Something about Vinitaly has been bothering me. As much as this last Vinitaly was a blur, what with way too many obligatory meetings (and twice as many that I was unable to make), friends who I never got to see, and not enough time in the 15 minutes that was allotted to me. No, what is kind of bothering me was some of the missing press coverage. The Wine Spectator made a giant leap into the Italian pudding, they showed up. The Wine enthusiast folks were also there, although Monica Larner, their Italian reporter, reported that she was in France. Odd, huh?
American bloggers showed up. Jancis Robinson had her people there too, officially and unofficially in Walter Speller and Alder Yarrow. It was even rumored that some folks saw James Suckling make an appearance or two. So who was missing? Who do you think?
Where were the Wine Advocate folks? Galloni was no longer with them, and he was at Pebble Beach, in any case. I asked; no one saw anyone from Robert Parker and his new investors in the Wine Advocate.
For my part, I’m not surprised. France fares first. Hell, Italy doesn’t even rate sloppy seconds, falling behind Napa and the New World noise that they who lead must follow. I think it is short sighted and somewhat disrespectful. Sure Galloni wouldn’t have come anyway. I get it, he writes his own ticket. In fact, Antonio did show up in Italy after the show was over. If I was pushed and pressed the way I was at Vinitaly, one could only imagine what manner of rendering Galloni would have to be subject to at Vinitaly.
The tides are shifting in Italy. The influences are changing. The stakes are rising. The race is to the swift.
Interesting times in Sunny Old Italy.
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