Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thank You, Italy

1) Thank you for the wonderful variety of your sparkling wines, especially the ones from Lombardia, Trentino and the Veneto. Franciacorta is a delicious wine for food, for pleasure and for more than just special occasions. Thank you for not thinking you have to be Champagne and forging ahead with your own sparkling destinies.

2) Thank you for the bright and mineral rich white wines of the Alto Adige and Friuli. I love your whites, whether it be Sauvignon or Kerner, Friulano or Sylvaner.

3) Thank you for the fruit driven Montepulciano wines from Abruzzo. For many of us who cut our teeth on field blends from California, Montepulciano is a taste that hearkens back to the roots of many of us reared in the West. And thank you when you let Montepulciano be Montepulciano; not Cabernet, Merlot or Pinot Noir.

4) Thank you for Aglianico. I cannot think of another wine from the South of Italy I have enjoyed so much over the years, especially from Basilicata.

5) Thank you Sicily for finally getting Etna wines back out there. Thank you for letting the terroir driven wines be exactly what they are – highly acidic, minerally, rich but with an elegant austerity. Probably my next love of red wine from the South.

6) Thank you for the red wines of Piedmont, from Grignolino to Dolcetto to Barbera to Nebbiolo. These wines are constant companions on my table and are a joy to drink and to grace the Italian table.

7) Thank you for the extreme wine regions of Liguria, Valle D’Aosta and Valtellina. While the wines from these regions don’t make their way to America as well as the other more popular regions like Piedmont, Veneto, Tuscany and Sicily, these are an important part of the patrimony of Italy; they are wonderful wines from dramatic vineyard locations the likes of which are seen in other places like the Mosel and the Douro.

8) Thank you for Tuscany. Not Chianti or Brunello, not Vernaccia or Super Tuscans.
But just plain Tuscany. For without the tourism to Tuscany, Italian wines wouldn’t be as well received in the world as they are. And while many like to poo-poo Tuscany as sell outs and an older established wine region, they brought Italian wine to the American table early on in the game.

9) Thank you for Soave, Frascati, Verdicchio and Pinot Grigio. Even though much is now commercial and industrial, there can be found many examples of superb white wine from these appellations. And they brought many folks into the Italian genre – they were the gateways. Thank you

10) And thank you for the souls that you send to America to tell the story of the ever changing Italian wine landscape and philosophies. There is no other place in the world like Italy and Italian wines are part of that unique expression of ItalianitĂ . Thank you!

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