Cocktail book author and mixologist Anthony Giglio reviews the history of Southern Italian wines. Cocktail book author and mixologist Anthony Giglio reviews the history of Southern Italian wines.
[MUSIC] I grew up in an Italian American family. And the joke all weekend has been cuz my whole family's here, my parents My sister-in-law, my two sisters, my two kids. But it's the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond is here behind me, so it's everybody loves Anthony is the joke. But, I grew up in a very, very big Italian family, very close knit. How many have dined in Italian households? It's not so bad in the basement, right? It's really not that bad. There's the show house. There's the show living room with the plastic furniture. There's the show kitchen that you dust Down the basement is where it all happens. We have fantastic amounts of super eight photography from the 60s. Everyone partying like they're at the world of Astoria, and it's the basement of my house in Jersey City. This is to put it all in perspective. It is New Years Eve 1966 My parents are attending the New Years Eve gala in their basement that's hosted by my grandparents. My mother comes down, and she's in a floor length, white sequins gown. Her hair is, 1966, Priscilla Presley beehive in an unnatural black, not her hair color, and she looks gorgeous. And she's out to here pregnant with me. Then all of a sudden, there's mom at the end. They're all sitting in a circle and they're holding Manhattans, parliaments, and they're finally saying, happy new year. My mother actually pats her belly with her parliament and her Manhattan and toasts. This explains my taste for Bourbon to this day and my height. So, Italian lessons, you got here. We're gonna talk about some phonetics that will help you on your path to southern Italy. We are talking about the speed bump of Italian, which is in my name, the GL which becomes [SOUND] like million, the LY sound in million. So you have [UNKNOWN] Giglio. Is that a revelation? I thought it was "gigallo," I thought it was "giggle-o." We have the GN, which is kind of like the Spanish N with the tilde, the nye. We have vin-ya, we have sardena. Here's a freebie I'm throwing you. Really not in the Italian vocabulary dictionary but, when you see A-I-A, it's aya. Aya. This attached to any wine means a really great wine. So you take big glasses of it when people offer your. We are talking about Italy's [UNKNOWN]. This is the South. This is the piss-poor South. When we talk about the South, there really wasn't much to talk about for many, many years And that's because the South was really trapped in a cooperative system for the last 50 years of the 20th Century. Post World War II Southern Italy was a disgrace vino culturally. They were making tons of wine under the cooperative system but the government forced them And it was basically either make the wine, sell it to the cooperative or go out of business, so to stay alive people took the stipends and made really crappy wine. Really not much from the South. Now the hottest wines from Italy are from these places in the South, and you know it now. 5000 years ago the Greeks planted grapes and the Romans followed up 3000 years later. These are really old grapes. We are tasting some of the oldest grapes on the planet. Today. That one being, the government was advising to tear them up to plant Chardonnay and Cabernet in the 70s. You have producers that we're gonna see today, producers with names like Dia del San Gregorio, Agricola Punica. These are producers that said no, to the government. They said, we'll find funding. We'll find backers. We will not tear up our grapes, and we'll eschew We'll renounce any subsidies of the government. The government thought we were crazy. Now the government is thanking them for not tearing up, 2,000 grapes still exist in Southern Italy that were planted during the Greek and Roman empire. Is that crazy? 2,000, you're going to have maybe a half a dozen today. [MUSIC]