Sunday and Monday I was in Verona for my third annual VinItaly trip. By chance I spent almost the entire day Sunday this year tasting wine from Abruzzo. I had been going around with my friend Alessandro (also Abruzzese), so we really had been having fun talking with all of the people from the different wineries and hearing their stories. Needless to say, after all of these new aquaintances I had made (and with our plans to spend Easter in Lanciano, Abruzzo), I was especially saddened by the news of the earthquake Monday morning - they and their families are in my thoughts everyday....
The tastings started out a little rough, as Ale wasn't exactly dressed for the part (this event is geared towards buyers and distributors), and none of the cantinas wanted to waste their time or wine on us... however we soon found out that my lovely american accent was music to their ears...and things changed.... There was much less of an American presence this year at the fair, much to the dismay of the producers trying to sell their wines oversees, so as soon as I asked to try something, business card in hand, they embraced us with open arms....and open bottles..... I loathe the fact that most Italians think that all Americans are rich, and convincing them otherwise is all but useless... but I have to admit, it worked to my advantage. Next year I'm just going to make things easier for everyone and wear a Prada t-shirt that says: Yes, I am American and I own a restaurant in Italy!
Favorites this year: Cantina Pasetti: Pasetti Pecorino I.G.T, Terre di Chieti Testarossa Rosso Montepulciano D.O.C. - this is a really original wine, un vino unico, and its inspired by the redheads in the family (testarossa), so of course its excellent! Cantina Emidio Pepe: all organic wines, and all excellent - I had a Trebbiano that was amazing, and a desgutazione of different vintages of Montepulciano d'Abruzzo ranging from 2005 to 1982! (the 1982 bottle is when it comes in handy to be an american who owns a restaurant in italy....) Cantina del Glicine: found these guys at the end of my tasting so my judgement could be a little fuzzy, but they definately win the award for best labels - all hand drawn and some with cats! I liked: Il Mandolo, Roero Arneis La Sconsolata Barbera d'Alba Grappa di Arneis Domenis Distilleria: Storica Nera grappa - its a classic!
originally posted April 2009