I’ll Drink to That: Mapmaker Alessandro Masnaghetti

Episode 417 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Alessandro Masnaghetti, the editor of Enogea and publisher of several groundbreaking maps of wine regions.

Alessandro Masnaghetti started his career as a Nuclear Engineer on the very same day that Italy announced it would cease pursuing nuclear energy as a country. Despite that setback, Masnaghetti has had by his own account a notably lucky and happy life, finding mentors in key figures in the Italian wine field who initiated him into their world. Key among those mentors was Luigi Veronelli, who replied to a letter Alessandro had written him with keen encouragement, and who introduced Alessandro to his future wife. Veronelli also entrusted Alessandro with an editorial role in his prestigious wine guide, an honor that, as Alessandro explains in this interview, could cut both ways. Veronelli also bankrolled Alessandro’s first set of wine maps, the genre for which Alessandro has since become famous throughout the world. At first, like with his early engineering job, Alessandro faced setbacks with the maps, but with time and persistence, as well as some lessons learned, his outlines have found their place. Interestingly, Alessandro seems more interested in the cultural connotations of the lines on the maps than in the geographical ones, and his comments about understanding wine within the cultural context of its production can be food for thought. Certainly there is a lot to learn by listening to what Alessandro has to say.

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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