Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Italy and My Thoughts about Wine and Politics by Philip S. Kampe

Italy is a kaleidoscope of varying images, colors and sounds, all passing you by as you breathe in the odor of tomato sauce from a nearby open window. Cats lie on the open window sills, smelling the anchovies in the tomato sauce, while staring aimlessly at strangers as they pass by.
Restaurants are full of locals searching for the best, original, regional  pasta dish that is being offered.
Sipping wine, while eating antipasto, the locals talk about life, politics, food and love.
Berlusconi, although toppled, is often the topic…wives, women, power and money.
My life is different.
Wine dominates my thoughts.
Food is a close second.
Growing up in New Orleans has taught me about life’s essentials.
Normally food, politics and the Saints are the topic of the day in the ‘Big Easy’.
In the Berkshires, we speak daily about the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins and Patriots.
Politics are another issue.

I rarely get involved.
Politics scare me.
There is never a right answer, only a judgment.
The same is true for wine.
Sure, I think that I know a lot about wine, but, the reality is, I don’t. I only have my judgment and opinion. It is the same as everyone else, trained or not.
Who judges wine competitions or dance competitions. Isn’t it someone like you or me?
Sure, I pass along my opinion and many follow my advice, but, I am only one person advocating a specific wine for your evaluation and consumption.
Certainly, there are others who are better versed in the wine industry.
The reality is, after so many discussions with sommeliers, the winemaker has the absolute final word about the wine he makes.
He knows the grapes, the profile he is after and how to get the needed end result.

We, only, comment, on his results for discussion.
People like Robert Parker and Steve Tanzer make a profession as the voice of the people. Their thoughts surface, often, in discussions about wine.
What I have learned in the past several years is the voice for your wine choice comes from you. Your voice dominates. Your palate dominates.

What is the best way to find your voice?
The answer is simple.
Attend the weekly complimentary tastings that our local wine shops offer.
Your palate is the judge, not the person pouring the wine.
They just recommend.

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