Thursday, February 07, 2013

How Lambrusco Started in America - Tom Abruzzini's North Beach Stories

From the "alta cacca chronicles"

You find the oddest things on You Tube. Noodling around for my next post I came across this video of Tom Abruzzini talking from North Beach in San Francisco. I first met Tom on the needle-ridden steps of a crumbling four-star hotel in Genoa in 1989. I spent a week with him and learned all manner of things historical about Italian wine. “On the first day”, as the saying goes, Tom was there. If you don’t believe me, take a load off and bear through his story on how Lambrusco won America’s heart. Videographer and "alta cacca historian" Cush Dehkordy has produced a number of clips of Tom (who loves to talk and tell stories about the early days of the wine business.) Something we don’t have a lot of in this here old wine business, the oral tradition, captured.

You may not think every thing Tom says rings with your version of things (Tom is passionate and polarizing at the same time), but it is a record. I'd love to hear him talk about Lou Iacucci on video some time. That'd be entertaining!


More videos here if you are interested:

Tom Abruzzini Wine Tales Part One
Tom Abruzzini Wine Tales Part Two
Tom Abruzzini Wine Tales Part Three
Tom Abruzzini Wine Tales Part Four

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


Do Bianchi said...

Great post and it made me think of how we often forget the role that North Beach played in the Italian wine and food renaissance in the U.S. in the late 1980s and the 1990s. I have such vivid memories of going there while in college and eating "Roman" style pizza for the first time and drinking an acidified Frascati. I also vividly remember asking some where a Trattoria Something was. And he responded (he was a man in his 60s), I'll tell you only if you pronounce it correctly: trat-TOH-ree'ah. He didn't know that I had just returned from my first year in Italy. But it was significant to me inasmuch as he was linguistically (however erroneously) aware.... great post...

Alfonso Cevola said...

North Beach was my entry point when I was a wee lad...

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