The wine-tasting: the color and the look

by (December 06, 2012) - Comments

The color

Vino e coloreHere in front of you there is a glass full of some colored liquid: wine. If you want to look and admire its looks, you must remember some thoughts that are not often thought of. First of all you need sunlight, or a candle, and a white background. Light has to strike the wine directly, because wine is light, it is the effort to become pure light. Don’t leave it in the shadow, give it light as to a flower.

Over the glass stem of the glass wine blossoms in the crystal corolla releasing its flavour, like a splendid and fragile flower. White wine, red wine, rosé wine… These three colors include the different looks wine can have. These three words cannot describe exactly una all the colors of wine, but they can simply give us a hint. In fact, there are red and rosé winesbut there is no such thing as a white wine! The so-called white wines are green, yellow and gold. There are no real red or yellow wines, because in a glass of wine colors change, evolute, they are softened or strenghtened as time passes.

The look

Il vino e l'aspettoWine-making is the birthplace of the look of grapes, while it evolves and changes while it ripens. In the wooden stalks wine starts the great “game” of looks, soon joined by the waltz of bouquets and scents and the roundabout of taste. Everything changes in wine, slowly and wisely, and incomprehensibly, phisically and chimically, misteriously and perceptibly at the same time. From blue to violet, from violet to red, from red to purple, from purple to orange, from orange to brick red for the so-called red wines; from green to yellow, from yellow to amber, from amber to gold, from gold to brown for the so-called white wines. But nothing is so definite: sights of orange can stay in the red, or purple! In its youth wine prefers cold colors, warm ones in its maturity. The ones soften the force of alcohol, the others warm up its old body. As far as the description of the looks is concerned, we have to apply to images without taking from wine its nobility or its splendour. In a glass of wine there is always some sun

About Massimo Martinelli

I was born near a river, the biggest Italian river, the Po, in a zone where it is already majestic ald solemn. Rivers have been signs and nests for civilisation. To me this is a great cultural honor because the ancient cultures were linked to the rivers, and events in history have often happened on water. Rivers have been ways for transports and commerce, and ideas also; from them I learned that things go, but they don't come back.
So I have a "liquid" sensibility, and I strongly prefer wine to water. I intensely study it. Either as a producer, in the Renato Ratti firm in Annunziata di La Morra, in the core of the land of Barolo, or in writing and talking (courses of wine-testing, of cooking); the titles of my books are well-known (perhaps because they are difficult to find): Wine-testing (Quaderni del Museo Ratti dei Vini di Alba 1975), Langhe cooking wine (edizioni Antoroto-Mondovì 1977). I also gather wine labels; my collection is very interesting. It is composed by around fifty thousand labels.
In the Langhe, in the land of Barolo I have found a very peaceful life.
Massimo Martinelli


Sono nato in riva ad un fiume, il più grande fiume d'Italia, il Po, in un punto in cui è già maestoso ed imponente. I fiumi sono stati i segni e le culle della civiltà. Per me ciò costituisce un grande privilegio culturale essendo le antiche civiltà collegate ai fiumi, come le vicende dell'umanità che si sono svolte lungo i corsi d'acqua! I fiumi inoltre hanno permesso rapidità di scambi commerciali e di idee, per questo so che le cose vanno e non ritornano.
Ho quindi il senso "liquido" e preferisco decisamente il vino all'acqua. Ad esso infatti mi dedico con accanimento. Sia come produzione, nelle Cantine Renato Ratti all'Annunziata di La Morra, nel cuore del Barolo, sia con scritti o interventi divulgativi (corsi di degustazione, di conoscenza, di cucina), con titoli ormai prestigiosi (anche perché introvabili), quali La degustazione (Quaderni del Museo Ratti dei Vini di Alba 1975), Langhe cucina vino (edizioni Antoroto-Mondovì 1977). Ed ancora raccogliendo le etichette dei vini, oggetto di collezione che può essere considerata fra le più interessanti, con circa 50 mila esemplari.
Nelle Langhe, nelle terre del Barolo ho trovato una grande oasi di pace.
Massimo Martinelli

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