Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trainwrecks, Shangri-La and Big Baby Jesus...

Like Weezer's "Trainwrecks" notes, I have severely neglected this blog. I'll make a pre-New Years resolution to be more prolific. Don't worry, I still love you...

The Italy Deathride commenced in August leading up to Labor Day and was exactly what it sounds like. My man, Enrico Battisti knows how to show you the Italian countryside...the ENTIRE Italian countryside in just 5 days. We whizzed around from Rome to Lazio to Marche (complete with 1am tour of the winery) to Tuscany to Liguria to Piedmont. It was an eye-opening experience with one particular spot truly grabbing my heart.

While I loved Montalcino and will always consider Piedmont my heart, I was absolutely smitten with Liguria and a trip to Poggio dei Gorlieri. Ok, so a three-hour stop for a little sun on the beach in Varigotti certainly helped recharge the weary batteries. But then we climb this amazing hill to find the 30 year old vines of Vermentino, Pigato and Ormeasco (clone of Dolcetto) carefully tended by Davide Merano. This place is like Shangri-La, a spit-shined clean small operation with an agritourismo (lovely Italian B-n-B attached to the winery) that overlooks the Ligurian Sea in the most majestic of fashions. I had such warm feelings being there that I am determined to visit again this summer on my own. Wanna join me?

Davide makes gorgeous Vermentino and a very fun, funky Ormeasco, but Pigato rules the roost here. The Poggio dei Gorlieri Cyncus is like drinking great 1er cru Chablis, all briny and mineral with citrus fruit cocktail, orange peel and sea salt. He made us Paella to enjoy with it, not because it is traditional in Liguria (although the loads of prawns in it are) but because it just works to perfection. This is magnificent wine (Tre Bicchieri winner if that stuff gets your juices flowing) and solid Cellar Defender stuff that just makes any seafood dish snap to life.

Finally, I just re-discovered ODB. Man, I miss this mad genius and can't seem to shake him out of my Ipod. Some think he was crazy, I just think he was tortured and extremely calculating. Gone too soon...give the album, "N****, Please", a listen if you want to wrap your mind around the rantings of a nutcase. It's fascinating and booty shaking stuff!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and All That,

JCB the 4th

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