Taste Franciacorta with me Feb. 4 in Houston and a note on the Montalcino scandal

houston somelier associationAbove: the Houston Sommelier Association is one of the coolest and most friendly wine “study groups” in the country. The mood is always convivial but serious and everyone, even laypersons, are always welcomed with open arms.

First the good news…

I’m thrilled to share the news that I will be leading a Franciacorta tasting week after next at the weekly meeting of the Houston Sommelier Association.

Here are the details:

Franciacorta “Real Story” Tasting
Wednesday, February 4
10:30 a.m.
1830 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 522-8466

It looks like we will have wines from each of the five Franciacorta wineries currently available in Texas.

And we will also have a number of wines that are not sold in Texas.

It should be a super fun event and if you are in town, please join us.

It’s part of a bigger project that I will tell you about in a few weeks. But for the time being, I’m very excited about getting to share one of my favorite appellations and an Italian wine that I feel deeply connected to.

Please join if you can/want: everyone is welcome at the Houston Sommelier Association gatherings and it’s a very friendly environment where camaraderie is the order of the day. I’m thrilled that they agreed to let me taste with them.

And now for the awful news from Montalcino…

To say the least, I was as dismayed to hear the news from Montalcino this week.

I didn’t attend the Benvenuto Brunello tasting here in New York City (where I’m working this week). But there’s no doubt that the lurid details arriving from Montalcino cast a long shadow over the gathering.

My connection to Montalcino stretches back more than 25 years and I know a lot people there, including some of the people who have been allegedly implicated in this mess. A lot of people have been messaging me from Italy and here in the U.S. I only know as much as what has been said in the Italian media.

In another and now distant chapter of my life, my family was involved in a local, “small-town” scandal that received international attention.

It was all very ugly and it was one of the toughest times in my life (I was eleven years old when it all unraveled).

As I’ve read the Italian media reports from Montalcino, I’ve thought a lot about those years of our lives.

It’s hard to “avert our eyes” when we see things like this in the feed. But it’s important to remember that — no matter what truth emerges — the people affected by this are real people.

Montalcino is a strange place, at once one of the world’s most beautiful and one of its most lonely.

Today, my heart is with my friends there…

tuscan cypress trees montalcino

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