I have organized a field trip to The Wine Show in Islington for Bryan, Stacey, Bryan’s parents, Feathers and Matt, and K&A. The place is packed. Shortly after our arrival, K&A stop in Italy–Piedmont, to be exact. I know they’ll be there for a while–they love Italian wine like nobody’s business–so I move on. I try some port with Feathers & Matt and then get the evil eye from the Crianza ladies when I ask to try a little Crianza and I’ve still got the dregs of port in my glass. They are SO not happy with me.
I get the evil eye again from a New Zealand table when I ask about the difference between two pinot noirs. "Four years" (with a little attitude) is all I get. I thought I had asked very nicely. And dude, there’s so got to be more of a difference than the age. Is it me?
Wine snobs! Can’t we all be friends?
So it’s refreshing to find myself back in Piedmont–although K&A have moved on to elsewhere in Italy at this point–where I meet the loveliest and friendliest couple who are more than willing and able to tell Feathers, Matt and me about Barbera d’Asti and Piedmont and their wine-making friends. And they do not judge us by the cleanliness of our glasses.
As Feathers, Matt and I are enjoying our third sample of Barbera courtesy of Ingrid, Bryan and Stacey walk by and yell "2001!" (They’d dropped by Piedmont earlier and made their own purchases.) It’s then that I learn that 2001 was a GREAT year for Italy. (France too.) I, apparently, have been living in a cave for the last few years, as everyone, even the non-wine-drinkers, seems to know this but me. Sheesh.
The purveyors faces light up when they tell us about how wonderful and perfect 2007 is looking for their Barbera and for Italy. I can’t help but feel excited for Phil & Ingrid because they are just so nice. Visit their Web site if you can, and order some of their lovely and quaffable Piano Piano Barbera d’Asti. And if you’re ever in Piedmont, check out their B&B. I know I will. (And well, the reviews on TripAdvisor only support my observation that Ingrid and Phil are two of the nicest, friendliest, and most hospitable people ever.)