Drinking great at the G8? No great moment in history without Spumante

July 8, 2009

tony the tigerYou might remember my post White, Green, and Red All Over: Obama to eat patriotic pasta at G8 from a month ago. The G8 summit began today in L’Aquila in Abruzzo and the Italian press is relishing the Obamas’s every move with great gusto.

As Franco pointed out today at Vino al Vino, there was even a post today at the ANSA (National Italian Press Association Agency) site that includes not only the official schedule for today but also the official bottles of wine and spirits to be given to Italy’s “illustrious” guests. G8 members will receive a “magnum of Amarone Aneri 2003 in a wooden box on which the initials of each of the presidents or prime ministers present has been engraved. All official lunches will begin with a toast with Ferrari spumante, [a wine] which is never missing at great appointments with history [sic; can you believe that?]. As an official gift for the illustrious guests, a highly rare ‘Ferrari Perle’ Nerò has been chosen [sic; the wine is actually called Perlé Nero], together with ‘Solera’ Grappa by the Segnana distillery. 1-3 p.m.: working G8 lunch on global economy.” (The post at ANSA’s English-language site did not include the wines or plugs.)

The American press doesn’t seem to be taking the G8 Summit and Silvio Berlusconi’s carefully choreographed hospitality as seriously as the Italian press corps. “Inexcusably lax planning by the host government, Italy, and the political weakness of many of the leaders attending, leave little room for optimism,” wrote the editors of The New York Times today.

With more humble tone, I was forwarded an email from the Dino Illuminati winery announcing that one of its wines had been chosen as the official wine for the luncheon and another for the closing dinner tomorrow. “We are sure You’ll like to enjoy,” it read, “the very good news with us: Our wine ZANNA Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Colline Teramane DOCG 2006 has been choiced as official red wine for the G 8 lunch of Wednesday July, 08. Besides, our wine LORE’ ‘Muffa Nobile’ will be the dessert wine for the G 8 dinner of Thursday July, 09.”

I guess Dino didn’t make the ANSA deadline.

In other news…

Check out our post today at VinoWire: Barbaresco producers speak out on Giacosa’s decision not to bottle his 2006. Giacosa claims that the rains of September ruined the vintage but our post reveals other points of view.


The sweetest reward: one of the best figs I have ever eaten

July 1, 2009

francesco secchi

Above: Sardinian-born Francesco Secchi, owner of the Ferrari Italian Villa chain in Dallas grows all of his own herbs, including Sardinian mirto (myrtle). Who needs Viagra?

It’s getting to be that time of year that people start bragging about their fig trees. There are those who brag and those who deliver.

Italian Wine Guy and I had dinner last night with clients of mine, Francesco Secchi and his son Stefano (below), owners of Ferrari Italian Villa in Grapevine (Dallas). The food was very good, but the figs… aaaaaaahhhhh the figs… the figs wrapped in perfectly sliced prosciutto were FANTASTIC. The 30-minute trip from Downtown Dallas to Grapevine (where Stefano presides over the kitchen) is a small price to pay for this paradisiacal experience. I highly recommend the wood-fired flatbread and antipasti misti. (It’s so hard to find well-sliced prosciutto, btw, anywhere in the U.S. and I was thoroughly impressed by Stefano’s deft hand at the slicer.)

stefano secchi

In other news, I’d like to thank the academy…

Our friend Howard and fellow lover of natural wine has been inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences! Mazel tov, Howard! I can’t believe you’d join a club that would have you as a member!

AND…

Jaynes Gastropub was named one of the top 5 gastropubs in the U.S., together with the Linkery (also in San Diego) and the Spotted Pig (NYC). Not too shabby, mates! And they said this whole gastropub thing would never take off! ;-)

Btw, I’ll be announcing some very exciting news about me, Tracie B, and Jaynes in just a day or so… stay tuned…

In other other news…

After running a wine dinner in San Antonio on Monday night and then working the market all day yesterday and today in Dallas, I cannot wait to get home to my super fine lady, the lovely Tracie B, tonight. Her nachos and some natural and stinky old natural Dolcetto di Dogliani happily await me. Life could be worse…

tracie branch


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