Reaction to news of the new Amarone DOCG

jeremy parzen

Above: One of these things is not like the other things. One of these things just doesn’t belong here. Photo by Tracie B.

In the wake of the post by Franco and me yesterday at VinoWire reporting the Italian government’s approval of the new Amarone della Valpolicella and Recioto della Valpolicella DOCGs, the enoblogosphere is reeling with tweets, retweets, pings, and posts.

First and foremost, Italian Wine Guy reacted quickly with an update of his Best Italian DOCG List post.

I also saw a lot of responses to a group message I did from the VinoWire Facebook group: it seems there are a lot of people out there, studying for their Master Sommelier exams, who find this info extremely useful.

There were also a number of retweets from top sommeliers like Jonathan Honefenger of Tony’s in Houston and Master Sommelier Jesse Becker of Wine to Match.

Those of you who follow the Italian enoblogosphere may have noted an absence of reaction. It’s my sense that the move to create the DOCGs for Amarone and Recioto was more a gesture of vanity by producers than a marketing coup and really just the result of political back scratching by the inimitable agriculture minister Luca Zaia.

As wine writer Tom Hyland noted in his comment to our VinoWire post: “Let’s face it, Amarone is so famous that it doesn’t even need it. But given how many wines are now DOCG, it probably would have been embarrassing if it had never received this classification.”

You would think that Zaia and those who market Italian wines in the U.S. would wake up and smell the coffee: a definitive, officially sanctioned list of Italian appellations and detailed descriptions of regulations and production standards would be a no-brainer at this point. Americans love precision and they love technical details (California producers often write exact percentages of blends on the labels of their wines, for example). As it stands, Alfonso aka Italian Wine Guy’s list is the most comprehensive if not exhaustive list.

I understand why Italians don’t really care about the DOC and DOCG classification system at this point — especially in light of the recently implemented Common Market Organisation reforms. But in terms of marketing Italian wines to consumers in the U.S., an official list of DOCs and DOCGs would be an excellent tool for wine educators and wine professionals in this country (and would certainly help sales).

Dear minister Zaia, if you’re looking for a translator, I’m your man! (I even speak Trevigiano dialect!)

In other news…

There has also been a lot of reaction to my Tignanello post on Monday. I wanted to thank everyone for the comments: in the next day or so, I’ll do a post on what I think are the most interesting wines coming out of Tuscany these days. Please send me your comments, favorite appellations, thoughts, suggestions, by emailing me here.

In the comment section to the post, Cristiano pointed out rightly that “the father of the Tignanello is Giacomo Tachis, and not Renzo Cotarella.” (Renzo has overseen winemaking at Antinori for more than a quarter of a decade and was recently called the “father of Tignanello” by L’espresso writer Laura Rangoni.)

In other other news…

The photo above? Just for fun…

8 thoughts on “Reaction to news of the new Amarone DOCG

  1. Doritos are ok, I am sure the wine is an appropriate match for the cheesy tang, wait…you are caught on camera reading the Wine Spectator. Shame shame…yeah I occasionally read it too.:-)

  2. I’ve always felt Amarone had the “pedigree” to be a DOCG wine. Perfect example of how marketable it is to the American buyer. I feel like it “belongs” with Barolo, Chianti, etc. now.

  3. a quarter of a decade? or century? Sgt. Sassafras is gonna ding you and then we all wont get our American squirrel wine blog awards next year.

    One of these things is not like the other – I’d say it would be Wine Spectator, imho.

    thanks for the shout out, ‘mico

  4. This is kind of geeky, but the Wine Spectator that you were reading had a controversial cover. And it ties into your “one of these things is not like the other” theme. Except one of those things (the four bottles of white wine on the cover) are exactly like the other because they were Photoshopped from one picture. I remember it made a little bit of a stink in the bloggy-blog world because folks slammed the WS for being cheapskates with their cover art.

  5. Hey Jeremy, I’d say the only thing “not like the other thing” is the slightly hairy, slightly hung-over, slightly dressed reporter ‘cuz he’s slightly more alive than anything else in the pic including Monsieur Joly’s bacteria.

  6. I don’t think most Americans get Italian wines because they are not easily available to them. They may even have only heard of Amarone because Hannibal Lecter eats a human liver, and fava beans, with a “big Amarone”.

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