“Saluti”. A word often used in Italian culture. This word is used by all Italians daily to not only salute the fine cuisine that is paired with the perfect glass of wine, which as a salute, means more to Italians than probably anywhere else in the world… But also, to give thanks and embrace a moment or celebration of friendship, family, the hands who prepare the food or wine and either the beginning or end of a successful day.
Wine is considered symbolic to Italians and is usually paired with nearly every meal past noon. Italians are not considered big drinkers, but wine is considered a daily drink that helps one wind down at the end of the day.
Much like Italian food, wine is also considered something to be enjoyed and not restricted. Let’s just say, around a table, one glass simply won’t do.
With extensive wine farms and wine cellars all over Italy, crafting the best of the best, whether it’s red or white wine, there are many different methods that are used to perfect it and make it distinguish it from other wines.
The History of Wine in Italy
Fun fact. When it comes to history and mythology, there is a god that represented wine itself, known as Bacchus.
During the Roman period, with the presence of the vine plantation, Pliny (a famous Italian author) wrote that Italy had supremacy as the country overtook the riches of all other countries just with the production of wine.
Now, making such a statement clearly states the importance of wine in this magnificent country. Wine is thus considered a culture of its own in Italy as the importance of it dates back into ancient times. The wine has also been described as a stress cure for excellence and also, that it would dismiss the many troubles of one’s mind.
The Habits of Italians
Wine is drunk during certain times of the day. When visiting a restaurant, it is considered to be the most common drink, after water that is. Different from other cultures and countries, sparkling drinks such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Fanta are only ordered by children.
With beverages such as cappuccinos only to be enjoyed before 10 o’clock in the morning, followed by espresso throughout the day, an Italian table might as well be bare without a bottle of wine at any setting. It is enjoyed at both lunch and dinner, as well as at the aperitif.
One can also order different quantities of wine, starting with a litre, half a litre and even one-fourth of a litre which is referred to by the Italians as ‘quartino’.
It is important to know which wines are paired with what type of food. Doing your research before visiting Italy might just get you the admirable nod from the Italians. Be sure to pair a stronger flavour of wine, such as a merlot or shiraz with heavier food that includes meats and pasta, with lighter foods such as fish and seafood, white wine makes for the perfect companion.