"Robbe-Grillet Cleansing Every Object in Sight", 1981, by Mark Tansey, (MOMA NY)

Cleaning the Big Cellar: Bargain Old Nebbiolo (and Freisa, Grignolino, and Brachetto)

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I can’t pretend that I know anything about Alain Robbe-Grillet beyond his Wikipedia page; when it’s time to read (or go to a movie) I go for Forrester over Foucault, Dickens over Derrida. But even though I don’t really get it, I’ve always loved this painting by Mark Tansey, which depicts Robbe-Grillet brushing the debris of civilization (at this scale the easiest to spot in the rubble are the Sphynx, and Stonehenge). The idea that someone (in this case a French author and filmmaker) can try to ‘clean’ the past just tickles me.

 

What this has to do with cleaning the Big Cellar is tenuous at best, but it turns out that there is good old wine in Piedmont beyond Barolo and Barbaresco – in fact there’s some very good old wine from Piedmont beyond Nebbiolo. I’ve tasted quite a few random examples in the last few years and they’ve never failed to surprise – in the best possible sense. Jamie Wolff

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