Friday, June 3, 2011

Vin Pseudo.

In Europe, Parmesan cheese by definition must be produced in the Parma region of Italy, ditto with Parma ham. I don't get quite as agitated as my brother does about the American penchant for calling certain food items by what is traditionally considered their place of origin, when clearly the foods in question have been produced domestically in the USA. I simply attribute his alarm at these aberrations of nomenclature to the fact that he has lived all of his adult life under the labeling constraints of the European Union. On a personal level, I do appreciate the fact that Americans usually refrain from calling domestically produced sparkling wine Champagne - so, dear brother, all is not lost. However, at a dessert wine tasting the other day I must admit that I, myself, did experience a little bit of distress over one particular wine: a Vin Santo produced in St. Helena.
Vin Santo, Tuscany's classic dessert wine, is a deeply amber-coloured wine that is made from dessicated grapes. Without going into the maddening complexities of Italy's DOC or DOCG laws, it is generally understood that having DOC/G on a wine's label at least guarantees some semblance of authenticity as to the wine's origin. Whilst I know Vin Santo isn't an actual place, indeed they also produce a Vin Santo in Montepulciano, it did get me thinking about the naming of certain food products. Should the name Vin Santo be reserved for a dessert wine exclusively produced in Italy? Or is Vin Santo simply the name for this particular style of winemaking? Questions, questions.
As for the wine itself, in my opinion, the Il Ponte from L'Uvaggio di Giacomo Winery, wasn't a very good interpretation of this unique Italian digestif. Let me put it another way, I won't be dunking my biscotti into a glass of Il Ponte any time soon.
As today is the feast day of the patron saint of winemakers, St. Morand, maybe a little divine intervention will answer these questions for me. Holy Moly!

16 comments:

Pocket said...

You may find this interesting and surprising dear cousin of mine
http://www.snooth.com/articles/wine-varieties/santorini-vinsanto/
Vinsanto is actually Greek! :)

Vinogirl said...

Welcome Pocket :)
Vinsanto is indeed Greek, whilst Vin Santo is Italian.
We'll have a glass together next time I am in Blighty.

A Good Moroccan said...

Most Americans believe their country is the world, and don't even own a passport.

Therefore, all produce can only originate in the USA !

Lord Roby said...

Vinogirl....I think it's about time you produced a 'Vinsanity' Don't you? Register the name quick!!!

Thud said...

American made Parmesan is an abomination in the eyes of the lord...as are American style breakfasts served in 'American diners' here in England.

Vinogirl said...

Villager: Well, it is a rather large country with all types of climate and terrain...

LR: What a great idea!
A glass of Vin Sanity anyone?

Thud: As ever you are fair in your condemnation of all things evil :)

Ron Combo said...

I'm up for some Vinsanity!

monkey said...

i have to agree with thud on the breakfast our bacon actually tastes like bacon.
but everything else it all goes to filling ones belly.

Thomas said...

A Vinsanity wine gets my vote.

Thomas said...

Oh, and just a slight correction:

The recognized zones for producing Parmigiano Reggiano (parmesan) are:

Modena, Parma, Reggio Emilia, plus parts of Bologna and Mantova.

Notice the Parma-Reggio connection.

Vinogirl said...

Ron: OK, you're on my first release list!

Monkey: I miss English bacon :(

Thomas: You're on the list too.

Thomas: No need to get all pedantic on me!

Thomas said...

Vinogirl,

Pedantry is the sign of a passionate winemaker; either that, or someone who needs a vacation.

About Last Weekend said...

Interesting, great post and I'll take a note of your recommendations...Have to say I hate most croissants and pastries here (in the US), they are leaden overly sweet and nuclear reactive in their colouring - even from the best of bakeries...rant rant..

Vinogirl said...

Thomas: A vacation perhaps?

ALW: American bread (and potatoes for that matter), don't get me started...

Fabius said...

Thanks Thomas and Vinogirl, for making me realize that I need a vacation! I was just about to go all pedantic on you all :)

Vinogirl said...

Fabius, welcome to Vinsanity.
Life can be easy: a simple vacation is sometimes all that is needed to keep oneself from slipping into a life of arrant pedantry.