Day 2 of 31 Days of Natural Wine: nothing natural about it

June 20, 2009

This post is the second installment of Saignée’s 31 Days of Natural Wine. Click the link below for more…

“Natural wine” is something of a misnomer. Wine is, after all, an act of humankind.

It’s true that wine occurs naturally. Aleš Kristančič of Movia once explained to me how when a grape falls from the vine, it is a natural winemaking vessel: the hole at the top of the berry (where the stem has broken away) is a natural valve that allows yeast on the skin to enter the berry and begin turning the sugar into alcohol.

Wine was a gift from the gods (think Bacchus), or a gift of G-d (think Noah), or an accident (think mother Natura), depending on how you look at it: the magic of grape juice being turned into wine was probably discovered by someone who forgot some grapes in an amphora, only to open the vessel later and find that they had been turned into wine (the original carbonic maceration). But the moment that someone employed this stumbled-upon technology (tehnê, meaning art or craft) a second time, it became an act of humankind…

Click here to read more…

In other news…

Dany the Red is now Dany the Green. Remember this post from East Germany back in September 2008? That’s me stage left, above, rocking out with Daniel Cohn-Bendit, who was in the news today and whose “Europe Écologie coalition of European Green parties came in third in French voting for the [European] Parliament, winning 16.28 percent of the vote. It was just behind the squabbling Socialists, who had only 16.48 percent, and ahead of a presumptive presidential candidate, François Bayrou of the centrist Democratic Movement, or Modem.” Check out this article in the Times. I love how the girl in the photo above is wearing a bright red outfit.

By now you should know the identity of the mystery girl to whom I threw the kiss!


Tuscan city celebrates 98 points in Wine Spectator

December 15, 2008

Above: “Decameron” by Waterhouse (1916). The countryside outside the city of Fiesole served as diegetic backdrop in Boccaccio’s Decameron. Fiesole lies in the hills above Florence.

In the wake of last week’s post (“Why Italians Are Offended by our Ratings and Rankings”), the title of the present may seem ironic. But it’s not.

On Friday, Franco posted about a municipally funded event held last month in Fiesole (Tuscany) to celebrate 98/100 points awarded by the Wine Spectator to Bibi Graetz’ 2006 Testamatta.

According to a press release issued by the township of Fiesole:

    The event was organized in collaboration with the Township of Fiesole to celebrate the wine that received 98/100 from Wine Spectator, the highest score awarded to any Tuscan wine. This score has made Fiesole a full-fledged member on the map of the great wines of Italy and the world.

My post last week generated an unexpected and welcomed thread of comments and I am thankful to everyone for taking the time to weigh in.

In the light of Fiesole’s celebration (sponsored by the city government), it would seem that not all Italians are offended by our ratings and rankings (at least the ones that receive top scores).

For the record, Testamatta is made using indigenous Tuscan grapes: Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and Colorino.


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