I will do a little shameless PR for myself and vinowire.com, a very cool website where Italian-challenged readers can find news and insights into the fabulous world of Italian wine. The editors are two extremely knowledgeable chaps, Franco Ziliani and Jeremy Parzen. I wrote a brief piece on Benvenuto Brunello 2009 for the site yesterday.
At the start of the press conference, Stefano Beltrame of the Italian Embassy, spoke about how pleased he was to participate in Vino 2009. The Italian government spent a considerable amount of money on this venture as is evident from all the advertising seen around the city. In 2008, for the first time in 10 years, Italy has surpassed France as the world’s foremost wine producer. Italian wine production increased by 8% in 2008 while French wine production decreased by 5%.
Stefano also mentioned at the start of the conference that he had been at an event at the consulate earlier in the day to commemorate the SHOAH or the Holocaust. January 27, the day of the press conference, is also the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. He told me later that day that they had been reading the names of Italians who died during the holocaust. I was very touched.
I have been absent from this blog for many weeks now for a variety of reasons including an extended vacation in Chile and a week stay in the hospital. The two events are totally unrelated but have conspired to keep me away from my blog. I made my re-entry into the NYC wine world at two Italian wine events these past two days, Benvenuto Brunello 2009 and the Vino 2009 Grand Tasting held by the Italian Trade Commission. It seems a fitting way to start writing on my blog again. The events were part of a week long program billed as the “First Industry Convention of Italian Wine in America.”
Seminars at the Boston Wine Expo kicked off the week, followed by three days of tastings and seminars in New York and a day-long program in Miami. With the current New York weather, I am sure producers and participants will be happy to be in Miami Friday. There were more than 270 wine producers and 1300 labels at the event. For anyone who didn’t make it to the tasting today, a number of stores and restaurants are celebrating Italian wine week through Feb. 1. Check out the events at Italianmade.com. I tried a number of interesting wines, saw many old friends and made some new ones and I finally got to meet some of my heroes from the blogosphere such as the Italian wine guy. All in all I thought the events were a success. I’d like to see more Italian events sponsored by each of Italy’s regions but perhaps on a smaller scale, similar to the super whites tastings that are held in Milan with only white wines from Alto Adige, for example. As always, the scope of Italian wines and varieties can overwhelm. While in Chile I thought perhaps I had found a country that might rival my affection for Italy but after a renewed full immersion in my adopted country, I have returned to the fold, renewed and ready for a trip to il bel paese….