Sometimes less is more


Now don't get me wrong, I love wine, I love overindulging in wine. I gotta a felling that's gonna come back and bite me! I love intense, complex enveloping experience with wine, but sometimes I just want a glass of wine. Something satisfying yet simple.

Case in point, a few weeks ago I had made plans to meet my brother at my father's house to make some order. We had a real mess on our hands and some major cleanup  was called for. Long story short, brother didn't show. so I was stuck cleaning this mess myself.
Now the truth is most of that stuff is my crap. No question about it, ton's of restaurant equipment left over from my restaurant days but you know it wasn't easy manhandling the 180lb TEC searmaster grill or ice machine compressor and that 3 door lowboy refer, how was I supposed to get that in the barn? Sheer force of will that's how. I actually threw out the swoopy black mid-century chair, which was painful but the truth is I found it in the trash so no great loss and we now have two newer, and larger grills so that piece of crap found the bottom of the dumpster as well. It took about 6 hours, and I should have taken a picture of my bloody hands but eventually the yard looked like a yard again and the barn was, dare I say it, organized!

So what does this have to do with wine. Not much except when you consider how beaten I was by the end of the night. I had stopped by the butcher, ok it's the supermarket but they have a decent butcher there, and got a perfect 1.5lb sirloin steak for myself earlier in the day. That and some mushrooms, shallots and potatoes made for the fixins of a decent meal. All I needed wqas a bottle of wine. What I wanted was something satisfying, with a bright acidic spine. Nothing to complex yet complex enough, aged enough to ring my bell without any effort from me. I ended up choosing a 1982 Gigi Rosso Arione Barolo. Now this should have been exactly what I was looking for.

1982 a great vintage in its prime.

Arione a grand vineyard in Serralunga.

Gigi Rosso an underachiever if there was one but I was hoping that the vintage and vineyard would trump whatever Gig had mastered to ensure mediocrity in his wines.

I was right, barely.

This was no doubt a great bottle of the 1982 Arione. The cork was tight as can be and that near perfect seal held this wine in good stead. Typically pale and borderline oxidized apon opening this freshened up in the glass revealing a moderate core of sour cherry fruit with lovely, subtle tar and anise notes all backed by the mouthwatering acidity I was after.

Truth is it was a perfectly good wine. I scored it a solid 87 points, barely sellable in today's point beholden marketplace but PERFECT for me this evening. It was exactly what I wanted, what I needed to salve my wounds and nourish my soul and anything better, richer, or more complex would simply have been lost on me, a waste on a wasted man.

I ate my dinner and drank my bottle, exhausted, and now slightly drunk I made my way to bed happy. Oh so happy.

You see sometimes less  really is more.

Sometimes 87 points are better than 90 points.

Sometimes you want to drink the wine and forget about the points.

Ponder that this holiday weekend and have a great Fourth of July!

Yeah that steak is pretty perfectly cooked, thanks for noticing. Hardwood charcoal in the dark, but I used to do this for a living.

Gregory Dal Piaz

Community Manager

Mentioned in this article


  • Raelinn

    If that was an authentic mid-century barcelona chair by ludwig mies van der rohe, the value on an authorized reproduction is upwards of $3000! and the originals are even much more valuable. someone go find that trash heap!

    Jun 30, 2009 at 5:32 AM

  • Strappo

    I relate to all of this. So deeply.

    I love what you say about less-is-more as relates to wine. 87 pts vs 90? So what? It all comes down to the ineffable moment.

    (Wow. Soooo hevy, man.)

    And btw thanks for admitting to being slightly drunk. To paraphrase Frank Capra, it's kinda Why We Drink, no?

    Jun 30, 2009 at 6:10 AM

  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 6,197

    So, Greg, when push comes to shove (bloodied hands included), you're a steak and potatoes man, eh?

    Hope you didn't throw out that bike, sidecar and all…

    Jun 30, 2009 at 6:12 AM

  • Snooth User: GregT
    Hand of Snooth
    89564 2,594

    Isn't there supposed to be an engine block hanging from a tree? Or a car body with no wheels off in the bushes? And what's wrong with a Bud after working like that?

    Cripes. Effete wine snobs are all over the place these days!

    Jun 30, 2009 at 9:41 AM

  • Snooth User: dmcker
    Hand of Snooth
    125836 6,197

    If you call Bud beer, GregT. Hey, I can be snobbish about my beer, too… ;-)

    Jun 30, 2009 at 10:43 AM

  • Snooth User: troyconquer
    Hand of Snooth
    156663 459

    “A waste on a wasted man.” I like this Greg. And you definitely need to clean that bike up!

    Jun 30, 2009 at 11:55 AM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 238,748

    You know where to find me.

    It's a 1950 Matchless g80 with a very rare Jet80 sidecar.

    It was running well 5 years ago or so but now needs to be overhauled and all the rubber bits need to be replaced. Since I started riding the Moto Guzzi this thing just got to sit and look pretty.

    When push comes to shove and there is a grill around I am a meat and mushrooms kind of guy. In all honesty the fact that there is little clean-up comes into play in a big way here.

    When left to my own devices with time for all the necessary prep I am a grilled fish, then grilled beef ( grass fed free range not some stupid “grass finished” what do they rub them down with hay?) with lots of grilled garden fresh veggies, a nice salad and a cheese course to finish kind of guy!

    Jul 01, 2009 at 2:08 AM

  • Snooth User: GregT
    Hand of Snooth
    89564 2,594

    dmcker - notice carefully. I didn't actually call a Bud a beer. I do believe it's in its own category of beer-like substances. I'm with you on that score for sure!

    And total agreement about that bike with the sidecar too! That should become the official Snoothmobile! Greg gets a write off and Phillip gets a unique advertising vehicle.

    Jul 01, 2009 at 10:38 AM

  • Snooth User: GregT
    Hand of Snooth
    89564 2,594

    In fact, now that I think about it, it's a perfect way to explore wine country too.

    Greg - we need to talk.

    Jul 01, 2009 at 10:39 AM

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