Like any good wine blogger I start my morning with a double espresso and baseball highlights. “Back to the diamond we go …” gets my attention almost as much as a perfect crema.
But I’ve been recently become annoyed with the reoccurring trend of excessive celebration in baseball. Last night I saw a Boston Red Sox player hit a walk off home run, then get gang mauled at the plate, then get a gatorade bath during his interview. Hey Boston baseball players – It’s July and you’re 5 games over .500 – you didn’t win the pennant! Can’t we just celebrate with a handshake and “three cheers for Johnny, hitter of the walk off home run“.
But I guess we live in an age of excessive celebration and over-exaggeration. Everything is “unbelievable”, and filled with unnecessary superlatives.
Even the Vintages catalogue [my favourite piece of mail] got into it this week. I ask you, how are people ever going to believe that they understand a thing about wine when the following descriptions of wines are used to sell them?
- “with raspberry suggestions piling onto the flavours replays” [I don't like the sound of a flavour replay]
- “Aromas of stones, white fruit, pear, plum, lemon and buttercream make for an enjoyable and rich nose” [I can't smell all those things at the same time]
- “A stunning effort, at a very exciting price” ["stunning" seems a tad hyperbole to me]
- “This may read like hyperbole but more embellishment would fall short and fail to do these wines justice” [Ha - admitted hyperbole - embellishment indeed]
- “The nose offers wonderfully intense aromas of lime, cordial, lemon custard, white peach, pear, mineral and and attractive petrol note. Very pretty and lithe” [I didn't make that one up}
- "The crisp, dry finish brings some apple peel and cherry stone to the flavour replays" [I think that I would choke on a cherry stone replay]
I guess it could be worse. We could live in the world of teenagers where every taste, aroma, and walk off home-run is “random“.
I know, I know – “ooh you’re telling us a story about the time you went to Lake Como”. And now you think I’m a pretentious world traveller. I’m okay with all that.
I learned that when you don’t understand a culture things can appear tacky that really aren’t. Cantina Follie seems like such a ridiculous name in English and their logo, a laughing wine cask, seemed like a SNL parody of German humour (Mike Meyers as Dieter in his talk show Sprockets).
However, this Cantina was my highlight of Lake Como. We walked past a narrow alleyway with lots of steps in it and my daughter noticed the silly barrel with a funny face on it. What we found was a great wine store with a tasting room and our host, Joost. Originally from Holland, Joost was as enthusiastic about his wine as I was to listen. It was Joost that introduced me to Salice Salentino – I now pick up a bottle every time Vintages carries one.
Here is my review for TripAdvisor.com
Despite the unfortunate barrel logo, this wine bar was the highlight of our dining in Lake Como.
Up the stairs from the main street, hidden in a cave is the Cantina Follie.
The staff knew their wine and had over 300 Italian labels.
The patio had a nice selection of wines by the glass at a very inexpensive price (2.50 Euro per glass) which included tapas. Let the owner suggest his favorites and buy a bottle on your way out. You MUST visit this wine bar if you are in Como.
On your way out stop at the Red and White Bar and order the pita with brie, rocket, and speck to take back to your hotel (you might want to order 2).