With less than a fortnight until the regional finals of the Trophy Ruinart, Ive been thinking a lot recently about how much I dont know. So much still to learn and so little time to do it all in. Italy remains my biggest stumbling block, and I still find it hard enough motivating myself to get right into it and study the region. One problem is that compared to other regions, there are relatively few books on Italy. There are hundreds of books on Burgundy, loads on Bordeaux, Australia and New Zealand are fairly well covered, but when it comes to Italy, the only one I can find in the bookshops is the Gambero Rosso Italian wine guide, which is really a publishing of the results of the annual tasting by the Slow Food society. Ive been wanting to get my hands on a copy of Burton Andersons Wine Atlas of Italy, but the only ones that I can find are £160 second hand from America. It seems it is regarded as the single most authorative book on Italian wines ever written, so it seems bizarre that it hasnt been re-printed. Anyway, theres not much chance of me ponying up that kind of cash for a wine-book, although the most I have spend to date was £110 for Cocks, Ferets Bordeaux and its wines 15th Edition. (They are now on the 17th edition and it is undoubtably the biggest reference book on the estates of bordeaux and the wines they produce. )
So until I can find a cheaper copy of the wine atlas, Italy it seems will always remain my achilles heel. Unless of course I can persuade a generous supplier to take me on an educational visit (aka Jolly) to Italy!!!