Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Four Pillars of Italian Wine

Italian wine is a diverse sea of flavors, colors, buoyancies, styles and price points. There are thousands of grapes, and as many or more wines to go along with it. But what drives the business? What grows the market share? And what keeps the lights on?

It falls to four wines, all with relatively humble beginnings. The four wines encompass four different types of wines – white, red , sparkling and sweet. And although they may not be on the tip of the tongues of today’s tony sommeliers, they provide needed cover for the more esoteric and trendy wines currently being touted by the in-crowd and influencer-wannabes.Too often we chase the trends and forget what brought us here.

Caution advisory: These are not considered cool wines by the high toned up-and-comers. Those dashers consider them boring, dull, run of the mill, yawn, give-me-a-break, get-away-from-me type of wines. They are misinformed.

Sunday, March 19, 2023

The Words We Use for the Truths We Seek

Lately I’ve been pondering the words we choose, when writing and talking about wine. Notably, I have seen a burgeoning use of words like curated, gifted, humbled, blessed, privileged, literally and journey. And let’s not forget “my bad.” Along with that, we’re seeing more first-person representations. In other words, there’s a lot more of me and a lot less of thee.

Sunday, March 12, 2023

An Italian wine lover's incessant love affair with (lithe and sexy) Trebbiano

Recently, the Italian wine producers have been hitting the road. Tre Bicchieri and Slow Wine road shows, along with an agglomeration of small producers, importers, p.r. firms and producer consortiums, have been traversing the globe, once again. Even with our pandemic hangover still lingering in mind, if not in deed, the world must not stand still. And so, I ventured to a local tasting of the Slow Wine Tour, here in my home base of Dallas, Texas.

The day would be crowded with other obligatory duties. My son was scheduled to get an elective procedure (snip, snip) and he needed me to drive him to and fro, which constituted crossing several urban centers in our metroplex, a round trip of about 100 miles. In addition to that, the weather was dotty. Rain was in the forecast, and in Texas, in March, that could mean anything from a light downpour to an F5 tornado.

Sunday, March 05, 2023

Two white Sicilian wines that are worth seeking out

With all the hubbub over local grapes these days, one can easily go down the rabbit hole in the Italian wine journey. Even once considered mundane and common grapes are getting restyled as unique wines. Sicily, historically a bastion of quantitatively produced wines, is where we land today. And Grillo is the grape, appropriate for the rabbit hole as the grape is loved and sought after by the local rabbits. On one island, Mozia, the sole producer there had to suspend production of their wine, as the furry little mammals nearly decimated the vines due to their insatiable hunger (and thirst?) for the grape.

Fortunately, Sicily has many more vineyards where the grape thrives.

But today we’re looking for quality, not quantity.

Which leads me to my latest venture, which will be a bit more pedestrian than my usual naval gazing expeditions into Italy and Italian wine.

Two such bottles came to my attention recently, as they were sent to me by a firm trying to get the word out on the renaissance that Grillo is witnessing. These two wines, by no means, are the only word on such revolution. But they happened to land on my front doorstep. So, I thought to pop the corks and drive them around the kitchen for a few days, getting to know them better, tasting them, drinking them, trying them with several kinds of foods, and hoping to find something to like.

I did!

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