“I am most passionate about bringing my knowledge [of tasting] to consumers, “said an enthusiastic Orietta Gianjorio, a native Italian from Rome,...
Whether you’re celebrating that new big promotion at work or the simple fact that you made it through the day and survived rush-hour, gridlock traffic, there are few things more rewarding than a nice glass of wine. For Italians, wine is practically the unspoken sixth basic food group and one could argue that they know and appreciate a good wine better than most people.
In fact, a recent study released by the Wine Institute reveals that Vatican City consumes more wine per person than any other country in the world. The study revealed that residents of Vatican City consume, on average, 74 liters of wine a year. For those of us not familiar with the metric system, that equals approximately 105 bottles of wine. These figures double the per-person consumption of both France and the rest of Italy; it is triple the per-person average of the United Kingdom. So, needless to say, Italians have a very high appreciation for the stuff. (Incidentally, the United States ranked 56th on that list).
But how does the average Joe learn to recognize a good bottle of wine when they taste it?
The San Diego Wine Show helped do just that at the Del Mar Fairgrounds April 26 and 27. For the first time in its history, the two-day festival went international, showcasing not only local, California wines, but also wines from Argentina, Spain, France, Chile and – of course – Italy.
San Diego Wine Show Executive Director Donato Santarsieri made the decision to broaden the scope of the wine showcased at this event, stating in a press release that ““The public here is generally quite California-centric about their taste in wine, but when they travel abroad and experience these fantastic wines they’re discovering that they really like them. I saw this as a great opportunity to bring in international wines, winemakers, and top sommeliers to let consumers taste and learn more about what makes these wines so special.”
A one-day pass to the event granted guests general admission and allowed them to sample not only different wines from around the world, but enjoy live acoustic music and observe cooking demonstrations by Guatemalan-native and San Diego resident chef Pablo A. Fernandez. Fernandez is also the founder and producer of The Secret Table, “a movement to bring community around real food and true relationships.” Fernandez infuses his cooking with his passion for food and “the love that was passed down through food with a servant spirit from his great grandmother, grandmother and mother.”
The two-day event also hosted a “Wine and Food Education Series,” featuring guest speakers including winemakers William Allen (of Two Shepherds Vineyards), Chris Broomell (Vesper Vineyards) and certified sommelier Charlie Plummer.
The proceeds from these shows went to the event’s charity, Country Friends, “an organization celebrating 60 years of continuous service to San Diego County through our support of Human Care Agencies [whose] focus is on local programs providing services to women, children, the elderly and persons with disabilities.”
Those in attendance also had the opportunity to dine at the iconic southern California racetrack’s restaurant, 17 Hands, which had a custom-made menu prepared specifically for the event.
The weekend may be over now, but Santarsieri and his team are already preparing for the 2015 show, so be sure to mark your calendars for another weekend of wine, food and fun.