I’m always a bit dubious when people say their heart goes out to someone. It’s not that my heart doesn’t ‘go out’ to people. If anything, I probably over empathise with most people, but saying your heart ‘goes out’ feels like such an overstatement that it reminds me of Lady MacBeth. Not that I’m joking about washing hands right now.
I have been thinking about the Italians today after reading a brilliant piece in The Guardian by a journo who lives there and talks about how surreal it feels in the empty alleyways. He talks about this very touchy-feely country that is now, understandably, obsessed with personal space, as infections and deaths leap by 20% to 30% every day. Intensive care units are full. Hospital wards spill into corridors, tents and gardens. Some doctors have died, others say they feel like they’re dealing with an earthquake every day.
My heart feels saddened by the incredibly high death tolls in Italy right now and after working at home today, I decided to open an Italian wine to toast the recovery of that great country – one of my favourite places on Earth. I love the sociable, excited, supposedly undisciplined chaos that so many people describe Italy as having. I hope it comes back.
2015 Belvento Sireno Toscana $23.99
This wine is a treasure. An affordable, earthy, succulent Super Tuscan made from 90% Syrah, 5% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Sangiovese; fermented in stainless steel to 27 degrees Celcious then matured in a combo of small oak barriques (225 litres) and larger oak (30 to 50 litre barrels), all older wood, nothing new here. The philosophy is to preserve and enhance the fruit flavours of these three great classic grapes. It’s a tasty little number. Here’s to Italy.