How to drink wine like an Italian
il vino fa buon sangue
Italy is considered the home country of wine, one of Italians’ pastime is drinking wine. Wine is not just a “ drink” like coke or 7-up in Italy, but it is part of local habits and culture, especially when eating around the table. A lot of people in Italy decide to drink a glass of wine a day whether at lunch, dinner and even as a drink during the ubiquitous aperitivo. My great aunt Antonietta, who lives in Abruzzo comes to my mind. At the age of 90, she stills drinks a glass of rosso Montepulciano with every meal.
In North American food culture, alcohol is not necessarily seen as an appropriate ingredient in a healthy diet, but unlike many other drinks wine is a key element of the Mediterranean diet. In fact, it is considered to have many beneficial properties that can help people prevent specific problems; obviously in sensible amounts, such as a glass or two depending on age, sex and health condition of the person. Red wine is always preferred to white.
The debate still continues on the benefits wine can bring to people’s life: there are those who point out positive factors, and then there are those who point out negative ones, especially if consumed in excess. However, there are a series of beneficial features contained in the so-called Bacchus nectar. They go from cancer prevention to increase blood circulation and its anti-ageing properties.
Medicine and science have confirmed the important features of the best loved alcoholic drink in Italy, but the elderly, in the end, always knew that: in the old times, the elderly would drink a glass of wine both at lunch and dinner, stating that: il vino fa buon sangue (wine makes good blood). It may have been popular belief, but this old saying has been now proven by science.
In vino veritas, in wine rests the truth, is a famous Latin saying meaning that if a person is tipsy will certainly tell the truth; we could say in vino salus, in wine rests health, but never drink too many glasses!
Wines of the week:
Rapitala Catarratto / Chardonnay 2015
SAQ# 00613208, $13.85
A white blend of indigenous Sicilian grape Catarratto and Chardonnay. Nice modern style. Aromas of lime and green apples with a touch of almond. Fresh with a nice roundness and balance. Will pair nicely with seafood pastas in light cream sauce.
Fontana Fredda Raimonda Barbera D’Alba 2015
SAQ# 11905606 $16.05 LCBO# 23135 $14.75
Textbook Barbera nose. Chewy black cherry with a point of smoke, red prunes and vanilla. On the mouth, rich with hints of raspberry dark chocolate. Tasty and quite long for its price category. Excellent quality price ratio. Enjoy with lasagna or other meat based pastas.
Romio Collezione Sangiovese di Romagna Riserva 2013
SAQ# 12203892 $15.05
A robust Sangiovese. Aromas of strawberry, oak with a mix of red and black fruits such as strawberry, cassis and prunes. Flavors bring to mind pipe tobacco and vanilla bean. Enjoy it with veal parmigiana. Excellent quality price ratio as well.
Firriato Nari Nero d’Avola / Petit Verdot 2015
SAQ# 11905809 $9.95
Too good to be true for the price it commands. A wave of ripe black fruits such as cassis and jammy black cherry. In addition, cracked black pepper, menthol and exotic spices. Structured and dense with beefy tannins. Versatile with red meat braised dishes.
By: Marco Giovanetti – mtltimes.ca