Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Vinitaly 2007 ~ The List of 20

To anyone who wants the 20 point list for Vinitaly 2007, read on.

1)Best New Pavilion – 7B. Bright, energetic, cool. Sardegna, Umbria, Calabria, Basilicata. Loads of potential in that Pavilion.

2)Worst old school graphic – Pavilion 11 – Gianni Calugiuri – Nothing worse than an old man begging to sell his grapes.

3)Worst new school graphic – Pavilion 11 – a few booths away from the old man, what looked like his daughter in an updated view of “left holding the grapes”. Using beautiful, naked young women to sell NegroAmaro, shame, shame.

4)Worst winemakers experience in a Verona restaurant. Dino Illuminati at Cenacolo. Someone followed the party into the restaurant and took their car keys, then stole their car. Police said by the time they finished dinner the car was probably half way to Albania. Bummer.

5)Cool invention- Winemat 24 wine dispenser. We need a couple of those inside airports so we can access decent wine on the planes. Yeah, right.

6)Live Interview – Just so Beatrice doesn’t think I was lying on the beach

7)Most impressive winemaker - Casimiro Maulé from Nino Negri on the Valtellina. Whether he was talking to CEO’s of major companies or walking in the hills with his dog, I rather imagine this man responding to either in a simple, direct and honest way. The wines are exemplary , they are true to their “thereness” and Casimiro has a presence and a clarity and a happiness that most people would give a lot to have or at least to experience. Like being in the presence of a great sadhu , an enologo-yogi. Wow.

8)Scariest invention – Making wine from Chianti powder.

9)Most persistent trend – dry rose wines. Aglianico from Basilicata. Carignano from the Maremma, Nero D’Avola from Sicily. And the beat goes on and on and on.
10)Most interesting winemaker- Roberto Bava – His business is growing in double digits ( Piedmont wines) and he’s doing it without the US market. Which is a real shame, because the energy and the synergy he brings to the wine business is unique. Roberto understands linking ideas with the wines , bringing music and “outside of the carton” types of possibilities. Why doesn’t this man have an importer in America? Shame, shame.

11)Worst trend – Sicilian wineries making multiple lines of products. First Planeta started the ball rolling with al these lines and extensions and then Donnafugata followed. Now Firriato, Benanti, Tasca, La Lumia, Rapitala and too many others have followed in the footsteps of the California winemakers of the 1970’s. It was a time when someone like a Beringer or a Sebastiani or a Franciscan had not only Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel, but also Charbono, Riesling, Gewurztraminer, Green Hungarian, a sparkling wine and a sweet wine. Note: Morgante makes two wines, a Nero d’Avola and a Nero d’Avola Reserve. ‘Nuff said?

12)Best Pavilion impression – The Campania pavilion with the nature scene turned upside down. Or was it the rest of us?

13)Best activity – The Funeral for Tocai Friulano. Hey Joe B, didn’t that make you cry?

14)Favorite find – wines of Calabria, especially the new wines from Librandi and also the producer Statti.

15)Happiest Winebow employee – Glen Thompson. Wine and Sausage. The man knows how to enjoy himself.

16)Time warp moment – Marina Barbi meeting when she pulled out my card, from 25 years ago. How come she looked younger than me?

17)Most uncomfortable meeting chairs – ouch, you want to talk to me for 45 minutes? I don’t think so.
18)Best booth in honor of my intern, Beatrice Russo, back home in Texas. Yes, it was in the Sicilian pavilion. No, that isn’t her. But it could be her cousin.

19)Most womblike entrance which also incorporated a winery logo. Mionetto Mondo.

20)Best impersonation of a winemaker – among other things.


Tracie B. said...

che divertimento! and little bit of lavoro too, right? while you were gallavanting at vinitaly, i was being california-ed to near death at the hill country food and wine fest.

is ANYone in texas making decent wine?

Ann said...

But did you get to try McPherson wines? Kim McPherson's stuff bottled under the McPherson label? I once used his Sangiovese to blind-test experienced sniffers on a Riedel black glass. All identified it as an Italian Sangiovese.

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