A guy learns a lot at gatherings like the Wine Writers Symposium, about story pitches, what goes into making good (or flawed) wine, consumer tendencies, etc., etc.
In other words, the event is rife with discovery. And, it turns out, rediscovery.
I was yacking with W.R. Tisherman, a k a “Tish,” a great writer, insanely prolific Tweeter (@TishWine) and general bon vivant. Not sure how we got there, but at one point he mentioned that Gallo had reintroduced its Hearty Burgundy, one of our generation’s “gateway” wines in its halcyon jug days, and that it was actually really good.
Intrigued, I asked my Gallo contact, the ever-affable Kristina Kelley, for a sample. The new iteration comes in a 2-liter bottle with a splashy 50th-anniversary label.
And, well, Tish was right. It’s a damn good wine, tasty and (yes) hearty, nicely layered with a clean, semi-robust finish. It’s also a fun wine, at least for those of us who like to try to guess what grapes are in the bottle.
Regardless of what they are, they were picked at just-right ripeness and painstakingly blended. I never would have thought I would say this, but the Gallo Hearty Burgundy is Wine of the Week material.
So it was great to meet new folks and firm up fairly new friendships at the Symposium. But it was just as cool to be reunited with this old friend.