Blackberry Farm

Our Friend of the Farm

Anthony Giglio

Anthony Giglio

We recently asked Anthony Giglio a few questions!  Check out the Wine Geek event here at Blackberry Farm!

 To decant or not to decant?
I love to decant wines -  red, white, even Champagne, but not in the ceremonial, candle-under-the-bottle way, or into a fancy duck–shaped crystal gizmo, either. For me, it's about giving the wine some air if it seems closed, or if I know it's a monster that needs time to come around. But I do it at the table, without ceremony, and not too far in advance. I want to taste the wine as it blooms, not risk missing something while it's sitting on the table.

What wines do you like to drink?
If I can only open one bottle for a meal (unlikely, but let's pretend), it would be a red wine. Don't get me wrong -- I love white wines; I love rose wines; I love sparkling wines. But if my choices are limited, it would be red wine, something food-friendly (read: high acid), medium- to full-bodied, probably Old World. Oh, heck, it would be from France's Rhone Valley. It would would be a Grenache/Syrah/Mourvedre blend from the Southern Rhone, maybe from Chateauneuf-du-Pape. Or Cornas. Or Gigondas.

Screw cap or cork?
I have nothing against the screw cap - or as wine geeks call them, the Stelvin Closure. I tell people all the time to let go of their fears that screw caps equal plonk. While that can be true of some, well, plonk, there are thousands of excellent-quality wines out there in bottles you can twist to open. I love their practicality and their relative infallibility. But I do love the cork because I like the tradition of it, the feel of it, the ritual of extracting it. I believe I am playing both sides of the fence...

What glassware do you like?

I've built a career on the notion that wine shouldn't be taken too seriously, that it should be enjoyed casually and without ceremony. But I really do prefer a glass with a stem over stemless glasses. While I grew up drinking wine in tumblers, I appreciate the function of the stem (to keep the temperature of our hands off the wine, as well as keep it clean), and I actually like the feel of a well-proportioned glass. I have a lot of Riedel glasses in my cabinets; my favorite two styles are the Riedel Vinum Riesling glass for whites, and the Riedel Vinum Bordeaux glass for reds. And I like those Bordeaux glasses so much I use them more than anything else, meaning I drink white wine in them, too, as well as Champagne. I have no use for flutes (too narrow, too dainty). If, however, you were wondering what a great gift for me would be, it would be the Riedel Sommelier Series Bordeaux, a hand-blown masterpiece of a glass that costs more than most of the wines I'd pour into it!

Most memorable meal?
This is tough, because for more than a decade I was a restaurant critic in and around New York City. But if I tell you what just popped into my head it is this: A four-hour Lunch at Taillevent in Paris, a giant splurge of a meal that my wife Antonia surprised me with on our second anniversary. Right after the 9/11 attacks we decided to get out of the city and head to Paris to stay with friends. When we got to Taillevent we felt a bit out of sorts, maybe not dressed quite right, or flubbing our French, but when the owner, the late, great Jean-Claude Vrinat greeted us at our table and figured out were were Americans, he brimmed with emotion and proceeded to send every possible course he could our way -- paired with wines I got to choose -- without charging us for anything beyond the standard prix fixe. It was Babette's Feast in a lot nicer setting and without any guilt whatsoever.
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