• What’s New (and Not-So-New) in Port Wine
    by Mike Veseth on 30 Novembre 2021 at 09:01

     I was binging on YouTube videos from Kevin Zraly’s 2009 “60 Second Wine Expert” series when I stumbled upon his take on Port wine. Sue and I are fans of Port, so I was a little disappointed to see Zraly reinforce some of the attitudes that hold back the growth of the Port market.

  • An Economic Theory of Thanksgiving Wine
    by Mike Veseth on 23 Novembre 2021 at 09:01

    Thursday is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States and many of us will gather with family and friends for the holiday feast. If you have been invited to share Thanksgiving with others (and if you are interested enough in wine to be reading this column), then you must confront a perennial problem: what wine

  • Australia – produzione di vino 2021
    by bacca on 2 Dicembre 2021 at 19:00

    Fonte: WFA La produzione di vino 2021 in Austrialia ha toccato un livello quasi mai raggiunto prima, con una stima di 2 milioni di tonnellate di uva che dovrebbero risultare in poco più di 14 milioni di ettolitri. Tanto vino arriva in un momento molto difficile per il prodotto australiano, che ha a che fare

  • Zonin – risultati 2020
    by bacca on 30 Novembre 2021 at 19:00

    Il 2020 è stato un anno particolarmente sfidante per il gruppo Zonin, che in conseguenza dell’emergenza Covid ha subito un calo delle vendite del 9% a 178 milioni di euro, che si è tradotto in un pesante calo dei margini. L’utile operativo, nonostante i pesanti aggiustamenti relativi a componenti straordinarie, scende a 3 milioni di

  • A Cautionary Tale - The Insolent Sommelier Pt. IV
    by noreply@blogger.com (Alfonso Cevola) on 28 Novembre 2021 at 12:00

    "Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance." – Confucius My boss, Brad, convinced the powers that be to let me hire a trio of Italian specialists, as our Italian wine business had mushroomed in the past 10 years. Where it was once hard to sell Italian wine across the board, now Italian wine was tres chic, even with some French dining establishments. So, I went about the business of putting a team together. It went well, even if it took longer than my boss had wanted. I had the business of a tonsillectomy that got in between interviews and negotiations. But once we had that all sorted out, I had a good, solid, team. Part of the mechanism of ramping up the validity of the team and their street cred was to enroll them in the Italian wine specialist program at Italian Wine Central. The head education honcho in my company wanted as many credentialed specialists as we could muster. It was so mandated. And the team got after it and jumped through the hoops. It was, and is, a terrific program, and one I recommend highly for anyone wanting to further their skills in understanding Italian wine at a higher level. I was also told to enlist some of our better clients in the program, that we’d found a way to partner with IWC for a group rate and my boss wanted us to get folks signed up. So, I put word out to my team. One of the specialists, Jearno Breior, came up to me one day, and said he’d proposed the program to El Segundo. “He said he wasn’t interested, that he was already enrolled in the Italian wine escolar course.” Escolar? What? Sounded a little fishy to me. But knowing Segundo’s proclivity for nonconformity, I wasn’t surprised. It just seemed a bit off. I ticked off in my head other similar sounding words. Escarole? Too vegetative. Escargot? Too French. And then it hit me. Scholar. OK, that probably was it. but here was a guy that we were trying to lift up, and he was so mired in his ignorance that we wouldn't effect any noticeable change. I told the specialist, “Forget about it Jearno, let’s not waste any more time on trying to pull this strunz out of the dung heap he’s luxuriating in. So, we let it go, didn’t go there. Just kept trying to pass a baton or two with some heat at the end, to help light the way. But Segundo sputtered on everything we brought him. I’d take clients in there, to support the account. Segundo would bring me something he found at another company, usually on closeout, and he’d proudly pour us a glass (and charge us handsomely for it, too!), eliciting some kind of response from me. I always tasted it and thanked him, even when the wine was so horrendously oxidized, it wasn’t even fit for cooking with.  Bruce Lee said it best, “Showing off is the fool's idea of glory.” I’d gotten my baptism in that from a Sardinian maître d' turned chef (really, a cook) at his little café. The Sardinian would always brag about wines he bought from another company, as if to lord it over me with his prowess. But I knew, (from an ex-girlfriend and mother of his first child) that he took no ownership over any of his actions. That little jig he danced around me didn’t imprint. I’d learned in 30+ years to spot bullshit. And Segundo was as full of it as the Sardinian was. Boy, what a team they would have made.  Here’s the thing. You buy a Chianti Classico Riserva for $12 instead of $24, what do you charge for it on a wine list? In the normal course of events, in my region, a 3X markup was standard. So, a $72 bottle would become $36? Not so fast. Remember, Segundo was a genius. So, he’d keep it at $72, even though the wine was a little tuckered. The good thing to do, would be to make it, let’s say, $39, and make a better than 3X markup, but still give the diner a good value. I realize that sometimes wine that is marked too low on a list doesn’t get the attention of many wine list shoppers. They want to show off a little. But $39 was a fair price and would sell. But that wasn’t how Segundo thought. It was even worse on the by-the-glass offerings. He’d bring in a Rosso di Montalcino that some company had to unload for cash flow reasons, and price it like a Brunello. It was nothing to see a Rosso di Montalcino for $25 a glass in his place. We’re talking a few years ago, pre-Covid, when this happened. It would be really embarrassing when we’d see a supplier, sometimes the one where the wine that was closed out came from, in the restaurant to “support” the account and the “placement” and then have to pay a super-premium for it. I remember one supplier telling me, as he was leaving the account, that “it would have been cheaper and easier to just get that jerk-off buyer a lap dance.” But Segundo already had that lined up with his top-tier expense account supplier. It was a mess, there wasn’t anything normal, regarding Italian wine, that went into the decision-making process. It was all about stroking his ego, among other body parts. It became a question, not of when Segundo would ever learn to act professionally and affably, but if. His future in the wine trade, whether he cared or not, hung in the balance. ...to be continued       written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

  • A Cautionary Tale - The Insolent Sommelier Pt. III
    by noreply@blogger.com (Alfonso Cevola) on 21 Novembre 2021 at 11:44

    “Ah, how the seeds of cockiness blossom when soiled in ignorance.”― Steve Alten, The Loch Back from a working trip to Italy, I invited Segundo to a wine tasting. We had a winemaker in town and I was told he liked to rub shoulders with celebrity vintners. He accepted. I knew enough to leave him alone when he was tasting. He usually brought a consort with him, to provide cover. I observed they liked to keep to themselves, to draw little attention to any observations they made about the wine, the venue or the other wine buyers in the crowd. Segundo’s lack of confidence saw to it that he was duly shielded from anyone who might know more about Italian wine, or wine in general. He usually avoided me in those situations. I would ease the sail in order to provide him with ample room for his maneuvering comfort. But there was a moment when we were both tasting with the winemaker. Segundo seemed to be enjoying the wine and the rapport the winemaker was having with him. So, I said, “Let me ask you, Segundo, have you ever been to Italy?” Segundo shook his head and cast his eyes down, as if he were embarrassed. “Well,” I said, “We need to do something about that, take you to Italy. What do you think?” He was noncommittal. Which I thought a bit odd. Who wouldn’t want a Platinum tour of Italian vineyards with yours truly? (Don’t answer that) I found out that his wife kept him on a short leash. I didn’t know the dynamics of their relationship, or their history, but one would think if you were in the wine trade and someone with a lot of keys to open a lot of doors invited you to Italy, all expenses paid, that one would jump at it. But he didn’t. I wondered why. Later in the week, I was talking to a colleague, Feliz Zorillo, who I had worked with in the past, and told him that story. “Oh, Rosie would never let him out of her zip code, let alone go to Italy.” “Why?” I asked. Feliz took a deep pull from his Macanudo and told me a little story. “Do you remember when I worked with that large French importer and I had a huge entertaining budget? Well, one Saturday night, at 11:30, Segundo texted me and told me he wanted me to meet him at the Landing Strip, the gentlemen’s club near the airport. His words, and I can remember them as if it happened yesterday, ‘Meet me there Feliz, and bring your expense account. You want a by-the-glass feature? I need a lap dance. You want the house champagne? You know what I'll need for that.’ I’ll never forget it. But that was the price one had to pay if you wanted Segundo’s business. Italy? He doesn’t need to go to Italy, and his wife won’t let him go anyway. But buffing the knob, after hours, from a pole dancer? That was the way in, my friend.” I’d heard about those kinds of arrangements in our business, especially on the liquor side. Even though we were still a few years away from the #MeToo era, I was in disbelief. I thought to myself, “That cocky little bastard. How dare he conflate his carnal needs with his professional duties. He is obligated to make the wine business profitable for his employer, not as a scenario for his self-aggrandizement.” I told Brad, my boss, we wouldn’t be taking Segundo to Italy, ever. Period. Brad caught my drift. Look, it’s one thing to compete for the Chianti by-the-glass business. It should come down to taste, availability, price and potential for profit. But if it is contingent on getting out on a Saturday for a midnight run to find some loser a knob-slob, then I’m out of the running for that business. When I started down on the wine trail in Italy, I didn't foresee things like this. I loved Italy and Italian wine, everything about it. I thought others saw it that way. Boy, was I wrong. I was finding out some people used their power and position as an access point for their social network, and beyond. This was not in the manual I was given (and yes, I was given a manual). But it seemed, the lay of the land, and the rules, had changed. Had they ever! to be continued...     written and photographed by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy wine blog +  Italian wine blog + Italy W

  • Atacama, il vigneto alla deriva nel cosmo
    by Nicola Cereda on 2 Dicembre 2021 at 08:28

    “Cosa sarà? La bottiglia che ti ubriaca anche se non l’hai bevuta” A-TA-CA-MA. Un nome, una striscia, un punto, un suono. Passato, presente e futuro fusi insieme. Il deserto sulla cordigliera andina dove non piove a memoria d’uomo. Dove è … continua »

  • Ma quelli del Parmigiano Reggiano sono impazziti?
    by Alessandro Morichetti on 1 Dicembre 2021 at 15:29

    E niente, succede che quando hai una Ferrari sotto al culo il problema è saperla guidare. Perché non mi viene da pensare altro quando immagino le menti geniali che hanno ideato uno spot come quello del Parmigiano Reggiano che vedete … continua »

  • DiVento...VentoRosa.
    by Elisabetta Tosi on 22 Novembre 2021 at 09:45

    E’ di nuovo quel tempo dell’anno in cui si va tutti a caccia di idee- regalo. Come già in passato, ci piace condividere questa: vinosa, solidale e eco-friendly.

  • Appuntamento con la tradizione
    by Elisabetta Tosi on 16 Novembre 2021 at 18:09

    E’ quello che ormai da molti anni propongono gli amici di Villa de Winckels: un incontro ricorrente con uno dei vini -simbolo dell’enologia veronese, il Valpolicella Superiore. Un incontro che quest’anno segna un traguardo importante, quello dei 10 anni.

  • Poil de Lievre 2017 – Domaine Bobinet
    by Francesco Petroli on 21 Aprile 2020 at 10:15

    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.

  • My Lovely Quarantine #2
    by Claudio Celio on 17 Aprile 2020 at 07:34

    Domaine Belluard - Domaine Des Cavarodes - Francois Ganevat - Lassaigne - Praesidium - Skerlj - Vodopivec The post My Lovely Quarantine #2 appeared first on Into the Wine.

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  • On Pét-Nat, Soup Dumplings, and Chemo (At Least I Can’t Taste the Mouse)
    by On Design on 16 Novembre 2021 at 14:46
  • October Check-in
    by Alice Feiring on 9 Ottobre 2021 at 11:16

      What was it like to dust off my passport? It was brilliant! From the moment I hit Delta and ran for my ritual martini I was off and flying. My mood lifted. I sprinted like a kid down the runway to the gate. And then I landed in Milan. Took a train to Parma where my travel buddy and barkeep of Tabarro, Diego Sorba picked me up. In an hour we were at his wife’s 94-year-old grandmother’s yard and Sunday lunch for 18 or so. Cinghiale and polenta for them. Polenta and leaves of lettuce for me. Reinforced and sustained, I saw some raw talent and gave his daughter and her best friend their first Morris dance class. Brilliant girls. Me and my two sweethearts. That night I jetlagged outside of Tabarro while Diego played host, putting me in the vicinity of some of his regulars. There was one fiery Romanian, one energetic heart doctor, an eccentric doctor-turned-antique peddler, and an enthusiastic x-ray technician on the eve of starting sommelier training. Soon we were at one table, drinking. Lots. Knowing anchovies cure jetlag, Diego served me some from Cantabria along with an assortment of Brittany butter. Those salty anchovies