Meeting Marco Tintero for the first time, several years ago at his winery in the Piedmont town of Mango, proved an exciting event for me. A longtime drinker—guzzler, if we’re being honest—of his humbly priced frizzanti, I had long looked forward to getting to know the man behind them. And Marco did not disappoint.
The evening began with perhaps the most casual tasting of my career, Marco jovially pouring wines in between hacks at a tasty homemade salame. As I swirled, swished, and spat each sample, I noticed that my host instead downed the contents of each glass as if it were nothing. He is certainly of sturdy build and was no doubt thirsty after a long day out in his steep vineyards, but the man sure could drink.
And yet, quaffing glass after glass of Marco’s wines in all three colors seemed completely natural. No need to take detailed notes in this tasting; these are simple, unpretentious, and absolutely delicious wines that quench thirst and inspire the kind of convivial atmosphere that radiates from the Tintero household.
His generosity extended throughout the evening. As luck would have it, the annual Mango village celebration took place that night, and the entire town teemed with festive energy. We loaded up the car with several cases and took off into the night, ready for whatever Piemontese debauchery might transpire.
Sadly, anecdotes of the late-night antics cannot be printed on these pages. After all, as the locals say, What happens in Mango, stays in Mango.*
*They don’t really say this