Judging southern Italian wines

This morning we began tasting and scoring wines in the competitive sessions of the Radici Wines festival. We have to blind taste more than 200 labels between today and Wednesday, when the winners will be announced. All of the wines are made from indigenous grape varieties from Southern Italy.

They’ve gathered a remarkable group of judges for the media jury — Italian and international (there’s also an Italian restaurant and wine professional jury). This morning I was seated next to Jancis Robinson (she’s “number 1” and I’m “number 2”; how cool is that???!!!). That’s Franco Ziliani center addressing the “jury” and our excellent interpreter, Marilena Balletta, who’s been doing a great job interpreting for the solely English speakers of our group (as a veteran interpreter at events like this, I can’t say that I envy her!).

It’s been great to rub shoulders with über-cool wine blogger Ryan Opaz (in the foreground, sitting to my right, “number 3”).

And I’ve also had a lot of fun horsing around with Jo Cooke, David Berry Green, and Kyle Philips. And I’ve also been enjoying sharing thoughts on Marxist ideology and Latin epithets with Maurzio Gily.

The Borgo Egnazia resort where we’re staying is pretty incredible but so far we haven’t had much time to enjoy it…

And as Alfonso can imagine, there’s no internet in the rooms…

But, honestly, life could be worse… :-)

2 thoughts on “Judging southern Italian wines

  1. Looking at your scoring card, I see you’ll be tasting some Fiano wines (from both Campania and Puglia no less). I’m interested to hear how the event makes the distinction between Fiano and Fiano Minutolo or Fiano di Pugliese Minutolo. This latter grape is having a serious identity crisis!

  2. For us, Radici wine festival has been a fantastic opportunity to learn about wine taste.
    Thank you for your professionality and passion.
    Sommeliers team for Radici wine Festival.
    Sandro Direnzo
    Gianpaolo Polese
    Martino Liuzzi
    Giuseppe Di Tullio
    Paolo Patruno

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