I just finished watching “Caro Battiato - Travel invitation”And I am immersed in a sea of emotions and memories. Memories of two people who are no longer there: dad and grandmother Mira. So, for my first article of the year, I decided to freewheel with you. After all, a blog is still a diary! Then nothing good intentions, anything horoscope 2022, anything technical tastings… Let's rather take a journey through time (but we will also talk about 4 wines, this is still a wine blog!).
It was October 92 - it makes me smile to think that my husband was not yet born - and my father gave me a book that I am still madly in love with today: "Franco Battiato: Mixed Technique on Carpet". Perhaps you think it is an absurd choice: at the time I had not yet turned 8 and in this interview book issues such as the use of drugs or sex are addressed with a language that Treccani would also require from most adults.
In fact, I remember wonderful afternoons with a grandmother who was a second mother (thanks to the fact of living with them) who scrolled through the pages of the dictionary - with her hands not too clean - while we were looking for words. I was looking for them and grandmother wrote them on a bank diary of the previous year, the same one from which she tore the sheets to write the shopping list for my father or the recipes they gave on television.
Battiato and childhood memories: an invitation to travel
Dad's gift was by no means accidental: one afternoon we had listened to the LP of Franco Battiato "The master's voice”And I fell madly in love with the song "Birds" - order, freedom, geometry. That song was the first one I had translated with my grandmother into a language accessible to a child.
I smile thinking back to that diary, where after "1 liter of milk" you found "Primal: which belongs to the origins of the world and living beings, which dates back to the most remote times. With a broader sense, of what, in the complex of things of nature, has an anteriority ideal ". I was a particular child, one of those who had started taking ballet lessons not so much because she wanted to be a dancer when she grew up, but because of a sincere love for that music. And I persisted in it for years, even though my build was somewhat unsuitable due to my already being an excellent fork.
In the photo “.G” Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG 2011 disgorgement 2014 combined with marinated trout with lime, seeds and dill leaves and Seichuan pepper and my mythical home made loaf bread. A wine that, harvest and disgorgement, is today at its maximum splendor.
Battiato is a curiosity among the books I recommend you read this year
Since I was a child, the only thing I loved as much as writing was reading. In my life I have read hundreds of books, preferring, in addition to non-fiction, the Japanese literature (thanks to a great passion for manga). There were three books that marked my adolescence: Amrita by Banana Yoshimoto, Spiritual Lessons for Young Samurai by Yukio Mishima e Grass Pillow by Natsume Soseki. The latter in particular was published in 1993 by L'Ottava, a publishing house founded by Franco Battiato in 1985, year in which I was born. When I bought it I admit I didn't know.
This year I want to reread all three as they have been gathering dust in my library for several years. And of course I want to reread Franco Battiato: Mixed Technique on Carpet.
As Molière, the French playwright of the Baroque era, said: "Great is the luck of one who has a good bottle, a good book, a good friend."
Now you can subscribe to my newsletter or scroll down the page to continue reading the article!
By the way…
2021 gave me a new friend: Valentina. To tell the truth, the first female friend after so many years of absolute emptiness. In reality she is more than a friend: I married her on a business basis. There are no words to express gratitude for this meeting which made me renew the desire to conquer the world. So, in the company of good friend, her partner Nicola and my husband Francesco (and of course Paco!) I said goodbye to 2022 by uncorking four wonderful bottles.
Sparkling, emotions and digs for New Year 2022
As I had anticipated, no technical tastings for my first article of the year, only emotions. Emotions because, if on the one hand the tastings help to understand the potential buyer if a wine is in his or her strings or not, wine is first of all emotion and pleasure. Yes why I don't drink labels, I drink content. I found peace in the beautiful hills of Conegliano, in that enchanted place of which only ignorance can speak ill. Let me be clear, an ignorance that has as accomplices those same producers who work without giving a damn about the product in the name of profit. And this is how Prosecco DOCG becomes the “sparkling wine” as an aperitif, the by-product with which to make badly made rivers of Spritz.
In the picture “.G” Prosecco Superiore Conegliano Valdobbiadene DOCG 2010 disgorging 2012 Alice's vineyards with my main dish: pappardelle with shrimp bisque, stracciatella and shrimp tartare topped with extra virgin olive oil, nutmeg and lime. A pairing that I would define supreme for a classic method sparkling wine unable to age. While it has reached its maturity and perhaps just entered the descending curve, it is still a spectacle for connoisseurs. With a perfect bubble despite a 10-year disgorgement that I can only ask: "Cinzia, how do you do it?"
The vineyards of Alice and Bellenda: emotions, for real
My favorite classic method sparkling wines in Italy are now indisputably theirs. I really taste a lot of them every year, but these two Venetian wineries always find a way to amaze me. A new product, as in the case of the “WÜRM” Blanc de Blancs Brut Nature 2008 Bellenda's early 2020 disgorgement, or a different vintage in the case of “.G” Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG 2011 disgorgement 2014 of Le Vigne di Alice. And the thrill of tasting again the wine of my wedding, the .G Conegliano Valdobbiadene Superiore DOCG 2010 disgorgement 2012 a year later. The greatest joy was sharing it with Valentina and Nicola, who unfortunately I met in April 2021 and therefore theSeptember 8, 2020 when we got married. For me, being an incurable romantic, it was like sharing something about that day that, whatever life might have in store for us, was incredibly beautiful.
I found the “WÜRM” 2008 by Bellenda amazing. The chardonnay is enhanced in all its nuances and the passage in barrique is defined and elegant. A bottle that runs out too quickly, with great versatility in combination, especially throughout the meal. For New Year's Eve I paired it with these small prawns that I grilled with truffle butter… you can't imagine what a show!
2022 has already begun fatigued by a pandemic that divides men more than football. So I close the first article of the year with two quotes and invite you to travel:
“What we fear, when considered only in its terrifying aspect, can turn into madness. […] In the world there are those who deliberately create a non-existent broken love and savor the pleasure of tormenting themselves voluptuously. People would call him a fool, a madman. But whoever has willingly drawn a circle of unhappiness in which he lives his daily life with pleasure is, in his freedom as an artist, perfectly identical to those who, painting a non-existent landscape, shut themselves up and rejoice in it as if it were paradise. ".
Grass Pillow, Natsume Soseki
Vulgarity is the lack of respect, refinement, politeness; it is to think that you are sincere in saying something that offends a person. […] The vehicle of sincerity is actually a tension, an internal frustration that needs to manifest itself and that is charged with other things. [...] When speaking, you must always take into account your own balance in understanding the person in front of you by evaluating all the characteristics of the relationship with the other in the best possible way so that the two scales - you and the other - are perfectly balanced .
Mixed technique on carpet, Franco Battiato
Whatever your memories of the past or your fears for the future are, don't let them become the brake on the present. Do not alienate yourself in grand ideas or reject the missed dreams about who accompanies you in this life. Everything is in the making and, as frightening as this can be, it is in itself a great consolation. Yes, ambitious, but you enjoy what you have just because you were born in the "right place" of the world. Even if we know well that it is not right. My word for this 2022 is “balance”. To be sought in wine as well as in life to be able to define it as pleasant, deserving or even excellent.
PS Alice's Vineyards he magnificently accompanied the two cotechini (challenge Reggio Emilia - Monte Isola) with baked potatoes… I think the combination was never more perfect to degrease and enhance an aromatic and fatty food.
Book "Sommelier: the Illustrated Manual" Ed. 2021
All my notes on wine and food in one book.
€ 36,00 - € 49,90 VAT included!
COMPLIMENTARY, only for those who buy my book on this blog, a copy of the First Collector's Edition of my Sparkling Wine Guide "500 Bubbles in 500", cover price € 25,30. [While stocks last]