Wine Culture and Information - Volume 17
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  Editorial Issue 16, February 2004   
Young People and WineYoung People and Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 15, January 2004 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 17, March 2004

Young People and Wine


 One of the most recurring subjects about the world of wine, and with that the one of distillates and alcoholic beverages, is the relation young people have with these kind of products. An extremely delicate subject, of course, one of those which cannot be taken lightly and with superficiality. Young people are the ones who indisputably represent in every epoch and in every place the future of humanity: the development of customs and of society will inevitably touch their lives. If it is true future is the consequence of present time, and it is right in the future young people will be tomorrow's adults, the responsibility of the ones who in this very moment, the present time, are adults, is to prepare good premises to the ones that, tomorrow, will take their place. Among these responsibilities we believe there is also the must of keeping cultures, traditions, memories of the past and, above all, in the respect of the ones of others. These are presuppositions which allow to understand the present time and to shape the future, in the hope the experience of the past will be useful for not making the same mistakes. Sad to admit, history does not teach anything to men and the inexorable repetition of the same tragedies sadly confirms that.

 Young people are usually blamed for abusing alcoholic beverages, and this corresponds, in general terms, to the truth. Indeed what preoccupies the most is the abuse, something done by the ones who do not appreciate something or were not educated to the right appreciation and respect of that thing. It should be however noticed the general relationship young people have for wines is, according to many aspects and in general terms, different from the other alcoholic beverages and liquors. Young people seems to pay attention to the quality of wine they drink - this is certainly an extremely positive factor - and, in general terms, it seems they prefer to drink little wine provided it is of good quality. Perhaps this is the consequence of the increasing interest for wine, both from consumers and media, and, it seems, wine is treated with importance and esteem for which, maybe, one is likely to consider it with higher “respect”. Nevertheless wine contributes, uniquely by means of its abuse, to the development of a preoccupying social plague: alcoholism. This is something that, of course, does not play in favor of the beverage of Bacchus and it is something to be not proud of: alcoholism is certainly something to be prevented and contrasted.


 

 Nevertheless the ones who can be defined as wine lovers are in no case alcoholists. Whom truly appreciates wine knows very well how to relate to it: whom truly knows and appreciates wine knows moderation is the best way, as well as the most intelligent and wise, to get the maximum pleasure out from this beverage. What is therefore the factor that makes the difference from the ones who appreciate wine to the ones who abuse it? Culture and knowledge. If the abuse of wine among young people is because of the lack of culture and knowledge, therefore they have no faults, indeed the fault is of the society, our society, which was not capable of giving a proper culture to young people, which made them believe the consumption of alcohol, even worse the abuse of alcohol, is something that characterizes “great” people to be taken as an example. What can be done then? Repressing and forbidding the consumption of alcoholic beverages? It would be, we think, even worse. Every adult knows very well that when he or she was young experienced a sort of pleasure in transgressing rules and prohibitions, in a sort of challenge. Moreover, it is historically proven, prohibitionism gave the opposite results in the societies where it was imposed.

 If culture and education, in the sense of knowing something in the right respect and appreciation, are the factors which allow a better relation to wine, therefore it is right and desirable to work for this goal. There is lots of talk about wine, let us say sometimes are also heard disputable words about wine, and the number of sensorial tasting courses are continuously increasing. This is certainly a positive factor which indicates the spreading of a certain culture and of a conscious interest. An even more positive factor is that to these courses take part lots of young people. A positive sign for which a merit is to be recognized to the many professional and amatorial associations who work since many years in this sense and for the spreading of the right wine culture. Disinformation is always and however a damage for the ones who undergo to it, even worse when it is arbitrarily organized in order to disinform and to reach dishonest and disputable goals. We believe it is hypocritical, as well as not correct and honest, to generalize about the negative effects of wine without saying a single word about its positive effects. Medicine and science continuously inform us about the effects of wine on our health, both positive and negative ones: a good way to inform while simply telling the truth about every single aspect without prejudices.

 Wine can certainly have negative effects on health, but it is also true this happens only when one abuses of it. Would not it be good, therefore, to rightly educate and inform young people about every aspect, good and bad, about wine? Behaving in a correct way towards someone also means to have his or her respect, and young people must be respected, just like any other group of individuals, without taking advantage from their inexperience and from their desire of learning and growing up. This is also useful for the surviving of wine itself: if young people are taught wine is a negative element, uniquely showing its negative effects and without having it appreciated and known for what it really is, the future of this millenary beverage will be sadly compromised. In this regard we trust the intelligence of young people and their desire of learning and growing up: we wish their intelligence will be useful to them to go beyond the superficiality of things and the simple act of “drinking”. Wine is a culture belonging to tens of people of the world, it is a human heritage and the expression of the human genius which joins nature. Let's try to respect this and respect, first of all, means not abusing of something.

 Respect is also made of correctness and with absolute correctness must be taught the culture of wine. Anyone appreciating wine knows that what he or she has in the glass is not something to be simply drunk: it is something that must be understood, which can tell thousands things about it by means of senses, with its color, its aromas and taste. It is not something to be drunk in an uncaring and inattentive way. Wine is an extraordinary beverage which deserves respect, and with respect it must be treated, which requires attention, which can give pleasing moments and emotions to the one who has the will to understand it, always remembering that all that is realized with moderation and never with abuse. Well, this is what we should teach young people, to the ones who in a distant future will have the responsibility of passing the culture of wine to the ones who will inevitably be tomorrow's young people.

 



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  Editorial Issue 16, February 2004   
Young People and WineYoung People and Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
Issue 15, January 2004 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 17, March 2004

MailBox


 In this column are published our reader's mail. If you have any comment or any question or just want to express your opinion about wine, send your letters to our editorial or fill in the form available at our site.

 

Why are some wines made with just one grape and others with many grapes? Is there a specific reason for that?
Claude Rolland -- Mercurey (France)
The reason why a specific number of grapes are used for the production of wine is determined by many factors. The composition of grapes in classical wines is frequently determined by traditional and historical reasons that are usually kept and obeyed. A more specific reason about the quantity, as well as quality, of grapes used for the production of wines is however dependent both by enological and organoleptic needs. Every kind of grape has proper qualities capable of giving wine its character and personality. This property is certainly true for every single variety of grape which can be used for making wine. Qualities of grapes are not just limited to give aromas and taste to wine: this characteristics also depend by fermentation and aging. For example, there are grapes which have a strong acidity and this could be not adequate for the overall balance of wine. In this case it can be added a more “round” and less acid grape in order to give a better balance to wine. The same concept can be applied to aromas: a grape having little and delicate aromas, but good gustatory qualities, can be “improved” by adding a more aromatic grape. However it is good to remember wines produced with just one grape can certainly be excellent, as well as wines produced with more grapes. In both cases the final result strongly depend on the way grapes were cultivated and the way they have been vinified. A grape, alone, certainly is not a guarantee of quality.



I heard that also Italian restaurants finally allow their customers to bring a bottle of wine from home while offering a good service on glasses. Can you please tell me about some restaurants in my area? Thank you very much and congratulations for the service you are offering.
Franco -- Fogliani (Italy)
The service you are talking about is pretty common in many countries, among them United States of America where it is called “bring your own bottle” or BYOB in short. It seems that, finally, even Italian restaurants understood the importance of this service that, if it is true it does not make selling the restaurant's wine, it is also true it does not make it lose a customer. For the uncorking and service of wine is generally requested a pretty variable fee and sometimes it can also be equal to the price of a bottle of an average wine. In every case the restaurant should ensure a good service both on glasses, which need to be washed, and on the service of the wine itself, which needs the assistance of the restaurant's personnel. In Italy is also becoming more and more common the possibility, absolutely and however right, to take home the bottle which was not completely consumed during the meal. Whereas this is a pretty common custom (in some countries it is also possible to take home the foods not consumed and however paid), in Italy there is a sort of prejudice in asking that, both for customers and for restaurant's personnel. Restaurants which are beginning to offer this kind of service usually have special corks to be used in order to allow an easy carrying of the bottle.






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  Editorial Issue 16, February 2004   
Young People and WineYoung People and Wine MailBoxMailBox  Contents 
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