Sunday, April 21, 2013

Where was the Wine Advocate at Vinitaly?

I woke up this morning and didn’t know where I was or what day it was. I’ve been traveling a bit lately. Fortunately I was in West Texas and among friends. Which, considering my orientation, is no easy task. 

Something about Vinitaly has been bothering me. As much as this last Vinitaly was a blur, what with way too many obligatory meetings (and twice as many that I was unable to make), friends who I never got to see, and not enough time in the 15 minutes that was allotted to me. No, what is kind of bothering me was some of the missing press coverage. The Wine Spectator made a giant leap into the Italian pudding, they showed up. The Wine enthusiast folks were also there, although Monica Larner, their Italian reporter, reported that she was in France. Odd, huh?

The Italians were there, the bloggers, the many different reports and newsletters and reviews. I think I even saw poor Daniel Thomases nodding asleep in the Veronelli offices.

American bloggers showed up. Jancis Robinson had her people there too, officially and unofficially in Walter Speller and Alder Yarrow. It was even rumored that some folks saw James Suckling make an appearance or two. So who was missing? Who do you think?

Where were the Wine Advocate folks? Galloni was no longer with them, and he was at Pebble Beach, in any case. I asked; no one saw anyone from Robert Parker and his new investors in the Wine Advocate.

Sure, Bordeaux had their big show, even though Parker had gone some time before the crowds. The En Primeur 2013 was no big shakes, apparently, in comparison to the action at Vinitaly. So why did Parker and his new crew snub Vinitaly this year? Who knows? One thing for sure, to not show up for one of the top shows for wine on Planet Earth is surely more than an oversight. Perhaps the re-org over at TWA is more important than ¼ of the wine producers on Planet Earth in one place.

For my part, I’m not surprised. France fares first. Hell, Italy doesn’t even rate sloppy seconds, falling behind Napa and the New World noise that they who lead must follow. I think it is short sighted and somewhat disrespectful. Sure Galloni wouldn’t have come anyway. I get it, he writes his own ticket. In fact, Antonio did show up in Italy after the show was over. If I was pushed and pressed the way I was at Vinitaly, one could only imagine what manner of rendering Galloni would have to be subject to at Vinitaly.

I loved it. Couldn’t get enough of it. Will go back again in a few weeks for some more. In the meantime, the Wine Advocate folks were M.I.A. Maybe they are introverts. But, hey, so am I. This is a relationship show. They were a no-show at the Big Show in Verona.

The tides are shifting in Italy. The influences are changing. The stakes are rising. The race is to the swift.

Interesting times in Sunny Old Italy.

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W
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