My friend the professor

by Daniele Cernilli 04/24/17
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Il mio amico professore

“Danny! Did you know that for the past couple of years we’ve been writing the same things?”“Yes, I noticed but whereas what you write is based on your scientific research, mine is only more or less journalistic intuition. But I’m glad that we reach the same conclusions”. This exchange took place a couple of months ago between yours truly and Luigi Moio, who I affectionately call “O Professore” in reference to his southern Campania roots and the fact that he teaches enology at the Federico II University in Naples. Luigi recently wrote a visionary book, published by Mondadori, entitled “The Breath of Wine” which is, in my modest opinion, the clearest and most efficient educational text ever written on the subject. This is an important, comprehensible and scientifically ‘correct’ book which all wine lovers should read to understand and properly inform themselves on a range of topics that have often fallen victim to “second-hand” opinions often motivated by ideological or anti-scientific slants. And this approach is something Luigi and I totally agree on and see as the most authentic and important way to tackle matters related to wine. This is a subject he teaches every day and he has now come out with book targeted for a more general public, one written by someone who knows what they are talking about. Those who know him, who have heard him speak in public, cannot deny that he has a boundless passion for the subject and an ability to express himself that is unique among his colleagues and not only. Moio is a professor, for sure, but he is also an enologist with field experience, a consultant who has contributed to producing some magnificent wines, first among these Marisa Cuomo’s Fiorduva. But he is also a speaker of extraordinary efficiency and clarity. He is someone who does not hide behind complicated scientific concepts or obtuse technical terms but who seeks to inform and communicate as much as possible, the way David Attenborough does. He does not need to show off and one needs only to listen to him for ten minutes to appreciate his amazing ability to make himself understood and do so in a uniquely enthusiastic way. We are friends and we often say the same things, although he in an obviously more authoritative way given his academic stature. We both try to be as clear as possible, to debunk urban legends by employing reason and knowledge. We got to know each other as members of the National Wine Tasters Organization (ONAV), where he serves on the scientific committee, and I have to admit he is one of the people with whom I find it a joy to exchange views and discuss wine. And we do this with passion and calm, far from the influence of any ideology or fad. This is way it should always be and not only in the world of wine because upholding one’s ideas should always be an expression of freedom and reciprocal respect.





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