Above: Kelly Mariani (right), whose family owns Scribe in Sonoma, and Antonio Balassone, who works with the winery as well. They were among the estates presenting their wines in San Francisco at the Slow Wine Guide tasting. Both are grads of the Slow Food University of Gastronomic Sciences in Piedmont.
It filled me with immense pride to present and taste California wines at the Slow Wine Guide tasting in San Francisco earlier this month.
Watching Slow Wine senior editor Fabio Giavedoni taste with the eight winemakers who poured that day, I couldn’t help but think about how the tasting — part of the first Slow Wine tour to include California — represented a remarkable “old world/new world” cross-cultural moment. Fabio, who wasn’t involved in the California section of the book, is no slouch as a taster. It was amazing to watch his puckish grin appear as he tasted through the flight of California. The seasoned Italian wine writer, a Decanter magazine judge whose sharp Friulian cadence always reminds me one of the characters in Pasolini’s “Canterbury Tales,” was hooked!
The 2018 Slow Wine Guide was the first edition to include California: you can find a list of the estates that presented their wines during the tour here and you can read nearly all of the entries online here on the Slow Wine blog (not all of the profiles have been published but in time they will all be available online). The print edition will soon be available through mainstream channels as well.
As a native Californian and the coordinating editor of the first-ever California section, I couldn’t be more thrilled.
Above: Slow Wine editor-in-chief Giancarlo Gariglio (left) and Littorai’s associate winemaker Dan Estrin at the San Francisco event. What stunning wines!
I’m even more thrilled to announce that the 2019 edition of the guide will also include Oregon. We’re still in the process of finalizing details but the coordinating editor is in place and we are already working on dates for our Oregon tastings and visits.
In what I hope is equally exciting news, I am also looking for field contributors for the California guide. The work doesn’t pay much but it’s a great way for aspiring wine writers to break into print media.
If you live in or around California wine country (south to north) and you’re interested in applying for a spot, please shoot me an email with your resumé. We’ll be asking our field contributors to begin making visits in late May.
The compensation is meager but — I can tell you from personal experience — it’s a super fun and rewarding gig.
I’m looking forward to hearing from applicants: Evviva la California!