On this Sunday there are several things I want to talk to you about... and I definitely didn't plan to write this article dedicated to "Quality or Quantity"... but actually it's something I've had inside me for a long, long time and I often talk about it even with my dad and Fabrizio... so the time has come. Just yesterday on Facebook group 'Orchids that Passion'. I wrote a post dedicated to this topic, and it was from the responses that I received inspiration for this article... so thank you to all the people who participated. I will now talk about Quality or Quantity giving the example of orchids... because for me it is absolutely fitting in the translation first to the world of wine and then to the world of food.
Quality or Quantity? A Question of Culture.
The premise is that, as in all things, everything is a matter of Culture. Mind you, Culture, the real one, often does not coincide at all with the level of schooling. There are people with PhDs and the Culture of a hamster, and there are people with an eighth grade education with infinite Culture. Sometimes simply not everyone starts out with the same economic possibilities and not everyone believes in the school system. We always start with the assumption that Culture costs nothingI can assure you that even the library of a small town of 10,000 inhabitants like the one I grew up in had a very well-stocked library... and I couldn't rest until I had read most of the books there, except for the literature books which, alas, I never digested. Here, I hope my uncle Gino Tellini and my cousin Giulia do not read this article or they will disown me (😘😘to all my Tuscan relatives and to the Tuscany that is so dear to me)... but everyone has their limits... and my limit is this. But many books on art, architecture, astronomy, genetics, psychology and philosophy I have read. Sometimes I read more than one book a day. Sometimes my mother would get pissed off at me because I read so much that I didn't sleep, going so far as to read under the covers with a small light hidden by the bedspread. That is why I am still blinded to this day. I was addicted to books. Literally! 😄That's why to begin with I have an aversion to people who do not write and speak in correct Italian (and let's not talk about the typo, or the innocent little mistake: nobody is perfect!). I always point this out and I often hear the answer: not everyone had the chance to study! No ladies and gentlemen, the will, not the chance. Every library contains dictionaries and books on Italian grammar. Speaking in an Italian that is not 'textbook' but at least 'readable' is the first sign of respect towards your interlocutor.
Quality or Quantity? A brief history of why this article.
As you may know I have three passions that are the driving force of my life: the Design (of interiors above all), the Wine and the Orchids. Basically my highest aspiration is to write in a beautiful industrial-style winter garden full of rare orchids while enjoying a good glass of wine. In fact that's exactly what I do... even now (I only miss the winter garden). For the goblet of wine though, I'm still waiting an hour or so that it's 10am on Sunday morning... 😄Summarizing, the question I posed in the Orchids That Passion Facebook group yesterday is: "Why do you buy 10-20-50-70 (I swear) identical low-quality Phalaenopsis hybrids where the colour barely changes when there are thousands of botanical or hybrid orchid species to grow?"An orchid of a different type, of good quality, can cost you between 15 and 150 € (well, some even much more... but that's a separate issue... not the average!). I would say just like a good bottle of wine! The most common answer I have received is that hybrid Phalaenopsis at the supermarket - Ikea - Leroy Merlin and the like can be found for as little as €5 on sale, while the slightly more sought-after orchids are most often only found online and cost more. Very true. But if the average person has 20 €5 orchids they have still spent €100... which is the cost of about 2-3 slightly more special orchids, plus the famous €5 hybrid Phalaenopsis!
Quality or Quantity? Finally, let's talk wine!
Likewise, why buy so many bottles of 'wine' in the large-scale retail trade for €3? Isn't it better to buy bottles of wine directly from the producers or in wine shops (offline or online) that contain first of all real wine and then give some satisfaction? But above all, did you know that the large-scale retail trade applies a fixed mark-up of around 40% net of transport, and if that bottle of wine is paid €3, does that mean it came out ex cellar at €1.50? And do you know how much the glass, the label, the cork and maybe even the DOC band cost? (I've never understood how they get it, but they're not that rare...). Do you really think there can be a real wine that costs 50 cents per litre? Where in those 50 cents are the cost of the grapes (from production or purchase), labour (in the vineyard and/or cellar), marketing (distribution or communication) and the company's revenue?
For the past week, I have been bombarded with advertisements for Giordano Vini on Facebook. Not long ago I was asked by an advertising agency, to improve the e-commerce positioning of Giordano Winesto insert a sponsored (read paid) article containing a link to their e-commerce. About Perlage Suite I will never speak well of a company that sells you 12 bottles of 'wine' + 6 gastronomic 'specialities' for €49.90 and also gives you a set of 12 dishes! Shipping included, eh! For crying out loud! And this thousand people who liked and left a comment complimenting the quality of the wines? Now that's the (non)culture we were talking about earlier. Which has nothing to do with academic preparation.
Quality or Quantity? What about the food?
We are talking about people who go to discount stores to save money, buy 'wine' or 'extra virgin' olive oil for €3 a litre and then spend perhaps €7-8 on an aperitif made of cheap alcohol and hundreds of euros on designer clothes. Or worse €50 for the 'parallel' Louis Vuitton 😄, to proliferate the counterfeit market. Then maybe they have a nice car or a nice motorbike, and they give it a good oil to make the engine run well. Gentlemen, cancers have been created to increase the profits of a few, and as long as you eat them convinced you are also making a bargain there is no hope. Because as long as you buy a third-hand orchid, at most you risk bringing home cochineal or the 'very nice' fusarium (and anyone who has bought at least one Vanda in any garden that has died at the end of flowering has now finally named its 'enemy'), but if you drink bad wine or eat meat from cattle kept alive with antibiotics but full of tumours and other diseases, it is your skin that is at risk. Buying cheap food you're not making 'the deal', at most the company that produced it is, which brushes the hairs on its stomach with your health. Stop, stop, stop going to the convenience store. Please. Eat less and better instead. And don't tell me that a packet of quality pasta made with Italian wheat affects your budget irreparably. And maybe you smoke, but there's always money for cigarettes, isn't there?
Quality or Quantity? Cheapness and human narrowness.
I think the worst flaw in a person is stinginess. Oh God, the boorish and the ignorant also defend themselves well, but the cheapskate is absolutely his own breed (and he is often boorish and ignorant too, let's be honest!). There is nothing worse than those who have money but are so grievously attached to it that they jeopardise their health and that of a partner or worse that of a child not to spend an extra euro on his petrol, which is what he eats and drinks! And let's be clear that here we are not talking about having or not having money, as my best friend Fabrizio always says there is the man who has 20 € in his pocket and gives you a 20 € gift and the man who has 2000 € in his pocket and always gives you a 20 € gift. Even if the gift cost the same, the two gestures have a very different value! This strange animal frequents all the discount stores and even reads the flyers scrupulously checking where 'red wine' costs 0.50 cents less (then maybe he goes to the farthest market and spends three times as much on petrol, but that's another story) and goes home smiling like he got a bargain. Here, if you know such a person, let him read this article. He may hate me, but I hope I will have at least given him food for thought. Provided he has the ability to reflect, of course.
Quality or Quantity? The price war where everyone loses
I have more bad news: if you choose Quantity you are also part of the price war scheme and favour it. And maybe you have your own business or you are a freelancer, and you get upset if the customer asks you for a discount. Sometimes you tell him no, sometimes you do a 'cheap' (read shitty) job because you need the money and you can't spare the time to do a good job with what he paid, can you? In wine, food and any other good or service you buy it is exactly the same thing. With the difference, however, that you eat the wine and foodand as the same Dr Lorenzo Palazzoli at the evening dedicated to the theme Oil and Health with the Valtrompia Lionsone third of all cancers we eat. Therefore, while common hybrid Phalaenopsis orchids may be 'boring' all the same in their various colour variations but they are still beautiful and valuable for your home and your health (they are always medicine for the soul) and not only for the Beauty they bring, wine and low-quality food makes you sick. In the Price War there are really no winners. Maybe some corporate header will make a lot of money, that's true. But even if he doesn't eat the food he sells because he knows it's bad for him, he lives on a sick Planet just like you and me. E another third of cancers result from pollution.
Quality or Quantity? Do I have to spend a fortune to drink (and eat) well?
All this article of mine is not meant to encourage you to bleed yourself dry for a bottle of wineIndeed. You can really drink very well at the right price. The cost of wine is determined by a number of factors, including production, the bottle and its dress, distribution and communication. In every region of Italy there are excellent wines in all price ranges. It is no coincidence that Tonight I will start preparing the article of the 100 wines to taste at this Vinitaly 2018... and the 20 not to be missed! As you probably know I wrote a Wine Guide to guide you to good drinks at the right price (which you can buy now by clicking HERE and you will receive it within 72 hours after payment). This is why I conclude this dispute between Quality or Quantity precisely by giving the example of a bottle of sparkling wine. Let us assume that a natural sparkling wine is always a good choice, whether it is Metodo Classico or Martinotti Method. Depending on your culture and personal taste, you will prefer wines made with one of these two methods. A good Martinotti Method can easily be found for 7-8 €, while for the Metodo Classico it goes up to around 15-20 €. (and then go much, much higher for particular wines, appellations or famous brands). This first difference is given by the production time + time from release on the market taken to produce 1 bottle of Metodo Martinotti and that to produce 1 bottle of Metodo Classico, where the differences go up to 60 months, sometimes more. 60 months in which there are costs, the first that may come to mind is that of bottle storage. And then watch out, the manufacturing process is also completely different! When you find appellation wines at the Discount store 'below cost', it would be a good idea to beat those who allow it.. To put it simply, a Franciacorta Metodo Classico cannot cost the same as a Prosecco Metodo Martinotti. And that's enough.
All to say that if you want to drink a good bottle the best advice I can give you is to travel, visit the producers, listen to their stories and buy directly from them. You will almost always pay the right price and be amazed. If you don't have time and resources to travel, go to the wine shop. You will often find trained wine merchants capable of taking you around Italy or the world and making you drink well at the right price. Don't hate me, but I wish everyone would stop buying low-quality wine, food and orchids at discount stores or similar. At the most, buy toilet paper there.
Un abbraccio e a presto
P.S. Visto che ho parlato anche di orchidee, che ne dici di visitare il bellissimo e-commerce di orchidee of coltivatore Michele Cesi che, modestamente parlando, ho sviluppato io? iLoveOrchid.com Ci sono orchidee bellissimissime! Poi così mi dici anche se ti piace! A proposito, ringrazio anche qui Michele per il suo ultimo, bellissimo e graditissimo regalo che non vedo l’ora di vedere sbocciare: la Colmanara 21 (in vendita anche sul suo sito…).
P.P.S. Lasciami un commento per farmi sapere cosa ne pensi, purché sia costruttivo. Essere aperti al confronto è la migliore occasione di crescita personale che abbiamo, soprattutto con persone che la pensano diversamente da noi. Anche se chi predilige la Quantità non è particolarmente furbo, ci può sempre insegnare a mantenere la calma quando leggiamo una caxxata grande come una casa. 😄