Rachael and Rocco do it Dallas style

derailed-train.jpgRachael Ray is pushing Dunkin Donuts and coffee, Rocco di Spirito is schlepping gourmet cat food and PBS is doing a reality TV show on winemaker wannabees. Does anyone else think the train has come off the rails?

Tonight I was in a steakhouse and ordered a 2002 Chateau St. Georges~St.Emilion. It was on the wine list for US $60. I asked the server what he thought was a better value, the St. Emilion or a Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio for the same price. Mind you, I am in a steak house in Texas.

What he proceeded to say blew my mind. “Oh, I love the  Santa Margherita Pinot Grigio, it’s the best Pinot Grigio in the world. Of course, if I could have any wine, it would be a Caymus Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon.”

I didn’t hear that. Wait. I didn’t need to hear that.

I have spent the last two days visiting chefs and sommeliers, asking them to come to a Vinitaly preview. I was arranging various cool Italian wines, such as the Nino Negri Sfursat Cinque Stelle and the Cerretto Bricco Rocche Barolo, the Terredora Taurasi and the Terrarossa Primitivo di Manduria from Pichierri, all wonderful wines worth going out of ones way to try.

The response was less than enthusiastic.  

So, in a downpouring storm, followed by tornado activity and a power outage, chased by a less than satisfying but nonetheless expensive meal, I have decided to stop talking to Italian folks in Dallas about Italian wines, for a bit.

I am taking a break. For a moment, or a month. I am tired of mediocrity, from a region that thinks itself a major league player, but appears to be Bush-League.

Signing off ~ Back some time. Maybe. 




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