Above: amphorae once used to age sun-baked Primitivo di Manduria (image via the Vinicola Savese [Vini Pichierri] Google+).
It’s been a crazy week here at Do Bianchi Editorial as we’ve settled into our new house in Houston. But that hasn’t obstructed our mission to keep the world safe for Italian wines.
Earlier this week, I posted my notes on the meaning and origins of the name Primitivo over on the CanteleUSA blog.
Because of its genetic relation to Zinfandel (one of the wine world’s most lucrative varieties), Primitivo is among the most scrutinized grapes in history.
But why was it called Primitivo by the pugliesi when its popularity began to spread through the Adriatic basin in the nineteenth century?
I hazard a probable explanation in the post.
In other news this week…
I was really impressed by this video on the wines of Barolo and Barbaresco by Geoff Kruth, Master Sommelier and chief operating officer of the Guild of Sommeliers.
The line between modernism and traditionalism can be treacherous and the director of this short does a great job of putting the dialectic into perspective without bias.
And the film is a wonderful introduction to the great wines of these appellations and the production value is fantastic.
Chapeau bas, Geoff and team!
I only wish that the langaroli would begin saying Serravallian instead of Helvetian.
In other other news…
Leading Italian wine writer Luciano Ferraro leaked the Wine Spectator Top 100 Italian Wineries list today on his blog, DiVini Corriere (published by the Italian national daily, Corriere della Sera).
I’m a big fan of Luciano’s writing and I love the quote that he culls from Philip Roth for this post: “The Italian cutter, son, is always more artistic in his outlook” (American Pastoral).
I imagine many Italians will be surprised by some of the omissions in the list but I applaud the editors of the Wine Spectator for their expanding coverage of the wines of Italy.
As Luciano notes, the list reflects not the wines that the Italians drink but rather the wines that are shipped to the U.S.
The list is now in its third year and will be presented officially at the Italian wine trade fair, Vinitaly, in April in Verona.
I’ve written about Italy’s current burger obsession recently but was “disappointed” (those are air quotes) to learn that Italy’s “most expensive” hamburger only costs €85.
The notorious “Io sono ricco” (I’m rich) burger is served at Piazzetta San Marco 13 in Pordenone, Friuli — and not Milan, as many Italian hamburger enthusiasts would have expected (source: Scatti di Gusto).
At $200, “the world’s most expensive burger” accolade is probably owned by Houston, where we now live and where the petrochemical crowd is always a sucker for anything that glitters.
Buona lettura (happy reading) and buon weekend (have a great weekend), yall!