Thursday, May 07, 2009


I went to a Modern Mexican restaurant the other day. Looking at the wine list, eight wines, and two of them were Cal-Itals, an Arneis and a Tocai Friulano from St. Ynez Valley. Mind you, the Italians cannot call their version Tocai Friulano; EC ruling. They must call if Friulano Bianco. But Californians can. Doesn’t make sense. Even then, why not use the real thing?

Flash back 12 hours. Am conferencing about a Euro-based Italian chain that has franchised in the area. The corporate wine list is all Italian, but the franchisee can do whatever they want to do. So on the list goes Pinot Noir from California, four kinds of Malbec from Argentina and Silver Oak Cabernet. In an area where chain restaurants dominate. And this is going to differentiate them from their competition? So, why not use the real thing?

Wine has been reduced, once again, to condiment, like ketchup and mustard. Doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make sense. Mercury must be in retrograde.


Jeff Siegel said...

Consider yourself fortunate that there is only one kind of Silver Oak on the list. If the franchisee could get two, he would.

Marco Portopalo said...

This reminds me of tourists who prefer being photographed in front of a fake man-made panorama when the real thing is right there!

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