Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mixed Case

and around and around it goes in the circle game

Wacky week, really a mixed bag, so far. Gotta say, so many of my friends are grieving over things going on around them, around all of us. I am kind of stunned by most of it. Like I said to my closest confidant tonight, it seems like we are looking at a train wreck in slow motion and it is right there in front, heading straight at us, and there’s not much any of us can do except possibly get out of its way.

In the meantime, these divertiti from the wine trail and beyond.

Another great tasting tonight at the Circolo del Vino. Daniele Gaia, a young man from Piedmont was in town from Elvio Cogno winery. Stunning wines, from a rare Anas Cetta to a youthful Dolcetto, a Barbera with some age on it, and two Barolos, one from the 2006 and the 2005 single vineyard Ravera. Exceptional tasting, with some light fare from Sausage Paul. Good stuff. We sold a bunch of >$30 wine and a good measure of >$70 wine too. So there.

Daniele is only 25 and has been in the game since he was 18. Travels the world for the winery, when he isn’t working the harvest. He’s a keeper. Good guy – very passionate – Yes!

One of the mythic old-timers was at the dinner, Alessio Francheschetti, who had a really nice Italian place in Dallas in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Alessio is gearing up to work with Francesco Farris at the incoming Zio Cecio and he is pumped. Looking a little tired from working all day on his feet in the kitchen, preparing for another event in the Circolo del Vino. Busy place – busy time of year…

More old timers on the move. Let’s take a look at how old, really old people are tackling their everyday existence.

Mario Messina. Anyone who has read this blog knows how I feel about this guy. He is the reason so many of us are in the Italian business in Texas. Period. Three or four months ago he was down for the count. His hope needed replacing and his heart was week. But Mario is not a quitter. Hear that, younguns? NOT A QUITTER! He got a new hip, had some routing done on his arteries, and did the hard steady climb back up to health. Months of recovery. But he is back. I caught up with him at his home. He was going from inspecting work on a new outside fountain (he loves fountains, the Roman in him) and cooking up some cauliflower soup. He also had time to walk me over to his computer to pull some recipes off the Food Network. Mario is indomitable and an inspiration. Everyone should have an older person in their life that just doesn’t give in or give up. It is a great way to balance one’s own little personal tragedies that befall us all too often every day. Thank Mario, for being there and for FIGHTING and WINNING – for 96 years now!

Not to be outdone, my mom called me the other day. “I bet you want to know where I was when you called the other day?” she asked. Not really. My mom is usually not home when I call her. She likes to cry that nobody ever calls her, but the reality is, she’s never home! She’s at the gym, she’s outside cleaning off the sidewalk, she’s at the beach, she’s at the desert, she’s with a friend. Truth is, at 97, she’s on the go. And so it was the other day her friend Linda took her to Hollywood for a taping of a Suze Orman show. Lo and behold, a producer spied mom and took her to the front row. Before you know it, as my mom tells the story, Suze has her up on the stage right in the middle of the taping. But wait, there’s more. After the taping, Linda and mom go backstage and there’s Suze with a cameraman, taping my mom and telling her they’re gonna send it off to Oprah, who produces the Orman show for her OWN network. What a crazy, wacky woild!

Photo by Brad Murano
Like I said, wacky mixed bag week. Seems like my mom wasn’t the only one in studio this week getting videotaped (is that even what they call it anymore?). I had my 15 minutes as well this week in the Splashmedia studios, courtesy of fellow Italian and blogger Brad Murano who turned his sidekick Renay San Miguel (ABC, CNN, NBC) on to my story. Splashmedia is a way-out-front Social Media management company, and they were interviewing me about the blogosphere and business. Thanks fellas! (More on that later).

In the meantime, illegitimi non carborundum.

     Everyone's a Winner!           Photo by Brad Murano

written by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
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