Iće i piće

Paolo Lauciani

Ines Šprem Scigliano

I like to think about the life of the wine... How it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I'd opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. (Sideways)

Wine is never just a drink that can be described, no matter how remarkable its quality can be. Wine is a living thing that constantly repeats a mixture of feelings, memories, experiences and the expressions genius loci and genius hominis. Wine is history, tradition and culture. In addition to its appearance and scent, and its wonderful flavors, wine is at the same time a witness and a driver of exceptional talent of numerous human beings who are capable of leaving a deep mark in their work.The one who speaks about wine, and is trying to shape a story about it with passion and competence, with seriousness and professionalism, can not be deprived of that involvement, and must be able to feel it even after years of honorable service. Quality wine can never be a routine, nor can it be a thing that speaks about it.This is a part of the article Le lacrime del vino (Wine Tears), taken from the portal Bibende for which Paolo Lauciani writes regularly and which I felt very well synthesizes his philosophy of talk about wine. After deliberating on how to begin a worthy representation of the uncontested Italy’s living authority on wine, I came to the conclusion that it was best to let him speak for himself.

Lauciani not only has a Ph.D. in classical languages, is a lecturer at the courses and the master of the Fondazione Italiana Sommelier, an enological writer and has been writing about wine for 25 years, but is also the deputy director of the Roman classic school of Francesco Vivona, where we had a conversation for this interview. The thing that distinguishes Lauciani from all of those who try to talk about wine is his high culture and erudition, and the fact that he is a wine thinker, and even a wine philosopher, with clear and original ideas. With wine, just like in life, when the game gets tough and demanding, character comes to the fore: in bad years things outside of class come to light.

His classical education has contributed to the fact that he masterfully mastered the art of paradox, which he readily and successfully uses in communication. For example, in the era of the so-called natural wines he asks rhetorically: It has crossed my mind that champagne is a striking example of a technological wine. Who knows whether hardened purists drink it?Also, at a time when fashionable and trendy are wines from small cellars, vins de garage, wineries owned by families, artisan wines that are automatically associated with the idea of quality, he does not hesitate to ask: Where does it say that small is always beautiful?

Paolo is a prototype of what Italians call uomo di classe: elegant, unassuming, balanced, and of decent manners and sharp irony. Because of that he has surprised many superficial connoisseurs and associate by revealing his humorous side in the TV series Colorado Caffe. These are self-deprecating programs that in a sympathetic and humorous way give a a caricatured vision of sommeliers in modern society.

Although he has an enviable TV career, he successfully keeps his privacy from the Italian media and appears exclusively in thematic television shows such as: Tg5 Gusto, La Prova del Cuoco, Per Bacco, Storia del vino in Italia, Sapori d’Autore, Colorado Cafè Live, Gran Premio Internazionale del Vino, Artù, or radio shows: Baobab, La Notte dei Misteri, A Tavola, Decanter, GR Rai, RadioEuropa, Capitan Cook. He worked as a consultant on the program Signori del Vino by Marcella Masia and Rocca Tolfa on Rai 2.

He is very precise, which is rather unusual for a Roman born, so that he jokingly says that he is meticulous, but he is also incredibly open when it comes to wine: I believe that openness of mind must be the basis of anyone who engages in exploring such a complex world as the world of wine.

Da buon italiano, he respects tradition and traditional values in a way that, for instance, he does not miss a single game by the national football team in the company of old friends where he draws upon the wisdom of the treasured rural culture, but he does not shy away from any modern oenological techniques when it comes to winemaking. Like Gustav Mahler, he also sees the tradition not as the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire.

On one of the social networks I came across a simple motto, also a comment on the photo which says, Tutto il resto è noia (Everything else is boredom), the name of the fourth and probably the best-known album by Franco Califano, which came out in 1977, that Paolo has set as his status. Dedication of the Roman symbol of transgression and authenticity, Prevert di Trastevere. In the intimate farewell with Califano La leggenda del trasgressore (Legend of a Transgresor) he has showed sympathy and even admiration for the courage of people who break the rules if braking the rules involves lifestyle of people who avoid banality and often illogical rules so that they sharply and ironically interpret the existence.

What distinguishes a great from the little man is the nobility of his ideas, and Paolo says about his dreams: I dream of a country where the foundation of pride and dignity will be an every day emphasis of the fruits of originality of our deeds and work. Where our wines could truly be called earth’s song for heaven. Song of a nightingale, which permeates the listener with tingling, regardless of where he lives.

Paolo's distinctive, multi-layered personality is characterized by simplicity and calm of a person who has over the years realized what is really important (for him). Last year, to mark his 50th birthday he wrote: For many things fifty years of age can be the right moment.

Laucian was my favorite teacher at the course of the Fondazione Italiana Sommelier.Interestingly, the Foundation has its headquarters and organizes numerous courses at the Hotel Rome Cavalieri (ex Hilton), the same one with the only Roman restaurant with three Michelin stars - La Pergola. Although teachers in the Foundation are all excellent and lectures are at a high level, Paolo won me over with one simple reason, he is the closest to the idea of a wine connoisseur that I entertain: enthusiastic erudite with an interdisciplinary approach to communication and huge, unconditional passion for wine.

I know him as a very tolerant and patient man, with well paced and very balanced reactions. But according to the saying that patience put to the test several times becomes anger he has very firmly answered the exaggerated and certainly not very well-intentioned reactions to his statement that there are no natural wines. With this he has showed a trait of his personality that we could have only guessed.

In the last year he has encountered Croatian wines several times and, as he says, they have been a very pleasant discovery. Among other things, he was the moderator of the Croatian-Italian conference on the Mediterranean diet in Rome (Eat Mediteranean, Make the Difference) and, in relation to this, he has very emotionally described an interesting case to me. He was very happy, he says, to accept the invitation to lead the conference. This pleasure was additionally reinforced by an unusual coincidence that the conference was organized in the piazza where he attended elementary school, and in the courtyard of the Foundation Pio Sodalizio dei Piceni, where the conference was held, he use to play football with the boys after school and during the breaks between lectures. Although this is the very center of Rome, considering a number of commitments and everyday rush between the EURO and the Hilton, many years have past since he last visited the square from his childhood...

The second anecdote he told to me is much less likable and actually in some ways a disturbing alarm that signals the urgent need to define the status of the Istrian Teran or finding some new, acceptable solution. During his appearance on the La Prova del Cuoco TV show he had to choose a wine of pronounced tannins because the dish required it. He remembered the bottle of Gran Teran 2009 Coronica he received as a gift and which he previously liked very much. He took it to RAI but forgot to say which wine it was in front of the cameras. In some way it is a consequence of an embarrassing testimony related to the problems with the presentation of Teran last October in Bibenda and, unfortunately, an example that shows a lost opportunity for a remarkable promotion, and unfortunately not the only one.

I am very much against extremist views in any area is the axiom of Paolo Lauciani, a man with an attitude and arguments which would be wise to remember.

When and how was your love for wine born?
First of all, I've always been very passionate and curious. My mom says that even as a child I use to sneak out to taste wine from glasses of guests who would come to dinner. Wine has intrigued me very early, so I began to read and learn about wine. Slowly, I was more and more fascinated and as soon as I was able and the first favorable opportunity came by, I decided to dedicate myself to deepening a culture that has always fascinated me - the culture of wine. In fact, for nine years I was an umpire, and for a while I was very devoted to it. I began to attend courses at that time of Associazione Italiana Sommelier, and very soon the director Franco Ricci suggested to me: Why don’t you try and prepare a lecture for us and start teaching? This was surely contributed by the fact that I was a teacher and taught in a school. I finished the course in '92 and already in '94 I started teaching at sommelier courses and writing for the magazine Bibenda. Gradually I was becoming increasingly involved in activities of the association and wine eventually almost became my first job, and teaching at school a hobby.
You have a considerable experience of communication in television shows and the media in general. What are you currently doing in this field?
I'm still a part of the jury in the show La Prova del Cuoco on RAI 1. The four of us are alternating and we are talking about wine in the show led by the famous host Antonella Clerici. Then, I am currently working on a project about denominations. It is a series of videos that should become a single CD that will present the wines of Italy. I also recently collaborated on the show I Signori del Vino, on RAI 2, by the director of TG 2 Marcello Masida and vice president Rocco Tolfa. On Radio 2, on the show Decanter, I regularly participate in sommelier and master courses...
I really liked the series called Il Gusto (Taste).How do you relate the good taste in wine and beautiful things in general? Lately, wine and art is often associated. How much is our taste conditioned by culture and education?
In my opinion, wine tasting from a technical point of view puts a taster in a position of addressing the outside world in a different way, with more attention and awareness. We at the Foundation like to say that you can taste a work of art because everything that goes through our senses we elaborate with the help of what we carry in ourselves as our cultural heritage. It is therefore a part of the same process, so that when someone learns to taste the wine, i.e. to carefully evaluate what is going through his senses when tasting wine, it is the same with food, but also music, painting and any other art form or expression. Wine tasting teaches you to appreciate the beauty that surrounds you.
Given that you are a linguist, and often start your lectures with the etymology of words, I'm interested in what you say about etymology of the word wine? I like the explanation that the word wine comes from the Sanskrit word vena, which means to love, and from that comes the Latin word Venus.
The root could be taken from the word vita (lat. life) or vir (lat. man). There is no universally accepted explanation and maybe it is better because everyone finds the interpretation he is most comfortable with.
What do you think about the use of the word grammar in the context of wine and food?For example grammar of taste, grammar of wine, etc., which may sound strange to a casual connoisseur...
I like that terminology because grammar is the foundation of every language. When we communicate, we should respect the rules of grammar. If we extend this concept to wine, then, to talk about wine, one should be familiar with the grammar of wine. Therefore, one should at least have a basic knowledge of wine. The truth is that we can communicate in a language without knowing the grammar, but if we want to communicate something important, we need to know the grammar. In addition, grammar is not a bogey. Therefore, lets first learn and educate ourselves and then talk and communicate...
I have noticed that you are quite critical when it comes to wine communication online and that you really draws attention to the dangers of overproduction of articles and blogs about wine...
It is, let’s say, the less likable aspect of wine. Since wine is a product that, at least when it comes to our culture, is consumed daily and that all more or less can relate to, in some way, everyone feels empowered and competent to speak and write about it. I think that a prerequisite for writing about wine should be, certainly, a solid preparation and training. But we live in a free and democratic world, and the world is beautiful because it is diverse. La parresía (freedom of speech) is an integral part of every free society, as we were taught by the ancient Greeks, but what is left of their great civilization are only words of those who had something really important to say and who have said it in a really good way. Unfortunately with the emergence of the Internet, which is on the one hand a fantastic instrument, but in a sense somewhat deviant, sometimes there is a transfer of wrong messages. Therefore, just like when other things are concerned, participants in communication should have the critical ability to distinguish between what is an efficient and correct communication and something that is only gibberish or propaganda.
In the modern world there is a growing tendency towards specialization. However, my impression, when speaking about wine, is that just the opposite would be desirable. Writer about wine should, in my opinion, be a Renaissance person, someone who knows the technical stuff about wine, but also things about the culture, history... of wine. Otherwise, communication is incomplete.
This is yet another amazing thing when it comes to wine. Wine synthesizes the world from many aspects, because in order to speak about wine with competence and quality it is necessary to know a little bit of enology and ampelography, something about the growing conditions in general, geography, history, art history, architecture (if we talk about the cellars) and, of course, literature since literature is a very important aspect of wine. Sometimes, when I was filming some shows for RAI and talking about wine, they use to announce me as: Paolo Laucian, sommelier and humanist. I really liked that because I think one needs to be a humanist and have strong skills in various aspects of culture in order to speak about wine. Therefore, I really like the idea of a renaissance man of wine.
How important is the role of the slogans in the speech about wine?
Slogan is an instrument for synthesis which, depending on application, can be effective, but also useless. Synthesis has value if the thing it synthesizes has content. Thus, the slogan is effective in communication if it is a synthesis of content. But if what we are trying to synthesize has no content, the result that we will get will be of no value, or in other words we will not get anything. On the other hand, there are slogans that have marked the history of wine.
More and more attention is paid to the design of wine labels, there are also the so-called custom labels, and even wine label exhibitions are being organized... How important is the wine label design when talking about wine?
In the high end hospitality industry an important role has been assigned to the presentation of dishes. The aesthetic aspect is generally is very important because with it we get the first information about the product. Therefore, the wine label is a kind of a business card for a wine. If we present a wonderful dish, which can sometimes seem as a work of art, but it disappoints us when we taste it, it is certain that he will not order it again. Likewise, we will forget a label of a wine that we were not impressed with. We keep the business cards of people who have impressed us, and remember labels if we were impressed by the wine. In my view, wine label should be elegant and when this elegance is accompanied by the quality of wine, they become a complete and harmonious whole.
I was impressed by your article titled Brindisi memorabile (A Toast to the Memory) Amongst other things you write:We spent almost an hour chatting pleasantly about wine and our home countries. One of them was a local hotelier, another Californian enologist. There was no exchange of business cards, I can not even remember their names any more, and its not likely that we will ever meet again. But that evening, those faces, the pleasure of sharing with strangers the wonders of great wines and the culture that created it for me will remain an indelible memory. On the other hand there are those who still think that wine is just fermented grape juice. Can you comment this? The impression is that these sentences also describe your philosophy of life, and not just wine; the art of living in a moment in a way that we need to be aware of life's special moments and cherish them, to raise awareness...
Yes, this is exactly what I was referring to. Let us start with the often-quoted, and on the other hand perhaps too little understood Horatio’s Carpe diem, that does not mean that we need to take advantage of all the opportunities that we encounter in life, but to appreciate until the end all the moments that life has to offer. In this regard, wine is an incredible accelerator and multiplier of intensity. In the aforementioned article, I described the situation in a restaurant in Burgundy where people at the next table had some fantastic Corton Grand Cru Rouge Capitain-Gagnerot 1947 and with a simple exchange of looks they kindly offered me to taste it. We started to talk about wine and confront our experiences with different points of view. It is unlikely that we will ever see each other again, but in these moments we had an exceptional experience that sometimes we are unable to share it with the people that we meet on a daily basis.
It is well known that for years Bibenda has been promoting great wine as a territory in the bottle and that in this regard grapes, when intelligently selected, make an outstanding kex for reading wines. What is a good wine for you?
Let us separate what is mainly a technical aspect from the cultural and emotional aspects of wine. In general, a good wine is the one that is made in a technically good way and that tells a story and conveys the history of the territory. I expect the wine to convey the feelings and thoughts that will carry me straight to the area where the wine is created and the people who have had a decisive role in synthesising that synergy between the vineyards and the territories. If we go a step further, wine of high quality in addition to being good and territorial must have the ability to produce emotions. Of course, I mean positive and beautiful emotions.
It seems that according to you it is necessary to be familiar with the territory from where the wine comes from to be able to have a passion for it...
Yes, but wine can give you an idea of the territory and encourage you to find out. Clearly, if I taste a wine that comes from a territory that I am not familiar with, in a way I will be partially limited in terms of a complete evaluation of that wine. This is why wine has a need for geography and visiting the location where it is produced. I can not say that I know wine well if I haven’t visited the site on which it is created and if I haven’t met the people who create it. It is the maximum competence that we can have when it comes to some wine.
A lot of dust was raised by your statement related to natural wines...
This is something I firmly believe in. It is clear that the statement that I gave in an interview was deliberately paradoxical: Natural wines do not exist. Paradoxical, since it is undisputed that not all the reactions have exactly been positive. I would even say that some of the submitted responses were decidedly negative. I subsequently tried to further argue my position and then I met with a very small number of complaints. Wine is not natural. Nothing in connection with wine is natural, starting from the growing of vine, which is in its nature a liana, therefore it would tend to grow in a spontaneous manner relying on the trunk of a tree or would simply spread its branches on the ground. Man changed the way vine grows and adapted it to his needs. Therefore, the cultivation of vineyards, selection of varieties that are not indigenous (autochthonous varieties do not exist because the grape vine arrived at the ancient times and was adapt over time to specific territories), grape harvest, vinification... When we would leave the grapes without any control, it would turn into vinegar, and not wine. Therefore, vinification is controls by man, and even when using the so-called endogenous wild yeasts these are still yeasts handled by man. Man chooses containers for vinification, in which wine will eventually mature (large or small wooden barrels or stainless steel ones), man chooses in which bottle to put wine, when he will pace the wine on the market... Then, of course, remains a fact that we don’t need to help nature, nor that the wine has to be produced with constant bombardment of chemical treatments in the vineyard or in the cellar, but that the man has a central role in the production of wine. Because of that I love to say that the wine is a cultural product; a product that is born from a strange fruit that nature gives us, and man manages to control all the stages of processing.
For sparkling wines, you have said that they are technological wines.
Sparkling wines are a striking example of the concept that wine is not natural. If we are looking for the wine in which a man plays a crucial role in the production, although it has it in the production of all wines, then this is most pronounced in sparkling wines. But technology is not a bogeyman. Sparkling wines are wines that are created in a technical process. These processes initially probably occurred spontaneously, and then they were perfected. Among other things, for example the codification of the champagne making method by Dom Perignon, in which there is a little bit of history, a little bit of myth, and a little bit of legend. But when we talk about sparkling wine, tell me how it is natural? When producing sparkling wines you have to decide when to re-ferment it, in what way to re-ferment it, type of the starter for fermentation and the like. So it is certainly the case of deliberate and engineered wine.
I noticed a little bit of irony when you once mentioned Robert Parker. I am talking about the article Il Signore di Monforte in which you write about a meeting with the great man of Barola Giovanni Conterno and in which, among other things, you say:The wines produced by Giovanni Conterno are monuments to Nebbiolo as well as to the glory of Piedmont.Despite the fact that it was written by Robert Parker, whose idea of a great wine was often diametrically opposed to that of Giovanni and Robert, we are forced to agree with him. Contrasting visions of the world exceptionally come to the same conclusion.
Yes, it is obvious that the affirmation was somewhat paradoxical and intentionally ironic. In the world of communication, there are people who are revolutionizing our way of approaching the wine. One of these people is certainly Robert Parker, who has completely inverted the discourse about wine. He is undoubtedly a very competent when it comes to the world of wine, especially in some geographical areas. But this has led to the fact that his communication has become so strong that he was able to condition the way wine is produced. Let's say that the duo Robert Parker and Michel Rolland have transformed the wines in Bordeaux, and it is certainly obvious example.
In Piedmont this change was related to the emergence of Barolo Boys...
Yes, this transformation, carried with a grain of salt (cum grano salis,), i.e. slowly and carefully, brings know-how and opportunities for modernization in a positive way. It is nowhere written in stone that traditions should be kept alive forever. As in all other things, excessive and extreme tendencies aspire to eventually fade away and eventually lead to an optimal synthesis, which was the case with Barolo Boys. Today the line dividing the traditionalists and modernists is much less defined and what we have are actually different interpretations of the territory. Therefore, with all due respect to the great palate and taster, and someone as competent as Michel Robert, I do not support some of their extreme positions and they need to be separated from the main role that they had and still have. But at the end of the discussion we will certainly drink the same wine at the same table.
One provocative question: comparison of Italian and French wines.
Well, it's not so provocative... The main difference between French and Italian wines is that the French had the ability to design and make the system of telling the history, which for them is a culture by itself. So, they have individualized the best areas and selected varieties that will interpret these areas in the best way, they created and consolidated local tradition arising from 1700, and in some cases even from the year 1000. I am of course thinking about Burgundy. I have always strongly believed in the possibility of valorization of their products. In Italy, because of understandable reasons, wine has historically been considered a food product; so it was part of the diet of peasants, in a very divided country. This country had a very different history than the history of France and therefore wine was considered as such for a long time. It has become a part of the culture of our country only after the war. Therefore, we are behind in the evaluation and communication of our products. On the other hand, the quality that can be achieved in Italy is not inferior to that of France, if we become aware that we should not imitate the French. It is useless to talk about the difference between French champagnes and Italian sparkling wines because some champagne is one wine, and for instance Francicorta il Trentino DOC, Alta Langa another. What they have in common is technique of production only, but they talk about different territories. Therefore, let us not compare, but make the best of what is our territory and our identity is. Today unfortunately we still lag behind.
I know you do not like generalizations, but we often hear comparisons of Tuscany - Bordeaux and Piedmont - Burgundy. What's your opinion?
I would never compared wines, but there are cultural similarities and parallels that can be drawn because in Burgundy for historical reasons vineyards are very fragmented and divided among many owners. The area was long under the jurisdiction of the Duke of Burgundy and the legislation provided that the inheritance must be divided into equal parts among the children. By contrast, in Bordeaux in effect was the right of the firstborn son. With the passage of time and the change of generations Burgundian estates were increasingly divided. Then, the French Revolution and its legacy contributed further to fragmentation: expropriation of property, redistribution, division... All this led to the fact that estates in Burgundy are very small. We find the same thing in Piedmont, while in Bordeaux and Tuscany there are several major wineries, I wouldn’t really say latifundia, but certainly estates that often have noble origins.
Thus, the difference would not be in quality?
I've never thought about it from the standpoint of quality, but simply from the standpoint of the division of ownership of a territory. If you want, the lifestyle and the way of life of a territory. In Burgundy, as in Piedmont, the relationship between the Vigneron and vineyards is original, while this ratio in Tuscany and Bordeaux is a little more sophisticated.
Your favorite Italian wines?
That's the million euros question. I can not say I have a favorite Italian wine, but not because I would not wish to upset anybody, but because there isn‘t a wine which I keep coming back to. I really love the pairing of food & wine. I like to choose a wine according to food (pairing). I'll tell you what I came to after much experimentation, even though I know and I'm aware that it may sound banal. I like to try new wines because I was very curious, but I always come back to two varieties that only in Italy can give great emotions, and these are the Sangiovese and Nebbiolo.
In the recent years you had several opportunities to try Croatian wines. What kind of an impression did they have on you?
I admit I only recently got to know Croatian wines and the ones I tried have intrigued me, fascinated me, and even touched me. I was introduced to things that, frankly, I did not know that can be manufactured in Croatia, things that certainly deserve to be discovered and learned about. I say that sincerely. Things that I might find particularly emotional at the moment are the so-called dessert wines, sweet wines, or wines for meditation. Although I find dry wines also interesting from several aspects. Croatian production is small, and I believe that therefore the difficulty to communicate is great, but I want you to find a more relevant way to introduce your product to a wider audience because quality certainly deserves it.
One of the wines that you especially liked the Istrian Teran. Unfortunately, in some way you have witnessed the problems related to the dispute over its name. I mean, of course, the request to ban the presentation of Croatian wines by Slovenians last October in Bibenda, at the wine tasting that you have led. Lately, there is more talk about the need to urgently address this issue. Opinions are contradictory. Some support the thesis to change the name and protect the new name. Mentioned as a proposal, among other things, is the name Istrian. What is your view on this issue?
As for the name, I don’t think it is a matter of prime importance. Further more, I am convinced that a territorial name is the only means of protection of origin and a tradition of wine; much more than the name of the variety of wines that can potentially be planted anywhere. So says Shakespeare:
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet. (Romeo and Juliet, II, 2, 1–2)
Your passion for cigarettes is well known...
In accordance with the many times quoted sentence of Oscar Wilde: I can resist everything except temptation. I like everything that has had a history and it triggers my curiosity. For example, I have never smoked cigarettes. Since I started smoking, I have been smoking a pipe and cigars. That for me is not only one forms of vice, but also a question of taste and tasting tobacco. In addition, tobacco has a fascinating history. For me tasting of cigars and tobacco has the same parameters as well as wine tasting. Cigars touch me just like wine touches me so I can say that I have never smoked out of habit, but for me, smoking has always been a matter of choice.
Comparison of wine and beer tasting ...
These are two very interesting products, but the differences between them occur before the tasting. The wine has the territoriality in the roots of the vine, beer has territoriality in water because crops are not native to the place where the beer is produced. That is why beer, if you will, is more of a cultural product then wine, and the result is a composition of ingredients created by human hands. These ingredients have different origins from a geographical point of view as barley and hops do not grow normally in the same place, while taking the water that is available because it is more economical. The organoleptic tasting of wine and beer goes through the same phasea, the same technique, but it is important to realize that beer is a product that has its cultural backgrounds and different roots and that can be produced in the geographical synergy of ingredients from different parts of the world.
By culture and erudition you remind me of Veronelli...
I had the pleasure of meeting Gino Veronelli three or four times thanks to his friendship with Franco Ricci, but the encounter that I carry in my heart is our last meeting before Gino died. He was already almost totally blind so I introduced myself. I told him that we had already met several times since I am Ricci’s associate, that I publish in Bibenda... and he replied: They tell me you do great things for Italian wines. I'm sorry that I can not see that. It was a period when I was doing the Gusto at TG 5, and that's the most beautiful and special memory since words of a maestro like Gino for me are a form of blessing that I carry in my heart.

When talking about wine, Paolo speaks with an emotionally charged voice, enthusiastically, but at the same time with carefully chosen words that would awake the curiosity of even the most skeptic phlegmatics. But this time, while he is telling the story of his last meeting with Veronelli, he is speaking through tears.

Laucian is the evidence that for a compelling discourse about wine one should have a soul.

Grazie, Paolo!