“The essence of wine is the person”—Angelo Peretti (@internetgourmet)

amphitheater vineyard

I feel compelled to post this translation (mine) of Italian wine and food writer Angelo Peretti’s post, published today on his Internet Gourmet.

“The Essence of Wine is the Person.”
September 10, 2013

Over the last few days, I’ve read the many ideologisms scribbled in the margins of the deplorable story of a winemaker who keeps company with verbal vulgarity and racial epithets.

There have been calls by certain commentators, including some leading experts, for the wine to be evaluated on its own, irrespective of who made it.

Has the world of Italian wine come to this?

Perhaps it’s a romantic ideal but I remain convinced that the essence of wine is terroir and the essence of terroir is the person.

If we insist on judging the wine regardless of the person, the wine becomes a commodity — a mere product of consumption.

At that point, we might as well devote ourselves to carbonated soft drinks. At least we know that they are all technically identical.

This is wine criticism’s “betrayal”: when it casts wine’s humanistic roots into darkness and negates its spirit of place in the name of an Enlightenment-age ideal of the presumed objectivity of “taste.”

Please let us take a step back. Let us return to our roots and to the essence of being.

If wine proves unable to express this essence, we will have succumbed to the levelling embrace of global industry.

Angelo Peretti
author of Internet Gourmet

Image by my friend Giovanni Arcari, taken Sunday at dawn in his vineyard in Franciacorta. “The harvest is roughly 20-25 later than in recent years,” he writes.

5 thoughts on ““The essence of wine is the person”—Angelo Peretti (@internetgourmet)

    • Il vino è una delle essenze della persona? O la persona è una delle essenze del vino?

      Hai ragione, Alessandro, lo slogan (il titolo del post) è parziale.

      Ma la tesi è innegabile, secondo me.

      Il vino deve essere la conferma della nostra umanità e non la sua negazione… almeno il vino che bevo io… il vino che offro alla moglie e al suocero, agli amici come te…

      Sono sempre molto contento di leggerti sul mio blog Alessandro! :)

  1. Beautiful. Human, true, lovely. I would say the “steward” of terroir is the person, which conveys great responsibility, great influence, impossible to disentangle one from the other. I imagine this is what is meant by essence, but maybe I am wrong.

    Many thanks for the translation, I never would have seen it otherwise. There is an amazing book by Erich Fromm, “The Art of Being,” which is in exactly this spirit. Fortifying. As in the wine from excellent stewards.

  2. Since wine is a product of both human and nature, one cannot eliminate the person/people behind the wine. Yesterday I went to a “tastings” at Poderi Sanguineto and met Patrizia and Dora and realized why I loved their wines: These two incredible and deeply earth rooted women. My husband and Ettore spent hours philosophizing ont he meaning of life while Patrizia and I shared a love of cats. You can taste the earthiness and gattara(ness) in the wine.
    There are alsoready so many faceless and industrial wines, and Bressan makes wines that are HIS wines which is why people who love those types of wines can no longer love HIS wines because he is a douchebag and I don’t drink douches, do you?

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