• Alessandro


At the very beginning, after been asked to narrate about some special memory related to my now 20 years of truly passionate relationship with wine, I thought I should have referred to a moment when I quenched my thirst and titillate my palate with some French grand Cru such as Romanée Conti La Tache, or a grand Italian Soldera Case Basse Brunello di Montalcino. I also imagined readers would appreciate to know about a particular circumstance occured when I was drinking those great nectars, possibly while squinting my eyes in the golden light of a glorious sunset in a Palazzo Nobile Veneziano or in a fancy ski resort: something that could sound outstanding because, eventually, this is my first intervention here.

Well, I’ve decided I won’t. Or, better, I shall in the future but I won’t now. What I am going to do is telling you about an epic fail instead, a misfortunate experience that leads to th wine lover I am today.

I guess almost everyone reading these few words had a healthy attraction towards wild parties when they were teenagers. If you are interested about wine now, you were probably mesmerized by girls (or boys) and booze when you were in your youth. At least that was me.

Therefore, even if nowadays you can distinguish between a Pauillac and a Saint Emilion, I am pretty sure back in time you poisoned yourself with some plonk, to get high as fast as you could and have an excuse to explicitly exhibit your genuine appetites to that gorgeous object of your desire (well, when you got too high too fast chances are she/he were not that gorgeous, but that’s another issue).

Hence, I organized one of those bacchanals at my parent’s home in my seventeen and, of course, I invited friends and girls after buying tanks of beer and spirits.

Since you can easily imagine how the story unfolded the next 6 hours, with the well-known Barnum Circus of monsters (in its original meaning from latin word monstrum – prodigy) taking over my home and all the rest, I’d better skip to the after party, when my dearest friend I.O, P.N . and A.V - she was a friend AND my object of desire in that moment – remained after all the others were kicked out.

That was the moment I realized alcohol supplies were almost over but, above all, that’s when I decided to descend my dad’s cellar for getting some bottles of his wine.

When I reached the garden again, I.O and A.V were waiting for me, staring at the beautiful landscape, while P.N. felt the urge of undressing naked and running around shouting incoherent words. That was a severe case of “too much - too fast”, but apparently he was having a great time, so I did not feel I had the right to intrude and asking to quit. In the end, there were the stars, I had a beautiful girl to talk to and the naked fool in the garden was the hint of tacky extravagance you just need for not making it too boring and banal.

I raised the volume of the music and uncorked the bottles. Three bottles of red wine we drunk from the neck and poured on our chests, as it were the one winos buy in the supermarket for calming down the morning shake. Three bottles of red wine someone cut with water, because “it’s too strong, I don’t like it that much”. Three bottles of red wine that changed my life forever.

A couple of weeks later, I heard my dad calling me from the basement. He was waiting for me in his cellar, looking at an open box of French wine. The words my ears heard more frequently in the next five minutes were “stupid” and “waste” and I actually felt very stupid realizing I wasted two bottles of Chateau La Fitte Rotschild 1982 and one bottle of Chateau Mouton Rotschild 1982 in my gibbering wreck.

I felt so stupid I promised myself to carefully taste every wine I’d have the opportunity to drink from that moment on, to build up a knowledge about a pleasure that fascinated me anyway.

And so I did, slowly, glass after glass, year after year. But those are other stories.

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