Monday, June 29, 2015

Red, White, and Brew

Alcoholic beverages are in integral part of Italian cuisine, and we have had the privilege of trying many different varieties and seeing how they are made. 
One morning after a brisk walk through town, we arrived at an agriturismo vineyard belonging to Mr. Papini, who showed us the ins and outs of growing organic grapes and making wine from scratch. There were surprisingly few mechanical parts to the winemaking process since he harvested the grapes and bottled the wine by hand. Papini explained to us that the difference between making white wine and red wine was about the fermenting process, not the type of grapes used. White wine consists only of fermented juice and contains fewer nutrients and antioxidants in comparison to red wine, which is fermented with the grape skins inside the barrel. Since the skin contains a high concentration of antioxidants, many health gurus recommend drinking a glass of red wine every day. Since grapes grow easily and the winemaking process is simple, many Italians produce their own wine for sale or consumption. 
Beer brewing, on the other hand, has become a corporate ordeal. Two of the biggest names in Italian beer--Moretti and Peroni--have been around since the mid-19th century but have since been bought out by Heineken and SABMiller, respectively. Unsurprisingly, both companies have bought out many family-owned brewing companies in order to establish a worldwide beer monopoly. 
Whatever you like to drink, it's tough to make a bad choice when in Italy. 

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