As an immigrant, being understood is precious and mostly a magic to me. I often feel that I came from a different planet, not only in terms of language, but also culture. Logic or ways of thinking and life experience can be a big barrier. It's not people's fault. One time in Taiwan an American asked me for directions. He spoke Chinese, but I couldn't understand him, so I requested he speak English. He was disappointed.
For this reason, when I go to a wine bar with colleagues, I usually order something I can pronounce, such as… merlot. However, I always want to try something new. One day at Shutters with Vin, I took the opportunity to order something with a long name, something I couldn't pronounce, because I knew Vin would help me. I showed Vin what I wanted from the wine menu. Vin taught me the pronunciation and encouraged me to order by myself. The bar-tender came. "Mon..te..pool..chi..Ah..no", I said, with a broken Italian. I was preparing to repeat a few times followed by pointing to it on the menu - that's usually the case, but not on that day. "Good choice" he said. He didn't even need to pause and think when he heard my words!
Soon he came back with glasses and poured the wine in front of me. It was the best wine I ever had! Since then, Montepulciano became my favorite.
Vin and I went to Montepulciano, the actual wine making region in Italy. A “must-go” destination. Besides the stunningly beautiful orographic features and landscaping of Tuscany...it has my favorite wine! Our time there wasn't all wine cellars, fresh food and endless tastings, however. What else happened? A story for another time.