Sunday, January 15, 2023

Italian Mountain Wines, Friendship and a Good Night’s Sleep

Why most of you came here was to find out about Italian wine. And, over the years, I’ve written a lot about that. I’m not stopping, wine is just a part of everyday life these days. But good wine, and the occasional great wine, make all the difference in the world.

For that, I’ve been focusing on Italian wine made in mountain climes, from Liguria to Piedmont, to Alto Adige, to Valtellina, to Valle d’Aoste, to Etna, and anywhere and everywhere wine making becomes just a little more challenging to make. Heroic? Sure, why not?

One need to just go there, try and drive there, hike there, and see how challenging it is. I’ve more than once lost my breath, my balance and my equilibrium once I got on top of a mountain (or even a tall hill) and looked across the horizon. Never down. Yeah, right. Unfortunately, I did look down, and it was hard going to get me off that mountain top. But ultimately, I descended. After all the cellar usually is somewhere lower, and one must complete their research, n'est-ce pas?

Right now, in my lineup are white wines from Valle d’Aosta, Etna, Alto Adige, Piedmont and Marche. Hillside wines, mountain wines, wines made on slopes, wines made for people looking for something other than a Chardonnay or a Pinot Grigio. I’ve written extensively about wines from these areas, and suffice to say, I’m not here to go into detail with notes and scores. But rather, to coax, to cajole, to suggest at the very least, that you venture off the autostrada of life and take a hike! You will find some delicious wines. I will supply links at the end of this post for further reading and exploration.

Now about friendship. I know I’ve been harping about this subject for some time now, but as one develops (in the bottle or dans le corps) one finds in the evolution of time and maturation that this thing we call friendship changes. Totally unconnected from any livelihood activity, I find my world closer to that of what it was like when I was a child. And the relationships as well. More playing, less haggling. I regularly talk with a childhood friend of mine from 2nd grade. We talk about different things now than we did when we were 8. But essentially it is the same interchange. Likewise with my 8th grade girlfriend, who I occasionally text back and forth with. We share history, and all the juvenile puppy love notwithstanding, what we share now is our friendship. Much like we did when we were 13, but without the impatient anticipation and the hormones.

And with friends who I have now, the ones who survived covid and retirement. It’s like we all have taken a big breath of, relief? We made it. We’re still alive and healthy. We’re even still friends? Isn’t it wonderful? Shall we open up a bottle of Italian mountain red? Oh, not till February? After all, some of us are observing Dry January. Ok, Feb 1st it is. On the calendar.

Which leaves us with one last thing: a good night’s sleep.

Last night I woke up about 2 AM and could not easily fall back asleep. I hadn’t had anything to drink, and ate lightly. I’d put in a good day of activity (16,000 steps!) and had been pretty active that day. The week that led up to it was hazarded with a few days of feeling off kilter, with little or no energy. Lots of napping, but not really knowing what was wrong physically. When I realized I’d mis-dosed some medication, I changed course and got back on track. Then my better half went into a bit of a physical slump, a common occurrence, which is a result of side effects from cancer treatments 11 years ago. But we managed to get through that mini crisis as well and were up and running. Or walking.

But when I could not sleep last night, all the ills of the world, imagined and real, descended upon my head and my pillow erupted like Vesuvius. War, outer space invaders, poverty, extreme cold, extreme heat, hunger, sickness, Putin, Trump, North Korean Kim, all the evils and awful things I have manifested in my life were pounding the shore, mercilessly. Until I succumbed to slumber.

When I awoke, I had the remnants of a headache. I took an aspirin, made some coffee and proceeded to put everything back together. Which is something I seem to be doing more and more of lately.

My mom would say it’s the resilience she bequeathed to me, and I would not argue with her. Because that’s what it is.

But I tell you, there is nothing as desirable as a good night’s sleep. At least, that’s the flag that I’m running up my flagpole these days. 

 "In the meantime, rest well, and dream of large women."
- Man in Black to (Andre) the Giant - Princess Bride

Ok, how about those links for the mountain wines:

Northern Italy Notebook ~ Mountain and Valley Harvest Tour

Blame It On The La Cá Növa

Carema - “Strong and Likeable as the Sun and the Stone”

In Search of the Untamed - Is it Too Late for Italy?

Other Mountains:

How tall is your mountain?

Looking for another mountain

Dismantling the First Mountain

The valley between the mountains

wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

1 comment:

Wink Lorch said...

Nothing like mountain whites, and then some of those wonderful rustic light reds too from fabulous obscure Alpine grapes with names that invite a sip, like Schiave (getting better and better, I understand), or Pinerolese - still haven't made it there. Someone really should write a book on Wines of the Italian Alps...
Wishing you a good night's sleep,
Your Alpine friend, Wink

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