Yes, he is a friend of mine (fortunately, he wasn’t penalized for that). Alfonso is one of the good guys in the wine business, someone who cares more about sharing the joy of wine with others than with being famous or scoring points at someone else’s expense. His writing is often lyrical, and always on target. It’s about the way wine should be, and not the way wine has become. Which means, as Alfonso recently noted, no posts about the five top Super Tuscan trophy wines, but posts about how Italy got so turned around that it cares too much about things like that.
The voters for these awards did the right thing. That even made a crank like me smile.