The first English translation of the Slow Wine Guide for Italian wines, was presented during the 8th Annual Golden Glass event at Fort Mason a week ago. The event was well attended, as this was the first opportunity for locals to sample many of the Italian wineries featured on the book. Similar presentations of the new guide were also held in New York and Chicago this month.

The guide adopts a unique approach to evaluating wines, and stirs away from the point system, which some consider to be arbitrary numbers. Instead of focusing just on ranking the end product, like all other wine publications, Slow Wine evaluates many factors including the quality and type of wine, the wineries, value for money, as well as viticultural, environmental and sustainable practices. The purpose is to provide consumers with meaningful information on good value, and responsibly produced Italian wines. The book format is concise and easy to read. Future formats of the 343 page guide will include electronic versions and a smart­phone app.

The guide uses three symbols to evaluate each winery (see graphics below):

- The Snail, the Slow Food symbol, signals a cellar that has distinguished itself through its interpretation of sensorial, territorial, environmental and personal values in harmony with the Slow Food philosophy.

- The Bottle, allocated to cellars that show a consistently high quality throughout their range of wines.

- The Coin, an indicator of great value.

Photo Credit: Luis Chong