Which red wine? And cool Italian-related stuff to do in NYC.

An article on the front page of Wednesday’s New York Times reported that “New Hints Seen That Red Wine May Slow Aging.” According to the article, pharmaceutical companies are investing unspeakable amounts of money to try to recreate the health-enhancing properties of red wine in the hopes of discovering a would-be fountain of youth.

Europeans have long believed that red wine is part of a healthy diet and life and that red wine can help people to live longer (I remember a 90+ year-old lady I knew in Pieve di Cadore in the Dolomites who poured a glass of red wine in her soup every day; she claimed that it was the secret to her longevity and the quality of her life and lucidity at such an advanced age).

But which red wine are we talking about? Certainly not high-alcohol, concentrated wines, out-of-balance, with fruit created by technology, so viscous you could use them to oil up your Harley Davidson.

No, those aren’t the red wines that the old folk drink. It’s unfortunate when headlines like that appear because they don’t contextualize the health-enhancing properties of wine (red or white): wine is healthy when it is drunk in moderation as part of a healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle.

Time for me to stop pontificating now…

I did, however, like Eric’s article on Burgundy.

In other news…

Blow-by-blow, day-by-day, minute-by-minute, mano-a-mano, tête-à-tête, vis-à-vis coverage of my Aspen trip begins on Monday. So stay tuned…

In other other news…

Here are some cool Italian-related things going on in Manhattan in June.

My friend Keith de Lellis, collector extraordinaire of vintage Italian photography, is exhibiting a show entitled “La Strada,” featuring 1950s original black and white prints of street life in Italy. Years ago, I helped Keith research his buying trips to Italy and I was fascinated by the people we met, the stories they told, and the out-of-the-way places Keith travels to find this amazing photography (the prints aren’t cheap, btw). Between the second world war and Italy’s economic miracle in the 1960s, photography became an inexpensive and popular hobby there and even amateur photographers seemed capable of creating neorealist works of art. All of Keith’s prints date back to the 1950s and when you seem them in person, the quality of the paper and the printing techniques give the photos an ineffable aura (think Walter Benjamin’s aura, à la “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”).

Through June 14.

Keith de Lellis Gallery
1045 Madison Ave at 80th St.
(212) 327-1482

Another friend of mine, Caterina Bertolotto, has just mounted a show of her couture, “Dresses of Transportation,” at the Italian American Museum. Born in Piedmont, Caterina is one of the most colorful New Yorkers I’ve ever met, a true original, an artist, whose entire life — and it’s not an exaggeration to say this — is a work of art. She’s also the author of an Italian language instruction manual and a great Italian instructor. She has taught at the New School and also teaches privately.

Through June 30.

Italian American Museum
28 W 44th St between 5th and 6th
(212) 642-2020

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