Petrini’s Repentance (or “Carlin is growing on me”)

A little behind on my blog reading, I finally got a chance to digest Franco Ziliani’s post on Carlo Petrini’s recent bombshell (October 27) at the Salone del Vino, entitled “Wine Guides Are Obsolete! Thus Spoke Carlin Petrini” (Franco Ziliani’s blog, Vino al Vino, is probably the best Italian wine blog out there and I have always respected his frankness, his elegant and erudite writing style, his balance and honesty).

The Salone del Vino (literally “Wine Fair”) is an important consumer and trade event, held each year in Turin.

Evidently, Carlo Petrini (the president of Slow Food) made the following statement and stunned the crowd of Italian publishing luminaries gathered to hear his address:

“Our guide,* like the one published by Gambero Rosso,** uses an approach obsolete in its profound essence…

There shouldn’t be guides for A-series wines and guides for B-series wines. The time is right to begin reasoning in a new manner — a way that doesn’t include merit rankings but is based on the quality of those who have a correct approach to wine…”

Winemakers, he said, should listen to their “conscience”: “When your products are released into the market, take care that your wines are not influenced by trends of the moment. Your wines should be an expression of your identity as winemakers.”***

Ziliani has rightly dubbed this bombshell “petriniano pentimento” or “Petrinian repentance.”

As France is mired in the Parker and Parkerization morass, Italy seems to have found its own stick in the mud (check out Alice’ post on Agostini and Nossiter).

Carlin is beginning to grow on me…


* Slow Food’s Guida al Vino Quotidiano or “Guide to Everyday Wines.”

** Gambero Rosso’s Guida ai Vini d’Italia or “Guide to the Wines of Italy.”

*** I have translated from Ziliani’s account.

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