Wine Situation Final Five (Now With Drunk Dialing!)

The Wine Situation hosts everyone from winemakers to writers to find out what a person’s situation is…with wine. It’s the solo season with host Ellen Clifford, but listen in with a glass, and nobody is drinking alone! In lieu of guests, at the end of every action packed episode Ellen is phoning a friend with her Final Five questions. This week Ellen talks to writer Robert Camuto, whose latest book on the wines of southern Italy, “South of Somewhere”, just came out! Check out the full episode here THE FINAL FIVE (Ever so slightly edited for length!): QUESTION ONE Ellen: Question number one, whatcha drinking these days? Robert: Aglianico del Vulture , we had some at lunch today—we were at Marino’s restaurant, we had an event there with Oliver McCrum, the wine importer— Aglianico is a grape that has a lot going for it, and it’s grown in the deep deep south of Basilicata, in the Vulture area, and also in Campania, inland of Naples in the Taurasi appellation. And I think those two expressions are really interesting. It’s one of those wines that has a lot of power, and a lot of tannins, but also, I think it’s being interpreted by a new generation of producers where you also have freshness added, where it’s not being overly extracted as it was in the past. For white wine, I think that Italy’s a place that’s generally known for red wine, but it’s got some phenomenal whites that layer on a lot of complexity. In particular in the south, the Campania area has Fiano. Fiano is just a grape that has so much aromatic and mineral complexity, and it ages in a way like even Riesling . I think it’s a fascinating white grape. QUESTION TWO Ellen: Question number two is do you have a favorite pairing? Or is there an unusual pairing that you wouldn’t have expected to like that you did? Robert: And unusual pairing is Fiano with mozzarella, fresh mozzarella. You get that delicious creaminess and almost indescribable mozzarella texture that the Fiano plays off beautifully. QUESTION THREE Ellen: Question number three is, was there a wine that made you say “okay yes, this is what I want to do with life”? Robert: I would say I really love southern wines that don’t taste like they’re from the south, and what I mean by that is they have that element of freshness and energy. I’ve carried that through my wine experience from France to Italy. I mean of course the years I spent in France—I love Burgundy , I’m very partial to Chambolle-Musigny . And I love traveling along the Rhone Valley . And I love finding in some Southern Rhone expressions that kind of freshness and energy. QUESTION FOUR Ellen: Next question is, were you to make your own wine—and maybe you have—what would you like to make and what would you call it? Robert: I did make my own wine for a number of years. This was actually in France. I had a wine buddy who actually now lives in Sacramento. I had planted Syrah , and the reason I did it was not so much to make a wine, but to understand the decisions that winemakers have to go through. We made about a hundred bottles a year, and we called it “Deux Gars”, it means “two guys”. QUESTION FIVE Ellen: The last question, and your answer can be related to wine or not, is what is bringing you joy these days? Robert: Right now, springtime, and the seasons, and looking forward to a year of traveling again. For the next couple of weeks I’m in California. It’s great to be discovering that with my guide, Allison of Please the Palate. And I’m looking forward to traveling in Italy and discovering some of these places that I haven’t been to in a while. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been to Sicily, I’m looking forward to going there in April. I’m looking forward to going to Umbria in May, and hitting a lot of other places in southern Italy and Italy in general. *** Robert’s book, “South of Somewhere” can be found wherever you find books! Follow him @robertcamutowrites to see what he’s up to next! Check out the previous Wine Situation podcast with Maryam Ahmed here .

Geierslay Kilburg

Ohligsberg Riesling Kabinett 2020

Served with Vinloq System
👃Chalky with apples, smoke, petrol and wet pavement
👅White fruits with smoke. Fresh. Nice depth of flavors. Teeth cleaning acidity. Just the right kabinett sweetness. Nice lift. Impressive

Stored in fridge with Vinloq Preservation

The nose is slightly funky and largely fruitless. The fruit arrives on the palate. The combination works nicely. Finishes with a candied sweetness that turns dry on the tongue.

Resembles Julian Haart’s Ohligsberg in style and that is a very good thing🙌
My first Max Kilburg wine will not be my last☝️

*Full note on Instagram @ “Vinloq.notes”
— 2 years ago

Ira, Tom and 21 others liked this

Grifalco di Lucania

Bosco Del Falco Aglianico del Vulture 2007


Surprised by deep runny inky color. Herbal savory dried dark fruit nose and complex earthy palate that’s still rather tannic and long finish with a bit of heat. Almost overpowered our first pasta carbonara in long time but an excellent wine. — 2 years ago

Ira and Severn liked this


Rotondo Aglianico del Vulture DOC Aglianico 2013

Leather, bacon fat, and blackberry on the nose and palate. Big structure, high acidity and plenty of fruit. Very good! — 2 years ago

Tom, Romain and 3 others liked this

F.X. Pichler

Unendlich Smaragd Wachau Riesling 2016

This had another level mid-palate and the finish hair-raising. Nearly overwhelming. Acid for more than a minute. Wow. — 2 years ago

Ira, Andrew and 9 others liked this

Grifalco di Lucania

Aglianico del Vulture 2017

As you open this wine you begin a trip to the arch of Italy’s boot. Although this southern, mountainous region has a few small vineyards under vine. The big red grape Aglianico is limited to the slopes of an extinct volcano Mount Vulture. Notes of blackberry, black cherry and wild herbs. Well-balanced and tamed. On hold for 5 years and it’s sensational. — 2 years ago

Tenuta del Meriggio

Fiano Di Avellino 2019

Tenuta Del Meriggio Fiano Di Avellino DOCG 2019: Medium-bodied. Light acidity. Bold inviting taste. A sophisticated & intense floral nose with fresh citrus-driven flavors. Nice minerality. Medium-long dry finish. Made from 100% Fiano, a white Italian wine grape variety grown primarily in the Campania region, this is a great Southern Italian wine selection that would pair excellently with seafood dishes, light pasta sauces & various cheese boards. Ottimo vino! Cheers🍷 — 2 years ago

Severn and Trixie liked this

Peter Lauer

Stirn Faß 15 Riesling 2009

Deep and dense. Powdery, crystalline mouthfeel of ginger, saffron and rockdust. Sweet candied citrusfruit, yellow flowers, tropical nuances, warm slate and a touch bloodorange bitterness in the back. Lovely acidic backbone. The warm vintage gives this wine its richness, creamy mouthfeel and sweetish midpalate. — 2 years ago

Peter, Peter and 11 others liked this

I Favati

Pietrama Fiano di Avellino 2019

Surprisingly great pairing! I’ll echo another comment here claiming this bottle explains minerality in wine effortlessly. More fruit in evidence on night 2. Still long and refreshing. Ashiness showing up too. Will I be able to make it to night 3? — 2 years ago

Sarah Bignami
with Sarah
Ceccherini, Sharon and 10 others liked this

Cantina del Barone

Paone Campania Fiano 2018

Hay Smokey Briney, so intoxicatingly aromatic, lemon bright acidity mineral dry finish — 3 years ago

Fabio, Martin and 6 others liked this
Karen B Song

Karen B Song

So aromatic