Sunday, May 28, 2017

Italian Wines – Multifaceted, Bright, Complex and Confounding

I see it all the time – like Groundhog’s Day – people are interested in Italy, the cultures, the food, the fashion, the design, the statues. But Italian wine is just too darn complicated!

We are entering into the time when more people will travel to Italy for vacations, for tourism, for cultural renewal. I heard it last night in a little café, people talking about Venice, Pompeii, Rome. I saw an older couple in a department store buying comfortable clothes for their “trip to Italy.” And when they get there, when they sit down to eat, they will, most likely, drink Italian wine. So why do they get so hung up about Italian wine here in America?

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Who cares what wine bottle you post on Instagram?


"It’s all about your brand!"

"Why be a follower, when you can be an influencer?"

"Make your mark (BIG!) for enhanced career opportunities!"

As a visual junky, I have a confession to make – I love looking at pictures on Instagram. Call it an introvert’s tendency to stand in the corner and observe. Or the realization, that at a certain age, you (ALL OF YOU!) will become invisible to the ascending generation that is full of energy and spunk – they want the world and they want it NOW! Whatever. There are millions of images flooding the site and young professionals are now being told that being active on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and, yes, even LinkedIn, is a strategy to strengthen your professional career! Funny, I was suggesting this to the executives (where I work) almost ten (10!) years ago. The teenagers (then) are now in the work force, and they are a force (ASK THEM! Ask their media coach!). And it is now de rigueur to lather up one’s bandwidth with a plethora of visual droppings to mark one’s fire hydrant in the race for influence and relevance. After all, you’re BUILDING YOUR BRAND!

Wow, all those exclamation points (AND UPPERCASE WORDS!) are so exhausting! But we live, now, in a world where so many people are clamoring for attention. And unless you climb over that HUGE wall and get your advanced certification (and maybe even become some kind of MASTER!) how can one differentiate who they are, and how influential they can be, in the short term? Hey, how about posting AWESOME pictures of unobtainable (to the rest of us) bottles of AWESOME wines? Sounds like a plan!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Fortunes of the Times - Great Italian Vintages from the “Noughties” - 2012-2016

Frequent readers already know this little secret – Italy is in a full-blown Golden Age for wine. Never have we seen more great wine coming out of this land once called Oenotria. After thousands of years, we have arrived to the Promised Land. And the last five vintages have bestowed a largess upon wine lovers almost to the point of excess. Before one thinks this a protestation, let’s examine our collective fortune.

While on this last trip to Italy, covering Tuscany and Piedmont with a dollop of Vinitaly in the middle, we tasted through many wines from these five vintages from 2012 to 2016.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Piedmont’s controversial 2014 vintage in the Langhe

How important is vintage? Does terroir prevail over the wind and the rain and the sun? Does a farmer, who works the land for 40 years, have special tools to overcome the vagaries of the land? Or is it all a cosmogonic crap-shoot?

Those are questions people, far better connected than me, have been grappling with for aeons. But nonetheless, those were the questions I too asked as I stood on the tower in Barbaresco, overlooking one of the dearest wine producing spots on earth. And 2014 was the vintage in question.

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