Today finds me “in the market” in Dallas… in other words, meeting with buyers, sommeliers, and a winemaker (you will not believe who! but I’ll reveal that later… let’s just say that I’ll be tasting a 100-point Parker wine today…).
Posting hastily but wanted to share the good news that I’ve been asked to be the official blogger for Barbera Meeting 2010 in Asti (Piedmont): four days of tasting and meeting with Barbera producers, March 8-11.
But the really super cool thing is that the PR firm who’s organized the tastings has asked me to bring some of my best blogging buddies and friends along for a veritable Barbera blogfest!
Not that I needed ANOTHER blog but here’s the blog I’ve created just for the event. The whole affair is pretty darn blogicious, if I do say so myself! And I am completely geeked to taste through scores and scores of wines with some of my favorite bloggers in the English-speaking world…
In other news…
I can’t reveal the super-secret identities of the folks who had me over for dinner last night but suffice to say she’s a nationally renowned food writer and he’s a famous music writer.
Steamed giant asparagus and vinaigrette (with home-baked white and brown bread) and roast herbed chicken and potatoes were fantastic but the coolest thing was that he let all of the guests call out requests from his music library.
Mine was: “Thelonious Monk, 1957, New York City.” Famous French music writer then turned me on to a super cool recording I’d never heard before, Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall in 1957. I know the Monk canon well and to hear different (new-to-me) versions of some of his classic was a real treat… and it paired nicely with the 1999 Tertre Roteboeuf.
I think Right Bank always goes better with Monk, don’t you? Miles? Definitely, Left Bank… ;-)
Thanks for reading!
If you’re planning your vacation in Italy this summer, think about Abruzzo…
After breaking away from the phalanx of wine professionals with whom I was traveling on my last day at Vinitaly in April, I had the great fortune to taste with Abruzzo winemakers Sofia and Emidio Pepe. The next morning, the earthquake struck the region in the hours before dawn, taking the lives of nearly 300 people and leaving 28,000 homeless.
You may remember Eric’s post “Aftershocks” which appeared on The Pour in the days that followed the tragedy in L’Aquila. As Eric pointed out, even though the Abruzzo wine industry wasn’t affected directly by the earthquake, the long-term impact will be drastic because 10-50% of the wine produced there is sold and consumed locally.
Above: I have always loved Emidio Pepe’s Montepulicano d’Abruzzo, made in a totally natural style. “Emidio Pepe may be even more of purist than Valentini [another one of Italy’s iconic natural winemakers],” wrote Burton Anderson in his landmark book Vino. “He crushes his grapes by foot” and “possesses not a single piece of modern equipment in his rustic winery.” Drinking these stinky elegant wines is like listening to Thelonious Monk’s “Ugly Beauty.”
Abruzzo is a pristine region of immense natural beauty. Its hills are dotted with wonderful medieval villages where life was never contaminated by the industrial progress forged during fascism.
L’Aquila (where the epicenter hit) was so named (“the eagle”) by 13th-century emperor Frederick II of Swabia who was one of the greatest falconers of his time. Dante condemned Frederick to his Inferno for being an epicurean.
If you’re considering/planning a trip to Italy this summer, think about Abruzzo.
In other news…
You can find info for Nous Non Plus shows in San Francisco (tomorrow), San Jose (Friday), and Los Angeles (Saturday) here. Hope to see you at the shows. Tracie B will be Tracie B there too! (well, just in LA)