Friday, February 01, 2008

Walking the Walk

Like any enterprise, one can be too close to always be objective. When it seems that one cannot see the light in the forest, there is one real cure – go out and open bottles of wine and tell stories to the young and willing.

A bag of great wine can void any affronts from unmannerly ones who paint the wine industry to resemble Hell from Hieronymus Bosch’s famous triptych. That is but a delusive exercise.

So, back to what we’re here for, on the wine trail, this time in Deep Ellum.

One of my co-conspirators called me up and asked me about some of my favorite wines lately. We discussed the account, a small chef-driven spot in an older urban neighborhood somewhat resembling Williamsburg in New York or the old city of Torino. The place is called Local and it is a gem of a place, relying on organic produce and grass fed beef, wild caught fish and locally produced products, like cheese from the Mozzarella Company next door. Local carries their Hoja Santa wrapped cheese, of which I am one of the proud organic growers of the leafy herb. So along with Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco and Artisanal in New York, now I can enjoy products from my garden in Dallas.

We were running late for the appointment, and as I parked and rushed into the meeting, there they were – young and bright and fresh. Oh boy, I thought to myself, maybe I can tell some stories about these wines and maybe they’ll like them.

It was easier than I thought, for the Muse had kicked in and was ready to roll. I was talking about wines that I liked and recommended, often.

I don’t intend this to be a list with tasting notes, but I do wish to mention the wines.
The white wines we presented to the staff were:
2006 Abbazia di Novacella Kerner
2005 Re Manfredi Basilicata Bianco
2006 Tasca d’Almerita Leone

The reds:
2005 Mesa Buio Carignano del Sulcis
2005 Abbazia di Novacella Lagrein
2005 Queciabella Chianti Classico
2004 Castello di Rampolla Chianti Classico
2005 Il Borro Pian di Nova
2003 Petra Quercegobbe
2005 La Lumia Cadetto Nero d’Avola

I’ve written elsewhere about many of these wines. What really pointed me back to all things good and bright was the purity and the clarity and the diversity among these wines. Italian wines aren’t confusing, anymore than perfume is. Italian wines are complex and in a “give it to me now or else” world there isn’t going to be a lot of satisfaction for those who don’t have the time or the patience.

But to see that the Kerner reflects its world ever so much as the Leone does and to know that one may be preferable to you but it doesn’t diminish what the other wine is here for. That would be for the person for whom it resonates with. There is no right or wrong to it, no finger pointing and swaggering. It is. That’s just the way it is.

And while there are those that talk a mean game, who on earth would want to trade places with those souls, who are confined to suffer in Bosch’s infernal triptych, thinking about the paradise they lost because they couldn’t take time from their daily battles to enjoy wine for it own sake. That is the reason many of us are in the wine business.

To those lost souls; may their suffering be brief.

And may we never run out of great wine so we can talk the talk about them. That's just what you do when you're a (wine) lover, not a fighter.


  1. Cool stuff! Local is AWESOME.

    Interesting lead pic. Walking that same walk.

  2. Thank Dionysius that there are people like you in the business. It's not all product and margins and profits.


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