This morning over at VinoWire, Italy’s top wine blogger Mr. Franco Ziliani and I published a translation of a page from a new book on the top wines of Europe by thirty-something Italian journalist Andrea Scanzi.
Aretino-born Andrea is a certified sommelier and a popular journalist. He has written on sports, music, and wine, including Elogio dell’invecchiamento (In Praise of Aging, 2007, Mondadori), in which he chronicles his “search for the 10 best wines of Italy” according to the flap jacket copy.
His current book, Il vino degli altri (Other People’s Wines) was released with great PR fanfare during the annual Italian wine industry trade fair Vinitaly. It wasn’t intended to be a scandalous book. In fact, from what I understand (and I haven’t read the book in its entirety), the book is an attempt to contextualize the great wines of Italy within the macrocosm of their European counterparts.
But his interview with Super Tuscan producer Massimo d’Alessandro of Tenimenti Luigi d’Alessandro — just a few pages in the book — may represent the first instance when a prominent Tuscan winemaker has spoken on the record about last year’s Tuscan wine scandal (10 million liters of wine produced by wineries in Chianti were seized by Italian officials).
The page (131) scanned and posted by Mr. Ziliani on his blog and the subsequent response from Brancaia are remarkable because the texts shed some light, however distorted, on what has really been happening in Tuscan winemaking. Neither observers of Italian wine nor anyone who’s ever spent time with Tuscan winemakers will be surprised by the mention of a famous Tuscan enologist — the first time, to my knowledge, that anyone has mentioned his name on record (even though, off the record, many Tuscan wine professionals will point to this gentleman as the architect of the region’s current ills).
In other news…
Tracie P only begins to bring home tomatoes when they start to come back into season with warmer temperatures (no “winter” greenhouse tomatoes allowed zum Parzen!). Last night we had a delightfully light supper of bruschette rubbed with garlic, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil (San Giuliano, Alghero, Sardinia), and topped with fresh cherry tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. She also gently sautéed some springtime sweet peas with country ham. The 2008 Pinot Grigio (Friuli) by Scarpetta (Bobby Stuckey’s label, under $20) paired beautifully, especially as it warmed up a little (when too cold, it’s as if you’re only drinking half of the flavor of this wine).
Happy springtime, everyone! :-)