Sunday, April 24, 2022

Love Me! Love My Wine!

One of the distillations I’ve arrived to, at this late hour, is that ultimately everything is about love. And that includes any and all things that have to do with wine. Oh, yes, there is science and technique. And style. And safety and health and marketing. And sales. But if people don’t love your product, you’re going nowhere. And in today’s climate, in our information-barraged world, with our upside-down state of affairs, when it comes to world health and world peace and world travel, how do you get someone to love you and love your wine?

When it comes to the way we used to do it, pre-Covid19, there was a, more-or-less, expected path. After the wine was made, and assuming it was a reliable product (tasty, attractive in appearance to more than just the creator and priced appropriately for its category) there were well-trod paths that one would take to assure the wine would get to the end-user.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

#Ciao, #Vinitaly2022, #WellDone!

That was the conveyance via the social media thoroughfares on Wednesday April 13, 2022 as the most recent iteration of Vinitaly was winding down. For those who did go to “the show,” the reactions were varied. Some were relieved, that they got through it, Covid or not. Some were simply exhausted. Some were ecstatic. And some left shaking their heads, saying, “We waited two years to come back to the same ‘ol, same ‘ol?” Was the show a success? Or was it a dinosaur, restored, bone by bone, and put on display to exhibit that some things never change? 

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Dispatch from Kyiv: Why I won’t be going to Vinitaly this year

The following is a speculative compilation deriving out of anecdotal missives from friends in the wine trade who are in Ukraine. This is only a drill. Слава Україні!

 I’m in the basement of our apartment building, where I now live. I am a young Ukrainian in the wine business (mainly p.r. and sommelier studies), but right now, me and my family, and our country, are fighting for our lives. So, I won’t be going to Vinitaly this year.

My mother-in-law has taken our children across the border to Poland, where now they are safe. My husband is fighting for our freedom in eastern Ukraine. I’m here with my mother, who is a widow and needs my attention, for she cannot travel far these days. And my father-in-law, we haven’t heard from in days. He’s back at the farm north of Kyiv, tending to the land and the animals. We are very worried for him.

I looked forward to Vinitaly every year, to meet with winemakers and my social media community. Especially hard it has been in the last two years because of the Covid. But now we face an even greater enemy to our being here in Ukraine.

I love Italy, their wine and food and people. I love how free the country is. I would bring back a little of Italy every time I went. I even loved Vinitaly. I didn’t mind the crowds, the confusion or the uniquely Italian form of organizing a large event like Vinitaly. Now I wish I had a bathroom here in Kyiv like the worst one I would ever find at Vinitaly. Or a dry panini and an overpriced bottle of frizzante water. It sounds like heaven to me.

But I am now part of the resistance against one of the most evil of humans, I cannot even say his name. But you know who I am talking about.

My husband has seen things no one should ever have to see. We are a peace-loving family. My children are innocent. We are innocent! But cruelty doesn’t distinguish between the guilty and the guiltless. No, the bombs from above are indiscriminate in their path of destruction. But we are not beaten. We are bloodied, yes. Our hearts are broken, but our spirit is unscathed. And we will win!

I’d love so much to see my friends at Vinitaly. But I’d love even more to see my father-in-law, my mother-in-law, my dear husband and my sweet, sweet children. I cannot even think about a wine fair, although I am guilty to say I dream about it. Maybe one day, in the future. But for now, we have more important things to attend to: Our Existence.        -Марія Павліченко



UNICEF USA Official Site - Help Children in Ukraine

SAVE THE CHILDREN - Ukraine Crisis Children's Relief 




Sunday, April 03, 2022

The Death of an Iconic Italian Restaurateur

In the book, “The Sicilian,” by Mario Puzo, there was a passage on a curved archway above a cemetery near Palermo. On that archway was the message: “WE HAVE BEEN LIKE YOU – AND YOU SHALL BE LIKE US.” Sobering words for any and all who are fortunate to breathe these few short moments on Earth.

Restaurateurs come and go, just like all of us. Some of them leave a bigger mark. Maybe it was the time they were in. Maybe they were just lucky. Maybe they were exceptional. Or all of the above. But nothing is forever.

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