Italy’s charm is her innate beauty. Art, architecture, music, food and the multi-act opera we’ve come to know as family. Youth, strength, prowess; throw them into the pasta bowl and careful observers look at Italy as a paean to perfection. Beauty is the crown, the reason why the eyes look towards her, why they lust for her art, her food and her wines.
And then there is Brunello. The first wine to be exalted with a DOCG, back in the days before personal computers. Brunello, a simply lovely wine, content to amble about the countryside in search of adventure and love, only wanting to make people happy.
Brunello was so beautiful when young. Stylish, but strong. Complex, but not confusing. Rich, but accessible to the other 99%. And then somewhere Brunello tumbled on a slippery path in the forest. And she has been spending more than a few years trying to get back up.
Traveling around Tuscany this year more times than I should have, neglecting my Sicily and all the South, in order to delve into the meaning and mystery of life in the wine region that went before many others, I am still mystified. All that there is; the fecundity, the wealth, the climate, the soil, the location, and still with all that and beauty, Brunello has been sullied beyond recognition, unable to reveal her real nature to the world.
All this because of the simple fact that Brunello was simply beautiful. And because of it she has had to carry the burden of her gifts as if it were leprosy.
So light a candle, say a prayer, make a wish, that Brunello and her sisters across Italy weather this current storm of disdain that threatens to take down an industry, a country and a world.