Posts Filed Under going pro
My latest article looking back on my Monferrato gig is now live over at MyNameIsBarbera.com, and it’s my next-to-last for that gig. The fact that the phrase “Home, Sweet Home” appears in the post, and yet the article entirely lacks and references to Mötley Crüe is, admittedly, a severe and egregious oversight, but otherwise I think that the writing is solid (both mine and that of Nikki Sixx, I mean).
In this penultimate piece, I talk about a strange irony of the well-traveled Barbera grape variety; to wit (and if you’ll at least temporarily forgive the douchebaggery of quoting myself):
“In having this true sense of place, there’s an endearing irony in Barbera d’Asti. Few red wine grapes have seen as much globe-trotting expansion as It, and yet its best and most versatile incarnations and intimately tied to just a single, special place.”
Click on the link below to check it out (preferably while drinking some Barbera d’Asti).
My gig with the Barbera and Monferrato folks over at MyNameIsBarbera.com has come to an end, and so you’ll be seeing a couple of wrap-up posts of mine over there as the 2018 Summer hits high season and then fades into Autumn (by far the best time of the year, especially in my neck of the planetary woods).
The first of these is available now for your reading pleasure, and it takes the form of a kinda-sappy-but-then-again-maybe-not-so-sappy love letter to the Monferrato region as a whole.
Of course, I’m going to miss visiting the place, until I get my skinny ass back there, I mean. In order to fully understand why I’m going to miss this Piedmontese jewel so much, all of that is explained with admittedly a modicum of annoying affectation in my latest My Name Is Barbera article…
I LOVE MONFERRATO
On Valentine’s Day last week, Fix.com published, appropriately, what amounts to my little Valentine to what might be the red-headed-step-child of dessert wines right now, Ice Wine.
Hell, even the once-totally-ignored sweet Sherries are cooler now than Ice Wine (see what I did there?).
Personally, I have a sweet tooth, which probably explains my borderline-obsession with the dessert section of the fine wine store shelves. Ice wine is the kind of thing over which wine geeks have wet dreams: it’s unique, intense, and usually only available in tiny quantities because it’s such a pain in the friggin’ ass to produce well. Actually, I think that you might need to be at least a little bit insane – like, not-quite-normal, a-little-touched-in-the-head, sure-I’ll-play-ice-hockey-goalie or sure-I’ll-be-a-rock-drummer insane – to actually want to harvest grapes for ice wine.
The short-shrift given to Ice Wine, even in some of the most storied wine books, kind of fills me with an unhealthy rage (it’s okay, I’m over it). The closest thing that I’ve found to my feelings regarding the stuff – particularly the Canadian stuff – in written equivalent comes from Karen MacNeil’s The Wine Bible (which I hope she doesn’t mind me quoting here):
“…the greatest Canadian icewines posses an almost otherworldly contrapuntal tension between acidity and sweetness, making drinking them an ethereal sensation. That’s saying it in an intellectual way. But here’s the kin-in-you version: You’ll want to lick the bowl.”
It’s exactly right; she’s exactly right.
It’s not often that you get a combination of such intense, pure fruit expression, sugar, and raging acid. Those only come by way of the world’s best dessert wine experiences, in which I would unabashedly the best offerings of icewines from the nation of Terrence and Phillip, and the eiswines of Germany and Austria. The northern U.S. territories making Ice/Iced Wines probably aren’t quiiiiiite there yet, but they are catching up quickly, and are absolutely quick studies. And don’t laugh too much at the dessert wines made from artificially frozen grapes, folks, because I’ve had a spate of them lately that would make you rethink writing off some of those beauties.
The infographic summary of the article is available below after the jump, but there’s quite a bit of text for you to scan quickly on your phone while pretending to be reading it, covering the difference between Ice Wine and Iced Wine in the USA, Eiswein in Germany versus that of Austria, and testifying my love of the glorious Icewines of the Great White North.
Read the rest of this stuff »
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.
Anyway, you can follow along with my Monferrato escapades at http://www.mynameisbarbera.com/author/joe-roberts/.
Monferrato Moves Episode #1 – Open Space