Grignolino

Italy's Beaujolais is as rare as good chicken
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I always look for excuses to order light-bodied red wines, which can span a far wider variety of dishes than big reds (from, say, veal shoulder to tuna tartare), and they’re ideal with chicken. But they’re tricky. Sometimes they seem too thin, or astringent, or plain wimpy.

On a recent trip to Piedmont, the Italian region known for its weighty reds, I was reminded of how much I like Grignolino, the Beaujolais of Italy. It’s fresh and lively, with bright acidity and enough tannin to give it substance (the name is from a dialect word for pips—seeds—which contain tannin), and it has a light body that suits it to white meat. Grignolino was long a wine of the aristocracy, and is said to be a favorite of the Piedmont-based Agnelli family, the modern-day aristocracy of Italy. But very few Grignolino vines survived the late-nineteenth-century phylloxera epidemic, and today just 1 percent of Piedmont vineyards are planted with them. Luckily, the handful of producers who do make Grignolino take special care with it, and one of the most highly regarded, Accornero, sells its Bricco del Bosco Grignolino at Smith & Vine, in Brooklyn, New York (718-243-2864, www.smithandvine.com). Find a bottle, try it with an heirloom bird, and you’ll be supporting several endangered species. —

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Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." More

Corby Kummer's work in The Atlantic has established him as one of the most widely read, authoritative, and creative food writers in the United States. The San Francisco Examiner pronounced him "a dean among food writers in America." Julia Child once said, "I think he's a very good food writer. He really does his homework. As a reporter and a writer he takes his work very seriously." Kummer's 1990 Atlantic series about coffee was heralded by foodies and the general public alike. The response to his recommendations about coffees and coffee-makers was typical--suppliers scrambled to meet the demand. As Giorgio Deluca, co-founder of New York's epicurean grocery Dean & Deluca, says: "I can tell when Corby's pieces hit; the phone doesn't stop ringing." His book, The Joy of Coffee, based on his Atlantic series, was heralded by The New York Times as "the most definitive and engagingly written book on the subject to date." In nominating his work for a National Magazine Award (for which he became a finalist), the editors wrote: "Kummer treats food as if its preparation were something of a life sport: an activity to be pursued regularly and healthfully by knowledgeable people who demand quality." Kummer's book The Pleasures of Slow Food celebrates local artisans who raise and prepare the foods of their regions with the love and expertise that come only with generations of practice. Kummer was restaurant critic of New York Magazine in 1995 and 1996 and since 1997 has served as restaurant critic for Boston Magazine. He is also a frequent food commentator on television and radio. He was educated at Yale, immediately after which he came to The Atlantic. He is the recipient of five James Beard Journalism Awards, including the MFK Fisher Distinguished Writing Award.
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