The SOMM Journal

June / July 2015

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Page 46 of 100

46 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2015 VINITALY IS ONE OF THE LARGEST and most attended wine exhibitions in the world, where once a year in spring, wine professionals from every corner of the globe gather in the fair city of Verona. The event is four action-packed days, chock full of meetings and seminars from sun up to sundown (which leave you racing from one end of the massive exhibition park to the other) and tasting after tasting after tast - ing. It is impossible not to be star-struck at this dazzling, bustling event, surrounded by amazing wines and epic producers. The SOMM Journal caught up with Los Angeles– based sommelier Eduardo Bolaños after his recent trip to Italy for the event. Vinitaly is a movable feast of wine drinking and, well, feasting. What were your highlights? What was the cool - est/most interesting thing you ate or drank? Just being there was a sensory overload. This was my first time at the event, so it was wonderful to be able to track down the great wines from producers like Arpepe, Ettore Germano, Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Punta Crena, and Emidio Pepe. Being able to taste the vintages from all these great wines that will be available in the United States in the coming months was just a thrill. It was great getting the chance to preview what is to come and what I know I'll be purchasing when it's stateside. Perhaps the "coolest" wine I had the chance to taste was Emidio Pepe's Cerasuolo d'Abruzzo. This über rare and geeky rosé is not available outside of Italy, so being able to taste it was a treat. As for food, most of the "feasting" took place in the evenings after the event; however, every tasting booth offered breadsticks and salumi. After a certain point you overload on these things and also start to score which wineries have better breadsticks. (For the record the sesame seed breadsticks at Monteraponi were the best.) Days on end, tasting Nebbiolo, Sangiovese and any number of other rustic, Italian wines, how did you manage your palate/tannin overload? Serious question here! This event is not for the faint of heart. My entire tannin overload was managed with lots of water in between wineries. And/or Champagne whenever I could find it as a palate cleanser. Did you have any "star struck" moments with producers? Getting to meet Emidio Pepe was really, really cool. His wines have always been among my favorites and he is the epitome of the "older, distinguished gentleman," and I hope when I am his age I am as awesome as he is. What were the extracurricular activities? The event ended everyday around 6 p.m. and our evenings consisted of long, amazing dinners with plenty of wine and amari that lasted very late into the night. Also of note, Verona is quite a beautiful town, so I did a bit of sight-seeing. When you weren't drinking wine, what were you drinking? Aperol Spritz every second I could find one! It is the perfect way to reset your pal - ate after a day of marathon tasting. What advice would you give to a first time attendee at Vinitaly? Definitely bring the most comfortable pair of shoes you own, because you will be doing a ton of walking. Also prepare your palate to taste anywhere from 100 to 200 wines per day. Will you go again? What would you look forward to on a second trip? I would definitely go again! The winemakers, distributors and sommeliers in attendance make the event so much fun. Next time I go I will definitely try to taste some of the lesser-known wines and properties. You never know when you are going to stumble upon the "diamond in the rough" that just might be the next best wine to come out of Italy. Snapshots from Vinitaly with Eduardo Bolaños of Terroni, Los Angeles Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: Q: by Karen Moneymaker / photos by Eduardo Bolaños Left to right: Mariano Gonzales Altamura, Sommelier at Terroni, Toronto; Eduardo Bolaños, Sommelier of Terroni, Los Angeles; Isabella Pelizzatti Perego, enologist and owner of AR.PE.PE. Clockwise from top left: Emidio Pepe of Emidio Pepe, with his granddaughter Chiara Pepe; Elisa Semino, owner/ winemaker of La Colombera; Sergio Germano, owner/winemaker of Ettore Germano; and Michele Faro, winemaker for Pietradolce.

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