Verdicchio and the nobility of bitterness

July 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

In today’s Portland Press Herald wine column, I sing the praises of gustatory bitterness. Verdicchio isn’t all bitter, but the fruit is just hinted at while the bracing rocks-in-the-hot-sun quality comes to the fore. That’s a tough sell, tougher even than saying “This wine is great because it has so much acidity!”

But wine and food are really carried by acidity and bitterness, despite the negative connotations of the words. My emphasis in the column is on Verdicchio di Matelica, the smaller DOC in Italy’s Marche (Castelli di Jesi is the larger one) that creates wines of spectacular complexity and length. Embrace the ever-so-slighly challenging.

Greatness born, or thrust upon? Tre Biccheri Road Show has answers

February 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

My Portland Press Herald column this week benefits from a unique wine show I got to attend last week, the Gambero Rosso Tre Biccheri World Tour. These are (some of) the best Italian wines in the world, and some of them actually taste terrific!

“Tre Biccheri” — “three glasses” — is the highest official acclaim an Italian wine can garner, but my overall point in the article is that greatness comes more from an overall experience initiated by a relationship between drinker and wine, rather than through a static notion of “great”. Many of the Tre Biccheri wines are relatively expensive, but my other main point in the article is that you can use the TB imprimatur to find everyday-priced wines that partake of the same lineage that bred the more esteemed wine.

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