Sognando Piemonte (Piedmont Dreamin’)

bricco boschis

Above: We got to drink a bottle of 2005 Barolo Bricco Boschis by Cavallotto last night. Photo by Tracie P.

As Tony Coturri told me the other day (and as Mama Judy mentions when we talk on the phone each week), California is having the coolest summer it’s had in anyone’s memory. Out here in Texas it’s H-O-T hot — not exactly what I would call “Barolo weather.”

But when our friend (and my client) Julio messaged and said he had a bottle of 2005 Barolo Bricco Boschis by Cavallotto that he wanted to share with us, we couldn’t resist.

And, man, what a treasure in this bottle. Here’s Tracie P’s tasting note: “bright cherry acidity with graphite minerality and a balance of earthiness, so balanced and savory and fruity; it just had everything in the right place…”

The wine is young and the curious thing was how generous it was with its fruit right when we opened and decanted it. But by the time we finished the bottle, it had begun to close up.

On a hot Texas summer eve, it made me dream of Piedmont and a few new-to-me destinations I can’t wait to visit when I return. Like the Museo dei Cavatappi, the Corkscrew Musuem in the town of Barolo.

paolo annoni

I was actually scrounging the interwebs for something else (for a consulting job) when I came across Paolo Annoni (above) and his amazing museum, which preserves more than 500 corkscrews from the eighteenth century to the present. As they say in Italian, this type of stuff is pane per i miei denti, literally, bread for my teeth, in other words, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it.


Another destination at the top of my list is the Vinoteca Centro Storico in Serralunga. I literally drooled over my keyboard when I read about it in the excellent blog authored by McDuff, who possesses one of the palates I admire the most.

Check out his post for details. Just the thought of grower Champagne and carne cruda is enough to make the mimetic desire kick in (at 9 a.m. in the morning, I can literally feel my saliva glands working as I type). Auerbach anyone?

aaaaaaaa… Sognando Piemonte…

Si parla l’italiano a San Diego

This morning, Tracie B and I arrived early for our appointment to get our marriage license in downtown San Diego and so we popped over to the newly revitalized Little Italy neighborhood of America’s Finest City for some breakfast. There was a group of men sitting — kibbitzing, you would say in Yiddish — outside Pete’s Quality Meats (above) and so we stopped and chatted with them in Italian. Their Sicilian faces were tan and furrowed from their years working on the San Diego tuna boats.

“Auguroni! figli maschi!” they called out as we said goodbye (“Best of wishes! May you have many male children!”).

It was wonderful to hear the sun-baked rhythms of their Sicilian cadence, a relic and a trace of the era in which they immigrated to the U.S. bringing theirs skills in tuna fishery (probably in the 1960s, gauging from their language).

Si parla l’italiano a San Diego…

In other news…

I think the Rueben has officially usurped the special place in my heart once reserved solely for the Jaynes Burger at Jaynes Gastropub, where a bunch of folks gathered last night to celebrate our upcoming wedding. It paired exceedingly well with the 2007 Dolcetto d’Alba by Cavallotto by the glass (one of me and Tracie B’s favorites).

My high-school friend and bff John Yelenosky and his wife Megan (both wine professionals) treated us to a bottle of 2000 Gaston Chiquet Champagne. Wow, I love that wine.

“I know how much you like Gaston Chiquet,” Megan teased me. “‘Cause I read your blog!” ;-) Sooooo gooood… and so sweet to drink in celebration! Thanks, Megan and John!

John is going to “stand up with me” at the wedding this weekend.

O, and, btw, the marriage license? CHECK! :-)