I spent quite some time looking for a decent bottle of wine last night at Trader Joe’s. It made me think of the ease of finding a good wine when I was living in Italy. During my two years there in the early ‘80s, I simply had it delivered to my front door. It was a lot like the home milk deliveries we had in the Midwest when I was a kid, only better.
I lived in a small village on the Ligurian coast. The local winery had its vineyards in Piedmont, where Gavi white wine is produced. I’d call the winery whenever I was running low, and they would deliver the wine in large thatched demijohns on the following Saturday morning.
I got to know Franco, the delivery man, quite well as time went by. He drove a Vespa farm truck. It had a single cylinder engine, three wheels, and had barely enough energy to make it up the hill next to my house.
I would invite Franco in for an espresso if he had the time. He usually did.
Bottling the wine took a little work. I’d sterilize the previously used bottles, fill and cork them using a special “corking” tool, and dip the top in wax to ensure a good seal.
It was well worth the time and effort. I only paid 1,000 lire per liter (about 80 cents at the time), and the quality of the wine was always excellent. I brought back several cases of wine that I had picked up in various regions while I was there, but I didn’t bring back any of my home-bottled Gavi. Unfortunately, it has a very short shelf life.
Next time you’re in Italy, be sure to ask for a cool glass of Gavi, and think about how great it would be if you could have this “nectar of the gods” delivered to your front door.