Thursday, March 27, 2014

What's New? What's Compelling? What Are You Looking For?

Sitting at a table earlier this week with a handful of new wines to taste, I started to think “What’s new about these wines?” I really was thinking “What is compelling” about them. But in our race to find the latest, greatest and rush it to market, I’ve started looking at the Italian wine market a little differently.

Maybe “What’s new?” isn’t the best way to frame the conversation. We go from Frascati, to Verdicchio to Galestro. Galestro? Who even thinks about that wine anymore? But once upon a time it was billed as the next best thing. And then Pinot Grigio came along.

We move from Gavi to Greco, Catarratto to Carricante, all the while looking over the horizon for the next pretty thing.

Red wine too. We shuffle from Chianti to Brunello, Barbera to Barolo, Nero d’Avola to Nerello Mascalese, looking, looking…

It’s a strange thing, what is it we are really looking for?

In another conversation with a journalist, and the talk about a wine cellar. A wine cellar, something very few people have or want. Still, we talk about such things when wine lovers get together. Antonio Galloni just did a cellar primer for folks starting to collect. Want to find out about someone in the wine business? Look at their collection, whether it is in a cellar or not. It will tell you many things about the person.

My goal is to have the wines I have collected dwindle down as my life dwindles down. Who knows if that will happen? What if I decide to go on a bender in my later years? If I do, I have decided to make wine. I have done it before, liked what I made. My daily tastes are simple; I want freshness of flavor, relative dryness, not too much in the way of oak (none is fine) flavors, and a good astringent finish. Like the Bardolino I had the other day with the plate of Bigoli al torchio con rag├╣ d’Asino I had in a local trattoria (part of my ongoing hunt for the missing La Cucina Italiana). It reminded me, once again, that while new is exciting and compelling is intellectually engaging, when all is said and done, and one is sitting down with a nice plate of pasta, what works best might just be something fresh and simple. That’s what’s new with me, just in case you were wondering.

written by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W
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