Ray Isle features my friend & client Paolo Cantele in Food & Wine

paolo cantele wine pugliaEver since we met in 2009, Paolo Cantele (above, right) and I have been close friends.

We bonded over our shared interest in Italian literature, our left-leaning politics, and our appreciation of life’s sensorial pleasures. All it took was a mention of Pasolini for our friendship to click (if you every meet Paolo, ask him to tell you his fantastic Ninetto Davoli story).

A few years ago, I began working with Paolo’s family’s winery in Guagnano (Lecce province, Puglia) as a content creator for their English-language online media presence.

It’s been a lot of fun working with Paolo, his brother and cousins. And so you can imagine my joy when I learned that Ray Isle, one of the leading wine writers working in the U.S. today, featured them in the current issue of Food & Wine.

But the coolest thing is that Ray’s piece, “Does Italian Food Really Pair Best with Italian Wine?,” isn’t just a mere winemaker/winery profile.

In the story, he takes a close and thoughtful look at the nature of food and wine pairing in globalized culture.

“In the U.S.,” he writes, “we can drink everything, from anywhere. In supermarkets, bottles from Germany bump up against bottles from New Zealand, and so on around the globe. We’re overwhelmed with choice. By contrast, there on the terrace at Cantele, everything I had cooked and everything we were drinking (with the exception of my transcontinental additions) had come from just down the road. Maybe believing in an affinity between the wine and food of a region is just romantic foolishness. On the other hand, elusive as those connections may be, I’d rather think they’re the whole point.”

Damn, I wish I would have written that!

It’s a really great piece of writing and you may be surprised by Ray’s experiment and his findings.

Click here to read Ray’s piece on the CanteleUSA blog.

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