Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Call of the Wild

Recalling untamed dreams under a full moon

Italy, when are you going to let down your hair and get wild again?

How long has it been? What more of a signal do you need? The world is waiting on you; will you let it pass you by, one more time, again?

When I dream of Italy and the wine and the people and the politics, I just want to pack my bags and move to deep cover out West. I want to drift away from it all. I am talking of my dream of Italy now. Italy, what in the hell are you thinking? Get off your complacence and bring the wild back into your wines!

We don’t dream of Tuscan wines tasting like Napa Cabernets. We don’t imagine that Nebbiolo should remind us of Oregon Pinot Noir. We definitely do not linger, awake or asleep, of Pinot Grigio which recalls white Zinfandel. And we do not fall asleep wishing to go over your real or imagined class struggles and your indifference over the way your country is going. Wake up!

Do you not feel the heat from the sirocco revolution that is heading your way from Africa and the Middle East? People are loading up in boats, and they aren’t Al-Qa'ida; they are folks looking for a new world, a new opportunity, a place to eat, to sleep, make love and live their lives. And they will take Italy from you if you do not arise and get back into the dance of life. You may be awake, but staring at your Flash-infected computer screens and telling the wonderful story of your heritage is not relevant anymore. Tear it down. Take all that is infected, from the pharma-yeasts to the medium-toast barrels, burn them, and return to a simpler time. Make your wines taste good again. The revolution is upon you. Do you not burn with the heat of passion for your land, your patrimony? Do you not see you are losing it if you do not take it back into your arms and revive the fervor?

No, you don’t have to give up your Iphones and your fast cars. But don’t let things run your life. The grapes, the wine from them, they are gifts from the earth, a willing mother offering her fruits to those who will simply love and cherish them. You don’t have to encase them in a prison of oak or micro-oxygenated torment. Let them be. Love them. Free them.

Is Italy lost? In the dream a seer saw a country like Italy that could never be pinned down. But patterns in the dream are moving, changing things, maybe not so discernable to the eyes in the waking, present moment. But in a dream 100 years from now one might be shocked to see what it has become. Sitting on a fulcrum of time, this is a moment of revolution, a moment of the changing of the guards.

Will the youth of Italy hear the call through their earphones connected to their Ipods? Or will the world pass them by and take their precious gifts of the earth (those things the Italians, and most humans, take for granted) away and change them forever?

The young dreamer is on fire with these visions. Why can the Italy the dreamer knows and loves not see this moment beyond their plate of crudo and sips of Prosecchi? Wake up dreamer. Wake up Italy. Wake up and dance, before the music changes. Before the adhān calls to a stronger, swifter tribe of believers.


Marco Pharmealo said...

Hai fatto bene a dire al dottore la verità

Thomas said...

Lo stesso

Wine Harlots said...

That's quite a manifesto!
Ciao & cheers!

Paolo said...

In which part of Italy you been?? ;-)

Alfonso Cevola said...

in what time, Paolo?

Steve Armes said...

It was July, 2007. We sere strolling through Rome, when suddenly we came upon a piazza. Like many piazze, this one was dotted with cafes. In the center was the Pantheon. The busiest place, by far, was a McDonalds. I rest my case.

Jayson Bryant said...

Great post, I see France through similar eyes and yearn for a return to interesting wines, not just the Parker driven approach!

Hande said...

Yes, Alfonso, tell them! I keep on telling, too.
@steve: that mcdonalds, along with the one on VE2 is now closed!

Alfonso Cevola said...

Glad to hear Hande

Historiical note to all you young'uns: There was a McDonald's in Rome long before Petrini "discovered" it years later and made it into his personal cause. I remember going into one in 1971, near the Spanish steps and trying the burger. It was on a hard roll and the meat was very stringy.

Anonymous said...

I was not in Italy 40 years ago but whas it really better in those times? Hasn't it always been the case that if you want something good you have to lift up some stones? Btw I think winewise Italy is doing better and better on a small scale yes but I think the majority wants that clean odorized pinot grigio.

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