Monday, May 31, 2010

Holiday Swapping


Italy doesn't really do holidays. The only holiday they really celebrate is Christmas. They've got an Italian Independance Day and a few other minor holidays that are about as exciting as the 100th day of school. They do, however, celebrate wine 1 day of the year and it just so happened that this celebration fell on Memorial Day. This was lucky for me because I was truly sad that I wasn't going to be able to enjoy the annual Memorial Day barbeque I attend every year. Instead, I toured the region of Fruili with my Italian dad, mom, and sister, in an effort to truly partake in the festivites of this holiday as much as possible. pordENOne. Enoteca. The holiday of wine.

All the wineries in Italy open their doors to the public. They put out samples of that years production, along with cheese and bread spreads, and you're allowed to tour their vineyards and wineries. A regular day of wine tasting, all for free. Each person is allowed six glasses of wine to taste at each vineyard they stop. For free. Fucking gratiuto! You get one wine glass which you put into a little pouch that hangs around your neck and literally walk around with it that way. A wine necklace. So I hopped into the car with my Italian family and drove to a vineyard near their home, where I drank six free glasses of sweet red wine and ate a bunch of fresh formaggio. We took a tour of the villa next, walking through one of the most spectacular backyards I've ever been in. It had two little lakes and each area had a section of imported flora from different parts of the world. They had American maples, Japanese cherry trees, crazy Indian trees and all sorts of cactii. There was a whole section of bonzai. After six glasses of wine I was thoroughly inspired by all of it. We walked through a rose garden and looked into the windows of the villa, where marble sculptures decorated each room. When we left the garden we were all given a free potted flower. We decided we hadn't had enough wine and moved on to another winery closer to Pordenone. I drank six glasses of the first wine I tried, I liked it so much. It was a Cabernet Franc and I bought two bottles for my parents. I ate some more cheese before taking another tour, this time of the actual winery rather than the villa. We went through the sorting room, the mixing room, the bottling room, and the barelling room. I didn't understand any of the explainations about the processes but satisfied myself with looking around at all the cool tools and supplies needed to operate the gigantic winery.

At this point it was getting late and I was truly twelve glasses of wine into the day. We called our evening of free wine quits, then. I must truly commend the Italians, though. Holidays in America are really awesome. Halloween, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, and even smaller holidays like Memorial Day are all tackled by the Americans with gusto and pride. We really embrace the holidays we have. Italians, on the other hand, don't really celebrate much by way of holidays. The one they do have, though, is genius. For a country that doesn't know much about how to really do holiday celebrating, they invented one so perfect it could contend with any one of our American festivities. God damn, I love wine.
Arrivederci, for now.
Love, Gabby.

No comments:

Post a Comment