Wednesday, March 5
When Margherita and Sher pitched the idea of doing a special wine dinner to celebrate International Women’s Day (March 8) I thought, what a great idea. It's a fantastic opportunity to focus on a day that can always benefit from more visibility and support. However, as I thought about putting together a dinner featuring nothing but wines made by women, I had a brief moment of panic. I quickly did a mental scan of Piccino's wine list and all I could visualize were bottle labels, wine regions and grapes. I worried that this specific demographic was underrepresented on our list and that there would be a fair bit of legwork to be done to find some ‘new’ producers for this special dinner.
For some context, let me say a word about how I choose wines for Piccino: when I sit down to taste wines I ask questions - a lot of questions. I ask about the vineyard, the soil types, the winemaking philosophy; I'll even ask after the personal wine proclivities of the winemaker or vigneron. What I don't ask — and I honestly can't remember ever asking this — is whether the person in the cellar or in the vineyard is a man or woman.
So I set to tracking down some inspiring wines for this special dinner. After a cursory look over some chicken scratch that passes for my tasting notes, I put the question out to my trusted importers and purveyors. The back-and-forth that ensued was both informative and quite fruitful. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the fermentations behind many of my favorite bottles have long been in the capable hands of female winemakers.
The end result is a solid line-up of wines for our upcoming wine dinner. It will be a nice blend of California and Europe, all embodying the tenets of balance, honest winemaking, and drinkability.