We Italians are generally around six years old when our parents allow us to take our first sip of wine. Usually it’s of the sweet and sticky variety, a spumante of some kind during a family celebration. Many more sips tend to follow. Some of us become wine-lovers, some wine-enthusiasts, and others teetotaler. Very few become alcoholics as a result.

Wine is so engrained in our culture that we don’t even notice the bottle of red placed in front of a toddler at the table (yes, Italian toddlers eat with their parents as soon as they can sit upright on a chair).

And we are great producers too: careful and passionate, we produce fantastic reds and wonderful whites, and best of all is the prosecco, that has topped Italian exports and spread the spritzer across Europe. So we ask ourselves, how come when people need to uncork a very good bottle they still go for the French? With this issue we want to dot our i’s. Our wines are at least as good, if not better than the French ones. Otherwise Sting would have gone harvesting in Burgundy instead of Tuscany, don’t you think? And we are so good that we can produce and age wine in very unusual conditions: under water, in a cemetery, near a volcano. If you want to have the perfect glass into which to pour your wine, read the interview with the master of the wine glass, Maximilian Riedel. Or if you want to know about community wine, look at what Leo Johnson has come up with. We even have wine-inspired beauty products with the famous blogger Clio, who shares her secrets for inebriating make-up.

Cin cin.

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