The great Brunello debate and please keep Austin weird

Above: sopecitos at Fonda San Miguel, one of the many excellent Mexican restaurants in Austin, Texas.

Just a quick reminder: Franco and Ezio Rivella will face off tomorrow in the great Brunello debate in Siena, 3 p.m. local time. You can watch the debate live at http://www.vinarius.it/. I’ll be watching, of course, and will most certainly post about it here and at VinoWire. Franco will be presenting the case for Brunello di Montalcino to remain 100% Sangiovese while Rivella will argue that appellation regulations should be changed, allowing for other grapes to be used as well.

Above: Dale Watson did an awesome show at the Broken Spoke the other night in Austin.

In other news…

Tracie B. and me did us some more honky-tonkin in Austin this week. I’ve really been impressed by how Austin still has many family-owned and run music venues and restaurants. Especially coming from Southern California, where the landscape is dominated by fast food chains and strip malls, I’m happy to know that there is an America where folks are still keeping it real. Keep Austin Weird is a grass-roots movement that promotes general “weirdness,” as they put it.

I’ve been enjoying some of that weirdness and I really dug Dale Watson’s version of Pop a Top the other night at the Broken Spoke (my second-favorite honky tonk after Ginny’s Little Longhorn).

Pop a top again
I just got time for one more round
Sit em up my friends
Then I’ll be gone
Then you can let some other fool sit down

I’d like for you’d to listen to a joke I heard today
From a woman who said she was through and calmly walked away
I’d tried to smile and did a while it felt so outta place
Did you ever hear of a clown with tears drops streamming down his face.

Pop a top again
I think I’ll have another round
Sit em up my friend
Then I’ll be gone and you can let some other fool sit down.

Home for me is misery and here I am wasting time
Cause a row of fools on a row of stools is not what’s on my mind
But then you see her leaving me it’s not what I perfer
So it’s either here just drinking beer or at home remembering her.

Pop a top again
I think I’ll have another round
Sit em up my friend
Then I’ll be gone and you can let some other fool sit down
Pop a top again.

6 thoughts on “The great Brunello debate and please keep Austin weird

  1. Sadly, Austin (as pretty much everywhere) has lost some of its character. When I return there, I no longer recognize it due to the rapid growth with its urban sprawl and “development.” The so-called cool areas remind me of NYC’s East Village or Lower East Side now; that is gentrified for better or worse.

    Though it is scenic and still offers originals such as Texas French Bread, Wiggy’s, and Chez Nous. For good Italian food I was impressed with La Traviata. The Austin Wine Merchant on 6th St. has an impressive selection of wines, too.

    I do miss the Tex-Mex and music scene, however.

  2. Lars, I have seen some of the gentrification that you mention, very similar to the LES. But I have to say that the music scene here is vibrant and I cannot believe the caliber of playing I’ve seen in even the most humble venues. Really good stuff. And the signage is amazing.. Thanks for stopping by Do Bianchi. I need Riesling recommendations from you next time I play Germany!

  3. I’ll be back to Austin in two weeks. It’s true, since my first visit in 1992 Austin changed a lot. When I’m there I spent most of the time in South Austin, still a cool place, where my friends, all musicians, live. To keep Austin weird it’s a hard fight these days but there are many people there ready for the battle!
    Never been at La Traviata, I’ll try. I usually buy Italian wines to drink with friends at Central Market on South Lamar, not to bad selection with good prices.
    ciao
    alessandro

  4. Alessandro, great to see you as always at Do Bianchi. Next time I head out to Austin, you need to hook me up with some music contacts! I guess I’m getting in a little late on Austin’s weirdness, but better late than never. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Jeremy, I do still like Austin despite the changes. It’s happening everywhere. Before reading your earlier post, I had actually considered buying some Prod. del Barbaresco 2004 the other day, for I wanted an affordable classic. I’d like to mix in a traditional Baroli such as G. Mascarello or B. Mascarello, but prices are steep even in Germany. I mention this, because a photographer based in Piedmont, who was at our recent Paris tasting, visited this week two of my growers (Ulli Stein and Steinmetz) among others. Best, Lars

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