Together again, naturally


Above: Nothing to Breg about, to borrow Alfonso’s pun. Last night, he, Tracie P, and I shared a bowl of her slow-cooker cannellini beans and escarole in our home in Austin. Decanted and with a few hours of aeration, the 2000 Breg by Gravner bowled me over, in every sense of the word. Thanks, Alfonso!

Natural wine has been on my mind (again) lately. In part because of a recent appeal posted on the Slowine website (and brought to my attention by Italy’s top wine blogger, Mr. Franco Ziliani) calling for Italy’s “natural wine” fairs (namely, Vini Veri and VinNatur) to be incorporated into the annual Italian wine industry mega-fair Vinitaly. I stayed home this year and didn’t attend but when I posted event details for Vini Veri, a number of folks — including some high-profile industry types — weighed in on the side of consolidation.


Above: There’s just no other way to put this. Tracie P’s legumes were divine last night. Every bean was perfectly whole but then melted in the mouth. Did I mention that the beautiful lady behind the lens also has a natural gift for photography? She snapped the above.

Natural wine has also been on my mind because I’ve been following Alice’s truly excellent posts on the nature — semantic, metaphysical, and sensorial — of natural wine, the winemakers and movement(s) that support and profess it, and the new space it occupies in the language and the perceptions of the mainstream. The latest post, entitled “What is Natural Wine?”, may be the best, but I highly recommend the previous two posts (here and here) and the Washington Post article that prompted the series, “Natural Isn’t Perfect” by Dave McIntyre.


Above: Not only did Alfonso bring the Gravner last night, he also brought some awesome bacon from Robertson’s in Salado, Texas. @BrooklynGuy, you would love this stuff.

In other natural wine news, the excellent Italian wine blog Intravino posted a profile of natural wine trailblazer Joe Dressner and the blog devoted to his truly heroic battle with brain cancer (also brought to my attention by Mr. Ziliani and btw here’s a link to Joe’s blog).

In an email I received yesterday from Étienne de Montille, the famous winemaker wrote that “I should have left for Tokyo Sunday but… Nature has decided otherwise.”

Volcano or no volcano, the transatlantic dialogue moves forward as “natural wine,” however it is conceived or perceived, indelibly enters into the collective vinous consciousness. Only good can come of it.