Summer is approaching
I was recently in Veneto in northern Italy. That’s the birthplace of the famous amarone wines – a wine that has over recent years found a dedicated following amongst many wine enthusiasts, although you will easily pay 20-30€ or more for a bottle. It is interesting wines, quite peculiar character (and quite a peculiar vinification process too). I’ve been in Veneto a few times now and the fact is that it’s not the amarones that have surprised and interested me the most (yes, they can be good too). It is actually the soaves that stick in my memory. It used to be that Soave was a region that made very light wines, often anonymous on the verge of being without identity, but, wow, has that changed! Now you can find soaves that are full of character, sometimes even powerful, always with a lot of fresh fruit. Often with a hint of almond. Provided you know which producer to look for of course. Lots of new technology and quite a lot of experimenting. Some use cryo-extraction, or a light appassimento (drying of the grapes), or late harvested grapes. Or just simply competent wine making! A wine worth rediscovering if you ever have had the same misconception as us.
Some other suggestions for wines to try, when summer is changing from dream to reality, especially if we get some warm weather: red Loire wines made with cabernet franc; rosso di Montalcino, the lighter (and not so expensive) version of Brunello; a crispy, dry and elegant German wine, or why not Austrian; a white Bordeaux, an often underrated wine; a light and fruity Gaillac or Fronton;… I can go on and on and on.
Too cheap for it’s own good?
Now is certainly a time to think about one’s expenses. Kan you save a bit here or there it can be a good thing. But don’t let that zeal go too far. As for wine, it is perhaps time to try that lesser known name, rather than the world famous one? Wine too is a market subject to brands, fashions and trends so why not be counter-trendy? But above all, don’t think that you can get good wine for too little money.
I just talked to a person who is a fiscal consultant here in France. He told me about one of his clients who is a wine producer in Bordeaux. Wine producers, as many others, have a hard time at the moment. This one was fortunate, though, since he was supplying one of the big retailing chains in France with Bordeaux. The latest request he’d had from them was for a wine that they wanted to pay 90 cents for. Yes, 90 cents of a euro. But the unfortunate thing was that the buyer finally decided not to buy, so now the wine was left in the cellar. And with pest comes cholera (or what is the saying?): another potential customer had contacted the wine producer to see if he could supply wine. The budget? 50 cents per bottle. Take account of the bottle, the label and the cork and there’s virtually nothing left. Can you make and sell good wine at such prices? No. can you live on it? No.
So, do spend an extra euro (or whatever) on the wine. You’ll get a much better wine. And the wine producer might be there next year too to supply you with his next vintage.
Tomorrow we’re leaving for a boat trip on the Canal du Midi – a new wine tour we’ve launched in collaboration with Posedion Travel. We’ll float leisurely along the canal in the Languedoc and then will make a few stops and go visit some of the best producers in the region. I wonder if the gendarmes have canal-side stops to test you, like they frequently have on the roads in France these days…
Britt & Per
PS: Recommend to your friends to read the Brief or forward it to them
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