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Joe Campanale

Joe Campanale

I own a restaurant in the West Village of Manhattan called dell'anima. I'm a former sommelier at Babbo. I freelance for Beverage Media, Inked, debonairmag.com and worksnw.com. I'll finish my masters in Food Studies at NYU in May 2008. I'm 23 years old.

  • Website
  • Location: New York
  • Favorite foods: Nebbiolo, Aglianico, Ribolla Gialla, Tocai Friulano, Refosco, Sangiovese and black and white cookies.
  • Last bite on earth: Handmade pappardelle al cinghiale washed down with a simple Chianti.

Wine’s Not-So-Secret Society

Once a month, on a Wednesday, a group of wine bloggers "meet" (in the virtual sense) to share their tasting notes and insights and post around a central theme. They call this, WBW, or Wine Blogging Wednesday, and some really solid, witty wine writing has come out of it, such as this post from the Second Glass. The group was started by Lenn Thomspson of Lenndevours and here's how it works:... More

Be Your Own Wine Critic

My main problem with most wine critics like Robert Parker Jr., and magazines like Wine Spectator is that they have specific tastes that don’t always correspond to my own. Another problem I have, even as a wine professional, is remembering all the wines I’ve tasted, what they tasted like, and whether I liked them. Two new relatively new websites, Snooth and Cork'd solve these problems and do a bit more. On these sites, you can create a profile, which allows you to record your tasting notes and review and rate wines, find wine ratings from other users, see what your drinking buddies think, and receive recommendations and buy wines from a retailer. They also both act as online communities that... More

The Week in Wine

"The Virtue of Old Age": In this post, the Riesling enthusiasts over at Derkellermeister stage a tasting of the same wine of a recent vintage and one that is much, much older. The kick? All of the wines are white and some are aged over 40 years. Especially interesting is the section entitled, "Why are some wines age-worthy and others are not?" The beauty of reading it from the beginning: Aaron Epstein, a quad-lingual, mid-twenties, and handsome wine expert, has left his job "toting the bag" (industry speak for working for a wholesaler and carrying a case of wines from client to client for tastings) so that he can "work" the grape harvest in Provence then try to assimilate... More

Hot Wine, Cool Conditions

I'll never forget the feeling of disappointment. On my twenty-first birthday, my uncle had chosen a wine from his cellar harvested in the year of my birth for us to enjoy. After careful decanting, he served it only to realize that the wine was not in good condition. In fact, it was awful. It tasted of oxidation and decay. Years of moving it from one makeshift cellar to another (one damp basement to another) had taken its toll on the wine. All that build-up and years of waiting had culminated in something that was more vinegar than vino.... More

The Madmen of Friuli

When people speak of traditional Italian wines (as opposed to modern ones), they mean wines that are produced more or less the way they were about 100 years ago. The turn of the twentieth century was a time before the widespread introduction of French barriques, single vineyard bottlings, and temperature-controlled fermentations in stainless steel tanks. All of these inventions (combined with lower yields, global warming, and a shorter aging period) has combined to make wines that are now more concentrated, fruit-forward, and oaky than in times past. In short, more modern. Josko Gravner, an off-the-wall winemaker in the northeastern region of Friuli Venezia-Giulia, makes a very different type of "traditional" Italian wine. Instead of using methods from 100 years ago,... More

Wine or Beer: The Eternal Question

Eric Asimov's recent blog post on drinking beer with "wine people" reminded me of my first night on the floor as a sommelier at Babbo. Any time someone wanted a bottle from the cellar, I had to run down a flight of stairs, make sure not to bump into anyone running food, squeeze my way through the people crowding the maître d' (always brandishing a sweet, comforting smile even though I was freaking out on the inside), run down another flight of stairs, and search for the bottle in the enormous space. Then I would repeat the whole process on the way up. I broke a sweat in my first 30 minutes on the job, and this went on for... More

The Judgment of Paris

The Judgment of Paris is the Greek myth detailing Paris's selection of the most beautiful Greek goddess. His choice of Aphrodite eventually led to the Trojan War. It is also the name of a historic wine tasting that took place in Paris in 1976 and has been restaged many times since. The 1976 event pitted the top French white and red wines against the best of the fledgling California industry. The judges: the most respected French palates of the time. The outcome: an equally epic war between the victorious American and the defeated French.... More

Wine TV

Gary Vaynerchuk in Episode #285 of Wine Library TV. Two nights ago, a top television exec dined at Babbo and I was his sommelier. As I masterfully executed a long-pour across the table, I hinted at my desire to host my own prime-time wine television show. He said, “I think you’re right. I was speaking with the president of the Food Network over lunch yesterday, trying to convince him that this was a good idea. America is ready for it."... More

Wines and Global Warming

In a recent Decanter blog post, Oliver Styles asked whether the wine industry should be thinking more about global warming or was it doing enough? And, should we as consumers be more aware of the impact we have? Silly questions for such a serious publication. Because of travel, waste, and agricultural byproducts, wine is a product that can have serious effects on the environment and leave a Sasquatch-sized carbon footprint. It can contribute to global warming and be affected by it. If you're a wine lover, all of these issues should be on your mind, at least because, as weather changes—and wine is directly affected by weather—the wines we know and love may no longer exist. (That and the whole... More

Lambrusco: If Sweetness Is Wrong, I Don’t Want to Be Right

If Chianti can overcome the image of a dripping wax candle stuck into a fiasco (the traditional straw covered Chianti bottle with low-quality connotations) then why can’t Lambrusco? In a recent article by Eric Asimov, he points out that Lambrusco is worth drinking and mentions the struggle it has had in overcoming an image as a commercial, low-quality product. And so Lambrusco became a joke among serious wine-lovers, who had little use for it other than comparing memories, as with Boone’s Farm or Lancer’s rosé, of their introductions to the pleasures of hangovers. The time has come to consign this unfortunate impression of Lambrusco to the same locked attic trunk that holds the '70s disco wear.... More

The WinePod

Today we add yet another new voice to the Serious Eats mix—Joe Campanale. Joe will be joining us on Fridays to touch on topics from the world of wine. Cheers! —The Serious Eats Team By Joe Campanale | Is there anything the iPhone can’t do? Well the whole winemaking thing is up in the air. But you can now make wine from your home computer using a new invention called the WinePod ($3,500). Just dump in (er, carefully place) 15 gallons of grapes (about seventy-five 750ml bottles), and use the interactive software to control the whole process, from pressing to aging. But make sure you don’t use Thompson seedless or Concord grapes. These are part of an American vine variety... More

'Ratatouille' Branded Wine

Disney’s consumer products division has to easily double the size of its creative department. In accordance with the studio's aim to squeeze every possible dollar out of a film, it will release wines based on the movie Ratatouille: "For the first time, Disney will offer red and white wines to complement the film's backdrop, a five-star Parisian restaurant, as well as cheese platters, both from Costco Wholesale Corp." Wine blogger Dr. Vino speculates that the whites will be Chardonnays from the Burgundy region of France. Something tells me that Thomas Keller’s palate (in use as consultant for the film) will not go into these mass-market wines. I may breach my no-Disney movie policy for this one, but I still don’t... More

Be Your Own Wine Critic

A quick correction: The kind people at Snooth pointed out that I am at least partially incompetent. If you search using the button "wines in stock" you are presented with a very helpful site that lists a variety of retailers and their pricing for that particular wine. For me, Corkd was intuitive but once you figure out Snooth's wine-purchasing system, you see they have pricing comparisons for over 200 retailers and it is quite easy to use.
Joe

Hot Wine, Cool Conditions

Wow swirlingnotions, your post was great! Thanks for sharing!
Joe

Wine or Beer: The Eternal Question

Thanks for sharing that great story! Please keep them coming!
-Joe

Where to eat in Italy? Can anyone recommend good trattorias?

I had a seriously disappointing experience at Aqua al 2. Blueberry steak? I think I'll pass. Also I'll take my 5 courses of pasta without the American tourists, please.

Where to eat in Italy? Can anyone recommend good trattorias?

Check out:
Osteria Santo Spirito (Florence on Piazza Santo Spirito)
Trattoria Martio (Florence) only open for lunch on the days that the Mercato Centrale is open

The Judgment of Paris

"Who makes the best wine?" Exactly the question they were trying to answer in the movie.

My answer; try as many wines as you possibly can and the wines you like the most are the best wines.

If its a wine I've never tried before I always look for the importer (which must be listed on every imported bottle) because there are some importers who have taste very close mine. Some of my favorites: Neal Rosenthal, Kermit Lynch, Robert Chadderdon and Terry Theisse.

Cheers,
Joe

Wine TV

Wine TV

I agree. With his whole "Vaynernation" and "Vayniacs" it seems like he's trying to build a TV persona. The Jim Cramer of wine?

Wines and Global Warming

That's a great point Ben. Something I always found to be peculiar is that when a peach is grown organically (in the U.S.) it is advertised as such but most organic wine makes no note anywhere on the bottle. Why do you think this is?

Wines and Global Warming

Hey Tyler,
Thanks for responding. By "travel" I mean that many of our favorite wines must travel great distances from the winery to our table. This wine "travel" has an environmental cost due to fuel use during transportation. If we purchase local or organic wines and recycle the bottles, we can try to offset some of this impact.

Although I don't doubt that bovine waste has a greater contribution to global warming - and I wouldn't get between anyone and the juicy bovine goodness that is a perfectly grilled hamburger - if we make informed purchasing decisions, whether it be wine or meat, we can ensure that bigfoot treads lightly and leaves shallow footprints.

You're right, this is a very complex topic and until New York starts making wine as good as the best of Europe I won't switch over to all local wine. I just hope to preserve some of my favorite wines by doing my part to slow global warming so that Champagne, France never becomes a red wine region.

Drink well,
Joe

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