Blog | 4 Dicembre 2017 | Fabio Ciarla
There’s little interest in BeneBene, perhaps because it’s not “cool”?
Anyone who follows Enoagricola on Facebook will have noticed the photo I posted last Sunday with this comment: “Today Gambero Rosso’s #BereBene 2018, with many fine wines and little publicity (apparently): overlapping events or little interest?”
I was at Rome’s Sheraton Hotel for the presentation of BereBene2018, the guidebook on excellent Italian wines under €13 published by Gambero Rosso. OK, a comparison with Tre Bicchieri isn’t possible, and maybe there were overlapping events that were better to avoid anyway (Fivi Market in Piacenza, Vins Extremes in Aosta, ViVite in Milan and the Giro d’Italia in Rieti), but the impression of a low-class event even for the press was inevitable. Why is this so? I mean, exceptional wines are often produced in limited quantity and consumed on very rare occasions. The labels presented at BereBene are everyday wines: affordable, (almost always) pleasant, and often available for purchase at the corner store. Of course, all of this makes it less “cool”. Admittedly, there are few photos of people holding a bottle of €10 wine, no matter how good it might be. It’s just not chic. But going to an exclusive event to have your picture taken with a bottle that costs hundreds of euro is, even if those wines are often sampled only at wine trade shows. That will garner likes and envy for sure! OK, so can we grow up?
The wines present at BereBene are precisely the ones that the Old World must promote. First and foremost, domestic wines should be pushed, but also foreign wines, given their high commercial value. These everyday wines, “lightweight” for some (but in a positive sense), are our strongest asset in terms of originality, reach and local economies. If we lose them, then we’ll also lose our top wines, the “classics”. But above all, we’ll have lost our roots . . .
BereBene showcased many excellent wines and, fortunately, many producers; more than are present at the Tre Bicchieri event, and all eager to discuss their experiences and estates. The only flaw, once again, was the system of access to the hall: in practice, anyone dishonest can easily enter without paying. A grave error, but one that’s even worse at Tre Bicchieri, where anyone could easily enter without paying and feel even “cooler” . . . or be honest, pay €60 and feel “ripped off”.