How grosso (big) is this Sangiovese Grosso anyway?
The question and the answer implied are tricky ones. Usually, it’s asked by a non-Italian English-speaker whose Italian vocabulary is limited to mamma, pizza, and Bocelli — and unfortunately grosso when in reference to the grape variety.
It’s a trick question and it tends to interrupt my full-throttle presentation of the history, the appellation, the tasting characteristics, and the vintage in question.
It’s a trick question that arrives as I am describing the uniqueness of Sangiovese that’s grown in my backyard.
I can’t even get to the third syllable of Sangio… without being interrupted by someone who wants to show off how much she or he knows and what an expert she or he is simply because they have inquired as to whether or not the grapes are grosso.
I smile as I give them a sidelong glance and answer, nodding yes, yes. And then I try to pick up where I left off.
Of course, I’d rather respond by saying, who the hell cares if it’s grosso, how grosso it is, and when it became grosso in the first place? You don’t even care what kind of soil the grape grows in, and with what exposure, and if it’s been growing for years or decades, or if it’s the product of a dry or humid vintage… all you care about is whether or not it’s grosso?
Just drink the damn wine and shut the hell up!