This first photo is of the moon last night. I learned this morning that it was a “super moon” and actually closer to the earth. So it wasn’t the wine!
I started school today. I had to take a five-page test. The last three sections were of tenses I hadn’t studied. They put me in A2, which is where I was last summer. I met a woman from Dallas named Dixie, and we ended up in the same class with a German couple: Stefano and Manuela. I guess those are their Italian names. Our teacher is Alberto, and he’s good and very patient. He makes us respond only in complete sentences. Our schedule is: 8:45 – 10:15 with Patrizia, a pausa, and then two more classes with Alberto until 1:15, with another break. The school is in the heart of town on the Corso. During the break I made a reservation for dinner nearby. I think a week is not enough time to advance in my Italian, so I will have to practice in Austin. Dixie has only studied in Texas with an Italian club in Dallas. I must do that in Austin.
Soon we are going to meet Jennifer or Jenny Criswell for a tour of the Politziano winery. She wrote a memoir that I read, At Least You’re in Tuscany, all about leaving her life as a lawyer and then dog walker in NYC to come live in Montepulciano. At first, she didn’t know anyone and only a little Italian, but she took lessons at my school, Il Sasso, and taught English lessons to a family that owns the winery. They needed an English speaker to help with the tourists, and now she has a job there.
The visit to the Politziano winery was really interesting. It was fun to meet the author, Jenny, and to have already made connections with parts of her memoir. We learned all about the vineyards, the process, the barrels, the aging in the casks and also in the bottles. Then we got to taste the wines. Our very favorite was the Vino Nobile Asinino. Vino Nobile is the wine the region is most famous for. The last word literally means ass, because if you look at a map of the vineyards, the grapes for this wine are grown in a section shaped like a donkey’s head! We bought a bottle of this one and also Mandrone di Lhosa, which is made with grapes from a vineyard near the coast. It was Jack’s favorite. It had a smoky taste, good for barbecues. Usually when wine people say things, such as “smoky,” I only taste, well, a wine taste, but I did taste the smoky flavor today.