In my long career as a writer I’ve often found myself stubbornly advocating underdogs. The prime example came with my book Vino, published in 1980, in which the underdog was nothing less than Italian wine itself. At that time, with rare exceptions, vino Italiano was not much admired around the world for quality. Its chief detractors were influential British critics, who seemed tickled pink that an upstart Yank would dedicate an entire book to a country noted mainly for sweet Lambrusco and cheap and cheerful flask Chianti.
Well, there’s hardly any need to recount the ascent of Italian wine from second-class status to the upper echelons of quality and prestige. Nor do I intend to flaunt my rightful delight in reminding doubters that I told you so. For the fact is that over the years I’ve advocated so many Italian wines and grape varieties that are now esteemed but were once considered underdogs—or long-shots or dark horses or outsiders or sleepers or hopeless also-rans—that I’ve lost count.
The Blog will be dedicated to articles, interviews and tasting notes on Italian wines, along with comments on their inseparable role with food. Bear in mind that I favor wines that are good to excellent, sensibly priced (in line with their true value), and whose origins are traceable to a place.
Most articles will be written by me, though I’ll provide space for the occasional piece by a guest writer.