The other night I was at a friend’s summer rental house located near my home at Il Borro near Arezzo. We were having dinner by the pool, and some local carabinieri walked down the driveway. I was a bit worried at first. I am not a great fan of uninvited police visits in any country. Maybe it reflects on some of my misspent moments as a youth. However, the local police are usually cool here, and I know most of them who work in my area. So, they don’t bother me, even if I travel a little too fast on my BMW motorcycle.
They had come to interview members of a Belgian family who had been burgled the night before. They had been moved to the house next door to my friend after someone apparently had broken into their rented house about a mile away and stole money, cameras, computers, etc. (My house alarm is now set most of the time when I go to sleep.)
Anyway, the Belgians had left to go to dinner. So my friend invited the carabinieri to have a glass of wine and a piece of grilled steak with us while they waited for them to return. He served them 1994 Le Tertre Roteboeuf, 1995 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle and 2001 Petrolo Galatrona – all from magnums. The policemen were jovial and friendly, as well as discerning about their food and wine. They, in fact, preferred the Hermitage with their bistecca. I had to agree. The rich, gamy and fruity character of the Syrah was a wonderful foil to the decadent meat dish.
I sat back and watched them drinking the wines in their blue uniforms, and I almost burst out laughing. And at the same time, I had this warm feeling inside.
You have to love Italy. Where else can you have a conversion with a uniformed policeman about wine and food – and they are on duty!
John Battista — July 18, 2006 4:23pm ET
Steven Balavender — Tampa, Fl — July 18, 2006 5:06pm ET
James Peterson — San Antonio, Texas — July 19, 2006 9:51am ET
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