Chapter 8 – The art of life

A glass of wine is a part of italian lifestyle

First encounter while drinking: not

So many of my friends – and me, if I’m honest — have had our “first encounters” with someone after quite a lot of drinking. It happens: a bar, a ride home, a bed. Then comes the next morning, the walk of shame. Still, you do again another weekend, when you’re a young American. But not tonight.

For Italians, drinking wine is not a means to an end, a pathway to a bed. Instead, wine is a part of life. For people of all ages. Dinner with wine, lunch with wine, that’s the Italian lifestyle – though the English word “lifestyle” sounds a little too glossy, too trendy; in Italian it is “the art of living,” arte di vivere.

Italian pasta is one of the best pairing for Moscato d'AstiWhen Lorenzo miraculously appeared on my doorstep, I was nearly finished with college, ready for my next chapter in life. That evening, I let Lorenzo’s words wash over me: tales of history and wine from the region of Asti in his beloved Piemonte. How the first sparkling wines ever produced there were sweet and fragrant, made with the Moscato grape.
At some point, Lorenzo mentioned the term for lightly sparkling wine is frizzante and my hands automatically went to my hair, to see if it was becoming frizzy in the humid night air drifting in through the open window. Suddenly, we both seemed to draw back into our separate selves. We hadn’t had a lot of alcohol: Moscato d’Asti is a low-alcohol wine, about 5%. And we had only had a little of the red Ruché wine, over the course of our long dinner.
Abruptly, Lorenzo was getting up from the table, saying he had to leave and would see me the next day. Before I could react he had gone. I looked at the half-finished bottles on the table.

I had so many questions…

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