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Serving Temperatures for wine:
Spumante wine - 6-10 degrees
White liqueur-type wine - 6-8 deg.
Sparkling wine - 8-12 deg
Dry white wine - 10 deg.
Dry rose wine - 10 deg.
Slightly sweet white wine - 12 deg.
Slightly sweet rose wine - 12 deg.
Young red wine and fruity young wines - 12 deg.
Young light red wine - 14 deg.
Normal-bodied red wine - 16 deg.
Full-bodied red wine - 18 deg.
Long-aged red wine - 20 deg.*
20 degree is considered to be room temperature, sometimes referred to as "chambre".
Special wines are: spumante wines indicated both according to the sugar content as extrabrut, extradry, dry, medium dry, dolce (sweet), and also according to their production method; champenois (champagne type) and charmat; liqueur wines such as Moscato and Aleatico; raisin wines; aromatic wines, vermouths which come dry, sweet and "chinato" (with Peruvian bark extract added).
The grape harvest, called the vendemmia in Italy, takes place when the sugar content in the grapes is such as to ensure that the wine produced will reach a certain alcohol content. Of course, in the southern regions ripening takes place more rapidly compared with northern areas due to the warmer climate.
The wine cellar must have the following characteristics:
A cool constant temperature between 10 and 14 degrees facing possibly north to north-west
Humidity around 70 percent
Lighting must be dim (too much light modifies the wine.) Neon lighting should be avoided.
New wine that has been produced is left to mature in barrels in an area of the wine cellar where certain changes in temperature occur which favor the maturing.
The wine cellar cannot be just any room. It must have certain characteristics since wine is a living food, rich in micro-organisms and continues being developed even after it has been bottled. Much of a wines quality depends on the conditions in which it is stored.
The "ammostamento" or grape-pressing takes place after the grapes have been harvested in the vineyards. This is where the must, or grape juice is obtained. In the past, feet did the squashing but today mechanical means are used. The juice travels along pipelines to vats where the alcoholic fermentation of the sugar is caused by micro-organisms thereby transforming the juice into wine. Alcohol is not present in the grape but is formed only by the fermentation of the sugar.
Italy's growing reputation with wine is due not only to the fact that it produces and exports more than any other country but that it offers the greatest variety of types, ranging through nearly every color, flavor and style imaginable. Since Italy was one of the first areas to grow grapes especially for wine-making, it is not surprising that it also produces some of the best wines in the world.