I was sitting on my mom’s couch watching the vintage movie Laura, starring the timeless beauty Gene Tierney, and drinking a glass of Etna Bianco, when it seemed like I slipped into one of my alternate universes. After all, here I am in Southern California, doing my National Guard duty for Dr J, who is slowly and happily getting sluiced into the vortex between Texas and Louisiana. It’s the least I could do for one of my fellow Californiano’s.
But something about the Terre Nere Bianco, a blend of Carricante, Inzolia, Grecanico and Cataratto that was such a perfect wine, I found myself gulping it. Mom had made some broccoli rabe with some fresh (and local) garlic we had gotten from the farmers market in Irvine. She also brought out some baby clams, a light meal, not quite the extravagance of last week. But that’s the wonderful thing about the wine trail; it doesn’t have to be a 5.8 on the Richter scale. A simple plate of clams, some greens and a wonderful glass of Sicilian white wine will do quite nicely, even here in So-Cal.
I have opted to shop for wine and vegetable during this Black Friday weekend. That, and catching a little sun and reflection off the Pacific Ocean. One of the perfect days on the West Coast, even while I am planning a late December sortie into Southwestern Louisiana in search of music, hot sauce and boudin. It all relates to the temperament and sensitivity of an Italian born in America from Calabresi and Siciliani.
I took my mom to a farmers market a mere 6 miles from her place. She was lamenting that at 94 she is running out of friends. You wouldn’t have known it as we walked outdoors in the cool sun. Everywhere we went, people talked to her like she was the mayor, a natural extrovert, which she disputes. Fresh squash blossoms and Satsuma oranges, I was walking in the corridors of my DNA’s childhood.
I am having a little quandary with this Sicilian winery, Terre Nere as it is called. I am wondering why I like these wines so much. And, are they spoofilated?
I’m pretty confident that, in the vineyard the grapes for these wines are proprio Siciliani, no homage to wine growing from other parts of the world. Mt Etna has its own matrix working, so that is the theme dominant in those parts.
In the winemaking process, what I am finding is one of two things, for both the white and the red wines. They have either been so deceptively well made according to some secret handshake with the wine devils. Or, they have been left to their own devices to be what they are as the wine gods have intended from day one. I truly hope it is that latter, as I am so stoked about that way these wines interface with my taste buds and seamlessly, without any hesitation, merge with my pleasure center. I am smitten, by the white, by the red, and if there is a rose, I am sure I will fall into its trance as well.
That’s all from Camp California for now. On to Paso!