Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Cannubi Conundrum ~ If 15 was 30

Still life with glass of Lambrusco at Aldo Sohm Wine Bar
Although harvest is in full-swing in Piedmont, the folks who sell the wines have hit the road. This week found me in New York City and Frisco, Texas for a barrage of Barolo events.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Wine – made by dead people – for people not yet born

With autumn’s beginning, Italian winemakers are now home from the beach and the mountains, and busy working in their wineries. Gone are the long dreamy days listening to the lap of the sea. Faint are the memories of lunch that went from 1:00 until 4:00 PM, and which included a nap after that. Distant are the long nights, sipping frizzante wine and eating fresh fish, pasta and fruit at a nearby chalet way past midnight. Now is the time for no-sleep, meals on the fly and little time for reflection. Oh Daniele boy, the grapes, the grapes are calling.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

"Hare Today - Gone to Merlot" or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Shelf-Talkers

While many wine lovers are trekking off to exotic lands to experience the grape harvest, I am deep into the holiday selling season. The traditional O-N-D (October-November-December) selling season has added an “S” (for September), and now it is the “S-O-N-D” season. Every year I get wound up and this year is no different. But for some reason, I sense when this one is put to bed, it will mark an important crossroad in my work life. I don’t want to miss a moment. I love the competition, I love to win, still have fire in my belly, even though to many of the young’uns around me, I am pretty much invisible. That’s OK; I know how to do invisible real well.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

“I just want wines reviewed by Parker”

While in one of my favorite little Italian wine shops near my home, I ventured over to the Tuscan section to see how the owner’s Labor Day sale was going. Earlier in the week I had arranged the Brunello section (for about five minutes, before the various distributor reps decided they didn’t like where their placements had been configured). A 50ish man was looking at one of the bottles. “Can I help you with anything?” I asked him. I figured, having just organized this section, and researched the critical acclaim various wines received, I was about as versed as anyone regarding what was what. As well, I had tasted nearly all of the wines, so I could give him my blow-by-blow. “No thanks, I’m just looking for wines rated by Parker,” he said. I wanted to ask him, “Would you like the reviews of Italian wines from Parker by Daniel Thomases or the ones by Antonio Galloni (now with Vinous) or the ones now being done by Monica Larner (once with the Wine Enthusiast). And if you liked those, let’s say in the time when Galloni was reviewing, why wouldn’t you like to look at his reviews now and consider those (on Vinous) with as much credibility that you imbued his reviews when they were on Parker?” But I started with “Oh well, there are plenty of wines rated by Parker’s writers here, so that shouldn’t be a problem, if that is what you are looking for.” He gave me this look, as if I didn’t know what he was talking about and then he shouted out, “No, I just want wines reviewed by Parker.”

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