Sunday, September 18, 2011

Does your rosé swing both ways?

Joe Bastianich, please call me

It never rains in California
But girl, don't they warn ya
It pours, man, it pours
My mom, for anyone who hasn’t been perusing this blog lately, is not one to shrink from an opinion. She didn’t get to be 97 by being a pushover. I don’t know too many people who win an argument with her. Ask my sisters. Or her numerous grandchildren. So when she gets something into her head, let’s just say, there isn’t anyone I know, dead or alive, who can talk her out of it.

As is my custom, when I drive home from work, if I am in town, I call her. And lately she has had in her mind that she just doesn’t like Joe Bastianich. Oh sure, I tried to tell her what I thought. I’ve met Joe; we’ve “supped” in Verona a time or two during Vinitaly. The company I work for buys (and sells) his family wine. In fact I have been to the winery, during the COF2011 blogger trip to Friuli. I know the whole crew, and they’re a pretty good group. And I’ve also met Lidia a time or two as well. She reminds me of my Sicilian grandmother. My mom likes her. In fact my mom told me to tell Lidia, the last time I saw her, about that fig recipe she saw on the show. I did – I’m like the information mule between my mom and Lidia. And since my mom is almost a celebrity in her own right - as witnessed last week during the taping of the Suze Orman show - let’s just say being stuck between these two women in a conversation relay is quite entertaining. But Joe, man he can’t get no love from my mom. Joe, call me please, we’ve gotta get this straightened out, before my mom calls your mom. It could get ugly.

It started out when Joe went onto the network Masterchef program with Gordon Ramsay. Now, my mom isn’t exactly a fan of Chef Ramsay, though she does like the show where he goes into the restaurants of the “little people” and fixes their places up. My mom thinks Gordon is a stand-up guy in that show. But in the national network show, Masterchef, man there isn’t much my mom likes about either of those two, actually all three. “That big boy with the stupid glasses, who told him he could cook?” I think she was talking about Graham Elliot. But back to Joe. Man she likes to tear him a new one every time the subject comes up. And she likes to bring the subject up often.

“Why does he talk down to his mother like that?” she asks me. “Mom, I don’t know, I think it’s TV and they have to have drama. You now, conflict and resolution?” She doesn't buy into that though. “Well, he’d do better to show her some respect. He wouldn’t be anywhere without Lidia.” Yes mom, none of us wouldn’t be anywhere without our moms.

“He’s too skinny. Did he have an operation?” she asks. “I don’t know, mom. Joe doesn’t share that kind of information with me. I just try and buy and sell his wine, that’s all, ma.” Undaunted, she replies, “I think he looks like sh*t, he’s trying too hard to be something he’s not.” Mom is on a roll, as I sit stuck in rush hour traffic in 100°+F heat in Texas. I’m dying here. But she is pretty entertaining.

“What kind of crap is that?” she asks, referencing a remark he made to a contestant on the show.”Ma, I dunno, I didn’t watch it. But it’s a reality show. It’s not meant to make sense. They’re just trying to blow the show up, get ratings, and ask the sponsors for more money to advertise. That’s’ what TV is all about.” But she won’t have any part of that. She’s pissed at Joe.

Mind you, my mom, at 97, is feisty for a reason. Been that way, all her life. It’s part of her longevity gene. It serves her well. It keeps her pumped up. And how many nonagenarians are out there who are excited about something. So I give my mom a pass. Like the good Italian son I am. She won’t always be with us. None of us will, for that matter. But I drift into gloomy territory. Back to my mom.

“Do you know what that horse’s ass said on the Today show the other day?” Pause. “Al, are you still there?” I was thinking. “Ma, I couldn’t catch the segment because I was at work. What happened, pray tell.”

Joe, you do not want to be on the wrong side of this woman
She launches,” That fool called a rose wine bisexual. Now what kind of nonsense is that?”

“What…” I almost run into the car in front of me. “…What did you say?”

“You heard me. Joe, skinny, bald, sick looking, rude-to-his-mother Joe called a wine, I think it was Italian, he said it was bisexual. Now how do you think people are going to think about that wine when they go into the store?” She had a point. I needed to watch that segment of Today and see what she was talking about.

Sure enough, he called a Tuscan rosato a bisexual(see clip above). Actually, it seemed kind of off-the-cuff. Like, you know, when you’re in front of a crowd and you are speaking and something comes out, kind of a thought experiment and it’s not at all what the brain meant to send? That’s kind of the look I saw on Joe’s face when he said that. Of course Matt Lauer took the ball and ran with it, really didn’t let Joe off easy.

Will it damage the future of Italian wine sales? Unlikely. After all, it’s just network TV. Hey, we need help selling rose wine from Italy. I know sex sells, but maybe bisexual marketing sells a little better in NY or LA than in the great bulging midsection of America. I’m not likely to be making a shelf talker for an Italian rosato for Jimmy’s quoting Joe Bastianich on the Today show. But that’s the least of Joe’s problems.

After all, Joe, my mom is on the fast-track to Oprah with her Suze Orman connection. Just to be safe, Joe, don’t you think you might want to give her a call and patch things up between you two?

Send me a note, Joe; don’t hang up your flip-flops just yet. I’ll give you my mom’s home and cell phone.

There’s this feisty 97-year old lady in LA that I can't hold back who thinks you’ve got some ‘splaining to do.


Wine Curmudgeon said...

Man, it's hard enough now to get people to drink rose. How much more difficult will this make it?

And when does your Mom get her own blog?

Marco Tenuta said...

I'm with your Mom on Joe. Let's just say that she has a way with words.

Bicchiere said...

Best regards to your Mom, her son, rose wines and Joe B.! :o)

Alfonso Cevola said...

thanks mom def needs a blog....or a job...

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