Saturday, June 8, 2013

41: Vin de Casa (House Wine)

I stole this pic from google images.
My pictures of anything wine related are severely lacking.
Whenever I stop and I try and think of the three things that define Moldova more than any other or even just asking a Moldovan what they are most proud of I think the answer would almost always be:  Moldovan wine, Moldovan Orthodox traditions, and the Moldovan/Romanian Language. Wine in Moldova is not simply a drink that is consumed with a meal it is a very serious part of their culture. Whenever any event or holiday happens you can be assured that it has not properly been celebrated unless there was wine involved. Wine is also how Moldovans display their hospitality by offering it to any visitors who come to their house and since every house usually makes their own wine each vin de casa is unique and in a way defines that household from others. Recently we had a person from the neighborhood come over to our house and actually serve us with their house wine as they invited us to a party which is a much different approach to the average party invitation. My host mother also refuses to serve placinta without accompanying it with wine which is notable because it is the only meal we have with wine when we are at home without guests.

I should also note that the actual way wine is consumed is quite different from the way it is consumed in America. Instead of a wine glass with a tiny dab of wine that you sip on throughout your meal, in Moldova it is much more common to have wine in glasses that have more in common with juice glasses, and the way the wine is consumed is much more like a shot with everyone taking the whole glass of wine all at one time. There are also several variations on how it is served with each person given a glass and everyone takes the round at the same time after a short toast or if there aren't enough glasses only one glass will be used and it will be shared with everyone around the table with each person filling the glass saying a toast of good health to the others at the table chugging the wine and passing the glass to the next person. This usually continues until the pitcher that the host filled from their wine barrel is empty and as I have mentioned many times before the host is usually very adamant on making sure no one leaves until all the wine has been served from the pitcher... but also it is very likely that after the last of the wine is served that the host will try to run off with the pitcher to fill it up again. At which point if the whole group doesn't get up to leave then the whole group will most likely be forced to finish off the second pitcher as well.

I've never had much experience with wine outside of Moldova so I'm not sure if this is true with wine in general but one way to know if someone has been indulging in house wine is just to wait until they smile and observe the color of their teeth. House wine has a habit of staining teeth bluish and it really only takes two glasses to make a noticeable effect and it only gets worse with the more wine you drink.

Finally I plan on writing about Moldovan folk music in a future post but since wine is a major theme in Moldovan folk songs I will give you an example and you will have to wait for further explanation in the future.

I previously posted about how Moldovans make wine in a past post but in case you missed it or want to read it again you can find it here. 

There are some pics of me recently going on a wine tour that can be found here. Which also reminds me that vin de casa taste nothing like professionally made wine. 

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