for your dream pet, then written here is how to go about it, and how to know if the pet is healthy.
If you have been looking for a pet to buy and you have not yet found a seller, then you should try searching on the internet. Many people are not aware of how powerful the internet has become, now in a few seconds you can find information about the different pet sellers available in town.
And not only will you find this information on the web, but you will also be able to see in pictures those pets that are available for sale.
If you feel overwhelmed by the information you find from different pet selling websites, then you need to read reviews so that you can know what the previous buyers are saying. There are pet sellers who take pride in their work and always have the best pet breeds in the market, and these people even make follow-ups to ensure you are bonding, treating, and feeding your pet as suggested. Buying a pet from a seller who loves his work is a guaranteed way to find a healthy pet.
If you have found your dream pet, then the next thing that you must do is ask for the previous treatment record. The veterinary who treats these pets is supposed to keep the records of each the treatments.
If you do not ask for these records, then the chances of buying an unhealthy pet increase significantly.
Find a Veterinary
If you are not sure about the health of the pet you want to buy, then it is essential that you find a veterinary. An excellent vet will run some test and will inform you of the health status of your new pet.…