The holidays have barely ended. It was a long work up from August until Dec 37th. And then back onto the road. This was the first week of many more to come, to work on growing the Italian wine business so many more folks may sleep well at night knowing there are those of us who are working long hours to keep the world safe for Italian wine. No matter how the Italians will manage to change direction in the next year or so.
Right now the Euro is relatively stable. People are coming out and eating and drinking and spending a little more, even in economically depressed areas. This past week I spent time in and around New Orleans. The smell of oil from the spill has gone, but the sting of the event lingers. People in this region are hurt. And they are emotional. You can tell by driving on the streets, if you are a cipher to those emotions, which, for better or worse, I am. But the spirit of the folk in this region is indomitable. Lots of resilience here. And a joy for life, even as we are on this little orb hurtling as some unimaginable speed through space as we are scattered in another direction at another totally unbelievable speed, by the galaxy whose teat we suckle at. And this, with the faint hint that in 5 billion or so years all will be nothing, not a grain of sand, not a speck of pepper. Wow, how’s that for an upbeat intro with a side of nihilism?
|Giulio Galli and John Skidmore ~ They gots them a "Breaux-mance" going on|
One of my Italian importers, Giulio, I have profiled before. His son Leo is now almost two and growing, His daughter, Gia, is a perfect little princess. His dogs have died or gone missing. His lovely wife is by his side, his partner for better or worse. Not for better or else. This is a resilient family in pursuit of their American Dream.
I don’t know what it is when we were together this week, but twice I found myself talking with my hands and before I knew it, glasses, sometimes filled with red wine, sometimes with rose sparkling wine, sometimes empty, went flying. In imitation of our galaxy or our little planet. But this time wine was spilled, glasses were broken. Three glasses. And so I had to calm my conductor hands down so we wouldn’t spill anymore wine.
Precious stuff. Need to sell it, not spill it. I am sometimes, overly animated. Mea culpa.
And so, in Austin and in New Orleans, culinary crèche and crypt, we took some pearls out into the world. We made some new converts. Yeah, we spilled a little. Consider it a baptism of sorts.
I sat sipping this little Tuscan wine, 12.5%; gee did I take a walk though the time travel label and go back into a time when wines were 11%, 12%? Like the 1970 Latour I recently opened, barely a 12% wine. And one with many more years on it?
And the Merlot, cento percento. My colleague James emailed me the other day,” Tell me about Masseto.” I couldn’t say much other than the time a friend bought a bottle of the ‘97 in Santa Monica at Osteria Angelini. God, it must have been $600 on the list. My childhood buddy figured out how to make more money making movies than I did selling wine. So we drank it empty and he wanted to try the ‘97 Dal Forno Amarone. Which we did. Ok, now I am starting to irritate myself, sounding like one of my young somelya buddies who posts every old, epic wine he is near and tasting. Stop. Focus.
|Zeppole di Ricotta con Bomba Calabrese ~ New School|
|Veal Parmigiana ~ Old School|
The time to hesitate is through.