Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Item number 3: Wine

I am 50% Italian and 50% French.  Those are not exactly the right genetic representations.  There are other mixtures in there.  I am certain I have a lot of Irish blood, per my penchant for swearing when other words might do just fine. According to my mom, we have some Spanish heritage. But take a quick look at that photo to the right, and you'll see that even in a black and white photo, I'm scary white. Spanish is going to be a hard one to sell.  Anyway, back to my first statement:  I'm 50% Italian and 50% French. 

In college, I began studying Italian and my Italian-born professor was calling out the attendance sheet on the first day of class.  She called out the first few names, Anderson, Adams, Banks, etc. When she saw my name, her eyes lit up.  My maiden name (weird) is Baratta, and Baratta is the Smith of Italy. Add to that, my first name, Julia, is derivative of Giulia, the north eastern region of Italy.  Her face went from excitement, "Giulia Baratta?" (r's rolled and t's said individually), to bewilderment as she squinted and tilted her head and I responded "Si, that means 'yes' right?"  She immediately asked me to list all the Italian words I knew. High point: I knew a couple, Low point: all apparently inappropriate. Thanks Grandpa.

My Papa, or my great Grandfather, was Paul Walti and grew up in San Francisco speaking Frenglish. He was an Opera singer (typical), and every time we came to the city we dropped by the Basque cultural center to eat escargo or flit about in fashionable shoes or whatever French things we did there.  All I can remember is that was the place where if I had the stomach flu, I needed a sip of red wine.  A headache? A sip of red wine.  I was grouchy?  Have a nap, oh and maybe a sip of red wine. Red wine anyone?

Why am I writing all of this?  Well, with half of me identifying Italian and the other half identifying French, I love me some wine. I am writing out my life list, or my bucket list - I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to call it just yet.  Item #3: Build and establish a wine collection worthy of a cellar.  I know a few varieties, and vineyards that I like, but in order to build a collection with diversity I'm going to need some suggestions.

Internets, do you like wine?  Which ones?

Click here to here my Grandpa Singing the San Francisco Giant's Anthem (on the bottom of the page)

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