Archive for February, 2008

Amore per le macchine

“Imbottigliamento,” she whispered in my ear, her husky voice the sensual texture of soft tannins. “Pigia…” — she paused, taunting me — “diraspatrici.” My palms began to sweat. I’m a married man, but who among you would not also have been swayed? I took out my credit card…

Si, si, la mia amore. Now that last year’s harvest is safely hibernating in the cellar, it’s time to turn our attention to the finer, more stainless steel things in life: a better bottler (imbottigliamento; and specifically una riempitrice (filler) in the Italian native to the best manufacturers of them), if not a stemmer-crusher (or pigia-diraspatrice). Doesn’t everything sound better in Italian?

It certainly did to me. Before the dollar plummeted any further against the Euro, a lusty voice inside told me to buy and I did, picking up a new 5-bottle filler in advance of our epic bottling later this spring. Courtesy of Enotecnica Pillan, an Italian company headquartered in the heart of the Veneto, northwest of Venice, behold what beauty can be captured in 304-type stainless steel:
Our new Enotecnica Pillan 5-spout filler
From the English version of their website:

With the handicraft tradition “of the done good things” work from over 50 years in the manufacture of several models of crushers, destemmers, presses for the grape, filters for the wine and machines for the working of the fruit.

The Babelfish, has it not the bringing of us to greater closeness?

Actually, that bit in the quotes is “delle cose fatte bene” in the original (ancora, più bello in Italiano, si?), which is probably better translated as “of well-made things,” or more loosely, a tradition “of making things well.” This filler of the bottles is no exception. For a previous bottling or two, we’ve had the good fortune to borrow one from a friend who works for Edgefield. It easily surpasses the test of a great tool: once you get the hang of it, it stops being an inanimate, herky piece of hardware and becomes into a fluid extension of whatever you’re doing. Beautiful.

Now, uh, how do I get this lipstick off my collar?

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It’s Oscar time… for wine blogs

Don’t tell Joan Rivers, but she’ll be snarking the wrong Oscars tonight: the much more prestigious and important event is the Oscars of the wine blogging world – the American Wine Blog Awards – now taking nominations until February 27th.

Generously wrangled by Tom Wark at his excellent Fermentation blog, the Awards celebrate the apogee of inspiration across eight different categories, including (oh, to pick a few at random – ahem) “Best Winery Blog,” “Best Wine Blog Writing”, and “Best Wine Blog Graphics.”

Now, it goes without saying that we’d be flattered and humbled if you nominated our efforts here, but there’s a lot of great wine blog action there, so now’s the time to show you favorites some love. A great place to start, actually, is our list of Wine Links at right.

But should you be so moved, you can nominate us here. There, in the right column, you’ll find a list of categories: just click the one in which you want to nominate us, and then post a comment with your vote and our URL (

Again nominations close February 27th, so pull that black party dress out of the closet and limo on over to Fermentation. Thanks as always for your support!

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