Episode 379 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently and features Maria Teresa Mascarello, the proprietor of Cantina Bartolo Mascarello.
Maria Teresa Mascarello rarely leaves the town of Barolo that she grew up in, and she does not do the market visits that are common in the wine business. She has not, for example, ever been to New York. She would rather welcome visitors to her cantina in the Piemonte, and she remains there most days, greeting the many, many customers from all around the world who have been drawn to her door. They come because they have heard of the high quality of the wines, yes, but also for something else: a sensation that has more to do discovering the identity of a classic wine region. On a search for its soul, perhaps. This is the kind of inspiration that Maria Teresa can instill in others, and she is one of the rare producers to explicity discuss identity as a part of winemaking, way beyond the regular notion of terroir. Indeed, for Maria Teresa, it would seem that perceiving a vineyard terroir is just the most basic level of appreciation for the wine. In her words the whole world of a place – the people shopping at the local bakery, the spire of the church building, the animals butchered for the local cuisine – is tied together in a wine. And indeed she believes that one of the measures of a wine’s success is that people will stick around and work the vineyards that produce it. Think about that for a minute. But although she may be the conscience of the region she lives in, Maria Teresa rarely leaves it, and for this reason interviews with her are something of a rarity. If you would like to hear her speak in her own cadence, episode 379 of the I’ll Drink to That! podcast provides you with a chance to do just that. If you have not been to Barolo before, this is a unique chance to experience something. If you have been there before, you will recognize it immediately again.
I’ll Drink to That is the world’s most listened-to wine podcast, hosted by Levi Dalton. Levi has had a long career working as a sommelier in some of the most distinguished and acclaimed dining rooms in America. He has served wine to guests of Restaurant Daniel, Masa, and Alto, all in Manhattan. Levi has also contributed articles on wine themes to publications such as The Art of Eating, Wine & Spirits magazine, Bon Appetit online, and Eater NY. Check out his pictures on Instagram and follow him on Twitter: @leviopenswine