Wednesday, June 27, 2007

From: A Moron Re: Amarone

A weaver of fiaschi, not tales

There is a fellow who I run into from time to time. He likes to practice his Italian, lived there for a while. Thinks he’s an Italian. Which is about as much as I am Irish. He likes to say things he picked up in the dialect of the area, near Verona. Really funny, because the guy, well, you never know if he is telling the truth or making up a story. Really don’t mind, if the story made up is good. But seems lately he is running out of material, or memories. So he calls me up and starts telling me about this white Amarone he had when he lived over there, back in the day. Now I hear these kinds of things from time to time. The other day I got a call from a restaurauteur who was looking for a red Galestro, although why anyone would be looking for the red version of a tasteless white wine is beyond me. Oops, that was snob talk. Anyway, back to the Veneto and the white Amarone.

Italians are great improvisers. I remember a dear friend once telling another person about the process of governo in Tuscany. I had just studied it up for some kind a wine certification, so governo was on my punch list. Well, my friend had wrapped his tongue around this tall tale and he even had me going, though I knew what he was saying was dead wrong. Big deal, The Italian says, it doesn’t matter how we get to Rome, we’ll get there, we’ll get there. It might be on the Autostrada, it might be on the Salaria, but we’ll stop for lunch and eventually arrive. Kind of like this posting. We have definitely stepped off the freeway and into the rambling country road on this one.

Seems that my middle-aged white Amarone yarn spinner claims that he and a winemaker, that he worked with, made a white Amarone. I ask, thinking to keep this on the straight and narrow, if perhaps he got it confused with Recioto of Soave? No, no, that was not it, it was a white grape that went into the blend in the Valpolicella, many years ago, and it was dry and bitter and white. And it came in a demijohn wrapped in straw, like fiaschi. Now, he so believes this that he has to ride it out to the end even if it means going over the cliff. In the meantime, I am almost believing that someone could have grabbed some Vespaiolo or Garganega or Passerina and what the heck, tried an experiment. The professor told me the other day that Amarone was a mistake. By the way, the professor is a real person who is a liaison for a couple of wineries, one based in Valpolicella. I’m thinking of asking him tomorrow if he has ever heard of this white Amarone. But what does it matter, do we really need another bitter, over ripe, dried out Italian white wine, that would probably be overpriced? It was hard enough selling Trebbiano’s from Abruzzo and Coda di Volpe’s from Segesta so many years ago before the computer age.

So where were we?

If my friend is reading this (and he is, he even knows who he is), he can comment. He loves to do that, in fact I often read the comments he leaves on his web site ( No, not you, the other one, this isn’t about you) and they weave a little twilight zone of existence in those few lines that his otherwise flowery posts don’t cover. The invisible world of the internet, this frontal-lobe chit chat.

In any event, if we ever find out if there ever was a white Amarone, or not, between then, we should have something to open. A very quick note.

I recently had a pizza, with a San Marzano tomato topping that was more sweet than savory. At least they didn’t sully it with garlic. For some reason, the Brunello we had with it seemed to work. The pizza was a flat Margherita, a tad undercooked. Brunello and Pizza, why not?

Besides, the white Amarone hadn’t yet chilled.


Robert Massarella said...

Is that white Amarone chilled yet? I'd sure like to try it! :-P

bart said...

Great reading this story!

I have recently posted something about Amarone at my blog: In my opinion this is really a V12 engine wine!

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