Ever since graduate school, Italy has been my lifeline and my livelihood.
It started with a fellowship at the Italian Department at U.C.L.A. Then came my first non-service job as an Italian instructor and researcher. Later came a Fulbright and other grants and scholarships for study in Italy. And during four summers off from school, I made a living playing in a cover band in Belluno, Padua, and Venice.
After school, I shifted to commercial media when I got an assistant editor job at La Cucina Italiana in New York. That led to wine writing. That led to copywriting. That led to marketing consulting. More recent years brought a teaching position at the Slow Food University in Piedmont and a gig as an editor for Slow Wine.
For more than 25 years now, Italy, Italian culture, and Italian food and wine have helped me make a living.
And now Italy and Italian food and wine needs us more than ever before.
Just this morning, I received a press release from the Italian Federation of Independent Grape Growers outlining the Italian wine industry’s most urgent needs: debt relief, small business loans for wineries and restaurants, relaxed restrictions on retail sales and production limits, etc. It echoed an open letter to Governor Cuomo from a New York-based food and wine association that arrived last night. These were just two of the myriad pleas for help, support, and solidarity that have been flooding my my inbox.
We’re all facing similar challenges in this unprecedented health crisis.
That’s why I’m inviting you to open a bottle of Italian wine from your cellar and share it on social media. Tag me and I’ll share it, too.
My client Scarpa has just launched its “Scarpa Cellar Dive” program: open a bottle of Scarpa, share a video and they’ll replace the bottle.
My client Ethica Wines has asked me to lead a series of live tastings on its Instagram. Tomorrow (Wednesday, April 1) at 3 p.m EST (2 p.m. CST), I’ll tasting with Alberto Cordero from Cordero di Montezemolo (a super cool old-school estate that not enough folks in the U.S. know about).
And yesterday afternoon I shot my first virtual tasting video (below). My good friends at Folio Fine Wine partners generously sent me a care package of wines that Tracie and I have been enjoying over the few weeks of isolation (thank you Folio!). The Ricasoli 2015 Chianti Classico Colledilà Gran Selezione blew me away when I tasted it in Tuscany in January.
Buy Italian wine, drink Italian wine, order from your favorite retailer and/or restaurant (many states are allowing restaurants to sell wine with take-out orders). And if your finances don’t permit any of the above, open a bottle from your cellar and share the joy on social media (tag me and I’ll share it, too).
We can all use a little joy in our lives right now and Italian wine is a great way to find it.
Thanks for being here and thanks for supporting Italian wine.