As I sit here in JFK Airport waiting for my connecting flights home from VinItaly, I’m doing my best to organize my thoughts from the whirlwind past few days. Once again I’m left feeling exhausted, humbled and exhilarated by the experience.
Yes despite what my friends and colleagues might think, VinItaly is exhausting. The world’s largest wine fair proved no exception this year. Meetings were scheduled from morning till evening each day. Most meetings were extremely productive as we taste new vintages and discuss future business opportunities.Of course there always seems to be at least one meeting each day that turns out to be less productive. Torture would be a better description as they roll out their portfolio of 30 wines we don’t need or want and expect you to enthusiastically taste them all.
Humbled? I pride myself on trying to keep up on what’s happening in the wine world especially with regards to Italian wine. After tasting a Carignano del Sulcis, Monica and Pecorello (grape varieties unknown to me) all in one day, I had to reassess my Italian wine knowledge.
And finally the exhilaration comes from the fact that no matter how many times I visit Italy there seems to be a neverending list of spectacular wine regions I have yet to see.
On Wednesday we met with a producer from the Valtellina region, Aldo Rainoldi. After a very positive tasting, Aldo suggested someday we visit his property high in the mountains of northern Italy. Brad Lewis and I immediately took him up on his offer and took a not so small detour on our drive back to Milan on Thursday. His incredible vineyards and wines will surely be the topic of future blog posts.
Well it’s finally time to board the plane. It is always good to get back home but I’m already dreaming of my next trip to Italy so I can be exhausted, humbled and exhilarated once more. Arrivederci.
Paul Quaglini, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits wine supervisor
Follow me on Twitter @abcwinepaulq