These three words: wine, ice hockey and Zuccarello have a significance and impact on our life in the vineyard. Mats Zuccarello has recently released a wine with his name on the label, he is a professional ice hockey player and he is the idol of my son.
For several years, I have had a dream that I could live for one year at our vineyard in Italy. My son could go to school there, becoming fluent in Italian, while I could tend to my vines and wine on-a-daily-basis.
I wanted this to happen while he was in 5th grade, one of the best years for a child to learn a foreign language, according to some professionals. Now he is attending 5th grade. But he goes to school in Norway and spends 7 days a week in the ice hockey hall next door, playing for the club Vålerenga.
Something happened two years ago. On ice in his hockey stadium, my son met the Norwegian icehockey player, now playing for New York Rangers, Mats Zuccarello. My son was mesmerized. He had found an idol. He wanted to be like him.
The onset of wine, ice hockey and Zuccarello
Earlier this fall I attended a wine conference and a bottle caugt my attention. It was a bottle of wine from Italy and it was labelled Zuccarello. As a hockey-mom with a great interest in wine I was curious. I asked the man presenting the wine several questions. Tore Sandsmark is a wine importer and Zuccarello is a relative.
- What kind of relationship does Mats Zuccarello has to wine?
– He loves food and wine. We have shared several good meals, accompanied by wine, through the years. Most of the wines have been Italian, due to his Italian heritage.
- Is it just a sale gimmick to name a wine after him, being a famous hockey player?
– No, it isn’t. We have worked on this project for three years. He thought it was a good idea because he could honor the Italian part of his family who he is very proud of and cares a lot for.
Sandsmark also notes that the icehockey player has played a role in deciding the wine in the bottle.
– We have tried several blends in this process. He has tasted and participated in the decision of the final blend. Our goal was to fine a pure, honest, uncomplicated, tasteful wine with some complexity which appeals to the man in the street.
Zuccarello 36 Barbera d’Asti 2015, Piemonte, Italia. 150 Nkr.
A fresh and fruitdriven wine, with lots of berries and some wild herbs. Good acidity. Easy-to-like. Good to drink alone or with food. 100 % per cent Barbera-grapes.
Wine, ice hockey and Zuccarello – a success?
So far, the wine seem to appeal. It was put out for sale September 1, 2017, but it had to be ordered. Two months later it is now for sale in 21 stores in Norway. It is interesting to see that most of these stores are in hockey-areas like Oslo, Asker, Sarpsborg, Hamar and Stavanger.
I told my son about the wine. He was impressed. Sigurd is more or less raised in a vineyard. He has picked grapes during harvest since he started walking, and despite his age (10 years) he loves to smell wine.
But back to the question of spending one year at our vineyard. He is hesitant. Because he knows that if he is going to make a career, as his idol, he must spend a lot of hours on ice.
Mom, I miss Italy and I would like to live there for a year, but it needs to be in a town where they have ice hockey
To me, the significance of the words: wine, ice hockey and Zuccarello is to realize that I probably won’t fullfill my dream of living for a year at our vineyard while my son is attending school. There is no icehall or icehockey in our village, nor in a town nearby.
Sigurd and Zuccarello are fortunate. They have a passion. They may spend their time doing an acitivity they like and feel a sense of achievement. I am also fortunate, because I still have the possibility to spend a lot of time in our vineyard and my great interest in wine, although we don’t live there full-time. Not all dreams may be fullfilled, but part of them may.
Do you have a dream you feel is difficult to accomplish, but that may still be fullfilled partly?