As many of you know, I have spent the last couple of weeks rambling about my need for wines for the Giro. As the race began last weekend, thankfully in Holland where all I needed was some Gouda, I began to get concerned that my laziness would destroy this project before it even began. I had even gone so far as to email a few friends, but perhaps in an effort to make me do some research myself, they were not their usual helpful selves. By Sunday, the pressure had set in. I stared forlornly at my wine racks seeing many bottles from France, from Austria, from Germany and California. But, excluding a few bottles from Sicily where the race is not even heading, my Italian wine larder was rather bare.
It was then that I had the idea that saved me. I have said for many years that rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel, one can often just ask an expert. One of the advantages of my job is that I happen to interact with a lot of wine experts. In this case, I needed someone local who could tell me where to acquire Italian wine asap. The author of our The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy, Nicholas Belfrage would have been a great choice to suggest wines in general, but was probably not going to be very helpful on what I could find locally. Lisa Shara Hall and Alice Feiring have both been very helpful with other suggestions, but my clock was ticking and neither is local. Lo and behold (a phrase I use as often as possible), I happened to have the email address of the Chronicle's wine editor in my inbox. So, fingers crossed, I sent an email asking for help. Luckily, it turns out that I am not the only one who checks my work email on weekends. 30 or so minutes later K and I were on our way to his suggestion: Biondivino
15 or so minutes later we were on our way home with our Giro wines plus a couple of bottles of Occhipinti I just could not resist. Note to non parents, shopping for wine with an 8 year old who desperately wants to climb all the library ladders in the store forces one to be very efficient. Also, the level of service they provided is one that all shops should aim for. I handed over my iPhone with my list and was offered multiple options for each region. I had asked for an under $20 price point, but a willingness to go over for something special. So what did I end up with? See the list below. Note that as some regions are repeated, there is not a new bottle for each stage, a fact that my liver will undoubtedly appreciate. I've also listed them below not in stage order, but in the order that I just pulled them out of the box. Tonight I will order them and start to think about possible food pairings.
Edi Kante Vitovska 2006
Torre QuartoUva di Troia Bottaccia 2006
Monte TondoSoave Classico 2008
Heinrich Mayr Nusserhof Blaterle 2008
Agostino Pavia Barbera d'Asti Blina 2007
Francesco Montagna Bonarda 2008
Coenobium Bianco 2007
Castello di Cacchiano Chianti Classico 2004
Camillo Donati Malvasia 2008