We weren’t the only ones drinking Giuseppe Vaira’s excellent Barolo last night. One of his best vintages of Albe to date.

Please consider donating to our GoFundMe campaign to raise an MLK billboard overlooking the neo-Confederate memorial in the southeast Texas town where Tracie grew up. We plan to have the artwork up in time for MLK Day 2022. And if we can raise enough money, it will remain in place throughout Black History Month. Thank you.

There are certain nights when work doesn’t feel like, well… “work.”

Yesterday evening was one of those times. Last night, Giuseppe Vaira, legacy grower and winemaker at G.D. Vajra in Barolo, joined Roma restaurant guests and me for a tasting of his excellent 2017 Barolo Albe.

It’s a wine that his family has been making for roughly two decades and it’s always been a go-to wine for me, whether as a wine lover or a wine director looking for an approachable but still classic Barolo that even guests with little Nebbiolo experience will love.

But last night’s 2017 was a cut above. It had a depth of flavor that was only matched by its balance and grace. Maybe it was just our mood at our last virtual wine dinner of the year. Maybe it was just that the stars were perfectly aligned.

Or maybe it’s just that this wine, as Giuseppe so beautifully put it, has grown up like the vines that were planted many years ago to produce it. In his view, it was the age of the vines combined with the uniqueness of the vintage that brought the wine into crystal clear focus.

Or maybe, just maybe… it was because we weren’t the only ones drinking it. While we were chatting and tasting over a Zoom call (at 2:30 in the morning for Giuseppe!), one of America’s most famous sports figures was enjoying it at the restaurant. I dunno… there was just something in the air!

My heartfelt thanks goes out to Giuseppe for joining us so early in the morning. It was a truly magical event and a fantastic way to close out our year in wine. Thanks to all our guests at the restaurant who have supported the virtual events over the last two years. We have every intention of bringing you more and more virtual content. Stay tuned and happy new year!

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