View From America: Sarah Palin on Al Jazeera

Not at all wine related…

My friend Casey works for Al Jazeera, the Doha-based Arabic and English language cable news channel. It’s a job that takes him to all corners of the world, places far more exotic than this wine journalist ever gets to. My inner traveler is insanely jealous.

Casey’s currently covering the US presidential campaign, and he’s spent the last several weeks in the several swing states that will end up deciding the outcome of this election. Below is his (terrifying to me) account of a recent Sarah Palin rally in Ohio. Yikes!

He’s Back…

I snapped this picture of the infamous “No Barrique, No Berlusconi” bottle during a visit with Maria Teresa Mascarello at Bartolo Mascarello’s winery in Barolo two weeks ago.* It was out on the table in the homey room at the front of the winery where Maria Teresa receives visitors, a quiet yet poignant political statement in advance of the Italian elections. Well, those elections happened over the weekend and, I’m sorry to say, Berlusconi has been returned to power. As this article in today’s New York Times points out, he was able to do so in part because of the support of the Lega Nord, or Northern League.

I don’t really want to get into the Lega Nord’s rather xenophobic politics*, but I will share this photo of two of the party’s recent campaign posters–several of which I saw plastered around Verona wile visiting the city for VinItaly:

(Photo credit: via Willy or Won’t He?)

The one on the left is fairly obvious (“Enough with taxes, enough with Rome”). It’s the poster on the right that has me the most disturbed, with the image of an American Indian and the phrase “Loro non hanno potuto mettere regole all’immigrazione, ora vivono nelle riserve!” Loosely translated it reads “They didn’t have immigration laws and now they live on reservations!”.


The contrast between this poster and Mascarello’s bottle couldn’t be more clear (and, perhaps, this might give American readers a hint of the context in which Mascarello created this label in the first place). Note to Maria Teresa: it might be time to release another round of “No Barrique No Berlusconi” bottles…

*See my earlier post about the collapse of Prodi’s government (which brought about this early election in the first place), and a mention of Mascarello’s famous label.

*By way of background, Wikipedia has a succinct article on the Lega Nord here.

Welcome to Spume

Late to the blog game, or well sort of. Anyway, here’s the first post to Spume, where I hope to talk about the things I don’t usually get to cover at Wine & Spirits, which besides wine can sometimes include things like music, politics and shoes. And maybe bikes. But mostly this will be about wine. And it will start to look better, too, once I better familiarize myself with all these fancy features on wordpress.

Will it get more specific that that? Probably. Being the Italian wine critic for W&S, there will certainly be a lot of space devoted to things vinous from up and down Italy. But I’m based in San Francisco which means that as far as wine goes, there’s plenty else to say.

I guess this is also the space where I’m supposed to put my manifesto. Or whatever. But like most aquarians, I’m reluctant to pin myself down with rules. So I leave it with this: I strongly believe that wine is one of the few natural connections that human society has left to this planet, and as the trappings of technology increasingly distance us from nature, the serious enjoyment of wine, perhaps oddly, perhaps not, seems that much more important. It’s a direct link to something that results from the combination of nature, earth and the efforts of man and woman, and it’s something that’s been with us humans longer than any religion that exists today. And it promotes sharing! And I guess that’s the other reason I’m doing this, to share my experiences with whomever wants to know about them.