A response from a guest

In Mentors and Lectures, Wine Insights & Thoughts by Alessandro Pepe


Ciao Alessandro, We enjoyed our time with you in Rome on September.  One suggestion and hope you accept it as a positive comment.  We are from California and the only thing that bothered us was the way you talked negatively about Napa. We love Italian, and French wines , like you and we would never say anything negative, especially in front of the very same tourist that come to you and pay for an enjoyable evening. No need to say anything negative about another country’s wines, it takes away from your charm. Thank you again for a lovely evening.

Dear XXX, Thank you for your comment and I really appreciate your suggestions. Surely it helps me to provide a better service. I start my tastings saying: never trust in sommeliers but only in your palate. I really mean it. Nevertheless I try to focus on a simple concept: what is wine? A local unique flavor due to climate, soil, and grape variety or a marketing enterprise?

The US is the greatest country in the world, able to look forward, at innovation and the future. But wine is slow old stuff that needs time and patience. We make horrible wines in Italy, even more than the US, so this is not a challenge between two countries. I’m just against the concept of artificially reproducing and imitating a flavor, a culture and a tradition.

I’m a fan of the Silicon Valley, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, and Thomas Jefferson but I’m against McDonald’s, industrial food and bad imitations. I love Americans for their open minds, genuine and easygoing nature,  most of all is that they don’t get offended if you make joke about them, exactly like Italians.

Believe me, I’m not against the American culture, I’m just against colonization of taste. Yes, I could have served you wines with an ‘American flavor’ (we have so many wines like this in Italy). It would help me to sell more wines, get more business, etc… But that’s not the reason why I opened the Rimessa. I opened this place to give people a real experience, to tell you things that sommeliers and wine makers don’t tell you.

But you’re right, sometimes I’m rude and too straight, and instead of just being sincere I become lippy. But believe me that I don’t do that on purpose and I sincerely thank you for your advice, from tonight I’ll try to be more respectful. God bless ABC (America, Barolo and Chambertin)


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