These Barrels Have a Nose 

November 11 is La Festa di San Martino, or Saint Martin’s Day. It marks the first tasting of the new wine, also known as “novello.” September marked the grape harvest, when the grapes are picked, cleaned, and macerated (Yes, it’s true, wine makers used to stomp on them with their feet…) to make juice that was then left to age most often in wooden barrels. This week, depending on the varietal, wine makers open up the barrels (like these pictured from Terrazze dell’Etna, a stunning winery on the north slope of Etna)  in order to get a sense of how the wine tastes and smells.  Now, inhale through your nose … 

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