World Science Festival, Oscar del Vino and Emilia Romagna

It’s hard to believe it is the end of the month already. Summer’s here, the World Science Festival is back in town and troubling news of earthquakes has been coming from Italy all week. For those who don’t know me, I wear many hats and sometimes they converge, sometimes they do not.


This week, my worlds are converging around science. I have been working for about five years for a client called the International Balzan Foundation. I work for them under my other company, Gold Communications. Thanks to the Balzan Foundation, I have developed a fascination with science and scientists. That’s why I am always so excited when the World Science Festival comes to town. This week’s line up is most impressive. In fact, almost everything is sold out including a great discussion held at Eataly about ancient brews. I wish I could go but it was sold out early on.

I also love the science behind studying wine. When I studied for the sommelier certificate at AIS in Milan, I was thrilled with learning about all the chemistry behind winemaking. I still think this is largely ignored in most English language programs and I think it is something that should be added to the curriculum.

I noticed on the AIS website that this week was the setting for the Oscar del Vino by Bibenda. Bibenda was just recently translated into English and is available via Amazon for those who want to purchase a copy. This year’s Miglior Vino Spumante went to three producers from Franciacorta, including the Non Dosato Gualberto 2005 from  Ricci Curbastro. Riccardo Ricci Curbastro is a lovely and bright guy, a great font of information on Franciacorta. His wines are brought in by Domenico Valentino.

These last few weeks were also the scene of horrible earthquakes in Emilia Romagna. My heart goes out to those whose loved ones were affected first and foremost but I also hate seeing the physical destruction of Italian landmarks. I studied in Emilia Romagna, at SAIS in Bologna, so I feel a particular kinship to this region. I know  producers of Parmigiano Reggiano were impacted. I haven’t heard of any devastation of wineries and wines. My friend, Dave Buchanan at Wine Openers wrote a nice ode to Drei Dona, a famed winery in the area. I had the pleasure of meeting a number of producers from Emilia Romagna when I was translating for them last year with a well-known wine magazine during Vinitaly.

Emilia Romagna is often overlooked but I think that is a real mistake. They have lovely wines, including great Sangiovese and Pignoletto to recommend as well as some interesting passito made from Albana and other wines made from grapes such as Bonarda and Lambrusco.

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