Often, when we’re sitting around talking about wine, how many times do we give a thought to the one essential ingredient that works really hard at making it possible to yield such wonderful, beautiful, tongue-tingling liquor?
Don’t worry; I’m guilty of it too! So forgive yourself! I’m usually busy talking about ‘Italian wine tour’ this and ‘Italian wine tour’ that, ‘vintage wine’ this and ‘Piedmont’ that.
But I thought we’d all slow down a bit to focus on a very important ingredient (which very-well deserves the attention and respect).
Yes, dear reader, I’m talking about the humble, dedicated, underrated, simple fungi – better known as yeast.
No. I’m not going crazy. To appreciate the whole, one must appreciate the parts that make up the whole. And yeast is one of those ‘parts’!
Can you imagine life without wine? The world would be a lot duller, less colourful, less fragrant place.
It could be argued that if wine never existed, we’d never know it should have existed, so we’d be none the wiser.
But aren’t you just glad we don’t have to go through all that?!
So, ladies and gentlemen, I propose a toast. A toast to the ever-dedicated yeast:
- for gobbling up all the sugar it finds in each grape
- for working its magic by changing all the sugar it consumes into alcohol and carbon dioxide
- for being patient enough to withstand different temperatures in order to produce the best wine
So, if you’re close to a bottle of Italian wine, pour yourself one and please join me in raising your glass to this simple but powerful fungus; for without yeast, as I’m sure we can all now appreciate, there would be no wine (or beer or bread for that matter!).
(p.s.: If I sound mad, let’s all be mad together!)