Everything You Need to Know About Italian Wine Culture
Italian wines are often mentioned in the same tone you would use for “French fashion” or “German cars.” They are timeless and synonymous with class. The country’s red, white, and sparkling wines are simply iconic.
That’s because Italians are genuinely passionate about their wine, which shows in their culture. Want more proof? Check out these incredible facts about the traditions that helped bring about your favorite glass of red wine.
The Rich Past of Italian Wine
Some say that wine is a religion. For the Romans, the people who used to live in Italy, this was more than a metaphor. They literally worshipped a god of wine, Bacchus. He was honored by throwing parties called bacchanalia, which celebrated emotional expression, freedom, and of course, wine.
During the Roman Empire, the winemaking industry flourished. Romans drank wine with every meal and considered it a staple. This beverage was shared by both rich and poor, freemen and slaves. Romans created some winemaking techniques still in use today, such as barrel-aging, which was used to produce more wine at a lower cost.
Trivia: Pompeii was a winemaking hub in ancient Rome, so much so that the destruction of vineyards during the eruption of Vesuvius caused wine prices to soar.
Even would-be invaders contributed to Italy’s wine traditions. When the Greeks arrived in Sicily around the eighth century BC, they brought new ways of cultivating grapes and making this fermented drink.
That is just a glimpse of how deeply rooted vino is in Italian history.
Wine Is Serious Business in Italy
Think of a movie set in Italy, which probably has a scene with vineyards as far as the eye can see. That’s not just movie magic. With more than 1.7 million acres designated for vineyard cultivation, wine is a serious business in this country.
Due to its balmy climate, this Mediterranean nation is home to not just one but more than 500 grape varieties. Some of the most prestigious are Trebbiano, Montepulciano, and Sangiovese.
Each of the 20 Italian wine regions proudly follows ancient ways of wine production while still being open to innovations. Veneto produces premium wines known internationally. Meanwhile, Prosecco is the leading sparkling wine consumed in celebrations around the world.
It’s no surprise that in 2018 alone, Italy produced 54.8 million hectoliters of wine. That’s about 2,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools. So where did all that wine go? It’s not just the locals drinking all those bottles of wine. After all, Italy is the largest exporter of wine worldwide.
Italian Wine Pairs Amazingly With Many Cuisines
Italian wines pair superbly not only with famous Italian dishes, such as pasta and cheeses, but also with other types of cuisine. The lemon-lime and peachy notes of Falerio match incredibly well with Spanish seafood paella. Dining on a roasted prime rib becomes sublime when it is paired together with a bottle of Brunello. You will always find an excellent Italian wine that will enhance any meal.
Experience the best of Italian wine culture for yourself. Join the Yours Truly Wine membership program and have unlimited access to our curated selection from our undiscovered, small family wineries. All our wines are organic, limited-production, and sustainably farmed.