With the absence of Vinitaly and other major wine shows, the only wine marketing opportunity for the Italians this year are the various Anteprima events in January and February. And while most of these are typically held in a historical location within Italy, this year, for Barolo and Barbaresco, the event Barolo & Barbaresco World Opening was brought to New York.
New York was alien to me just as I was an alien in it. But fortunately, the friends made over the years had made the stay a pleasant one. And as news of COVID-19 storm brewed in the east then, New York had unexpectedly become a shelter for those who are not returning to China. No one had expected the subsequent outbreak would leave a gaping hole in New York City.
For the Piedmontese winemakers who went back home, the pandemic was closing in on them. And in less than two weeks after the New York event, the first spark of contagion in Lombardy soon became a blaze that still remains today.
I can wax lyrical about the great Barolo 2016 and Barbaresco 2017, but it seems rather frivolous to do so. People are dying. The silver lining for the wine industry, however, is that the wines are made three years ago. That should provide some financial buffer as long the exports are not impeded. If you are looking to buy the Barolo 2016 or Barbaresco 2017, this is the perfect time to do so. You may face some delay in receiving the shipment, but the cash flow will help many people in these difficult times, especially these Piedmontese.
More importantly, I wished all my friends well in these troubling times and together look forward to the days when the cloud of COVID-19 will be a memory. I shall end with the words of Queen Elizabeth, “We will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.”