Published on February 1st, 2012 | by Greg0
Slow Wine: A New Type of Guide
Wine criticism is often sadly reduced to a two digit number. And while that might make it simple- like looking at the overall scores on RottenTomatoes- it clearly masks a complicated and highly subjective opinion. Sometimes, that easy-to-digest three star rating actually is hiding dishes or wines or elements that are at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Maybe the service is five-star, but the food is mediocre.
We like the idea of pushing beyond simple numerical values. Despite occasional misgivings, we continue to avoid direct ratings here. Thus, we definitely approve of the philosophy of the new Slow Wine Guide from Slow Food Editore.
Originally published in Italian last year, this year marks the debut of the collection in English. Pared down from the larger parent volume, the English edition focuses on wines that are available locally, as well as highlights the best of the best of the 1,800 Italian wineries, large and small, that consider Slow Food principles. There's even an iPad edition, available from the App Store, which offers a limited free trial version.
We visited with some folks from Slow Food at a recent event unveiling the guide and celebrating the English-language publication. And we really liked what we heard: a dedication to quality, environmental sustainability, and even price-consciousness. In this guide, there aren't scores, and instead highlighted wineries and wines in a variety of regions and price ranges, with clear and concise notes. A trio of symbols add character- the snail representing an emphasis on Slow Food values, a bottle for consistently excellent quality, and a coin to indicate a great value.
From Barbera and Barolo to Vernaccia and Verdicchio, we enjoyed the opportunity to try some of the best Italy has to offer, and definitely recommend picking up the Slow Wine Guide 2012. Also, if you're in Chicago, definitely consider attending the upcoming event on February 2nd- tickets are on sale now for $35 and going quickly!