Last year, I spent a good amount of time (lucky for me) jaunting around the northern Italian countryside, taking in the sights, sounds, and (most importantly!) the flavors of Asti and Monferrato.
I’m happy to report that the work that we (that’s me and the Consorzio Barbera d’Asti e Vini del Monferrato) did in those beautiful environs is now being published on an English-language website called My Name is Barbera.
My work there will consist of a combination of long-form articles, as well as short video vignettes that we recorded during the trip (the first of which is embedded below), the latter of which will have about as much jealous-rage-enducing views of the gorgeous Italian countryside as you can handle in a minute and half without drooling on your screen or starting to smash things.
While this work and publishing is in play, I won’t be formally reviewing any Barbera wines from the area here on 1WD (this is a paying gig, after all), but I make no promises as to not doing my best to stoke your travel bug urges to get your butt over there and witness Monferrato’s beauty for yourself. For now, though, you can enjoy it via proxy.
Last week, I had the good fortune to head back to the Fox 29 studios in downtown Philly and appear on Good Day Philadelphia. This time, the topic was Wine for Beer Lovers; which is the kind of pinch-me-is-this-really-what-I-do-for-a-living? moment that gets a self-professed beer- and wine-loving geek like myself up in the (early) AM with a smile plastered onto my face.
Unlike my previous appearance, there were no hiccups with getting the representative wines through the eight-billion (a rough estimate) levels of Pennsylvania legal red tape. The representative beers were my choice, and I live close enough to the esteemed Victory Brewing Co. to have made that choice a no-brainer (and avoid the PA legal red tape stickiness entirely). Like my previous appearance, the Fox29 staff were fantastically, delightfully amicable…
I will probably never fully comprehend the logic behind scheduling #SangriaDay in December, while #RedWineDay is in August. But August 28th is Red Wine Day, and I was asked to provide a few red vino picks on that day for a live segment on Fox 29’s Good Day Philadelphia.
Yes, Lorelai (and owl puppet) got to join in the fun
For those of you who don’t spend much time behind a camera, these TV spots are usually frenetic, fun, fast-on-your-feet affairs. I have, of course, a huge advantage in these scenarios: I’m talking about a product that pretty much no one hates, and almost everyone is more than a little anxious and happy to learn more about and discuss.
As I like to say not infrequently about the wine world’s penchant for attracting happiness: we’re not exactly selling coffins here.
Personally, I think that was most excited to bring my daughter Lorelai, who at first (presumably from never having known her father not to do things like play music on stage or appear in videos) seemed completely nonplussed over the entire thing. Our initial conversation went something like this:
Me: “Hey, toots, I’m going to be on TV; do you want to come to the TV studio with me?”
Lorelai, not looking up from playing a game on her iPad: “Not really.”
Me: “We get to ride in a limo.”
Lorelai: “What?!?? Yeah. I wanna go!!”
…Below is a video recap of the brief segment. Long story made short, the wines that were supposed to be featured had trouble arriving on time (because, well, Pennsylvania), so at about 4:45AM the day of I found myself pulling some PA-available wines from the basement sample pool:
The 14th (holy crap! have we really done fourteen of these already?!??) episode of my Furmint Adventures has recently been published, so I’m sharing it here to give you a five-or-so-minute distraction from working.
And a beautiful distraction it is.
Hungary’s Béres Winery has recently won awards for its construction, and their vineyard site is among one of the most gorgeous that I’ve ever encountered in the wine world (and the wine world is, if anything, not short on gorgeous locations). You’ll see what I mean in the first 50 seconds when you watch the video.
I’m really happy at how this video turned out, not just because I’m also again joined by Master Somm Peter Granoff, and not just because the wines were such excellent examples of dry Furmint (their sweet wines are killer, too), but also because the folks behind Béres seem to be genuinely lovely people (the kind that you want to see succeed).
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