January 8, 2010
My friend Roberto, an honest-to-God sommelier from Milano (he’s got the cup and everything) recently asked me to send him all of my wine tasting notes with name of wine, vintage, and personal score from my recent trip to northern Italy. My first thought was, “You’re crazy. Why would you want my notes? And how can I even compile them, and give scores*?” But then I thought, “Hm, could be fun, and perhaps useful to myself in the future to compile all of this information. And he asked for it, so why not?”
I also recently learned that some people really do appreciate the fact that I appreciate this land called Piemonte, and the wine that is so entrenched into the culture, well-being, history, family, friends, and daily life of the people who come from there. I never thought it could be a two-way street. But I’ll take it.
Then my friend, Eryn, who recently started a blog of her own
encouraged me to write! write! write! about Italy! She has tons of cool stuff to say about wine that I like to read so, hey, maybe she’ll like to read my stuff.
Chances are I’ll write mostly about Italy, Piedmont (Piemonte), Italian wines (mostly Piemontese wines) but I’m sure I’ll throw other stuff into the mix here and there. Since my last trip I am missing Piemonte more than ever and I can’t deny that I have a lot to say about it.
* I’ve debated about whether I’d give scores on this blog, and have actually decided against it. While I feel like I have a ton of experience with Piemontese wines and the varieties grown there in the context of my personal history and experience with wine, I, myself, am just a recent speck in the history of Piemonte and their wine scene. I’m an outsider. While I am infatuated with and passionate about this area, I am in no position to judge. I will just give my opinion.
About my opinion:
- In December, over a lovely dish of i manfriguli all grosina at the HotelSassella restaurant, I borrowed a copy of DueMilavini 2010 from the lobby and read the book’s reviews (in Italian) of all the wines I had just tried in Piemonte. Much to my surprise, my notes and reviews were consistent with the book’s.
- When I give my opinion of a wine, it’s in comparison to other wines of that style, or to other wines made of the same variety. So while I won’t be giving any arbitrary scores to anything, I will give stars (★) when a wine really stands out. For example, I may give two stars to a Barolo and three to a Freisa, but that doesn’t mean I think the Freisa is better than the Barolo, it merely means that the Freisa is the best Freisa in comparison to every other Friesa I’ve had, while the Barolo, in my opinion, isn’t the best Barolo I’ve ever had. But it may still be remarkable for a particular reason.
So, okay! For anyone in cyberspace who wants to know, here is what I have to say about Italian wine…