I may only be a new raconteur of wine. I remember reading about this wine, and I had to discover it and decide for myself, as the story was intriguing.
On the back label of the bottle I quote;
“In the year 1111, the Bavarian Bishop Baron Johannes Fugger was traveling to Rome under the instructions of Emperor Henry V. The nobleman, a connoisseur of wine, sent his faithful servant ahead to chalk the word EST! (“It is”) at the entrance of every inn where the wine was especially good. The servant was so enthusiastic about the wine of Montefiascone that he wrote EST! EST!! EST!!! on a local inn.
The Baron never reached Rome. Agreeing with his servants choice he remained in Montefiascone.
The story is commemorated in Montefiascone every year in August when a barrel of EST! EST!! EST!!! is poured over his tomb.”
Further to the legend is that the Baron actually drank himself to death on the spot. Whether or not this is true, it is lore that the village revels in.
The wine is a very pleasant white wine, what I would refer to as unassuming. It was a decent wine, though I know that I would not drink myself to death over it. The story was good enough for me to want to try a bottle of it. That my friend is the true wonder and the cause of my continuing love of wine, that there is always another bottle to try, a region, a grape variety.
Of course I remember the old priests in the neighborhood, even though they were of Italian or Hungarian descent, all had that Barry Fitzgerald persona and were known to have a glass of wine or two. It is still a tradition, as my Bride always goes down to the cellar to get a wonderful bottle to give to her priest on Christmas. Then my Father loved to tell the story about our priest who came to bless our house in Detroit. He came from my Grandmother’s village so she was adamant that when he presented his flask, that it should be filled with the Crown Royal and not the Canadian Club. My Father would laugh and say that the flask held a fifth. This has nothing to do with wine, but I get off on tangents periodically.