Friday, 25 April 2014

Vino d'Italia

My A-Z Challenge series is about Italy, it's lifestyle, the country and other miscellaneous things in regard to it.

Do you like wine? If so, chances are you may be fond a a tipple from an Italian variety. It's been grown there for nearly 2000 years, with the Roman Empire prohibiting other  countries under their rule to make it, so it naturally flourished.

In Italy it's still common to dilute a glass of wine with some water, though with the better wines this doesn't happen so often. Children start drinking it at a younger age with it very watered down, it's mainly only drunk while eating a meal which also helps dilute the alcoholic affect. In fact you don't often see a drunken Italian, it's just not the done thing, this is partially attributed to the allowance of children being allowed to drink it to help demystify it, though I think the culture of a country also has a large part to play in this as it's not always been my experience of what I've seen in the UK, unfortunately.

There are several appellations ranging from Vini, the most basic, to Reserva which is wine which has been aged for some time. My family used to make their own wine and some branches of my family still do. When I was young they even still did the crushing by feet which I did join in with. Our wine wasn't called a decent glass of wine unless it had the odd wine fly floating in it - yuk! Definitely not a Reserva.

There are 20 regions with different types of wine, some being frizzante, sparkling. A couple of the nearest to my family are the Frascati, a nice white sparkling wine good for Summer in the garden, and Veletri, a good robust Rosso, red, wine. Good wines of other areas are the Barolo, a very nice red, Pinot Grigio, which is fairly popular, Chianti and Sangiovese. Moscato d'Asti is a sweet wine to be drunk only while eating a sweet or pudding or it tastes nasty, but miraculously tasting wonderful while eating something equally sweet.

It's lovely driving through the countryside and seeing the vineyards stretching out with bunches of grapes hanging over the sides of fences as you pass. The vineyards will make the most amazing wines, people do like French wine, America make decent wine now, South African wines gets good reviews but do try an Italian if you haven't already, maybe pair it with a good Italian cheese.

 Did you know that the red colour of red wines comes from adding the skins of red, purple or black grapes? I'm not actually much of a wine drinker, now preferring to use it in cooking where it leaves a nice flavour and no alcohol. Do you drink wine? Do you prefer to have it with a meal in the evening or perhaps during an afternoon picnic?


Jeremy [Retro] said...

looks glorious...

Thank you for being part of the "AtoZ Challenge", please stop on over to my site[s] and say "Hello"!

Jeremy [Retro]
AtoZ Challenge Co-Host [2014]

Old is the New Cool...

Stepheny Houghtllin said...

These posts on Italy are wonderful. I hope as the blog continues after the #Challenge that you will continue with this theme of Italy and your life there with your girls. Well, when the girls surface from their rooms! I love what you have got going here. I'm going to start following with the hope that you'll keep Italy as the focus. Well done!

DayDreamer said...

Jeremy,it is glorious out there.

Stepheny, Oh, thank you for thinking of following my blog. But I do have to say I don't live in Italy now. I did as a child and visit now, my father is there. But not all my posts will be about Italy after the challenge. I'm sure some will be, though, I am a bit obsessed about it, actually:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Daydreamer .. love wine - and the thought of a glass would be good - especially in the Tuscan hills ... still our weather now mid May isn't too bad at all ...

Lovely post .. and I endorse Stephany's thought ... keep us going with some Italian posts!

Cheers Hilary

DayDreamer said...

I wish you'd not put the idea of a nice cold glass of white wine in my mind, Hilary, lol. I'll need to do some shopping now :) Today is a bit windy, the weather seems to be going backwards now.