Saturday, November 05, 2005
Here's a refreshing idea. A big-time wine expo featuring producers with excellent wines for 10 euros or less--WineLove. "Dedicated exclusively to the discovery of wines with an excellent price/quality ratio," this event will be held in Milan on November 19-20. WineLove's focus will be the always interesting--and sometimes sensational--wines made from local varieties, including frappato, nero d'avola, greco, cannonau, montepulciano, garganega, lagrein and lugana, to name just a few. These names tell you that most of the regions of the country will be represented, from south to north, and they reward the drinker with a true "world of flavors." (Hence our name, Mondo [world] sapore [flavor].) I have enjoyed the products of some of the exhibitors--very much and sometimes unto excess. (You can tell they're clean, honest wines because the hangovers are pretty mild.) Some favorites of mine at WineLove are Valle dell'Acate, whose frappato I like to call "the beaujolais of Sicily," so light and deliciously drinkable it is; Consorzio Viticoltori del Vulture, whose aglianico lines are among the best values anywhere in big, bold reds; and Melini, who prove that drinkable Chiantis of quality don't have to cost an arm and a leg, or two. This is a great concept. We need something like this in the USA--badly. So many of our wines are overpriced relative to the quality we can find in the products of other countries, yet I am sure there are good-quality American wines that have both extensive distribution and reasonable pricing (say, list price under $15). At present the best examples I can think of come from Washington State. But California? Nothing comes to mind. Maybe my reader (!) can help me out here. And maybe someone knows of a similar type of expo that takes place in the US. If so, send a comment. By the way, I find it curious that some Italian wine sites names themselves in English, even though all their communications are in italiano. WineLove is just one example. I found out about this event on Wine News, an assemblage of press releases--sometimes feature-story length and highly informative, despite their obvious agendas--which is all in Italian. If they really want to speak to the Anglophones of the world, they'd translate some of their stuff into English, because everyone knows how we hate learning foreign languages.