Lorenzo & his humble friends

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool

Tag: wine

Wines

Sontuosi

Hermitage La Chapelle Paul Jaboulet Aine: named after the chapel that was created by a wounded knight of the King who took permission to retire and meditate in 1400. Jaboulet owned the chapel since the end of the First World War. It is an icon of this part of the Rhone Valley and marks where the best vines are grown

Chianti Classico Castello di Brolio: original Chianti recipe (70% Sangiovese, 15% Canaiolo and 15% Malvasia bianca) from the barone di Ferro Bettino Ricasoli

Solaia Antinori: the Antinori family revolutionised the original recipe starting from 1978: 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Cabernet Franc, 20% Sangiovese

Eleganti

Nero d’Avola biologico Barone Montalto: served at a restaurant in Reykjavik with very low expectations (What wine do you have? An Italian wine. But What wine? A red wine. Ah, okay). Soft and nice.

Primitivo di Manduria Cantina Giordano. My favourite Neuchatel treat.

Semplici

Madiran Chateay Montus: one of the few wines from the Pyrenees, il paradosso della Guascogna, how can they eat so fat and live for so long?

Domaine Fond Croze Cotes du Rhone: casual discovery thanks to François

Lagrein Dunkel Cantina Bellaveder di Faedo: sapori di casa

Pop

Chardonnay De Marchi Isole e Olena

Chateau Musar: Lebanese wine that resisted during the war

Moulin-a-vent Georges Duboeuf: un buon beaujolais

Das Phantom K+K Kirnbauer: Austrian rarity

 

A painful beauty

OK – I finished my previous post, which is completely unrelated to this, with a reference to the importance of asking the right questions. Now, in the last three days many people asked me whether the race I attended on Sunday was fun and whether I won. “No” I said “It was not fun, and I did not win“. But I was somehow struggling to find a better answer to that. It is true: I did not have fun. Yet, I was incredibly glad I attended the race. Only now I realize they were asking me the wrong questions. And today I found the words I was looking for in a reportage of the New York Times on the race that is the twin sister of the one I attended on Sunday. “For cyclists in Tuscany, winning isn’t the point”, is the title, and “Cycling was never fun,” the article makes clear “because it is literally painfully beautiful” or, as an even better Italian translation goes, “Il ciclismo non è mai stato divertimento, ma una bellezza ricca di sofferenza”.

Let me tell you how I got to this article. I first stumbled upon an essay in Italian on “the most southern classic of the north of Europe”, or “la classica del nord più a sud d’Europa” – for those who are not cycling fans: these are the classics of the north, or the monument races of Europe. This is how the article describes the race – my translation, sic: “Several kilometers in dirt and rough roads, reminiscent of the famous cobblestones of the French classic, and terrible uphills – with peaks up to 20% – which remind Belgians walls. A tough race, not comparable to the most demanding classics such as the Milan-Sanremo and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but still able to make a selection, putting a strain on the strength of the riders, trying them also from a psychological point of view. In this sense, it should not be underestimated the punctures-factor in a race that is run on dirt roads for over 50 km“. It is a good article.

OK – starting from here the article takes us to the twin race, l’Eroica, which is organized in October on the same roads but a completely different concept. It is a non-competitive race, in which the only requirements are a vintage bike, vintage clothing and, it would appear, a healthy appetite. Because there are no time trials, stopping for a sandwich and a glass of Chianti is perfectly acceptable.


L’Eroica did not start off merely to pay homage to the glorious past, but also as a way to promote and protect the Tuscan heritage of white gravel roads, where riding is breathtakingly beautiful. I keep trying to explain my friends why cycling has such a strong appeal on me since I was a child. No, it’s not about the fun: it is about fatigue, nostalgia, and beauty. A painful beauty, indeed.

V for Vendemmia

Last week Dani invited me and some other friends – including Ola and Liz: you still remember? – for the harvesting of Sangiovese wine grapes. We have been working real hard.

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We were taken onboard by a small organic estate founded by husband and wife, Enzo and Claire, back in 2000. Nestled in the hills of Fiesole and facing south/south-west, the property sits in some of the most beautiful countryside just outside Florence, amidst hills sprinkled with medieval bell towers and castle ruins. The name of the estate is Poggio La Noce: they have a website and there is also a nice, 2-minute video that you can watch here.

Sommelier

What wine is really about. Thanks to Gianluca.

The future of your habits

If you end up putting the logo of a very famous social network on your bottle of wine, either the very famous social network is paying you for the advertisement, or something must be dramatically wrong with you.

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Libri e altri regali personali

Poco prima di Natale riportavo una breve riflessione sul dono per contrastare la decadenza del dono come manifestazione sibillina di un consumismo marcio. Il dono, tuttavia, può anche essere intelligente. A questo riguardo: ci sono alcuni regali più intelligenti di altri. E sono proprio quelli che la maggior parte della gente scarta a priori, bollandoli come banali. Erri De Luca scrive che generalmente “Di mio preferisco regalare vino, che è un modo di essere ricordato brevemente, a sorsi”. E’ la bellezza dei regali che in qualche modo si usano (perché si mangiano, perché si vivono, perché si leggono). Infatti, anche i libri sono bellissimi doni, a patto di saperne trovare di adatti e pur originali rispetto alla persona che li riceve. In alternativa, vale bene anche un abbonamento ad una rivista internazionale di qualità (lo suggerivo per natale), necessaria per tutti i miei coetanei che oggi leggono solo cose italiane, mordi e fuggi e prive di approfondimento. Cosa ci volete fare, ho questa mentalità sfacciatamente borghese.