Sunday, January 31, 2021

Come back, Trebbiano, we miss you so

Dearest Trebb,

It seemed just like yesterday we were sitting by the beach enjoying each other’s company, the gentle waves lilting to the cadence of the soft Italian jazz music coming from Chalet Federico. Lordy, I miss you so.

It’s not that I haven’t tried to move on. I’ve tried almost everything in the book. I’ve tried your neighbor, Verdicchio. It just wasn’t the same. I’ve ventured further north, and tried Soave and Lugana, no luck. I even ventured to France and had a fling or two with Ugni Blanc. But I kept coming back to you, Trebb. There’s something about Trebbiano Abruzzese.

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Will we ever get back?

In this period of sequestration, some have had time to peer into the well and reflect. What do we miss? What have we lost? What have we gained? Where do we go from here? Can we survive this?

More questions than answers. And that, coming from a world and a time when so many thought they had the answers right in front of them. And then the unimaginable happened.

The question, for so many of us, is how do we find our way through the fog? Will we ever get back?

Sunday, January 17, 2021

What Miles Davis and John Coltrane taught me about wine

ately, I’ve been organizing my musical recordings. I’m a big jazz fan. Somewhere along the line, during college, while I loved to listen to rock, especially the San Francisco style in the 1970’s, I veered over to jazz. There was a great FM radio station in Los Gatos, California, KTAO. But even before that, I was interested. I remember going to a Miles Davis concert in1967 at UCLA. It was his quintet, with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and Wayne Shorter. Miles didn’t allow any photography, we had to take our cameras back to the car. But the music was brilliant.

Living in California after college, I got into all kinds of jazz. John Coltrane, what’s not to love? So, when I got a Miles/Coltrane CD for Christmas, I was really excited. And then I got to listening to the music.

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Epiphany (and the room where it happened)

nce, on a fast run up the autostrada from Ancona to Verona, an old friend and I were talking about epiphanies. He’d had many in his life and had distilled it down to its essence. “It’s a bolt of lightning - Il Fulmine.” I’ve thought about those moments lately, as it seems we’ve been having more than our share of “Il Fulmine” in today’s world. And as we sail through time, many of us have those moments when our purpose is distilled in a flash, and everything is bright and clear, if only for that moment.

It’s much like a photograph. 1/100th of a second. And then something else. Not gone, but no longer there with the energy and the force it initially struck with. I guess you could say it’s a bit like those times when you are intimate with someone and for a moment everything disappears and there is only light and passion, and emotion and energy.

And while it wasn’t quite that dramatic when it happened, looking back on that day, I realize I was then bound to wine, it made an indelible impression. Let me tell you about it.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

How Italian wine will thrive in the 21st century

Transformational over Transactional

omething I am detecting, acutely, in these early days of 2021, are the relationships that were shaped while working in the wine trade. How many times did I sit at someone’s mother (or grandmother) table enjoying a home-cooked meal while tasting the wines they also made? What did they get out of it? Another meal for a bunch of American wine buyers. Another lost night. More free wine consumed, eating into the margins.

It’s something I ask a lot. Then, maybe it was because they knew I had buying power. But not now. I’m done with that. So, why, if at all, do some of those folks still stay in touch?

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