There is no question, that after the global lockdown we have experienced, we noticed that there are things, you just can’t buy online. One of those things is conviviality. The pleasure to spend some time with friends and family is simply priceless. And while I was reflecting on this, I went through a habit that I started roughly 5 years ago and that I really hope will soon become a tradition; to write on the corks when and with whom we have drunk that specific bottle (actually often more than one) of wine.
Actually you may talk about a habit as an action done on a regular basis while tradition is a part of culture that is passed from person to person or generation to generation. In other words, I hope my sons will continue with this habit and start a family tradition. And what do you need to write the names and dates on a cork? Obviously a pen, ideally a ballpoint. So for once, we will not talk about sophisticated fountain pens. Instead, I will try to bring closer 4 particularly memorable wines that I have drunk in the past couple of years and associate a pen to them that reflects similar colours, peculiarities or attributes and that maybe match the “taste” of the person you are sharing that specific bottle of wine. Right? Let’s start!
Buccella Cabernet-Sauvignon 2013 – 24.2.2018
I remember this evening as if it wasyesterday. My best mate
was just having a very hard time and I remember,that
I invited him for a dinner made of veal filet coming from
a farmer in Gstaad that delivers an unrivalled quality of meet. And since he has a wine trading business, you can imagine, how hard it is to surprise him with a wine he doesn’t know yet. A real challenge! I went to a retailer that I know since quite a while and asked him if he had something new, that was matching my taste of heavy, full-bodied wines. He suggested to try the one we are talking about in these lines, telling me that he had only a few of bottles and that he would sell me only 1 bottle “since it is a rarity”. I was quite surprised about this but accepted his advice and went home. Around 4 hours before the dinner, I opened the bottle in order to let it breathe and I can’t forget that moment when I took the cork to smell it… a triumph of flavourings, robust but yet delicate. An incredible scent spread throughout the room. You have to believe me, this was an unforgettable moment. Such a sophisticated wine that it could easily be used as a room fragrance. And what a colour when we poured it into the glasses… an intense red, almost black. Beautiful! The evening was enjoyable, as you can imagine, and my mate was happy to have spent a pleasant night during that dark period. What kind of pen would match this wine in terms of sophistication, delicacy and intense color? I thought about the R DE CARTIER BALLPOINT PEN in black composite and yellow golden finish details. Quite a masculine piece, I must admit. But this pen has the necessary charisma to keep up with this incredible wine.
Castello Solicchiata Sicilia IGP 2013 – 16.2.2020
Just before the lockdown here in Switzerland, I remember we invited a few friends for a sunday lunch and my beloved wife cooked some Sicilian specialities, since she is, guess what, Sicilian. And while she was cooking and I was lazing around (it’s her choice! She doesn’t want to be disturbed while she is creating her masterpieces) suddenly I realised that I haven’t opened any wine yet and it was already quite late. When you are in a situation like this, you are really happy to have those kind of wines in your cellar, that are always ready to save your life. The kind of wines that you can open and in a relatively short time will surprise your guests with its powerful aroma and quite oaky notes. Let’s not forget that we are talking about the oldest Bordeaux blend in Italy, since already in the middle of the 19th century, the ancestor of Felice Spitaleri planted unusually French noble vines on the northern slopes of the Etna volcano. Lot of alcohol, I have to say, 15% vol. but really delicious. A wine appreciated by almost everybody. You know that kind of wines that you open when you live in those doubtful moments and you are looking for an anchor that saves you. This is the kind of wine we are talking about. Whoever you will give it to try, he will love it. It costs a reasonable amount of money, but you get an incredible wine, in a sophisticated package. Talking about this, a pen jumps to my mind that seems to be quite similar: Pelikan K200 Smoky Quartz Ballpoint. An amazing piece in particular if you think that it costs around CHF 100.- and you get a wonderful writing instrument with a great packaging. The presentee will love it, don’t doubt.
Valle Picciola Chianti Classico DOCG 2015 – 25.5.2018
Valle Picciola is one of the most incredible vineyards I
have ever been. Really, really on another level. The
winery Valle Picciola is owned by a very wealthy
steel merchants family (that has wine and hospitality as a hobby!!!!) owning as well the 5-star luxury Hotel Le Fontanelle located in Pianella (SI), around 30 km from Siena in the middle of the Chianti Classico production zone. In fact, Chianti Classico can be produced only in a very restricted area and is one of Italy’s most iconic wines and always strongly related to the Italian culture. Nevertheless, Chianti has always been seen as a good wine but was never at the level of Sassicaia or other Tuscan traditional wines. Well, not this one here. The owner family is requiring excellence from every business they run and the wine does not represent an exception, quite the opposite. Starting from the production plant that is, first of all, magnificent from an architectural point of view and is equipped only with the latest and best winemaking technologies, the whole experience leaves you amazed and after we have been invited for a tasting session in their cellar, we were wondering how much all this capillary research of excellence would finally cost, when it comes to a standard bottle of Chianti Classico. EUR 17.- the bottle! No, there is no 0 missing at the end of the price. It’s really seventeen Euro. Incredible. I don’t think I have ever drunk so well for so little money. Try to believe! A similar experience exists as well in the world of writing instruments. Where else do you get a piece like the Caran d’Ache 849 PAPIER DÉCOUPÉ with Etui. Nowhere else you get such an excellent product, recognisable and of unparalleled quality. And not enough, Caran d’Ache has a wide range of special 849, for almost every taste.
Vie di Romans Chardonnay 2008 – 20.4.2019
As a very last one, let’s talk about a white wine. Little premise, I don’t really love white wines. In general, they are a little bit too light for my taste and so, even when we
eat fish, I tried to combine a light red wine until the day I have discovered this wine here. It was back in 2014, may 6th to be exact and I was relaxing after a day in Milan with my colleague and Friend Daniele at the restaurant La Refezione in Garbagnate Milanese, close to Milan. On that evening, the chef was proposing a so called parmigiana, which is a typical southern Italian dish but in a version with fish. For the ones who know me, they know that I love parmigiana and I was curious to try this “fishy version”. So I challenged the owner of the restaurant (a great art collector btw) and asked him, what kind of wine he would suggest, given the fact that I’m a RED wine drinker. He looked at me and very calmly, almost contemptuous but kind said: “I think i know what do you want to drink! Do you trust me? I will bring you exactly the white wine for you!” Surprised but curious, I listened to his advise and as soon as he came with the bottle, he told me to first smell it with closed eyes. Folks, you can’t believe it if you don’t try it at least once. In the nose, it smells like a red wine. On the palate pleasantly full-bodied, fresh, silky texture, enormously complex and full of tension. A JOY. Something absolutely incredible. Since then, I make sure that I have always at least a couple of bottles in my cellar because this one here, ladies and gentlemen, is the most incredible white wine for red wine drinker. These thoughts are bringing me straight to the Davidoff Paris Gun Metal Ballpoint Pen. A nice piece that combines elegant elements such as the Clous de Paris pattern with this sporty Gun Metal colour that makes sure you get something traditional but with a special touch.
Do you remember the habit to write the guests, friends and family members on the corks? Looking at those corkes after some years brings you back like a photo album and brings a lot of joyful moments to your mind. So next time you’re invited for dinner by some friends, why don’t you bring them a fine writing instrument as a present instead of a bottle of wine? You might be surprised how long you can enjoy a pen and even more, the things you can write with a pen. Cheers!
Buccella Cabernet-Sauvignon 2013 – CHF 182.00
R DE CARTIER BALLPOINT PEN yellow gold finish details – CHF 400.00 (cartier.ch)
Castello Solicchiata Sicilia IGP 2013 – CHF 36.00 (lenoteca.ch)