Diana Ross (!) at the new Austin City Limits theater

Tracie P and I went with Aunt Holly and Uncle Terry to see Diana Ross at the brand-spanking new Austin City Limits theater last night.

Great venue, GREAT show… Austin just keeps getting cooler and cooler by the day…

Thanks again, Holly and Terry, for dialing that in! Super FUN… :-)

What to serve with home-smoked ribs in Austin TX? Produttori del Barbaresco, what else?

Above: what else would I pair with home-smoked ribs? 2004 Produttori del Barbaresco Barbaresco (classico), of course. I’ve tasted this wine a number of times since I first tasted it in NYC at a Vias portfolio tasting with Alfonso, Alice, and winemaker Aldo Vacca early last year. Over the last few months, it’s been in what I call a “state of grace”: a period of sensational drinkability before it shuts down again for the long-term. The bottle we opened on Sunday night in Austin showed signs of tightening up again but was delicious nonetheless.

Italian wine bloggers — me, Tracie B., Alfonso, and Wolfgang — converged on Austin last weekend for the Austin City Limits music festival and some general honky-tonking.

My festival highlight was Erykah Badu: man, that lady is one bad-assed mother… (and I mean that on multiple levels: played an amazing show, rocked a great percussion solo on with her digi trigger, and how many months pregnant is she?). We watched her set with my friend, roomate, and licensing agent Michael Nieves. He and I raised a beer to toast the phat placement he did for our song Fille Atomique on Gossip Girl on Monday.

Alfonso, Tracie B., and I were the guests at the home of Misti and Nathan, Tracie B.’s good friends. Nathan smoked pork ribs — one rack with a spicy rub, one with a bbq sauce finish, and one plain. He began smoking them in the morning, keeping them at about 200° F. all day long, using chips from old whiskey barrels (Franco would agree with me that this would be an excellent use for barriques! Nathan said, however, he prefers pecan). Misti made steamed corn with jalapeño rounds and a great potato salad (with olive oil instead of mayonnaise). Lena and Dean were there, too. Nathan’s a pretty mean guitar player and so we traded some riffs and played Beatles and Bruce Springsteen into the night (on the ladies’ request).

Above: what do Italian wine bloggers drink when they get together? Mexican beer, of course! Wolfgang and Alfonso at Güero’s Taco Bar in Austin. I wasn’t sure about getting fish tacos in a land-locked taco joint so I went with the roast pork, which was very good, but the sides were just so-so. The salsa bar was excellent if meager and I love the way they serve the beer with small, old-school glasses, like the ones you find in Mexico.

Above: Tracie B. at Ginny’s Little Longhorn, my new all-time favorite honky tonk. The night we were there, the caliber of the playing just made me want to go sell my geetar at a pawn shop. Tracie B. moved back to Austin earlier this year from Ischia where she wrote her fantastic blog, My Life Italian, about Italian food and wine and the life of a Texana in Campania, Italy. She’s a little shy on camera but, man, that girl’s got the prettiest eyes this Italian wine blogger’s ever seen!


Post scriptum

Strappo and Marco: we missed you at the Italian wine blogger summit, Austin, 2008 edition.

Feeling fat and stinky (and that’s a good thing)

Above: fat and stinky. I can’t say where it came from or who shared it with me (since it’s illegal in this country), but this Ami du Chambertin was fantastic yesterday evening at my buddy’s place. This week I’m feeling just like that cheese.

When I first moved to NYC and got a job as a magazine editor, one of the graphics guys was a Russian. Slava was his name, very talented dude and a good friend. Every time he’d see me laugh or smile, he’d say, “Jeremy, suck a lime.” In other words, stop smiling because unless you don’t something bad will surely happen.

Well, I’m throwing caution to the wind because it’s been a good week and I’m feeling fat and stinky like that cheese.

Found out yesterday that Nous Non Plus’ Fille Atomique (from …Nous Non Plus self-titled) will be featured on the show Gossip Girl on Monday (8 p.m. Pacific, check your local listings).

Our new album, Ménagerie, is being printed as I write this and will be out in January.

This week I’m finishing the final edits on my behemoth translation of a Guide to Italian Cinema for Princeton U. Press. I’ve been working on this book for a few years now and it’s great to see it come to fruition.

And this weekend I’m headed to Austin, Texas to hang out, relax, and listen to some good music during Austin City Limits. Maybe I’ll even get to dance with a pretty girl… I can just hear Slava saying it, suck a lime…

In other news…

I really like this post today by McDuff: one of the things I like about his blog is the way he balances the human aspect of our business with great tasting notes and informed background. I was just talking to some colleagues about Vajra last night and lo and behold, David posted on the winery today.

Italian Wine Guy is back from Italy and shared with me this updated list of the now 41 Italian DOCGs (a few new ones were added this summer). Alfonso, looking forward to seeing you this weekend in Austin, man!