Can you say “WINE” without smiling…

Thank you to all those that sent me their heartfelt comments about my last blog (The Centerpiece of Italian Culture…) I’m glad that you enjoyed it but it’s particularly pleasing to me that the piece actually awakened some pleasant family memories for some of you. It did for me too.
Someone asked me, recently, why or how I ended up (sort of) in the wine business after a few-decades -long career in the corporate world…a career in an industry that could not possibly be further away from wine. The answer is: I don’t know. Fate, I guess.
Here’s what I do know: after four years
of meeting all kinds of people while running the Wine Awakenings business (suppliers, wine makers, retailers, consumers, sommeliers, bloggers, wine ambassadors, etc, etc), I have never met anyone who can talk about wine for more than ten seconds without wearing a big smile on their face. Try this: just for fun, tell a stranger that you’re in the wine business…and watch their face light up. They cannot hold back a smile…I guarantee it! Someone once told me: “Ten years ago, I decided to get into the wine business…I haven’t missed a day’s work since…”
Yes, it’s true: wine people are always happy. No matter what, wine brings joy and happiness. In most circles, superstitions are just that until they involve wine. Most European cultures staunchly believe that spilling wine (by accident, of course) is very good luck. A cause for celebration at our family dinners!
Wine is the symbol of festivity, no matter what. I remember attending a 500 guests Italian wedding reception (a small family affair…) where the father of the bride had insisted to serve his own “homemade vino” to accompany the 12 course fancy meal prepared by the caterer. The visibly unrefined and slightly murky libation came “screw cap bottled” in Perrier bottles. The proud Papa who had gleamed with pride a few hours earlier when he gave away his daughter at the altar, was once again beaming with immodesty as the servers swooped through the guests, briskly centerpiecing each guest table with a few of the prized green Perrier bottles.
The real surprise was when we actually took our first sip. To say that this wine was tainted would be a serious understatement…like saying that drinking gasoline would taste a little “pungent”. I mean this wine stripped the varnish from the church door down the street…! Yet, everyone (and I mean everyone) smiled courageously after toasting the bride, and as the hellish concoction travelled down everyone’s gullet (carrying with it most of our stomachs’ lining), everyone smiled approvingly and yelled “Salute”.
No one (and I mean no one) even so much as grimaced, and the party proceeded without a glitch…with 500 happy and thankful guests…happy to be part of the happy couple’s most memorable day…and thankful that the father of the bride hadn’t also taken up cooking!

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One comment on “Can you say “WINE” without smiling…

  1. Lelio Bisante says:

    Hi Amato,

    Very nice, from now on every time I’ll have a glass of WINE I’ll be thinking of you.

    B, regards Lelio

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