October 2018

October 23

LISTEN UP Charity Givers with a PASSION for fine wine and the INTELLIGENCE to appreciate a bargain. The Veneto Chapter of AIS (the Italian Sommeliers’ Association) has teamed up with Zýmē (www.zyme.it ,which has donated magnums of their award-winning wine Kairos). The entire proceeds of the sale of these magnums goes to ABEO Onlus Verona, an association that aids children with  cancer. The cost of the MAGNUMS is 70 Euros. (The price of this wine in a restaurant runs at around 180 Euros!). They may be purchased at www.spaghettimandolino.it . So, help children in need, drink fine wine and have that secret shiver of pleasure at having found a bargain – all at the same time!

We tasted three vintages of Kairos:

2005 Opaque, lively dark. Dusty rose over a near black center, an overtone of rust. Nose: Nose, , ideas of greengage plums over red berry fruits. The firm fruit arrows slightly on the long finish. Sweet and sour snap at the end.  My favorite sommelier Fabio detected “a note or barley”.

2010 rich vibrant ruby with clear rim. A silky sensation on the nose, an overtone of plumped raisins, a hush of cinnamon. After 30 minutes: Ideas of white chocolate emerges. After 45 minutes it really comes into its own. This wine still has several years of pleasure-giving life.

2015 Rich deep blue/ruby with a dark cherry sheen. A tweedy texture. On the palate, there is again firm up-right fruit. (I see this as a spinning cylinder in my mind.) Rich and juicy. After 45 minutes it finds its way.

Wine Lesson:  When a wine continues to evolve in the glass, giving pleasing flavors and sensations for 30 to 40 minutes, this means that the wines is well made and long-lived.

October 16 Una Partita per Tommy


We went to a charity event sponsored in part by the Chievo Soccer Club. It was in aid of children with ichthyosis, a rare skin disease.  The Tommy in the title of the event is a sweet natured five year old who suffers from the disease. The evening started with a friendly soccer game and then went on to a lovely buffet at a nearby glider airport. There was, as always, a drawing for prizes, some of which were donated by local wineries and restaurants, and, of course, the Chievo Soccer Club. We won dinner for two at a pizzeria – what a swell evening.

To learn more about the disease and how you can help, google UFFI (United For Fighting Ichthyosis).

Early October

I went to a press conference about business etiquette. Why? Because the organizer took the trouble to phone me – twice – and I did not really have another appointment.  The speaker got up touting the need for her service: teaching young people who are breaking into the business world how to behave.

Lesson: Etiquette is a set of hard and fast rules to follow. These rules vary depending on the country in which you are living/working.

However, Good Manners – which might actually help you get a job and win hearts – is simply thinking about the person you are talking to. This means looking people in the eye, listening to them and being courteous. It means following their lead as to what is acceptable behavior.

The etiquette teacher went on and on about appearance being important; how to dress for an interview. Her description for the ideal clothing option sounded like attire for someone seeking employment as a functionary at a provincial bank. If that is your aim, then her advice was sound. However, there are hundreds of wonderful jobs for which such attire would be completely inappropriate.

Here is my advice, children. For a job interview all you need to be is be clean, tidy and…yourself.

This means that if you wear big junky jewelry every day, then wear it for the interview.  If you like bold splashy colors, wear them for the interview.  This will be of service to you and to the interviewer.  If you are hired while being yourself, this means that you will NOT BE FORCED to put on a disguise every morning in order to go to work. Wearing disguises can be fun for a while but are soul destroying in the long run.

Fortunately, Michael came in half way through the presentation and tapped me on the shoulder.  I had seated myself on the back row near the door.  We slipped out and had some fun with our pal Ugo at Café e Chocolate. It was time better spent.