Loving wine

Loving wine
Mr Paolo Baracchino is a lawyer, journalist, Fine Wine Critic, member of the Italian Sommelier Association (AIS) and the Grand Jury Européen du Vin.
He is an internationally renowned wine critic who will introduce us to the world of wine and its secrets, starting with this first article written for Dichecibo6? Magazine.
Together with all the editorial staff, I truly want to thank him for his valuable contribution.


The kind and dear Nicoletta Arbusti asked me to collaborate with her, leaving me carte blanche on the contents of my contributions on wine. I must confess that wine is not just a drink, a food, a trend; it is something more profound.

It is the tie that links life, people, awareness, history, emotions, aromas and flavours that wine can convey. The scents of wine take me back in time to when I was a child. Sometimes scents of salt and iodine emerging from the wine bring me to my childhood in Leghorn, my hometown. To the libeccio wind and the sea hitting on the rocks; to the beach resort I frequented; the sea air on my face and salty water, and to licking my lips to sense their saltiness. Often I recollect those smells and flavours in some sapid and mineral wines. Believe me, when I think of wine, I become like a flooding river. I always enjoy communicating many and then many other thoughts, sensations, and emotions. However, let’s start from the beginning of my encounter with wine.

I started tasting wine at the age of eighteen, and consequently, over the years, I became more and more passionate about this nectar of the Gods. In 1998, I attended the first sommelier course at the Italian Sommelier Association. In 2000, I attained the sommelier diploma. Back in 1998, I had begun to write down my tasting notes on the wines I uncorked and tasted and, in November 2003, I joined the Grand Jury Européen association, based in Bordeaux. This entry permitted me to taste the most important wines in the world. I am a committed lawyer, but wine is my love and passion. Everything I do in the world of wine has zero profit. But I gladly withstand its cost. I have written, and I am still writing, for magazines in the sector. My interest in cooking goes arm in arm with wine.

When I sit at a table to have a pleasant meal accompanied by wines, at first, I am interested in tasting them carefully and writing my tasting notes. The food-wine pairing, for me, is relevant but not essential.

When I am in front of wines that I do not know, I feel tense and emotional because I want to go through them and understand them.

All this represents my love for wine. Attending the world of wine is exciting because you know the most different people. Sometimes you get to meet economically wealthy but straightforward people who approach the world of wine, which they know little about, with simplicity, humbleness and the desire to improve their knowledge and wines. On the contrary, there are also wine producers, luckily just a few, who only think about making money without considering producing decent wine. In my opinion, these people are not worthy of any consideration and esteem. Few people are fully aware of how to savour wines. You should taste the wine calmly and examine it visually, its smell and taste. They are three key aspects that help us realize many things. It makes me smile who, at wine tastings, thinks to grasp everything of the wine just by taking a few seconds to taste it. Each wine, at least for me, needs 4-5 tastings. Each tasting should last 15-20 minutes.

First, when you uncork the wine, you smell the cork and try to understand if it presents an issue. Beware! Even if it is rare, it may happen that a stopper does not show faults, but the wine does.

On the other hand, olfactory problems coming from the cork sound the death knell for the wine. It is certainly imperfect. I found it very useful to participate in the tastings at the Grand Jury Européen. On these occasions, we tasted the best wines in the world, and during each session of about five tasting cycles, along two days and a half, they uncorked around 500 bottles of wine. The time to catch if the corks and the wines were good was short and fast.

I have got used to smelling the cork in two or three seconds and immediately understand if it shows problems or not.

Approaching the wine world and wine tasting, I realized I have good olfactory abilities and have become helpful to the oenologists I knew. I encouraged them to understand the qualities and imperfections of the wines they produced according to the perfume I sensed. 

I will stop here because this writing represents my first introduction to you. I do not know what I will write about in the future. I could write about my feelings, my experiences and the wine tastings I organize. It may be fitting to write about the conditions and the visual, olfactory and gustatory analysis to approach the world of wine. We will see. For sure, it will be an immense delight for me to write about wine.


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