Sunday, December 18, 2011

Please Send Me Some Wine to Love

The week before the holidays and the wine and food shops across America are buzzing with people looking for food, for wine, for connection with something that descends upon humanity in these times, allows for a few moments to stop the machine, get off, and let a little fresh air in. I saw it all weekend in the stores, as we go into the final stretch of the O-N-D selling season. For Italy and her food and wine, this has been a very good year, again.

“What Chianti do you suggest to go with our spaghetti and meat ball dinner?” “Do you have that Brunello with the coat of arms that has the wings on it?” “Where is the Orvieto?” All these and many more questions are peppered at us, like at an important press conference. Except we aren’t solving the massive problems of a country. We are merely trying to help folks set their tables for their friend and their families.

Show the world how to get along,
Peace will enter when hate is gone,
But if it's not asking too much,
Please send me some wine to love.

“I’d like a really good bottle of Amarone, but I don’t want to spend more than $20. Can you help me? It’s only my dad and I who like good wine. The others don't care if it comes from a bottle or a box.” Oh, yes, dear lady, we can help you and your dad find a nice bottle of Ripasso, no problem.

“Do you have any Cava?” No, I am sorry we only have Italian wine here. “What about Prosecco then?” Yes, we can do that, but how about a Franciacorta? “I thought you said you only had Italian wines?” And then we tell the story, for at this juncture she has stepped into the web and cannot get loose until we place a bottle of Saten in her hands. It’s that simple.

“I really love Negro Amaro, but I want one that is truly Italian. I don’t want one that had been made to taste like a Merlot.” Yes we can. Or we can give you also a stunning Primitivo that has been made the same way for generations, since before electricity and television, airplanes and the World Wide Web. “Give me two of each. Thank you.” Simpler yet.

“I need a Pinot Nero.” Sorry, all of ours say Pinot Noir now. “But it isn’t the same, those Neros from Southern Italy are so much better.” Ah, the light goes on. They aren’t looking for Pinot Noir; they are looking for Nero d’Avola. We forget how confusing this Italian wine business can be. Fortunately we have Italian wine whisperers on the floor to help you get what you need and want. Effortlessly.

Just because I'm in misery.
I'm not begging for no sympathy.
But if it's not asking too much,
Just send me some wine to love.

There were more than a few Zen moments this weekend, when folks who have so many other things on their minds were just looking for some wine to love

“I just had this Barbera at a new restaurant with a funny name.” The wine? Or the restaurant? “Both!” Ah, you had the Bava at Zio Cecio’s. “Yes, how did you know?” A little angel whispered it into my ear.

“That 4.99 wine can’t be much good, could it?” That 4.99 wine should be 11.99. But we don’t know how to sell it to Americans. So we are discounting it while it is still good. Our gift to you. “Let me have a case.”

Another person comes by the stack. "Let me have one too. I love this wine. I hope you won’t run out of this soon.” I hope we do, at least before it goes to a point where it is not at its best. You might want to take a second case, while it is here in front of you. “I normally don’t, but you might be right.” In this case, trust me, I am. Unfortunately. But at least this wine will warm someone’s heart this holiday season. Better than spending another summer in a warehouse getting warmed itself.

“I need Vin Santo.” “I need some Moscato.” “Where is the Brunello section?” “Do you have Barolo Chinato?” Be still my beating heart, did someone say Chinato? There is a God, indeed.

Yes, the season is peaking and winding down all at the same time. Nothing like a photo finish. We’ll be dead tired. We’ll win a few, we’ll lose a few. But we will keep the world safe a little longer for Italian wines.

Heaven please send to all mankind,
Understanding and peace of mind,
And if it's not asking too much,
Please send me some wine to love.


Frank Haddad said...

No one importing Chinato anymore in BC. Still holding on to my last bottle of Barolo Chinato Cocchi.May have to come to Texas to get some more.

Marco Datillo said...

What about that bi-sexual wine?

Wine Curmudgeon said...

That is why we do what we do, eh Alfonso? Do lawyers or ad executives get that much pleasure out of pleasing a client?

Thomas said...

No, Curmudgeon: all they get is rich!

Hal Rose said...

Going back and re-reading some older posts...this one's great!

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