Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Rise of The Italian Wine Specialist in America

An O-N-D Pep Talk

For the past four months I've felt like the mother of all road warriors, in service of Italian wine. I really thought I was finished. I really did. But the wine gods back home in Italy have their ideas. And I had my marching orders. So it was, one more time, around and around America, with sword and shield.

In the wine trade, October, November and December (O-N-D- for short) has been considered the busy time of the year. I've put in 37 O-N-D’s. I’m done with that, my O-N-D having been supplanted by a J-J-A-S (June, July, August and September) with a short October coda thrown in for good measure. Along the way, I experienced something that is very encouraging for the Italian wine trade – and that is the rise of the Italian wine specialist in America.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

The Unbearable Lightness of Being… Fiano di Avellino

From the Native & Indigenous Italian Grapes Series

Vesuvius in Eruption by Joseph Mallord William Turner
In flyover country USA in the 1980’s, finding decent white wine from Italy was a gamble. As I’ve written countless times on this blog, the Italians were digging out from a devasting world war, and technology was creeping forward. There were more important things than making white wine palatable for Americans. I remember a Florentine trattoria owner once told me, “Americans, what do they know?” Along with that there was this affection for the older style of white wine – more robust, with all manner of flavors and sensations – from spritzy to roughly textured, from oxidized to “marsalato.” The older folks (typically, men) loved them and saw no reason to change to cleaner and leaner. Those wines would fit in well today in wine bars below 14th Street and in places like Williamsburg.

But a trip to Fort Worth, Texas changed all that for me.

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