Even though I had had the opportunity to taste and enjoy the wines many times before, I finally got to meet Sara Carbone of the Carbone winery (Melfi) at the Radici Wines festival last week in Apulia. (Btw, there are some great posts about the festival on the Facebook and Catavino just posted about our epic night of Prosciutto di Montone — “ram ham,” as he called it on the Twitter — and Aglianico.)
If ever there were an Italian appellation in need of Anglophone pronunciation help, it would be Aglianico del Vulture (see, click, and hear above). Between the palatal lateral approximant (gli) of the ampelonym and the dactylic toponym, this appellation name is laden with linguistic challenges for English-speakers. In other words, it’s a tongue-twister.
Sara is a delightful lady and I am a big fan of her wines (and I will begin posting on my favorite wines from the festival, including hers, next week). But I regret to report that she is terribly cross with me.
After I showed her my post where I dispel the myth that the grape name Aglianico comes from ellenico or Hellenic, she Tweeted plaintively about how she is now going to have to reprint all her labels!
Joking aside, Sara’s Aglianico is fantastic and it was one of the many excellent expressions of the grape variety that wowed me and fellow judges at the festival.
Thanks for speaking (and drinking) Italian grape names and appellations!