Bertani 1986 Amarone della Valpolicella, that’s what friends are for

Tracie P was just reminding me of a time in my life, not so long ago, when I needed a little help from my friends. Well, last night one of those friends, Yele, needed a little help from me and Erickson… I mean, you can’t drink 1986 Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella by yourself, now, can you?

What a mind-blowingly amazing bottle, with such bright acidity in a wine more than two decades old! Drank a lot of great, old wine in 2010 but this bottle is a real stand-out: it had that unforgettable “nerviness,” that “backbone” of acidity that Italians use in their canon of wine descriptors. I would have always reached for the 88 with Bertani (also a great and unforgettable wine, tasted most recently in February 2009), but the 86 was better IMHO.

The best part, though, was that wide, familiar, contagious grin on Yele’s face when we were perusing the cellar at Third Corner in Ocean Beach, California, and he pulled me away from the 02 La Turque to show me his find. That’s what friends are for, right? 01 Musar white was stunning as well and the grandfathered retail sales program and corkage policy at Third Corner always make a splurge like this so much more palatable.

Keep smilin’, keep shinin’
Knowin’ you can always count on me, for sure
That’s what friends are for
For good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

In other news…

Just had to share these images from clients and friends Dan and Chrissa who invited me in for some holiday cheer when I dropped off their Do Bianchi Christmas Six-Pack.

Chrissa’s wonderful zuppa maritata (named, btw, not because it is served at Italian weddings, a folkloric etymology, but rather because it is a “marriage” or pairing of ingredients).

Dan’s homemade pork sausage for the meatballs.

Chrissa’s homegrown escarole for the soup.

Chrissa’s lemon cake. Damn, those two can cook!

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