A friend of mine that sells wine in Massachusetts has told me more than once he admires my openness and flexibility for enjoying varied styles of wine. Fresh, aged, brooding, bright, acidic, chewy, earthy, fruity, dense, leesy, steel, wood, white, red, rosé, brett, sparkling…no matter. He’s right; with the caveats of passable vintage conditions, good farming, and considered élevage, remaining open to appreciating wide ranging wine styles feels responsible and dutiful.
Last week when Robert Parker addressed the Wine Writers Symposium, he answered a question about “Parkerization”…his critics’ overplayed accusation of a singular wine style that Robert Parker is supposedly partial to. Poor guy, still under the gun for a tunnel visioned palate while he continues to drink wines from every corner of the world, in all shapes and sizes, from a personal wine cellar that anyone might literally kill for. Richard Jennings posted a decent recap of Parker’s remarks, and I smiled as Parker chopped at this tiring criticism called “Parkerization” by referencing full dockets of witnesses to his palate’s flexibility. “The people who use that term don’t read The Wine Advocate. It’s a gross simplification, an effort to pigeonhole my taste. People who know me are shocked by what they read, by what I’m supposed to drink,” quipped Parker.
This is one of the reasons I invited DoBianchi’s Jeremy Parzen to Atlanta next week. It is one of my favorite week’s of the year, hosting an event I launched four years ago; the Design Bloggers Conference. While the event is for Luxury Interior Designers that use social media and blogging to drive their businesses with the rich and famous, I always intertwine my world of wine and wine blogging into the agenda. It is my event after all, and wine and design share more in common that just luxury status. I knew Jeremy to have a wide ranging palate and powerful blogging acumen himself; requirements to talk with this crowd about “How to Turn Any Topic into a Lively (and Shareable) Story” in Atlanta.
Jeremy will also pour some wines (Italian, of course) to support his thesis and make his points. For this oh-so-fancy-mostly-female-crowd, I advised Jeremy that Amarones and Super Tuscans just wouldn’t work. Instead, he picked a bunch of “correct” wines to share with 350 design bloggers, because Jeremy appreciates all styles of well made wines…just like Parker:) Here are the wines that Jeremy will serve to 350 Interior Design Bloggers, along with some teasing notes:
Bele Casel Prosecco Colfòndo: similar to the first wine you and I tasted together in Austin, an old school Prosecco, aged on its lees, cloudy and salty and delicious
Castello di Verduno Pelaverga: euphemistically called the “branch scraper,” some believe the name comes from a vine training method, others believe that the name is to be attributed to its aphrodisiacal properties… it’s a light red with a distinct white pepper note…
As capable as Jeremy is speaking about these lighter, interesting, manageable, sexy wines, he always appears just as comfortable as he did in this morning’s Boston Globe article entitled “Warm Up The Menu With Baby Amarones”, talking about Valpolicella and Ripasso, or re-passing Valpolicella over fermented Amarone musts for richness and enhanced alcohols. Ripasso is just one piece or process of Italy’s claim to fame on the most and and more varied wine producing regions found in any single country anywhere in the world. I like well made Ripasso, or “Baby Amarones”, but they are big powerful wines I would not want to drink every day or week or month. Jeremy likes them too, and….they are a bold style of wine that could easily be referred to as “Parkerized.”
Cheers to wine palates with open minds. I am looking forward to Jeremy’s definite presentation on Monday afternoon (follow the conversation at 4:30Pm ET at #dbc2014) and Parker’s redemption from criticism over his pigeon holed’ palate some day in the future.