Curiosity pays a high return! That is how I prefer to think, seeing as the more common understanding is curiosity killed the cat. We are on holiday in Italy. Expectations are high, and so far, the country has not disappointed. When I started this blog, it was specifically to write about South African wines. I found it fairly difficult to find any material on the internet, that was independent of the producers (wine farms), if you had any form of enthusiasm about South African wines. Old world countries like Italy, France and Spain do not need a story to be sold about their wines. Wine with friends really ought to not have borders, so let’s make these borders porous.
One of the fun parts about having to choose wines to try here, is that I am completely ignorant. My lack of knowledge about Italian wines; their different approach to labelling their bottle (it’s not about the grape and wine estate as we are accustomed to in South Africa); wine grapes that I am not familiar with and the fact that I can’t read and understand Italian. How can I not be left to feel vulnerable? Never the less, we choose to explore.
While some prefer to learn by reading, I prefer to learn by doing… In this case, that means drinking the wine and capturing the moment. Travel really opens up one’s mind, as you get to explore and discover. If you are lucky, you also get to bust a myth, or your own limited beliefs. The Mark Twain quote “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness” is so appropriate for my wine experience so far.
I thought that I did not like wines that were relatively high in acidity. I also thought that red wines, needed to catch my eye by being dark and intense. Further to that, I also thought a dark red wine was synonymous with a full bodied wine. Yes, I get that as red wine ages, the intensity of the red colour reduces to a lighter brick red. However, cherry red looking wines just always struck me as ‘meh’, and definitely not full bodied. Well, Italy has put that perspective of mine to sleep. My beliefs were absolutely false!
The first wine we tried was this Marchesi Di Barolo. Part of my travel goals is visiting the wine farm, and tasting The King Of Wines. This bottle was a €28-00 spend, so not as rich as the rest of the estate, but what a good way to kick off my Italian wine tasting. A light ruby red hue, deceiving my expectations completely. It was a full body, totally not what I expected given the colour. It was an elegant drink, with soft tannins and spicy tones in my mouth. “An auspicious start”, Lauren called it, and two days later, let’s just say she was right.
We can delve into the rest of the wines with time. For now, let me say Merry Christmas to you and yours! We certainly had a special day, and since we are not limited by borders, some French Champagne was invited to lunch.