Episode 431 of I’ll Drink to That! was released recently, and it features Victor Hazan, who wrote the book “Italian Wine,” published in 1982. Victor also co-wrote several cookbooks with his wife, the late Marcella Hazan.
Victor Hazan is an exquisite writer, and if you have had a chance to read some of his work, you will be familiar with his knack for an elegant turn of phrase. So I was surprised when Victor directly called out a prominent Italian winemaker as a “terrorist” in this discussion. Terrorist, not terroirist: that was a bit of a shock. Clearly, Victor did not want to pull any punches in this interview, or to detour around issues that he has been considering since the late 1970s, when he began writing about Italian wine. This episode has Victor’s own thoughts down on tape, the inner murmurings that he has kept to himself since he declined to write further about wine, many years ago. Victor doesn’t seem to be lashing out here, but rather delivering a judgement of himself and his own actions. Who was he to write about these wine subjects, he wonders aloud in this interview, as only “one little old man?” At 90, Victor may have now found the freedom to announce his true feelings in a way that he has previously avoided. Any time someone wants to come to grips with their own legacy, the effort alone can be a stimulus to new ideas. It is here.
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