Once upon a time in Texas, there was a girl with an appetite and a dream...


Weekly Wino: Oh What a Night

A trip to Uncle Ace's is always a pleasure for Jeremy and me, where we are taken care of, cooked for, and forced to drink wine from the rich cellar of our mutual friend. We are more than happy to help him whittle down his supply of old wine, a worthy sacrifice for the guy who has affected such positive change in both of our lives.

After my workday was over, DoBianchi and I made the quick trek up I-35 with visions of 1968 Conterno Monfortino Riserva dancing in our heads. We were greeted by our (Galeotto) Alfonso and his SO Kim. Arriving at dinnertime, Kim had made a lovely little antipasto of herbed chevre on baby endive and paired with Loimer "Kamptal" Gruner Veltliner.

The chevre-y goodness paired perfectly with the dancing minerality of the Gruner.

The menu would be local, grass-fed T-bones and veggies to support the 1986 Mouton and star-of-the-night 1968 Barolo Monfortino by Giacomo Conterno. Despite the champion and expert effort of our very own sommy-somm Jeremy, the cork broke. I cannot imagine anyone getting that thing out intact.

No matter! There was no cork a-floatin' in my glass.

If you look at the label closely, you will see that it was aged in botti (huge neutral-wood vats) for a full decade before it was bottled. This wine was taken care of, raised with a loving hand, and left to nap peacefully in Alfonso's cellar.

This wine...aaahhhh. This wine...makes me go all wistful. It had that old Nebbiolo nose of cedar/sandalwood/suede with a hint of moist, leafy underbrush. If there were a to-do list for the expression tertiary aromas, we would have checked every one.

What no one expected was the acidity. This wine was ALIVE and not in the way that a forty year-old wine can be--explosion of taste and smell, only to burn out with an ephemeral last gasp--it HUNG OUT. It was in for the party and if we hadn't drained it in less than an hour, it would have drunk us under the table in a no-country-for-old-farts kind of way.

This Barolo had LIFE and it had umami. I don't want to give more specific tasting notes because what was special was how this wine made us feel, transcending the material and bringing us into a soulful flex of admiration. I felt surprise, appreciation, lovely yummy, in the moment, in the glass, in love, in a state of being that was...together.

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Blogger Alfonso Cevola said...

thanks...good times!

more to come

4/27/2009 6:38 PM

Blogger Do Bianchi said...

wow, that is SOME weekly wino! Truly and undeniably one of the best wines I've ever tasted in my life...

Alfonso, thank you again, for sharing that with us. The evening was one of the special occasions where the experience of the wine (unforgettable) was woven indelibly with the stimulating conversation and the cherished company.

Tracie B, I was simply thrilled to get to share that wine with you.

Great photos, too! You're pretty handy with the little Sony!

4/27/2009 8:04 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds delicious!

love you, mom

4/28/2009 9:36 AM

Blogger Sicilian said...

Great memories always revolve around food and friends. . . the wine is the extra special bonus of your memory!

4/28/2009 6:19 PM

Anonymous Vacations said...

Oh..!! WOW.. therez a lot useful info published by you in your blog... Great ..!!

8/31/2009 12:51 AM


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