Wine is an integral part of Italian culture. It is enjoyed alongside meals and often during an aperitivo (pre-dinner drink and snack). Italians believe that food and wine go together perfectly!
Vino veritas, the Italian proverb states: "in wine, truth is always revealed". Knowing a little Italian will allow you to navigate an Italian wine menu with confidence.
Italians enjoy enjoying an Aperitivo as part of their social tradition; beginning late afternoon and lasting into early evening. Drinks (alcoholic or not), along with snacks like chips, olives and focaccia may be offered during this social ritual meant to "open up their appetite". Aperitivo means "to open," meaning this event was intended to stimulate appetites rather than satisfy them.
An aperitivo is also an excellent opportunity to meet people and people-watch. Italians typically eat dinner around 9 pm, making an aperitivo an ideal time for relaxing before starting dinner proper.
Though similar traditions exist across European cultures, Italy stands apart with its tradition of the aperitivo. While its exact form may differ depending on your location and occasion, typically an aperitivo will include drinks as well as appetizers or snacks; sometimes drinks may increase by two euros during these hours to cover food expenses - though this might not always be the case outside major cities and tourist regions.
Sommeliers are experts in wine. They ensure their restaurant's wines complement the food being served and assist guests in selecting and enjoying wines which best meet their personal preferences. Sommeliers receive training in both the art and science of wine service - including pouring techniques and glassware usage.
Responsible for evaluating and purchasing the restaurant's wine collection. They must possess extensive knowledge regarding grape varieties from different regions as well as pairing specific wines with dishes while explaining their nuances.
Italians have an inherent tendency to enjoy drinking wine with every meal, even if they do not consider themselves experts on wine. This egalitarian approach to drinking helps make Italy one of the world's most delectable destinations; one glass a day may help prevent disease as a proverb goes. Italians swear by this proverb - its popularity being evidenced by being their most frequently repeated proverb.
House wine is typically offered during meals in restaurants as an economical alternative to other varieties of wines. It typically features a blend of grapes that may include more fruity tones and can be purchased by the glass, half-liter, or bottle.
House wine often gets the reputation of being subpar quality; however, this is not always the case; in fact, many of them can actually be quite good! These house wines are typically known as vino della casa and available at most Italian restaurants.
An Italian proverb states, "Friendship and wine get better with age." This quote perfectly sums up the relationship between friends and their favorite bottles of vino! However, it is essential that wine should be enjoyed while dining on something delicious in order to appreciate all its aromas and flavors fully.