Sunday, March 31, 2024

Easter of the Immigrants – A Feast for the Ages

From the archives..
Over the past month, as my personal fog has lifted, there have been dreams. And in these dreams, many of them have had family who are no longer with us. The Grande Cinema of them all is one which has taken on a life after waking.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Il Carnasciale - There Goes the Cabernet-borhood

We are in the month of March – which has been, traditionally, in the wine trade, a time when winemakers and winery owners jet off and taste their clients on their releases, new and sometimes old. Slow Wine, Gambero Rosso, James Suckling, even Vinitaly with its Road Show, are crisscrossing the planet and spreading the Gospel of Italian Wine.

So, it came to be, on a Friday at Noon, one week before Good Friday, that the proprietor of the fabled Tuscan estate, Il Carnasciale, landed in Dallas, between Slow Wine gigs in Austin and Denver for a quick twelve-hour sip and swirl with local chefs and sommeliers.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

The New Gatekeepers

This past week, it was raining hard, and I needed to walk my new knee. So I went to the local mall, NorthPark Center, which is enclosed and dry and has a lot of great art and stores. It also has Eataly, an Italian emporium, a dozen places to get espresso, clean bathrooms, and some nice shops. I am into watches, so I like to look at the new offerings as I perambulate my way towards new-knee health. But recently I’ve tracked a trend in retail, which I have been sensing also happens in the world of wine – the new gatekeepers.

Three incidents happened, almost at the same time.

Sunday, March 10, 2024

What does it take to be the #1 Italian wine expert in the world?

Recently, I was introduced as an Italian wine expert. I bristled a little, and explained that at this time I am an enthusiast, and maybe one time I had been a little more involved in the day-to-day business of expertise, but that I have never considered myself an expert. But it got me to thinking about proficiency, and specifically, which person out there might be the #1 Italian wine expert in the world. A tall order, for sure, and one which might be different for different people, in different parts of the world.

For the sake of this speculative exercise, though, I decided to erect a few hurdles. Here goes:

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Enrico Scavino - A Remembrance

Last Monday, I received a note from a friend in Italy. “Enrico Scavino has crossed over into the Great Sea.”

Our paths first crossed 40 years ago, in 1984. It was my first business trip to Italy and I was with my friend and colleague Guy Stout. We had a duo of Italian restaurateurs with us and our guide Barone Armando de Rham, who represented Scavino to us in the U.S.

We were coming from Vinitaly, which in those days was a smallish (but growing) affair. Piedmont! It was so exciting to be going to the Burgundy of Italy, which was what we were told. In those days, the Italian wines and regions leaned on French equivalents, so the unknowing could find an entry point. Now, not so necessary, as Italian wine has become a force in the wine world.

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