On September 7, the Consorzio del Brunello di Montalcino will vote on a proposal to potentially make Brunello’s little brother, Rosso di Montalcino, less awesome.
Specifically, they are proposing to allow Rosso di Montalcino, currently made with 100% Brunello (a form of Sangiovese) grapes but with less aging requirements than Brunello di Montalcino wine, to be made with up to 15% other grapes – as in, any other grapes.
To make a long story short(ish), using a time-honored approach in which Italian regulatory bodies seem to liberally apply double-standards, the Consorzio’s plan to effectively water-down Rosso di Montalcino seems to undercut entirely their stated life’s purpose: “The work of the Consorzio consists in safeguarding, controlling and enhancing the value of the Denomination of Origin wines of Montalcino.” My suggestion is that you flood their Inbox at [email protected], tell them to pull their heads out of their… barrels… and make sure this proposal gets a NO vote.
Why am I upset about this, aside from loving Brunello enough that I named my dog after it? Because this move is, as my grandmother would have said, the “lazy man’s load”…
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In this episode of 1WineDude TV, I struggle mightily with the ZORK wine closure, and taste a couple of CA Zinfandels from Manzanita Creek… the kind of Zins that could beat you up, steal your lunch money, and give you a wedgie… with seriously mixed results. Also, inappropriate references are made to “marital aid dual purpose” massagers and late-70s sitcoms. Enjoy!
2008 Manzanita Creek Three Vines Zinfandel (Sonoma County)
You’ll need to like ‘em (very) big, but if you do then it’s the kind of juice you will want to pop open when your family fires up the ribs with the secret-recipe spice rub (more detail in the vid).
If I told you what it takes
to reach the highest high,
You’d laugh and say
“Nothing’s that simple!”
– from “I’m Free” (Tommy, The Who – 1969)
The following commentary is not an easy one to write, because whenever one talks about something that they do, they run the risk of appearing immodest, or conversely overdoing it on fake amounts of modesty and sounding like a douchebag.
Look, I know that I write reasonably well, because I’ve been told that by other writers whom many consider to write very well. And I know that I taste wine reasonably well, because I’ve been told that by others who are themselves kick-ass tasters. But I do not see the ability to combine those talents as somehow qualifying me to self-proclaim my awesomeness. And I do not see it as somehow unattainable by anyone else, either.
As any fan of the (excellent) book Outliers can tell you, the one thing that most differentiates the well-skilled from the wanna-bes in any given field (including wine) is practice. You spend enough time doing something (like, approaching 10,000 hours – and that figure is not hyperbole), and the odds are very, very good that you will get very, very good at whatever it is you are doing.
I write this because I continue to run into people (all over the world) who are thoroughly impressed with their own ability to taste (and then describe, verbally or in writing) a wine. As in a worship-me-because-I’m-totally-awesome level impressed with themselves. On the other side of that wine appreciation coin, I also run into people (all over the world) who reinforce that view by assuming that they themselves could never accurately describe a wine’s tastes and smells. I have a message for both of those types of people: “Get over it; what wine writing / reviewing peeps do isn’t all that special!”…
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