Perhaps The Worst Wine Writting I Have Ever Read and my Reply

One Mr. David Brenner, writting on Italy Chronicles which subtittles its blog “The Italy You Don’t Know” certainly lived up to the Italy {wines thereof} I don’t know.  And I do question what Mr Brenner knows.  So first, please read his article before I rip it to shreds.

Wines To Avoid – The Worst Italy Can Offer

And now my response:

{edited to correct an error identifying the cuvee of Chiarli involved}

Congratulations! One of the worst articles on wine ever written. Where to start?

Corked wines. Caused by TCA , not spores A chemical sometimes found on cork, but that can be found in nature from many sources. Here is the Wikipedia: Certainly saying it came from spores may be correct in a modicum of cases, but it is not the leading cause. Wineries may be infected with TCA and it may be introduced thru the cork. Please, the next time you write about something elementary that you have no knowledge of, at least hit the good old wiki if not google.

Corks: “what posh sommeliers are checking for when they sniff the cork after taking it out of the bottle.” If posh sommeliers are sniffing for corkiness on the cork, they need to learn something. A cork’s smell has little relationship with the smell of the wine. And why smell the cork when the wine is in a nice container, easy to pour out, called a bottle. Yes, good sommeliers {who are not always posh} actually check the wine. In my 30,000 bottles of wine I have sampled or opened as a retail wine salesman, a wholesale wine sales man, a regional wine buyer for a gourmet foods company and in my 20 years as a restaurateur, I have smelled corks that are disgusting where the wine was perfectly sound and corks that were perfectly innocuous where the bottle was filled with bilgewater {corked, aldehydic, volatile acidity, maderized, bacterial spoilage of all sorts, mercaptans and more}. One should look at the cork as an indication of storage and no more. And old corks tend to look bad no matter what. Frankly, this article smells worse than any cork I have ever smelled, and et the content leaves an even fouler taste in the mouth.

Your example of one bottle of corked Chianti. Really? Blaming the winery for one freaking bottle when it is an industry wide problem? Should I now avoid all Chianti Classico by Terri di Mastri? Should I now avoid all wines by Terri di Mastri? Should I now avoid all Chianti Calssico?

No! I should avoid the one bottle of Terre di Mastri we know to be corked because you opened it. What is the point of naming a winery because particular bottle wine was corked? I have a friend who has a problem with their Fiat Arbath.. Should we avoid all Fiats?

Next we come to your critique of Est! Est!! Est!!! where you also slam Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio and Vernaccia di San Gimignano. As with any area, there are good wineries and bad. Are you really saying don’t drink this particular trio of DOCG’s in light of the rampant bad wine that should be counted as crimes against nature committed in other wine growing regions?

Est! Est!! Est!!! can be a pleasant thing to go with a light seafood pasta and antipasti on a hot day. And guess what: that’s how it is used in Rome. Are there innocuous bottles of Est^^3? Of course. But there are far more innocuous to down right scary bottles of Chianti or Primitivo. And not to mention the legion of horrid merlots grown everywhere because, well merlot.

San Gim is a tourist town and there are tourist trap restaurants, stores and, yes, wines. But there are fabulous wines being made. San Quirico, Pietrafitta, Le Rote, Teruzzi e Perthod, and more are all fine producers of very good wines indeed. Following your recommendation would deprive these worthy producers the opportunity of showing off their wines which offer a lot of value in most cases. And open minded drinkers of a lot of fun wine at a good price. If you think Vernaccia di San Gim {which here in the states usually retails for $10 to 15} is among the “worst Italy has to offer”, I have to hold your opinion as some of the worst Italy has to offer.

Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio: here you are simply wrong and slanderously so. Terradora di Paolo, De Angeles and the venerable old name Mastrobernandino are all making outstanding wines under this DOC. Where you came up with the notion that this is “among the worst Italy has to offer” mystifies me. Are you just pulling it out the lower end of your alimentary canal? I pity anyone who reads this article and follows the advice herein.

Your 4th example is Lambrusco, with Chiarli Vecchia Modena shown and described. You may have had a bad bottle. But you do know that it’s sibling wine, the Premium, wins Tre Biccherri year after year after year. Now usually I am not a big fan of scores and competitions, but here is a winery that has been recognized by Italian wine professionals as an outstanding achievement and you call the regular Vecchio Modena “was by some distance the worst; most unpleasant; most downright awful bottle of wine I’ve ever drunk anywhere.”

I have served all sorts of different bottlings of Chiarli in my restaurant for years, and have never had anyone so describe it. Every top restaurant in Modena carries Chiarli. Perhaps it is not you your liking, but the worst Italy has to offer?

Eremete Medici, Venturini, ohhhhh, I give up. You clearly show no evidence of knowing good Lambrusco.

Thanks for letting us know how wrong we are!

And now let us come to the biggest joke of all…. A 1 euro wine is bad? I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!


2 thoughts on “Perhaps The Worst Wine Writting I Have Ever Read and my Reply

  1. David Brenner

    And of course, you’ll be printing my reply to this won’t you Dean.
    Looking forward…
    Best regards from La Bella Italia – and hope you enjoy my next wine blog in Italy Chronicles.
    ps. Nice menu btw !

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