In a restaurant, recently, I decided to go outside my normal realm of wine choices. Since we were having fish, and since this was an Italian restaurant, I looked at the selection of Italian whites. I picked a Verdicchio because I had no recollection of having one before. I figured it was probable a crisp, tart Italian wine and I would probably like it.
When the server brought the wine to our table, I was somewhat distressed to see that the bottle was had a kind of curvy shape that, to me, brought fear that this was to be the most attractive feature of the wine. (Yes, I do, often, pre-judge wine by its labeling or packaging.) The server then introduced the bottle as the "Sophia Loren" bottle. Well, for us "sixty somethings" that nickname is very obvious. It turned out that the wine was quite good--crisp and tart and a nice foil to the salt crusted fish.
In the Italian section of the local wine emporium the other day I decided to look for some Verdicchio to take home. Behold and lo, the only sample they had came in a similarly shaped "Sophia Loren" bottle. Does anybody know if this bottle shape is traditional? If so, did the tradition start before or after "A Boy and a Dolphin?"
Believe me, for the rest of my life I'm going to smile when I see one of those bottles.
On a somewhat different, somewhat related topic, sometime in the 60s or 70s I learned that one should avoid Chiantis that were sold in the straw fiasco bottles. Chiantis sold in fiascos were low quality, and the better Chiantis were bottled in the high-shouldered bottles similar to those from Bordeaux. (Presumably, this word was not put out by the candle-holder lobby, since over 90% of all emptied fiascos then became romantic wax-dripped lamps in Italian restaurants or in singles' apartments.) Then about 15 years later I heard the exact opposite. The straw baskets that were used for the fiascos were hard to come by because they were woven by Italian grandmothers who, of course, were passing and straw-fiasco-basket-weaving was not seen as an attractive career choice for subsequent generations. So, Supply and Demand Laws went into effect. The supply of the straw fiascos diminished which resulted in an increase in the price. Therefore, it made no sense to put cheap wine into a more expensive container. The, then next conclusion was if you did find a fiasco on a store shelf, it was, probably, a pretty good wine. In all honesty I question if any of this last part is true, but it seems like a pretty interesting story.
- Reply by duncan 906, Nov 5, 2011.
Roses from Provence sometimes come in similar Sophia Loren shape bottles
- Reply by Flamefighter, Nov 6, 2011.
I too heard that the wine in straw bottles was strictly for the USA pizza parlor market and have, for the most part, avoided it, although I love Chianti and Sangiovese based wines. Does anyone really know if this is urban myth or based in fact?
- Reply by ScottLauraH, Nov 7, 2011.
EMark, what was the name of the Verdicchio?
- Reply by EMark, Nov 7, 2011.
Verdicchio Dei Castelli di Jesi Classico.
The first one was Fazi Battaglia. The second one was Sanrocchetto.
- Reply by Fabiocubo, Nov 7, 2011.
The shape is traditionally associated with the Verdicchio wine, and yes, Fazi Battaglia is one of the most renowned, widely distributed brands. A pretty good choice for fish, really, and good value for money.
Fabio from Milano, Italy
BTW, I like snooth!