Friday, January 25, 2008

I Coulda Had a Maserati

This week I came roaring out of debt-free status, after five years. For that time I felt like a millionaire, insofar as I had nothing hanging over me. But opportunity called and the timing was right. So I signed a loan to buy a condo as an investment. No big deal, compared to what folks have to do to buy a place in NY or San Francisco.

But as I signed the contract, I looked down at the bottom line and exclaimed to the loan officer, “I coulda bought a Maserati.”

The Maserati is a running joke. When I was a youth, my dad always said he wanted to buy me a one. I suppose it made him feel good to think he would someday do it. He never did, and he never had to. He did buy me a pretty cool Fiat and he also saved my financial butt more than once. And he did it when he was having hard times. So, bless the memory of my Pop, he had the best of intentions.

And while I’m no longer enamored with automobiles as I once was, a Maserati Quattroporte is a lovely sight.

Tonight in North Texas is getting a might cool. Nothing like Minneapolis or Sondrio, but we’re in the thick of it for all that we’re used to. The new harvest is deep in the core of the earth, slowly emerging. The bees have disappeared from the tree in front of the house. Even the pitiful old black cat is scarce in these times. Squirrels are a bit cranky, it’s like they have entered some period of collective insanity. They peer over brittle branches and shout their staccato insults at invisible dogs and peacocks. Poor things.

Valentino said farewell in Paris. If he hadn’t, the hook was there in the wings, ready to pull him off. There they were, telling those around him that his day was done, his time had passed. Fast forward 25 years and they will feel the chill from the metal synch. Be it Milan or the ancient vineyards of Chaldea, 3,000 years ago or 200 years from now, one's time is brief and then it is time for the new bees to appear. Nothing to feel superior about, it’s merely a cycle that is more dominant than man. It binds us to the earth in the wine business, because we must follow the cycle and be in symbiosis with it.

Last week Matteo Bisol was telling some folks about the vineyards of Cartizze. In case you’d like to see a picture of Cartizze, some of the most expensive vineyard real estate in the world, here is a picture I took four years ago with Sergio Mionetto. It is not so manicured like the first growths of Bordeaux, but the land here is more suitable for grapes than for great chateaux. The people on these steep hills are a simple, rustic folk. They don’t wear tuxedos or stiletto heels. The tree reminds me of a tree I saw on the freeway today. How is it decided that one tree gets to live in this beautiful hillside and another gets to live on the side of a freeway?

I decided tonight to sip on an Amaro from Braulio. It is a special Riserva 2002 which I first had a Sal e Pepe in Sondrio a few months back. When I splashed a bit into the snifter and was walking back into my inner lair, I was transported back to Bormio and Monte Braulio. Maybe the UFO that was recently seen nearby had something to do with it.
It seems the right libation for a cold winter night; a bitter from the Swiss Alps.

Tonight I had little to inspire me to cook. I had some of those wonderful tomatoes from Salerno, capers from Pantelleria, Reggiano, olive oil from Sicily and some fresh eggs. I poached the eggs in with the tomatoes and had a marvelous soup of poached eggs in tomato puree. Simple, warm, filling. And an apple for dessert, with the Braulio for the after-dénouement dram.

It really is a dog’s life.


  1. You have a very nice blog, good post...keep up the good job

  2. hope the condo is either in the Aspromonte or Sciacca

  3. you coulda had pasta in the condo in Miami!


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