I miss my grandparents a lot. It seems like the older I get, the more I miss them. Although they left this life with us many years ago, I often think about them.
There is an aura around the memory of my grandparents and their lives shaped by so many defining experiences and poignant moments in time. Experiences like immigration; world wars; the Roaring 20’s; Prohibition; the Great Depression; the births and lives of my parents, aunts, and uncles; the man on the moon; the 60’s, 70’s, and oh-so-tragically stylish 80’s – and so much more. The memory of their lives seems so colorful, lived, weathered, aged, unique, and refined. I often wish they could come back today and tell me more stories about “this is me, this is where I came from, this is how I lived, and this is my legacy.”
I enjoy spending time with people who can share these stories about themselves. I love to listen as they expose the underpinnings of their lives for me to experience.
Is that not what wine is about, too? It is to me. Shed the ratings, enticing tasting notes, and fancy labels and open a bottle for the sake of purely experiencing what is inside. I love wine because every bottle tells me a different story. From producer-to-producer, vintage-to-vintage, varietal-to-varietal, region-to-region, each bottle tells a history about the life of the grape inside. I pop the cork and the story unfolds as the aromas escape and I take a sip. I notice that what I’m drinking is telling me, “I am a grape, there is where I am from, this is how I lived, this is how I was treated, this is how I aged, and this is what I have become.”
Wine transports me to a time and place in this world that I long to experience. A wine tells of places of I’ve never been – like the grand chateaux of the drained Medoc; of earth that I’ve never set foot on – like walking on the pudding stones of southern Rhone or flaky schist of the Douro Valley; of a climate unlike that of my air-conditioned office – like a warm sun in the Mendoza or the sweltering heat and crushing humidity of Madeira; of a culture I long to understand – like why Amarone is made, and always will be made, “just that way, just because.”
And I like wine that way, just because.
To Nannie, Nanna, Pop, and Pop-pop – a toast to you and wishing you were here to share it with us.
Benvenuti! Welcome on my journey through Italy, one vine at a time! Italy has been my life's passion since I first set foot in the country almost 20 years ago, and today nothing is sweeter to me than revisiting this bel paese through the exploration of its people, cuisine, culture, places, history...and of course, wine! I chose wine as my tour guide through Italy because it has always been a companion in the precious and intimate moments of my life and my friendships in Italy. I hope you enjoy seeing Italy through the lens of my blog, and may your glass be filled with the joy and pleasure of Italian wine!