Veraison wireless in Montalcino

My friend Ale at Il Poggione (Sant’Angelo in Colle, Montalcino) is not the only one who’s been posting about the 2010 vintage on his blog.

Another good friend, Laura, has been doing some amazing posts at the blog she authors for Il Palazzone. The photo above comes from a wonderful post she did showing the different ripening times in different growing zones of the winery’s estate.

One of things I’ve been enjoying about following Laura and Ale’s respective blogs is how it illustrates the subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) differences in the various subzones of the appellation.

In the case of Ale in the southwest subzone, the rate of ripening has accelerated slightly (80% of the grapes have changed color, he writes, catching up to the average) while Laura’s grapes are still about a week behind schedule. I love how she writes: “The ripening seems to be more than a week behind schedule, if it is appropriate to apply such concepts to nature.”

Check out Laura’s most recent post and Ale’s thread on the 2010 harvest in Montalcino.

In other news…

Another Brunello has been born with the 2010 vintage…

Over the weekend, Tracie P and I got to visit with our good friends Melanie and Noah, who have just welcomed Bruno into the world. Don’t they look angelic?

Noah and I grew up together (even attending Hebrew School together!) and luckily their stay in La Jolla overlapped with ours. Melanie has taken to calling the little one “Brunello.”

I still haven’t had a chance to pick up my copy but Melanie’s new book Eating for Beginners is now available.

Mazel tov, Melanie, Noah, and Bruno!

@Bruno I’ll be sure to put away some 2010 Brunello to drink with you when you turn 21!

My dinner with the Weinsteins

BrunelloWire: light rain today and so no picking.

Strappo reports from Montepulciano: “Still a way from harvest in Montepulciano. But they are about 600 m above sea level here.”

Above: no, that’s not the Weinsteins… that’s Melanie and Noah. Noah and I go way back: we even went to Hebrew School together! Today, he’s a leading German scholar and she a writer of non-fiction, critic, and poet.

No, I didn’t really have dinner with the Weinsteins. But that was the joke the other night when my good friends Melanie Rehak and Noah Isenberg (above) took me to Weinstein, a wonderful traditional German wine bar just off the Helmholtzplatz in their neighborhood, the Prenzlauer Berg, in Berlin (note the über-hip extension “.eu” in the Weintstein URL).

Riesling is a lacuna in my enological formation and so I was in pig heaven, so to speak, between a great flight of Rieslings poured by excellent sommelier Marc Metzdorf and my Wiener Teller (“Viennese platter,” including delicious cured suckling pig among other delicatessen) and Königsberger Klöße (pork and veal — if I’m not mistaken — dumplings).

The star of the evening was the 1995 Dr. Loosen Urziger Würzgarten Riesling Auslese, which Marc pours by the glass. Being the neophyte Riesling-lover that I am, I put myself in Marc’s hands and I was really impressed by the care and devotion he and his colleague, Claudia, showed for these wines. Weinstein’s list is impressive and stretches back to the 1970s, with roughly 250 lots. Good stuff…

On the plane back to LAX from Berlin the next day, I read Noah’s new tome on the film noir classic Detour. It’s a great read and I highly recommend it.

*****

Earlier in the day, Melanie and I paid a visit to the “legendary” food department at KaDeWe, where German cuisine is featured alongside cuisine from all over the world. Melanie’s finishing edits on a book about her experience working in farm-to-table restaurant in Brooklyn. I can’t reveal the name but I’m looking forward to its release sometime next year. Here are some pics from KaDeWe…

I love anything marzipan. The more kitsch, the better.

Cured heaven…

Please don’t feed the eels…

The “American” section was really a joke… an irony in the context of the fantastic traditional German, French, Italian, and Japanese counters. But Melanie and I had fun perusing the candy canes, Pop Tarts and Swiss Miss.