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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Live and Let Die

Letter from a half-full bottle to an apostle of wine

I see you, sitting there on the deck of your house overlooking the peaceful valley, watching the sunset. I know you’re tired. But the sun will set soon and you can rest then. We still have half a bottle left before I lose my stream, so let me share my thoughts with you about your long and glorious career.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Question of Balance

"For I have known them all already, known them all" - Eliot
How often is it one can be with acquaintances, colleagues and friends and have them raise mirrors to your mind, not once, but several times over the course of three days? The wine gods were shining upon us this week in Northern California. Complete immersion. Wine, food, conversation, change, questions. Something’s afoot in wine country. We’re all part of a peaceful revolution. The only thing that is being killed is bottles of wine. But oh, what bottles.

Most of the meetings were over a table. Most of the time it was among three people. Three of those meetings pretty well much re-calibrated me and my thoughts about wine. Call it a California cleanse. Call it coming home. Call it the end and the beginning.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The proposed 74th DOCG and the upcoming ban on synthetic lacy underwear in Russia

"Ain't nothing but a 'G' thang baby"
Rumblings out of Italy reveal the DOCG status might be brought out of its EU-induced coma. Halted at “73” and effectively swept into the overall DOP status with 330 of the DOC wines, there was talk that the ark was full at 403. Now, the Italians want more.

At the center of this awakening is the Nizza sub (or supra?) zone, which essentially is a more finely deliniated offshoot of the Barbera del Monferrato Superiore qualification. Geralyn and Jack Brostrom discuss “74” at their fab-site, Italian Wine Central.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lambrusco di Sorbara and Cotechino ~ An Existential Dilemma

I struggle with pork. If there is a plate of prosciutto nearby, I’m in trouble. “Waste nothing,” the angel whispers in my ear. And then I clean the plate, when nobody is looking. I never find out if the angel was a good one or a bad one until it’s too late.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Learning the Joyful Truths" - How wine elders can help today's young wine lovers

"I'd suggest that many young wine drinkers do not have access to the great benchmark wines, the paradigms of profundity that are alas beyond their reach financially. They never learned the joyful truths of hierarchy, or to be stirred to their depths by the greatest of wines. They presume on a level playing field in which most things are equally valid. Sometimes this bothers me too. But I think we need to love them, not scold them." – Terry Theise
Life, I’ve learned, is four parts resilience and six parts patience. If the red wine is made well and is allowed to rest in the cellar, the rewards will be greater. And as with wine, why not with the youth who are embracing the life of wine?

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Southern Italy is Sinking

We took the back road up to the hilltop village. Peeking behind the sets. The road was in poor shape, potholes and missing pieces of the highway. Something I have grown to expect in Southern Italy. Trash was everywhere. It was as if the people living in their houses went out into their back yard and threw everything into the gully. Water running off would transfer the toxins eventually into the water sources, the sea and ultimately the oceans. This was my first impression of CirĪŒ.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Reflections on Italy ~ Regarding La Grande Bellezza

Forgive me, dear readers. I have been in deep-brain storming meetings off and on for several weeks and my head is bursting with new and with change. It’s all leading somewhere good, but for now I must diverge. And that is deep into this little blog, where I can write and think about things that aren’t very important, but which matter to me.

In January, while in New York, I went to the big screen and viewed Paolo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza. Hailed as one of the best movies to come out of Italy in years, I mixed expectation with trepidation. I wanted the film to be good, even great. I’m not sure I wanted it to be greater than Fellini, Antonioni or Pasolini.

Five minutes into the film, the party scene disturbed me. I sat way in front; it was just the movie and me. It was too much. But what was bothering me, I wondered? Was it repulsion? Or was it recognition?

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Year of the Horse – Starting Off With a Bang

Anyone who reads this blog, they know how I feel about bragging. That said, I do live in Texas, and bragging rights are part of our patrimony. So grin and bear it. 2014 has started off with a bang, what with tastings across the country. Some of them I’ve been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. January, wow, if this is any indication of what 2014 is going to be like, bring it on. Now, let the boasting begin.