Sunday, March 31, 2019

Where is the epicenter of the wine world today?

In these moments, social media sites are ablaze with folks making their yearly pilgrimages to wine fairs. A few weeks ago, it was to Germany and Prowein. Right now, the faithful are walking from shrine to shrine in Bordeaux for Primeurs 2018. I’ve done it a handful of times, it’s a great event. And in a week, over in Italy, the 53rd Vinitaly will commence. All three of these events in the Western World, could easily qualify as being in the epicenter of the wine world today. If you are fortunate enough to attend one or all of them, consider yourself one of the lucky few. And if you are not there but you are right here, staring at the screen, as I am, right now, that’s the new epicenter. And that is perfectly fine by me.

I made the Vinitaly trek last year, after I had “retired” from a career in commercial side of the wine business. It was a lovely experience to just walk the halls, visit old friends and taste some new wines. I’m sure I’ll go back again someday (not this year) and if I do, I’ll be happy to do so. For it truly is a gathering of most of the wine energy of Italy, which is considerable.

But I can also travel right here, right now. I am finding that my world, especially the center of it, is best viewed from a calm, quite place. Maybe that’s the introvert in me. Maybe it’s the years telling me that it’s been great and now this time is for reflection, for intention and for looking at the bigger picture from the perspective of my many experiences in the wine world.

Last week, in my home town, in Dallas Texas (the lower-midsection of flyover country) I tasted wine from Greece (along with an amazing 2 hour “master class” from Ted Diamantis). I spent an hour with two young wine makers from Washington state. I ran into an importer and his new property from the Maremma and tasted through those new and exciting wines. I went to a medium sized distributor’s Spring showcase and tasted wines from Italy, France, Texas, California, South Africa, Australia and Oregon. And dropped in on a pop-up tasting of Luca Currado's lastest wines from his Vietti winery. Not to mention the many wines I opened, to taste for upcoming articles. And topped it off on Saturday night at an Italian spot with friends enjoying lovely bottles of Lugana and Nebbiolo. I may not be in anybody’s epicenter but my own, but from where I sit, I’m not complaining. And I like to think that many of us now have that rolling, flexible nucleus that the wine world has become in the last generation or two.

Chenin Blanc from Lodi with an arugula Caesar? Surf’s up! Cru Beaujolais with my chicken sausage lasagna? Tout à fait. Sparkling Xinomavro rosé with fig and prosciutto pizza? Ευχαριστώ πολύ. Barbera D’Asti with Guac-toast? Volentieri! We wanted the world and we wanted it now – well, we got it. And anybody with their eyes open have got to see, that even with all the bad stuff happening all around us all the time, you’ve got to be grateful for the moment we live in to have the access and the opportunity to enjoy a life in wine – because there are 6 ½ billion souls on earth who are just trying to get through the day, and many without clean water, a dry place to sleep and a world in which they don’t fear getting raped, assaulted or exploited for the gain of others. While for many souls their life is a climb up their personal Scala Sancta, those fortunate to be in the right place and the right time are, as I’ve said a million times, living in a Golden Age.

So, if you cannot be in Bordeaux this week, or Italy next week, or Germany last month, or Tianjin in the Fall, or anywhere else where you might think the center of things are, just take a moment and step away from the screen and look out your window. You are in the center of your universe. You are on the mountaintop of your world. As we all are. Please enjoy the moment, the wine and the people who are right in front of you. And it will make your wine even more delicious, make you a better taster and honor the farmers and winemakers who toiled to bring that glass of wine sitting in front of you all those thousands of miles and years to you for this moment – right here, right now.

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W


Anonymous said...

wherever you are is the epicenter of the wine world.

Alfonso Cevola said...

Brilliant! can I quote you?

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