Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Scent of Possibility

Il Profumo della Possibilità

Four from Italy, six from America and one from Lebanon. Today will be about the Italians in remembering one of their countrymen who made it over so long ago. However you feel about Columbus, today is a little moment in history that will soon be forgotten. Thanks to the generosity of many of those seated at the table, we broke bread, tasted wine, told lies and enjoyed each others company, if only for an hour or so. The dream of America; a moment of calm, of peace, of prosperity, of hope.

Some of these guys I have known for almost 30 years now; some of us are getting older. All of us. But the possibility of America burns in the Italians and also in those of us who still remember our grandparent’s stories. The wines on the table came from the Italian Wine Trail; Piemonte, Veneto, Friuli, Campania, Calabria, Sicilia.

The Italian characters came any way they could get here:

Adelmo – From a noisy little Maître d' to his little eponymous trattoria. A gathering spot for so many good memories. After I proposed to my wife on her birthday, Valentines Day, we went to lunch at Adelmo’s, that’s probably my favorite memory. But there are more. Adelmo is a firecracker; everybody knows Adelmo and Adelmo knows everybody. Follow him around at Vinitaly and it’s just a block party extension of his lunch service back in Dallas. Everybody knows Adelmo. And we can poke fun at him and make jokes at his expense and he laughs along with us. He will laugh at all of our funerals, too. Adelmo is fron from Tuscany, though we make fun and tell him he is one of Napoleon's bastards from Elba.

Alessio – Adelmo’s old buddy, with his little trattoria on the east side of town, in the “ghetto”. Still smiling, though time has weathered his body, inside and out, with a grittier block of sandpaper. And it has also smoothed out the rough edges, he is now a round pebble that sails upon the surface of the water, playing dodge ball with Phantom Crane flies. He can still cook like a sonofabitch. From Piemonte.

Daniele – Our young turk from Palermo. He is always roaming around somewhere, if it’s on his Vespa or out West in Ft. Worth or Scottsdale or the beaches of Southern California. Sometimes back to the hidden kitchens of La Vucciria, gathering recipes from his pop or an aunt. He’s our pretty boy, we send him out to bring the girls in. He is our Siculo. Always smiling, never too morose, always ready for a smile and a hug. America is wearing well on him; his two boys are real American boys.

Massimo – Our representative from Abruzzo, today he was working the tables, but he should soon be sitting at the table. Massimo is newly arrived, so he must perform the Catechumens of a newly anointed resident of The USA. A good guy, with an almost Sicilian face and smile, but with the soft happy eyes of one who grew up in the countryside of Abruzzo. Lots of fresh air and plenty of breathing room. Massimo, our enigmatic Sphinx.

Those are our four hopeful ones. And the wines?

Some of the wines at the table were from:
Almerita Brut Contea di Sclafani DOC 100% Chardonnay
Tasca d’Almerita Cygnus 2002
Librandi Efeso Mantonico Bianco 2006
Librandi Magno Megonio 2003
Terra di Lavoro 2004
Di Majo Norante Don Luigi 2004
Jermann Dreams
Giacosa Barbera d’ Alba 2005
Maculan Acininobili 2001

And some killer Calvados from Comte Louis de Lauriston

Everyone knows I’m not a wine notes guy; that’s not why you come to these posts. Read the links; buy the wines if you want. I’m not here to sell them to you. That’s part of my day job.

Parting shot: Friends, food and freedom aren’t worth a damn if there ain’t any good wine to go with it.

Thanks to Paul Di Carlo for hosting us and bringing some great wines.

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