I just received a telephone call from a supposed Italian correspondent for People magazine. I was so stoked when I heard it. Me and the late-Michael Jackson in the same magazine! Finally, I would get the fame I deserved for all the hard work and wine tasting in Europe for 24 years!
My colleague in my office, Rosanne Quagliata, sent me the message. So I called the woman immediately. I thought I'd better call my agent before in case there were movie offers afterward. Back to Hollywood baby! My hometown!
Unfortunately, the woman wanted to tell me about "her dear friends" who make wines close to my office in Tuscany. And how they were rich and successful and played polo, too. "They would really like you to come and visit their winery," she said.
WHAT?!? Michael and me not in the same magazine?! Oh well.
Seriously, I can’t tell you how many wineries in Italy call my office each day. I would estimate a minimum of 10 a day call, and they all want me to visit their winery and taste their wines. I honestly wouldn’t have enough days in five lifetimes to go and see them all. I try to go and visit a winery or two every week, but I am buried with tastings and blogs and stories. Plus, I need to feed the dogs and see my children in England once in a while. What about my mom and my granny and my ex-girlfriend in Los Angeles? Besides, the garden will perish in a few hours if I don’t water it in this summer heat!
Thank God for Rosanne. She is like a telephone therapist every day assuring wine producers in Italy that it is hard for everyone right now with the recession. "Yes, most wineries are having difficulty in the U.S. market," she cheerfully tells them.
Goldman Sachs may have posted billion-dollar profits and have planned to hand out big bonuses for all the "hard work" gambling in the global markets, but the reality for wine producers in Italy and elsewhere, as well as for most of us, is different. I am sure that Italian wines are going to be better priced and better quality in the very near future. They have to sell the stuff. They can’t drink it all themselves.
Shame about People magazine. But it wouldn’t have made any difference anyway.
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