Sunday, December 26, 2021

On the Wine Trail in Italy – Sweet Sixteen

How long does a butterfly live? 

Dear reader,

You’ve endured my ongoing screeds about the relevancy of wine blogs for almost as long as I’ve been writing them. They are an artifact of an era which won't be known for longevity. At this point, I’m prone to considering wine blogs akin to Tales from the Crypt, sans the gratuitous horror. Bored to death? Well, maybe we’re just not paying good enough attention. However you may look at it, I'm celebrating anyway. It’s sweet sixteen for this old wine blog.

I don’t look on the passage of time with as much surprise as I once did. Time has one speed. We have our own perceptions of the momentum, and that often changes in one’s life. For now, I’m just strapped in and riding along, as we zip through the solar system, galaxy and universe. I’m surprised I’m not dizzy, or nauseated, or just plain pooped, from the jaunt. But I’m actually enlivened and activated, having survived, so far, this life and the ride. So, let’s take a gander at where this blog went in 2021, before I tell you where we’re going in 2022.


This will by my 75th blog post this year, an uptick from 50+ posts I would write in the last six years. One of the reasons is the “By the Bottle” series I did, where I cajoled some of my wine world peeps into answering some of the same questions. I enjoyed doing it. It had a defined lifespan, and when it was done, it was done. Apologies to anyone who didn’t get in under the wire. And to those who committed but forgot, well I’d say forget about it, but you already did.

What the series did was put all of the answers in the same stock pot. It was interesting (at least to me) to parse the answers from such a wide variety of people in the wine trade, from all around the world. A bit of of a Rorschach reckoning, sans the psycho-babble.


Another series, “The Insolent Sommelier,” was more of a personal purge from my past career. I didn’t expect it to be hexadic. But when one is emptying their trash, it must be taken all the way out to the dumpster. Thank you all for indulging me (Spoiler alert: there will be more in 2022, and there will be blood). So, get your popcorn ready. I’m already sharpening my chain saw.

I wrote here,It appears this site has been transitioning from a wine and Italocentric blog to another iteration.” And these two series have been an extension of that intention. I’m likely continuing that transition, and will do so in 2022.


One of my personal passions this year that has blossomed quite spontaneously is in the field of horology, mainly thanks to my Covid/retirement era friendship with my pal Michael. I’m deep into the rabbithole of watches. Why? I really cannot answer that so well right now, except to say when one isn’t traveling as much as one had been previously, well, you just get into things. I like how watches and the watch world have similar parallels to the world of wine. Except in the world of watches, Switzerland is the bell cow, not France, not Italy. Oh, France and Italy (and Germany, and, and…) are major players. I’m intrigued by the passion and the pricing and the artisanship and the history. It appears to me that watches are in this colossal ferment, similar to what I witnessed in the wine trade circa 1980-2000. Very exciting. And fascinating (to me) to note the parallels. There will be more words on watches on this blog post. You have been warned.


When I turned 16, I took my little 1961 Pontiac Tempest to the beaches of Southern California, looked up my grade school girlfriend and we drove around Newport and Huntington Beach listening to Bob Dylan and the Doors. It was the summer of love. And even though our “puppy love” had transitioned to friendship, it was rousing to be young and healthy and free. I’m still friends with her, and we talk occasionally. Fortunately, some of my friends, some as far back as 60 years ago, are still my friends. And thankfully some of my new friends are also part of my life. I’ve shed a shit ton of transactional relationships (or more likely, they shed me), and from the bow of the ship that I’m standing on, I get it. There is a time for everything. And there isn't time for everything. Time, always creeping in. Until it isn’t, or we isn’t!

Grazie1000 for reading, and checking in occasionally. At this point it’s an “onward, through the fog” scenario.

Engage. Remain hopeful. Stay away from predators. And before you leave, have some cake!

Oh yeah, and just how long does that butterfly live?

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

3 comments:

Unknown said...

Congratulations and thank you, Alfonso. A weekly blog that often educates, entertains, causes us to pause and think or reflect, all while wrapped around the world of humanities that include wine, photography and human nature. Well done!

While the butterfly has a short lifespan, it has nevertheless endured in nature for well over 250 million years. A doff of my hat to your endurance.

MOV

Melanie Ofenloch said...

Alfonso,

I have always looked forward to your blog. You are a great storyteller and I am always captivated how you bring us into your stories. Here's to another 16 years!

Alfonso Cevola said...

Thanks Michael and Melanie, appreciate your comments. Happy New Year!

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