Sunday, April 08, 2012

What really matters?

Cinquecento @ Lafite

After being on the road for over two weeks, I am finally home in my own bed. It feels really good. Spain, Italy, France, two wine events, Vinitaly and Bordeaux En Primeur. Hundreds, dare I say thousand(s), of wines tasted. The last day alone we sat and tasted nearly 100 of the 2011 Bordeaux wines. Madness. Absolute madness. Driving up and down the roads of the Medoc, through all the communes, Pauillac, Margaux, all of them. Days spent on the Right Bank, Graves, Pessac-Leognan. Visits to every one of the First Growths and most of the Second Growths. Pomerol, including Petrus, Le Pin, La Fleur, Vieux Chateau Certan, Clinet. St Emilion superstars. And lots of Champagne tasted as well. And that’s just France.

And Italy, the reason this blog came about? Italy seems like so long ago now, but those four days at Vinitaly were packed with tastings, meetings, visits, dinners, hopes and dreams. And in between Vinitaly and En Primeurs I actually got to get on the wine trail in Italy. I even had a day or so to wander. It was in Tuscany, which at this time of the year was fresh and cool, although a bit dry.

A gaggle of Deux Chevaux queued up @ Giscours
Getting back onto the plane and back into the “American experience” yesterday began in Bordeaux. But it really hit me on the head in the Madrid airport. Standing in line for another security check a very large man and his wife came to the line I was queued up in. “This is the priority access line,” he ejaculated, as if to infer he had the only priority access. An older, well-healed man in line emerged to put him in his place, which would be at the end of the line, where all the other priority access fools were standing. I even raised a thumb and indicated that yes, we all weren’t oblivious to the line we were in. But Mr. Large was a bully and an American. I just hoped I was sitting next to him on the plane.

No, as my luck would have it a few minutes later I was standing in another line to get on the plane and a very well dressed woman in black proceeded to almost knock me over. She apparently didn’t see me in her world. I didn’t get an apology as much as a “look” which indicated consternation that I had penetrated her world. She was also well-healed. From Mexico. Not quite American, but ugly, nonetheless. She did show up in the seat next to me, remembering nothing. Fortunately, she found herself a better station next to her unfortunate husband. After two weeks in Europe, I was being pounded back into the cultural time zone where I spend most of my life. It is never pretty.

"Suicide Door" Meriva @ the scene of the crime

I reckon I will have more posts on the things I saw and tasted in Italy and France. For now I am glad to be home. There are some tall hurdles to clear here in the next month or two. The idea that these notes have evolved on the six years I have been doing this has prompted me to wonder what this is all about. Well, I look in the mirror and know exactly what it is time is doing. A little presumption isn’t a big sin in the scheme of things, is it? In reality all of this is the making of dust in the future.

Thankfully, the sweet taste of wine makes all of this much more palatable.

Happy holiday, all…

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


Anonymous said...

Just back from eleven days in Italy. Verona for the show, a few days in Sardinia and a great visit with Antonio Argiolas, and a few days in Piedmont to finish up. Traveling can be such a mess. But it seems we have to put up with the evil of it to experience the thrills. My time in Italy is always the highlight of my year. But it sure feels good to be back home. And sleep in ones own bed. Maybe I am just getting older.

Deika Elmi said...

Hi Alfonso,
I appreciate your post, if you look at it from my point of view after 8.5 years of living in Italy I have to say that I find Americans more polite. I too was at Vinitaly and have had surgery 3 months ago an ACL reconstruction left knee. I can't tell you how many times I was almost knocked over, pushed and shoved during the tradeshow. A friend a lovely Milanese guy walked with me and walked with me to the hotel shuttle and would acta as a guard and tackle anyone that looked like was going to come at me. So a lot of it is perspective. As a woman I find men way nicer and politer here back home, in Texas especially. But I do have lovely friends who look out for me in Italy and make sure that no one mows me down. :) I did have a car in Verona and a parking pass inside the tradeshow, but I promptly wrecked it in the hotel garage that was full of pilons and tiny. Good thing I had full insurance coverage. I think that it's an interesting play in words in English that when someone is well off we say "well heeled" and when someone is boorish and rude we can say that they are a heel, for men mostly and an antiquated term but sounds like you were mistreated by a "pair" of heels :) Dea da Austin, un saluto e tanta simpatia :)

Alfonso Cevola said...

Thanks, Deika

hope to meet up with you in ATX some day, maybe with Tracie and Jeremy from Dobianchi...

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