Curiosities and anecdotes about the world of wine

Among the products of excellence that Italy produces and exports all over the world undoubtedly includes wine; white or red, with or without bubbles, sweet or brut little matter: on Italian tables can never miss, as well as at least one in two tourists takes away with him a bottle of local wine to enjoy it once back home and remember with dreamy air the stay in the beautiful country.

La cucina italiana

Thanks to its ability to refresh the palate and satisfy even the most difficult and demanding tastes, resisting a good glass of wine can become simply impossible! Among other things, this drink hides a series of curiosities and anecdotes unknown even to the most loyal fans that, once surfaced, will only increase the desire to taste different productions and experience new enveloping aromas!

5 things to know about Italian wine (but many don’t know)

The curiosity about Italian wine are so numerous that it is difficult to count and group them! Some derive from idioms, others instead refer to real statistical data that can simply leave you speechless.

Here is the top 5 of the goodies that everyone should know:

1. Real number of vines in Italy

For those who don’t know, , it is in Italy that the largest number of native vines in the world is concentrated: according to 2019 data, , there are 545 varieties of vines out of a total of 1,300 scattered around the planet!


2. What is new wine?

The adjective would mislead anyone: It is not a new wine, but a very particular type that is put on sale in the same year of the harvest and following a very precise regulation.

Unlike traditional wine, novello is produced with the method of carbonic maceration: The grapes are placed inside an airtight tank full of carbon dioxide for a period of time that varies from a few hours to several days.

The result is a fresh and light taste wine, perfect to enjoy alone or to accompany meat dishes, cold cuts and cheeses and dried fruits such as chestnuts!

Prodotti Pontini

3. To each type of wine its glass

If you choose different varieties of wine you must, at the same time, also change the glass. But how many types exist? And how to choose the most suitable one? Let’s start with the red wines:

  • ballon piccolo: classic red wine glass, especially the young ones and not excessively full-bodied;
  • grand ballon: wide model, perfect for full-bodied red wines.
Vivo di Vino

As for the white wines we have:

  • flute: high and narrow, suitable for sparkling wine and prosecco;
  • tulip: it is composed of a domed cup and narrows at the top, ideal for light and fresh white vine;
Il viaggio in un calice

To top it off, here are also glasses for Italian dessert wines:

  • cup Asti: develops in width and is suitable for sweet sparkling wine;
  • tulip small: smaller and narrower than the tulip from white wine, is used to sip the passito;
Rosa di Vini

4. Wine bottles with different colors

Many will have noticed that wine bottles do not always have the same color, indeed, they range from green to transparent through brown, and the reason is not related only to aesthetics. We reveal the arcane:

  • transparent glass bottles: they are used for white wines, which must be drunk when still young;
  • green glass bottles: are used for white wines that need a period of aging and for red wines that require a more or less long aging time;
  • brown or black glass bottles: they guarantee maximum protection from sunlight, therefore they are suitable for red wines that require long periods of aging.

5. What is the “stirrup glass”?

Usually, the last glass of wine tasted at the end of the evening is called “stirrup glass”. But why? It is , a saying dating back to the nineteenth century, when the gentlemen went to the inns to drink and, at the end of the evening, they drank the last glass with one foot out of the room, that is, on the stirrup of the horse.

In addition, the expression was also used when someone visited and, for good manners, the host offered a glass of wine during his leave or when the guest was about to get on horseback. According to the customs of the time, it was a kind way to wish a safe journey and a peaceful return.

Poggio al bosco

Other 13 interesting facts about Italian wine

And it’s not over yet: beyond the 5 most particular curiosities related to Italian wine, there are at least 13 others able to amaze and shed light on beliefs that, in truth, have no real feedback!

Here’s what:

  1. The highest vineyard in all of Europe is located in Italy, in Cortina d’Ampezzo, at an altitude of 1350 m.l.m.;
  2. if drunk in the recommended daily doses and without exaggeration, it is good and puts you in a good mood;
  3. The oldest Italian Doc is that of the Vino Nobile di Moltepulciano, dating back to 1980;
  4. In Italy is produced so much wine that you could fill about 2 thousand Olympic swimming pools;
  5. li>For the production of white wines can also be used types of red berried grapes;
  6. The name “sommelier” comes from the union of two French terms, that is “somme” (beast from sums) and “lier” (tie) and, therefore, literally means “Pack beast driver”. The choice derives from the habit of Napoleonic soldiers to tie wine barrels on beasts of burden to carry them and, the one who took care of this, over time began to follow the wine in a totally different way;
Vicenza today

7 The most common wine bottles are those of 0.75 cl for two reasons: in the past, the ancient glassblowers were able to give life to bottles of this capacity with a single breath; in Anglo-Saxon territory, to obviate port taxes and transport costs, a case of wine could only hold 2 gallons. Considering that 1 gallon is equivalent to 4.5 liters, that each crate could accommodate 12 bottles, that 2 gallons correspond to 9 liters and that 9 liters divided into 12 bottles give 0.75 cl, it is understood why it was the most convenient, widespread and convenient format;
8 The greatest variety of Vitis Vinifera in the world is right in Italy, which hosts more than 350 different types;
9 The “perfumes” of wine are more than 500: between floral, fruity, fragrant, aromatic and so on, the nose must be well trained to recognize them all;
10 The oldest fossils that testify to the presence and cultivation of vines date back to about 2 million years ago in Tuscany;
To produce a 0.75 cl bottle of wine you need on average 1.2 kg of grapes;
Last but not least: the country where you drink the most wine is Vatican City!

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