This post in the Italian language is at mangiaebevi.it
The ancient Romans were not just conquerors. They brought in every sphere a culture that could unite the Empire. The language was probably the most important. But also the Romans planted grape vines in the conquered territories in order to rally people even more.
That’s why in Italy, a very special relationship towards wine and its drinking was formed. Perhaps only the nearest neighbors – France, Spain, Portugal can understand it.
I’ve posted a question in my Instagram ”what surprised you most in the attitude of Italians to the wine?” More than others, the Americans expressed their opinions, then residents of Europe, mainly from the central and northern parts, several people from Russia and even one person from Singapore. Here’s what was most surprising:
1. There are few wine snobs among Italians. Decanter? Never heard. Special glass for each wine? Well, if you’re lucky. To touch the stem of the glass only? Yeah of course. They know the year best yields? Nope.
2. At the same time, they drink good quality wine. Wine is such a big part of their culture that you can ask any Italian – almost everyone can tell about the features of winemaking in different regions, special vineyards (I bet you didn’t hear about them), about their favorite wines and what makes them so wonderful.
3. Italians drink often, but moderately. Wine is considered to be good for the health, and ”happy hour” is not a reason to blow off steam and get wasted. One or two glasses with food are quite acceptable, and it is allowed, if not every day, then every other day. Even children are allowed to try wine very early, at a table with adults, and no one makes a problem out of this. Old men drink a glass of wine a day, feel great and sleep better.
4. Many Italians in the family have such an uncle Luigi, who has a vineyard and make, as he himself states, “the best wine in the world”. What his relatives think about it – opinions always differ, but access to own product is definitely enjoyable.
5. If you don’t know what to give as a present – give wine. Here are two options: either a special one, from a not very popular region, made from grapes grown on a volcano or in the mountains, made by a small winery and which is not available in a simple supermarket.
Or very famous, awarded, revered.
What the most interesting in the relation between people and wine in your country?