“In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas”, i.e., “In wine there is truth, in water there is health.” – Italian proverb
Italian Wine as A “Tag” of Italian Culture
Italian wine has always been an essential element of Italian culture. And hence became a “tag” of Italy as well as one of its major allures. Let’s see why.
To begin with, almost every region of Italy has its vineyards: more than one million of those are currently under cultivation. Moreover, Italy is a homeland to some of the most ancient vineyards and wineries in the world. No wonder, Italian wines are widely known throughout the world for their broad variety, refinement and excellent quality. Just think of full-bodied Brunello di Montalcino or delightful Franciacorta, to name just a few.
Furthermore, Italy is the largest wine producer by volume on the global scale, followed by France, Spain, the United States and Australia. According to The International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) report, the Italian wine contribution represents about ⅓ of global production and corrisponds to 45–50 million hectoliters per year. So, from the 2016 harvest Italy has reaffiremed its usual position as the world wine production leader with 48.8 million hectoliters.
Italian wine is exported all over the world. And of course, it is extremely popular in Italy: Italians rank fifth on the world wine consumption list. Wine for Italians is an art of daily life, a purely Italian life style, a way to think, communicate and relax. Hence this “divine drink” is an intrinsic part of the Italian culture mentality.
Italian Wine Cult
With rare exception, most Italian people are wine lovers, or even experts, since they are kids. Therefore, Italians can simply enjoy this “divine”drink on whatever occasion. It can be family gathering, business lunch, romantic dinner, aperitif with friends, as well as quite evening home-alone watching TV. According to Italian culture, glass of wine (considering the broad variety of Italian wines!) can be perfectly suitable to every situation. Italians just have to be in the right mood for it. The rest is the matter of the Italian wine cult! Let’s see…
In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas…
“In wine there is truth, in water there is health” – is by no means a recent discovery! At least about 2,000 years ago, the Ancient Romans were dinking wine and saying out loud proudly: “In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas“. For example, this proverb was cited, by Pliny the Elder, who lived in the 1st century AD.
This shows us how deeply Italian wine cult is rooted in the history of Italian people, in Italian life style and mentality. So, my guess is, the old-rooted tradition is one of the main reasons for Italian wine cult to take its special place within Italian culture.
Seize the moment
“Nel vino c’è la verità” (In wine there is a truth) – Italians keep drinking wine and repeat the proverb in modern Italian language. Often abbandoning the second part of original saying… Not that it has got out of fashion. On the countrary: today everyone knows that drinking water is a healthy attitude. In fact, Italian people do drink lots of water: in the gym, during work hours, et cetera.
Yet, when it comes to the “divine drink”… No real Italian would lose the opportunity to sieze the moment! That’s an intrinsic part of Italian culture either! You see, Italian wine cult is very similar to Italian cuisine philosophy. Drinking wine, for most of the Italian people, is simply the best way to relax and taste the life itself. Smell and drink. Drink and brief... Thus, take pure enjoyment for the second reason “why” Italian wine cult has become a national life style.
Tell me who’s your friend and I’ll tell you who you are
A part from “time connection” and healthy attitudes, the proverb “In vino veritas, in aqua sanitas” points out that wine forces us to loosen our inhibitions. So we can reveal some our most secret thoughts. Sectrets and intentions, that whilst sober, we would keep to ourselves. Hence the third answer on “why” drinking wine is an intrinsic part of Italian culture: it is entertaining and challenging!
With Italian wine being invited to the party, the “social game” gets ever interesting. But don’t worry! Everything said or done in such moments is usually considered fake dream or idle gossip. So, no one will share. Till they are sober.
Good health and live well
In addition, Italians used to say “buon vino fa buon sangue”. (Literally “Good wine makes good blood”, corrisponding to “Good wine makes good cheer”). Born God-only-knows-when from the popular wisdom, this proverb actually states that wine have positive effects on human health. Italian culture is built upon this belief.
Yet, recently medicine studies have scientifically proven this claim! Several international researches have shown that a moderate consumption of wine can have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system and can improve longevity. Moreover, seems like drinking wine cuts multiple cancer risks, as well as benifits our skin, making it more elastic.
Isn’t it fantastic? You drink and relax, and at the same time improve your health and appearance! At least this explains why Italian men look much younger then they really are! And why, in today’s Italy, “40” is a new equivalent to old “30”. No wonder, to make a toast Italians say: “Alla salute!” (“To health!”)
Ok, let’s get drinking Italian wine…
Alla salute! I love Italian culture, don’t you?