Monday Musings: Does Wine Matter During the Corona Virus Epidemic?


I’ve written twice on this blog since I came back one month ago this weekend from Italy where I attended the releases of the new vintages or the Anteprime in Tuscany. On the plane back or better in the airport, I began reading about the cases of the Corona Virus in Italy. It was day 2 or 3 of when they appeared in the Northern part of the country. I am never happy to leave Italy. Never. Even though I get to come home to my amazing son, my love for Italy is an integral part of who I am and my whole life since I starting studying Italian at 19. Coming back to the States, I have watched in horror along with everyone else at what has happened in Italy. I lived there for 15 years, 10 in the Milan and have traveled all over the country and have loads of friends throughout. At night I watch the Rai and feel ill every day as the numbers of dead rise, as the Military take caskets from Bergamo, a city I love and know well.

During these past weeks I have struggled to write anything, thinking that perhaps it is frivolous at a time like this. Now that I’m living my own lockdown with my son in the epicenter of the virus in America and my parents in the epicenter of the virus in the state of New Jersey, I feel under attack in all the places I love. For me the Sal Steinberg map of the world is made up of three places – Italy – New York City – Teaneck, New Jersey. 

So for today’s Monday Musings, I am reflecting on whether wine matters and wine communication matters in today’s world. Of course it does for someone like me whose livelihood is tied to the wine industry and promoting wine, of course it does for producers who depend on people buying their wines, for retail outlets, for importers and distributors, for wholesales and restaurants, for journalists and wine critics and for consumers most of all.

Wine unites us across generations, color barriers, socio-economic ones, and gender differences. It reminds us of history, culture, agriculture, tradition, food, chemistry, biology, geology, and pleasure. It brings us to the past and helps us move to the future.

From now until this crisis ends, I will post about wine from the places I love, tomorrow first up Bergamo. #Molamia.

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