Buying wine is one the most pleasant things in life as it usually gives us the expectation for something nice. As in most places, in Italy, people normally get their wine in:
- grocery stores. This is generally for the average and last minute consumption
- wine shops or enoteca when looking for higher quality and boutique wines
- many people go directly to the producer's and buy boxes of 6 bottles of their favorite wine
- and finally there are people who buy lose wine in damigiana!
Certainly being Piedmont the largest Italian wine producer, we have plenty of wineries and choosing can become a hard job: so much and soo good! In fact, not only Piedmont wine is of high quality, but many producers are turning to artists to redesign their wine labels to make their bottles into art objects.
Yet, old habits are hard to die and there are still people who like to buy large quantities of wine in a damigiana!
|Negro winery damigiana|
A damigiana is a very large glass jug that can contain a maximum of 54 liters to a minimum of 23. The "average Mario" buys either the 54 or 34 liters of a red blend similar to trattorias/osterias' "house wine".
In the past, a damigiana had enough wine for an average Italian family for a whole month, and the glass was covered in wicker. Nowadays, they are covered in plastic and they are much less common as the Italian daily habits have changed.
|decanting with the wine pump|
Buying a damigiana implies the decanting process because once you open it, you can't just leave the wine there: you have to decant it. Normally, 2 liter glass bottles are the container of choice to store wine in the average Italian basement.
Wine pumps come in different formats and prices; if you get a damigiana you'll basically just need a stool - to keep the damigiana higher than your bottles, time and room to empty it and store the wine for your daily use or large party!
Once the damigiana is empty, the wine seller will pick it up or exchange it with a new one. Naturally, you can purchase it too for about 15 Euros and recycle it. In fact, nowadays many unique decor objects are made from damigianas, like this "rustic design" lamp :)
If you are planning a vacation in a villa here in Piedmont, you'll most definitely have to order at least a 23 liter red wine damigiana to enhance your wine experience! And if you are lucky enough you might also be able to bring the glass part back home and turn it into a design object to keep a piece of Piedmont with you forever!