Sunday, September 16, 2018

The Old Fool's Guide to Erbaluce

Inside my office there is a closet, a ramshackle affair, with whatever I haven’t yet figured out how to deal with. On the middle shelf there is this bulging box of wine labels, which has become my personal Jumanji. Within these slips of paper, there are any number of memorable moments, immortalized by removing them from their earthly chamber. These labels are the closest thing to timelessness in a world in which labels are digitized, scanned and then cycled into the bin of data in “the cloud.” But these labels talk to me, they stalk me in the present, and call to me from the past. One, notably arose to the occasion last week, when I was rummaging for Trebbiano labels in the box. It was a simple label, printed on thin paper and was Spartan in appearance. There was nothing sexy about it. But once my eyes saw it, a floodgate of memories surged forth like the ninth wave. So, I put on my flippers and rode it to a faraway shore.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

In praise of Trebbiano Abruzzese - a short personal history


Dino Illuminati, me and Daniele Spinelli,- 30 years ago
Without a doubt, the one indigenous Italian white that I have the most experience with over the years is Trebbiano Abruzzese. Because of that, I have a fondness for this wine. When I mention it in conversation I often get raised eyebrows before the verbal comments. I know what’s coming, and I brace myself. I’ve been repeatedly flogged with that whip over the years. It doesn’t hurt anymore.

Sunday, September 02, 2018

A short personal history of Arneis

Arneis is an indigenous grape variety found in Piedmont that is enjoying a wave of popularity in this moment. Many people are discovering the charms of the little rascal. But it wasn’t always so. I know, because I was there, one of the early donkeys carrying the (Italian) water up the hill, in hopes of advancing the popularity of wines like Arneis.

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