Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Deciders vs. the Influencers – A saga for espousing wine in the new era

There are voices out there, in the ether of the internet, who are pushing the idea of the demise of the old guard. “The decider class is dying,” they clamor, hurling salvos about the decrepitude of the voices that have guided many folks into the world of wine. “It’s all over now, the blue bloods no longer tell us which red wines we should buy, with their 100-point scales and bloviated tasting notes. It does nothing for me, tells me nothing about my experience, my relationship with the wine I choose.” It’s risen to more than a gentle ferment. The young lions want the silverbacks to “get the blazes out of our world.”  Is the age of the authority done with? Or is the new blood punching the upper crusts out of the way, hustling out the Decider Class and ferrying in the Influencer Squad? Is it really a new age, or is this merely a successive approximation, dolled up to look hip and dope?

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The wonderfully complicated and all too brief (and happy) life of Pio Boffa

A fond remembrance

There are moments in life when a particular event happens, that sends ripples across the water.  Such was the moment yesterday when I heard about the passing of a friend in Italy, Pio Boffa. Pio was just 66 years old, and another victim of the relentless Covid19 virus.

How does this happen, a little over a month after another friend, Barone Alessandro de Renzis Sonnino, passed away at the age of 62, also from Covid?

Right now, Michigan and New York states are posting higher daily new cases than Italy, with half the population. Italy has imposed greater restrictions than those states, but the grim reaper is still harvesting souls in the motherland.  

Unfortunately, Pio’s life was one of those. And what a wonderfully complicated and all too brief life it was.

But what a time to be alive and in the business of Italian wine!

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Are you still here? [And when in hell are you gonna get off our grass?]

Looking through my wine closet I came upon a couple of bottles I’d forgotten. And probably for good reason. They’re old. They’re white. And when they were first released, they were, let’s say, a little over weighted in the testosterone department. In other words, as the #NewGen's say, boomer wine.

One was a California (Napa Valley) Sauvignon Blanc, the other was a French (Burgundy) Corton Charlemagne. Both from the 1980’s. They’d both achieved a dark, golden, sunset-y color.

I have a place, high in my wine closet, which I call the bardo-balcony. It’s where I put old wines that have given up the ghost. But the labels might be pretty, or the wines might have a special meaning for me. Or a memory. So, I can’t quite throw them in the recycle bin. I’ll let those who come to clean up, after I’ve given up the ghost, deal with it (hopefully not for a while).

But it reminds me that every living thing on earth has a cycle. And wine, like people, can live for ages. Or it can leave a little earlier than the rest of us.

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Old Cheese Man Wine

ately, during this extraordinary era, I’ve been digging into ye olde wine cellar and pulling out crusty specimens that have arrived to an old age. It was a dream of youth, to have access to older, aged, mature wines. We’d read about it in Michael Broadbent’s book. A wine that needs 20-30 years to arrive at its peak. And now, I have scores of those bottles. And to magnify the situation, an even older friend of mine bequeathed me even more ancient bottles. A dream come true, ce n'est pas?

However, all the glitters isn’t the golden light off the cobwebs of these fossils. Here’s what I’ve been finding lately.

They are all starting to smell like old cheese man wine.

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