A Quick Look at Slow Wine

Jonathan Gebser of Slow Wine Magazine
Jonathan Gebser of Slow Wine Magazine

Most of the wine trade who show up at a tasting event are there to answer one question and one question only: “What do I want to buy for my [shop, restaurant, wine bar]?” We media folk are looking for stories. Which is probably why Anne was a little disappointed by the Slow Wine tasting event in Los Angeles.

Not by the wine, mind you. These were some of the best buys Italy has to offer. They were fabulous across the board, although Michael found one that really stirred his heart strings.

But the event was more about selling Italian wines than it was about Slow Wine or the Slow Food Movement, which we are very interested in. Fortunately, we did get a quick chat with one of the editors of the Slow Wine Magazine, an online magazine featuring Italian wines.

“Slow Wine is a part of Slow Food, actually,” said Jonathab Gebser, Assistant Editor at the magazine. “It was just a little later that Slow Food started applying their philosophy of quality food to wine.”

Slow Food is the international organization founded in 1989 in Italy that encourages and supports food that is Good, Clean and Fair, in terms of high quality food, cleanly produced and socially just across the board.

“We look for this quality… The three principles of good, clean and fair,” Gebser said about the magazine’s focus. “Clean agriculture, sustainable agriculture, good quality products, good taste and healthy products, and fair, which regards fair payment for the producers, but also fair prices for the consumer.”

Social justice is a big issue for many wineries and vineyards, especially here in California, where farm workers are frequently underpaid for some of the most miserably hard work ever done.

We did not get to talk to the producers about the Slow Food/Wine thing. They were too busy pouring for potential customers. But we did get to hear some great stories that we hope we’ll get to share with you in the future. As for the wine that so impressed Michael? It was the La Gironda Barbera D’Asti Nizza 2011 – which is made from a special harvest. Michael thought it was the best wine of the day. “Nice balance of fruit, acidity and flavors that were not overly rustic,” he wrote in his notes. “A nice sipper that really sings with a bit of fat on the palate.” You can bet he is going to track down the importer and get some more of it.

And it was tagged as a particularly good example of a Slow Wine. Hey, we’re down with that.

7 thoughts on “A Quick Look at Slow Wine”

  1. I wasn’t aware that Slow Wine was originally part of the Slow Food movement. The missing element on fair still seems to be the laborer. Many of the Piedmont producers get it right so I’ll keep my eyes open for this one.

    1. This missing element always seems to be the laborer. In fact, we asked Gebser about that and he said that the laborers were included. We just didn’t include that part of the quote because it didn’t read right.

  2. Interesting – I hadn’t heard of Slow Wine. Since my head is obviously in the sand, any chance you could share sources when you do track down these very appealing wines? Thanks much!

    1. We’ll be happy to share our sources as we find them. The only problem is the distribution may be so tight a given wine is only available in one or two cities in the U.S. The way the business works. Sigh.

  3. I’m very interested in the slow food and wine movement – one of my friends was just in Italy for the international slow food conference and she came back with so much information to share. I’d love to learn more about incorporating wine in this movement.

    1. You can try clicking the link to the magazine, but I think it’s mostly about Italian wines. California wineries with the Sustainability In Practice (SIP) certification share many of the same ideals.

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