Well, to be quite honest, the title of Antonio Galloni’s new site, Vinous (explore all things wine) is quite beyond me. What does vinous mean? Vinuous I could get my head round, but perhaps it’s a compound adjective of vin and nous. But to be honest, it’s a little non-sensical.
Which is a pity, because I have a lot of respect and read-time for Galloni. Not only does he express a heart felt love for the kind of Italian wines I love , such as San Giusto a Rentenano, Montevertine and Castello dei Rampolla, but even more so because he kicked dust in the eyes of the The Wine Advocate, spurning very publically the feast of riches in the almost universal post and road to riches being offered him. He did it very clinically and principled through an an independent announcement in the New York Times.
You may well, as I do, consider The Wine Advocate to have been a wounded beast for some time: sold out to Singaporean financiers, its independence compromised by some of its writers taking freebies, and its very expansion, ebbing it constantly away from its real raison dêtre, the person, nay cult, of Robert Parker.
And Galloni was very obviously being lined up to take over, which was strange in itself, because his taste seems so opposite to Parker’s own. In Galloni’s writing it had been long noted a rather classical, European nuance; a love of finesse and purity, rather than Parker’s own holy grail of power and might. You could even draw an allusion to Obama’s intellectual diplomacy to Dubya’s Shock and Awe…
But that is all in the past, and we now see Galloni’s ambition laid out, currently for free, for all to examine. And it is very worthy and worthwile of examination. He is trying to cover just about “everything wine”; there are the little videos with producers, videos of tastings in his kitchen at home (very cute!) and in depth tastings and foci on producers with verticals from esteemed wineries.
It follows very much in the footsteps of Allen Meadow’s Burghound website; it is rigorous, intellectually well grounded and charmingly modest. It is very clear that Galloni is a man enamoured with his subject and in awe of its production and producers.
It really is very earnest. It is also a very clear and welcome challenge to Suckling’s dreadful self-aggrandizing, and dare I say it, self enriching http://www.jamessuckling.com (what a pile of rubbish that is!). It is less about Galloni and more about wine.
But, do I want to spend one hundred and thirty two bucks a year on something just a little long winded? I fear it may ultimately be too ambitious, too all encompassing. Too much of a good thing. Galloni’s charming modesty, may become compromised by his contradictory ambition, by the very scale of what he wants to comment on.
In the meantime, be the judge yourself, sign up and log in. There is a lot worse out there than this.