Friday, July 16, 2010

Loose Wine

Finally, a chapter about wine!!!

Sfuso in Italian means "loose wine." Most italian farmhouses/vineyards produce a house wine for themselves and friends. Most tuscans make their own wine. (like my college friends making their own grain alcohol...yet somehow different)

Frances and her husband make a trip to Montepulciano. (which is one of my favorite areas for Italian wines) They take their glass demijohn to be filled with wine. To protect the wine they put olive oil on the top so it forms a seal and then close it with a cork.
The most notable wines produced in the region are chianti and brunello. (yum and double yum) Another wine is Vino Nobile and it is primarily made from the sangiovese grape. The Vino Nobile started being produced in the 1300s, but sangiovese grape has an even older history. Sanguis is latin for "blood." Picture of Montepulciano below.

Frances and Ed buy their wine from the Avignonesi vineyards. I wonder if this vineyard was started by the french papacy in Avignon..hmmm.
Here is the quote from their website;
"Quality is made by men: made by their dreams, by their experience, by their dedication. This is why you must know their history and their passions. This is the only way that you will understand where the quality of their work springs from."
I hope this is an old antiquated quote. Quality can also be made by a WOMAN Avignonesi vineyards. Welcome to 2010.

Frances discusses a wine made at Avignonesi called vin santo. This is a smooth, nutty after dinner wine. Vin santo is also known as "holy wine." Why? It has a historic use as a wine at mass, where sweet wine (over quality wine) was preferred. An early reference to this type of wine was made by renaissance wine merchants of Florence. Stories emerged of a friar who could cure diseases with this wine. (I'm sure drinking enough of this could at least cure a sweet tooth...still it is too sweet for me)
Even more history on it --> When the Turks took over the island of Santorini, they introduced vin santo. It was eventually exported to Russia and used predominantly in the Russian Orthodox masses.

I like that Frances includes the law here...."He fills our jugs from a hose attached to an enormous vat. By law he must seal the jugs and dutifully record our names in the computer."
(almost like buying fireworks in FL and recording the purpose as scaring birds)

I like the quote at the end of the chapter...a wine quote has a special place in my heart.

"Wine is light, held together by water." - Galileo

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