More about Why, and How…

January 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…

10 thoughts on “More about Why, and How…

  1. Hi, I’m so glad to have found your blog (and wish I had found it earlier!). I’ll be in Langhe and Alessandria area the last week of Nov. and your posts on Timorasso have been very helpful in planning that part of the trip – that’s how I found your blog. I only tried a couple of these wines but love them, they are fascinating and i want to learn more.

    Most of our winemaker appointments in Barolo and Barbaresco are already made but we have a couple of spots open so i’ll be reading more for inspiration 🙂 I’m also enjoying the posts in Italian, they help me brush up on it before the trip.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences and passion,


    1. Magdalena,

      I am so happy that my blog has been useful for you! Especially about Timorasso! If you have access to Sommelier Journal, you can find an article I wrote about Colli Tortonesi in the July 15, 2013 issue.

      Otherwise, have so much fun in Italy and be in touch! Let me know what new things you discover!

  2. I stumbled onto your blog from a recent post in NEB on Facebook. I’m a recent fan of Nebbiolo and all things Piemonte. We have some common friends in Robert and Leslie from Travel Langhe, I spent a weekend with them early this summer and my wife and I are returning to spend a full week with them in Piemonte this September! I look forward to keeping up with your adventures.

  3. I’m really happy for your feedback on my rating system. It’s always so subjective with wine! If I feel like I can rate in comparison to others, I will. If not, I’ll just leave it. Thanks!

  4. I just found your blog browsing the web on Piemonte wines. Looks like I habe a fellow Piemonte enthousiast. As always, I’m starting to read from the beginning, but I can’t wait to get into the wies… Btw, I love your way of rating. Sometimes it can get a bit theoretical with the 100 point system…

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I love Vermentino from Sardegna. You just reminded me – I actually had a great one the other night called MINORE’ Vermentino di Sardegna DOC 2009. A greta old stand-by favorite is Argiolas Vermentino. Cannonau (Grenache) is also really good from Sardegna. But I don’t have many to recommend. Argiolas does make a good one though. Thanks for reading!

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