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Monday, March 12, 2012

“In Wine One Beholds the Heart of Another"

“In water one sees one’s own face; But in wine one beholds the heart of another.”  -French Proverb
This is one of my favorite quotes about wine - it’s a beautiful sentiment but it’s also true.  This past week, I tasted wines from the United States (Long Island, Finger Lakes, and California), Italy (Basilicata and Valle d’Aosta), France (Languedoc-Roussillon and Burgundy), and even my first Lebanese wine (Bekaa Valley).  I’ve always said that wine is one of the things that can bring so many people together.
A few nights ago I was pouring a tasting.  Twice that evening, I was asked if there were any good Sicilian wines in the shop.  I’ve tasted plenty of good Sicilian wines over the past few years, but recently one Etna Rosso made a difference - I was lucky to have it twice in the same week last month.  It’s the Palari Rosso del Soprano, a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Capuccio - I had the 2008 at home (it was a Valentine’s Day gift that I bought for my Dad and our family enjoyed it one Sunday evening last month) and the other was the 2009 which I tasted at Tre Bicchieri.  My description of the wine is that it’s the most elegant Sicilian red that I’ve ever tasted; it’s a lighter red with a bright rim, low viscosity, and characteristics of bright cherry, red fruit, gentle spice, herb, soft floral notes, bright acidity and lots of earthiness very representative of a good Old World style wine, with the tannins beginning to soften on the 2008, and it’s very food friendly and lovely and complex.

2008 Palari Rosso del Soprano

I was really happy to recommend this Palari as I enthusiastically described it to a few people attending the tasting (even though it wasn’t one of the wines I was pouring).  One very pleasant couple approached the bottle of Palari on the rack of mostly Italian reds.  The gentleman commented on the price - indeed it’s more expensive than most Sicilian reds one would find in a wine shop.  But the lady picked up the bottle, and told him she wanted to buy it for him.  She told him, “you’re worth it.”
And I just melted.
I really hope they enjoy that wine as much as I did.  It’s a wonderfully expressive wine with such finesse.  I’m also happy that they’re going to get to experience this wine together.  While I’ve done a lot of tasting alone, I still believe that wine is best experienced with other people.  I also feel a connection to the people who planted the vines, grew and harvested the grapes, and made the wine, when I open a bottle, especially such an expressive wine.  And I believe it’s then that we “behold the heart of another.”

Etna Rosso

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