Ne nuntium necare, don’t kill the messenger: I’m sorry to report that the the long-hinted-at Brunello scandal is now official. Today, the Italian daily La Repubblica published the first account based on interviews with local investigators. You can read my translation on VinoWire. Rumors regarding the scandal have been circulating for some time now and VinoWire has also covered the Brunello Consortium’s confirmation and subsequent denial of irregularities.
People have been talking about the impending scandal in hushed tones since January. But it was my friend and collaborator Franco Ziliani’s post last Friday that prompted investigators to go public.
Another Brunello controversy has also recently made news in English- and Italian-language blogs and websites: the Brunello Consortium recently asked a Californian winemaker to stop labeling his wine as Brunello.
The U.S. government does not regulate the usage of European appellation names in the labeling of U.S. wine produced in the U.S. When my band Nous Non Plus played in Seattle back in 2006, I snapped the below pic of an old wine list (I can’t remember of the name of the wonderful Greek restaurant harbor where we ate that day; the list below wasn’t the restaurant’s current list but the owners never took it down — I would imagine for nostalgia’s sake).
Gauging from the script and the wine names, I imagine this list dates back to the 1970s. I love “Gold, Pink, and Red Chablis” and “Pinot Gregio.” Who knows what was in those wines?