I’ll Drink to That: Winemaker Cristiana Tiberio

Episode 395 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Cristiana Tiberio of the Tiberio winery in Italy’s Abruzzo region.

“If names are not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things. If language is not in accordance with the truth of things, affairs cannot be carried on to success.” The quote is from Confucius, and the 6th century BCE, but it could just as easily have been Cristiana Tiberio speaking about the situation she sees today. One of Cristiana’s essential points is that Trebbiano d’Abruzzo is widely varied, consisting of some mix or another of a whole bunch of different iterations of the Trebbiano grape family. She says in this interview that there are lots of different types of Trebbiano, but all of them are referred to as the same wine from the Abruzzo. This is a frustrating situation for Cristiana, especially in the case of the grape variety that she specializes in, the Trebbiano Abruzzese. She feels that this particular grape has a lot of advantages over your typical, run of the mill Trebbiano, especially when it comes to taste of the resulting wine. But the appellation rules lump Trebbiano Abruzzese in with all the others when it comes to wine designation. If you were unaware of this situation, you may be likewise surprised by a number of other reveals that Cristiana shares in this interview, including concise observations about grape varieties like Montepulciano and Pecorino in Abruzzo. It turns out that there is a spectrum of differences among these too, although they are often understood to be only one thing. How should we better differentiate them and thus speak more accurately? Cristiana has some ideas for carrying that conversation to success.

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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