In Australia and abroad, it seems that the old fashioned hard copy wine guide is the thing of the past. With online publications like http://www.winefront.com.au/ for Australian wine, http://www.erobertparker.com with Antonio Galloni for Italian wines and then some amazing blogs like http://dobianchi.com/ why do I need to buy hard copy publications when I have all the best wine writers at the tip of my iphone?
I still buy Gambero Rosso but more as a reference point to see how the producer has faired in the past. Online publications and blogs give us up to the minute reports on news, reviews and opinions that hard copy would take months to do.
It will be interesting to see what we will look to next?
Where do you go with that special bottle? Stay home? No way 🙂
It was always a hard question until about a year ago when Alison and Anthony (do we need last names?!!) opened Scopri.
Scopri Italian Food & Wine
191 Nicholson Street, Carlton VIC 3053(03) 9347 8252
After a slow start (and it takes a while for the word to get around) they have been packed to the rafters every night with not only locals but many in Melbourne town travelling across town to experience top-line BYO wine service matched with some pretty amazing Italian food.
They decant, have awesome glassware and know Italian wines very well having lived in Italy for a year before setting up Scopri. If your looking for a restaurant to go with that special bottle or just want a great meal served by two hosts who are as switched on (and always on hand) about Italian food and wine, then Scopri is your place.
What does Scopri mean?
Who cares. The food is good!!
Going forward, I strongly believe the Italian Wine Industry should be basing it’s future and therefore success of the Italian wines abroad on the promotion of it’s indigenous grape varieties in world wide markets.
The days of Chianti, etc (ie the traditional successful varieties of the past) being the backbone of the Italian wine scene (and whilst I rate Chianti and Sangiovese for that matter) are nearly over. Whilst Chianti is near the top of my favorite Italian grapes, it is traction in the Australian market is declining every year.
In Australia we are seeing restaurants, journalists, and the wine drinking public more willing to try different varieties and in most instances, varieties that they have never heard of. These unkown grape varieties we have been showcasing through Mondo have been indigenous varieties from the region that they originate. This for me gets me more excited to see someone try Nerello Mascalese or our cheeky Bianco Salentino and be blown away by a grape variety they never even knew existed.
However, will these indigenous grape varieties ever be accepted in the mainstream like Chianti, Soave and Montepulciano of the past? And is it such a bad thing if it doesn’t achieve the success?
A lot of open questions and who know where the answer lies….
Paolo Saracco is known as “The Maestro of Moscato” and for good reason. His Moscato is perfumed with fresh peach, pear and white flowers, it has amazing intensity and an amazing palate. For two years, I have been speaking to Paolo Saracco and after Vinitaly this year, he offered to ‘Mondo Imports’ the chance to distribute his wines in Victoria. Who said you can’t have Christmas in July?!!
If there is one thing I dread every year it is stock take. One day is spent in our underground cellars counting cases and loose bottles. Another two days spend in various warehouses doing the same thing. Surely there has to be a better way 🙂
Sometime you do find some gems though 🙂
Over the last few months I have seen the Carlton Wine Room evolve from an empty shell to the fully fledged, coolest wine bar in Melbourne. Whilst I was expecting it to be good, it has truly exceeded my expectation by serving fantastic wines by the glass in a setting that takes me straight back to Europe.
Last week we had a great meal at DOC and then strolled across the road for a couple of glasses of Cal Del Bosco. What a fantastic night and what an amazing venue. Within it’s short life, it seems like the locals have embraced CWR and lets hope it continues.
the Carlton Wine Room
172-174 Faraday st, Carlton
(03) 9347 2626
Unfortunately we live in an a area which is well short of good restaurants and take away places, hopefully they may change in the future. However, in the last few months a fantastic pizza restaurant called Pizza Religion (www.pizzareligion.com.au) has opened it’s doors not too far away from our house. Since opening, it has been packed with good reason.
These Pizza’s are the real deal and whilst not exactly the same as the Pizza’s you get in Italia, they are not lacking in quality and are a great take on high quality Pizza. You know the drill, thin base, quality ingredients and sensational flavours.
We washed these down with a fantastic bottle of Castello Monsanto Chianti Classico 2006. This wine was a brute when it was young, but is now finally mellowing to be a beautiful wine.
Whilst winters in Australia are quite mild (today was a top of 16 degrees celcius), the cold still does get to you.
Twice a year I put our dog in a kennel and head for a beach holiday with my wife and two young children.
I can’t think of anything better than spending time away with my family. Normally I bring up with me a six pack of assorted wines to drink over the week, but more often than not, I am just as happy to have an ice cold Italian beer in my hand.
Last night I had a bottle of Poderi Colla Roncaglie Barbaresco 2004. This would have been my second or third bottle of this wine and I think it is just starting to enter it’s drinking window. For me, this is very traditional Barbaresco. It initially opened up quite restrained and tight, but after 2-3 hours it really started to show some lovely fruits.
I am not sure of the exact path it will take once it reaches full maturity but nevertheless it will be an enjoyable drink.
How can you beat produce like this? Today is seems as though everything is mass produced, and that the only way things grow is via hydroponic methods. To actually see real oranges, tomatoes and local garlic took my breath away. These goodies were being sold in a street stall in Taormina. No wonder the food tastes so good!