Although it is hard to pick out trends with confidence in the current topsy-turvy wine market environment, it is fair to say that there is growing concern that global wine consumption has reached a plateau. This is not a new phenomenon, as I wrote back in January 2019, when I pointed out “global wine’s lost
Many of our friends are surprised when we mention English sparkling wine and it is easy to understand why. England isn’t exactly best known for its sunny weather. When economist David Ricardo wanted to illustrate his famous Law of Comparative Advantage, he used the example of England importing wine from sunny Portugal in exchange
La settimana scorsa guardavamo ai dati italiani e anticipavamo qualche dato relativo alla Francia, che some vedete dal primo grafico allegato, è andata moto peggio dell’Italia durante la crisi Covid ma ha avuto un recupero prodigioso che di fatto riporta la situazione, se vista in ottica di lungo termine, uguale a quella di 2-3 anni
Laurent Perrier si conferma anche nel 2020 la migliore tra le aziende quotate della Champagne, con un recupero prodigioso nel secondo semestre, dopo aver subito in pieno l’ondata COVID nel primo (il bilancio chiude a marzo, quindi il primo semestre 2020/21 è cominciato il 1 aprile). La strategia di alzare il livello del prodotto è
It had been almost a month since I’d first arrived into Italy. I’d crisscrossed the country - down, then up, then down again - and now back up to Rome, to ultimately catch my flight back home to California. I’d wasted a little time on trains, and in Florence and Positano. But I also relaxed a little bit and got into “Italian time.” I imagined, that if all went well, I’d be back someday. I didn’t feel the need to “see everything” and “do everything,” an affliction which inculcates most American tourists. I’d find a way. Little did I know then, that fifty years later I had been able to devise a life and a career which took me back to Italy, on average, more than once a year for fifty years. What Italy did to me on that first visit, my baptism of sorts, was to let me know there was a world outside of California, that was every bit (and then some) worth my time. Or not, if I chose not to. It was all up to me to pursue Italy. She wasn’t going to chase me. I knew that drill. I got it. I’d be back, someday.
The Italy that I first came upon, 50 years ago, is still there, in places. But like everywhere, there is an evolution, a progression. Yes, progress has been made. The three miracles for the traveler in these times are the ATM machine, the GPS system and the personal cell phone. Before them, Italy was a little harder to get around. Oh, it could be done. We all did it for years. But it’s so much easier now, and in that way, I think it is better.
What’s been lost in those fifty years? Well, as with most of us, the loss of innocence has been marked. Italy was coming out of a great war, the economy was rebuilding, the people were moving from rural areas to the urban centers, Rome, Florence, Milan, Torino, Naples, and many others. With that movement comes social change. I remember going to the Paolo Scavino celebration of their Bric Del Fiasc vineyard. They had a slide show and during the presentation, the narrator noted that in 1964, most of the roads in the Langhe were dirt roads. Only a few main thoroughfares had been paved. Now, Piedmont is like many other wine country destinations, with fine hotels, wonderful restaurants, and passable roads, even with GPS! If anything has been lost, in some parts of Italy, it is the personal touch. Forget most of the cities at first glance. They are driven by tourism and generating income. Oh, there are exceptions. But go back into a little town, maybe like Gravina in Puglia or Arquà Petrarca in the Veneto, where time moves a little slower. You can still find some of the old folks who recall an uncluttered, humble Italy. I search for it whenever I am there, and find it in the most astonishing places. So, my time in Positano came to an end. I got back on the bus, retraced my steps in Naples, got on the train, went back to Rome, and settled in a little hostel near the train station. I had a few days left. I’d walk the city until I ran out of film.
Now when I go back, I look at the places when I first saw them. St. Peter’s, where you could drive up, it wasn’t crowded. Park the car, have a basket lunch picnic on the steps of the church and take your time. Now it’s all about restricting and queuing up. “Move on, hurry up, no pictures, people are waiting,” is now the refrain one hears in the Sistine Chapel. No lying on the cool floor and looking up, maybe with a pair of binoculars or a camera. You’re likely to be trampled upon by the hoards, if you’re not first removed by the guards. The parks, one can still pretend in the parks. And the occasional little trattoria, in one of the distant districts, maybe Parioli, and come upon a wonderful Spaghetti alla Gricia. Or the Gianicolense, where one may find an authentic Rigatoni con la Pajata. Caput Mundi has her silent sentinels stationed in every quarter. You won’t starve in Rome. And just like my first meal in 1971 at the little trattoria near the train station, where I had a simple meal, with wine, with coffee, and then sauntered back to my room and took a nap that lasted well into the evening, one can still be entranced by Rome and Italy. I know I am. And I know, just like I said it the first time, in 1971, I’ll be back. I’ll find a way.
P.S. Next week the gloves come off!
written and photographed ( in 1971, in Rome) by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
Wine lovers on wine and the vinous life.
Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle
I met Esther at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers at Meadowood Napa Valley, and saw her talent and her zeal in its budding stages. She has blossomed into one of the most influential wine writers in America as the wine critic at the San Francisco Chronicle. Esther exhibits endless energy for wine and writing about it, and her perch from the Bay City in Northern California offers her a vantage point that few wine writers have these days. Thankfully her audacious ardor supplies her wide range of subjects with a sincerity of spirit. Please welcome Esther into the bottle room.
What wines do you have standing up right now? Well, I have a lot of wines standing up right now, maybe a few dozen, because I've run out of space in the wine racks and wine fridges in my apartment. I have a whole wine cellar at the Chronicle office, but I haven't been working from there since March 2020, so my apartment and garage have become quite crowded with bottles.
What’s the last great wine you drank? An amazing Sancerre last weekend — the Edmond Vatan Clos la Neore 2017. Are there any classic wines that you only recently had for the first time? I wouldn't say I've had any "classic" wines recently at all! Describe your ideal drinking experience (when, where, what, how). A small group of family and friends, a good, simple meal, at a time of year when it stays light late. What’s your favorite wine no one else has heard of? These days it's hard to keep secrets. Does everyone know about WalterScott by now? Those wines (from Oregon) are incredible. The joy of my job is that if I do discover something that's not very well known, and if it's from California, I can write about it. Like the EnTirage sparkling wine, a strange late-disgorged project from Sonoma County that I wrote about a few years ago. I've actually seen it on a couple local wine lists recently, which surprised me, because there's not very much of it. Another one some folks might not know about is Taken from Granite, a label that essentially rebottles the best wines made under Gideon Beinstock's tenure at Renaissance Winery. (Here's avery long piece I wrote about that whole situation.) What wine should everybody drink before the age of 21? Sparkling wine? Off-dry Riesling? Those seem like good palate primers. Don’t throw the kids straight into Barolo. What wine should nobody drink until the age of 40? No idea. I'm not 40 yet! Who in wine — winemakers, winery owners, writers, retailers, collectors — active today do you admire most? Jancis Robinson, Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, Eric Asimov. Those are all writers. I won't name any tradespeople so as not to convey favoritism. Do you count any wine as guilty pleasures? I feel no guilt about any of it, but I absolutely have a taste for sweet wines, especially Madeira, Sauternes and TBA. I also enjoy drinking that kind of cheap, limey Sauvignon Blanc that basically just tastes like a margarita. Has Covid19 changed the way your approach wine? Yes. It makes me think I drink too much of it. Has a wine ever brought you closer to another person, or come between you? No. I keep wine away from my personal life as much as possible. What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a wine recently? I've been learning a lot about smoke taint recently. One interesting thing I've found is that at certain concentrations, smoke taint can have a similar effect to low levels of TCA — the wine might not taste recognizably smoky at all, but it just tastes kind of muted and bland, with a clipped finish. What moves you most in a wine? Expressiveness. Energy. Liveliness. I know I'm supposed to say "balance," which, sure, but the truth is I can get behind an off-balance wine sometimes if it has something delicious to convey that really stands out.
What do you really wish you understood about wine? How to get more people to want to read articles about it on the Internet.
Which styles do you especially enjoy drinking? And which do you avoid? I'm still trying, but I really struggle to enjoy orange wines. Generally speaking, I drink more white than red.
How do you organize your wines? Not very well. My apartment wine storage situation is haphazard, and I don't even want to think about the state that my cellar at the Chronicle is in, after very little upkeep over the last year and a half. I don't use CellarTracker or any special software, but I do have some spreadsheets so that I can at least remember what I have in some of my less accessible bins in the garage. To the extent that I have any organizing principles, my "nice" wine fridges at home tend to be full of older California reds.
What wine might people be surprised to find in your racks? Cheap Prosecco. I cannot stop making spritz cocktails!
What’s the best wine you’ve ever received as a gift? A bottle of Bruno Clair Bonnes Mares. I visited Bruno Clair with a friend a few years ago and fell completely in love with the wines. Last year I ended up writing a letter of recommendation for business school for that friend, and he gave me a bottle to thank me. It was very generous and meant a lot to me because of the trip we'd made together. I'm also grateful to people for introducing me to truly special wines I'd never tried before – not as a gift but as wines we shared together. The writer William Kelley poured me my first taste of Richard Leroy, the Anjou producer, which completely blew me away. The winemaker Kevin Harvey introduced me to Benanti Pietramarina when I was writing a story about his Carricante project a few years ago.
How have your drinking tastes changed over time? My drinking tastes seem to be always changing. My appetite for richer wines versus leaner wines, and funky wines versus cleaner-tasting wines, has waxed and waned over time.
Disappointing, overrated, just not good: What wine did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didn’t? Do you remember the last wine you set aside without finishing? The last wine I couldn't finish a glass of was a Beaujolais. I guess I won't say which producer. It was all brett. I am totally on board with a little brett in Beaujolais, but to me this was offensive. Luckily my drinking companion didn't mind and finished my glass for me.
What wine do you think everyone should try? Hanzell Chardonnay.
You’re organizing a dinner party. Which three people from the wine world, dead or alive, do you invite? André Tchelistcheff, Robert Mondavi, Julia Child (is she from the wine world?).
What wines are you embarrassed not to have drunk yet? No embarrassment! I have zero shame about my drinking history. But I do someday hope to taste Chave from my birth year, which I understand was a good vintage over there.
What do you plan to drink next? I have a mountain of samples to get through. We'll see which of them makes it to the dinner table.
transcribed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
wine blog + Italian wine blog + Italy W
Nel Veneto sono 24 le varietà resistenti finora autorizzate.
Lo si predica ormai da anni a tutti i livelli: basta chimica nell’ambiente,
incluso quello viticolo. Ne va del futuro dell’ambiente stesso, ma
soprattutto della salute di chi vive. Per questo la Regione Veneto da tempo
promuove programmi e progetti volti a ridurre l’uso di prodotti
fitosanitari in viticoltura, soprattutto in alcune complesse situazioni
locali. In quest’ottica sta prendendo forza anche la strategia di
utilizzare varietà di vite “resistenti” alle principali fitopatie. Si
tratta di vitigni derivati da programmi di incroci naturali con varietà di
vite che contengono particolari caratteri di resistenza, principalmente
alla peronospora e all’oidio e che per questo richiedono un numero ridotto
di trattamenti chimici rispetto alle varietà tradizionali.
Poil de Lievre 2017 - Domaine Bobinet, un vino quotidiano, in equilibrio tra luminosità calde e luci fredde, generoso nei sapori e ritmato dalla tensione acido/sapida.
The post Poil de Lievre 2017 – Domaine Bobinet appeared first on Into the Wine.
The Rhône dinner at Vinegar Hill House was delicious (thank you Jean Adamson) and fantastic. At least we thought so. Did you? It’s always a good sign when you have to kick people out for the evening. (Not my idea but legalities prevailed.) The room glowed at the Rhône dinner at Vinegar Hill House. The winner of a casual survey for best bottle of the night was the 2017 Dard & Ribo St. Jo. Blanc. Roussanne. If you have turned your nose up on the whites from the North, specifically from D&R, reconsider that please. These are stars. VHH has urged us to make these dinners a regular feature, so Fitch and I are working on something super fun for, dare I say, September. A couple of PSAs for this week. Lower East Side Wine Shop Alert! For skin contact wine lovers, Doreen Winkler has opened up her tiny but sweet Orange Glou. As the name implies, the focus is exclusively on orange wines and it’s within a quick jaunt of Skin Contact and Ten Bells. 264 Broome Street (at Allen St.) on the Lower East Side. Hours are Wednesday to Sunday 1 pm to 9 pm. Real Wine LitIf
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