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In Good Spirits

It’s only the second week of Umbra’s 2007 summer session, but the students have already discovered one of Italy’s greatest assets. And it’s not the Coliseum.

Wine, or vino in Italian, has a long and illustrious history. The word comes from the Latin vinum, proving that even if wine originated thousands of years ago in ancient Iran, Italy has some claim to this ubiquitous drink. From Dionysus and drunken satyrs to the recent Oscar-winning movie Sideways, wine has a hold on both our imagination and our palates. There is something mythical about wine, something that makes it truly intoxicating.

As a way to familiarize students with the culture of wine, Umbra hosted anoptional wine tasting yesterday evening. Students were offered a brief introduction to the art of enjoying wine, covering such basics as how to correctly open a bottle and which foods complement which wines. Two reds and a sparkling blush were tasted, and students munched on torta al testo and other appetizers while chatting with one another.

All in all, the night was luscious, with no lushes to speak of. Even the Roman Emperors would be impressed.

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