Tourism and wine – Eternal Allies
»For years, the motto Tourism is people (Turizem smo ljudje) has been indicating that the story is of significant importance; however, without the one, who knows how to tell the story, there is nothing! And the same is with wine. It is not a coincidence that Slovenian wines are highly praised. The fact is that winemakers know how to make a good wine. And where would they tell their stories if not among the visitors of our natural and other landmarks? Tourism and winemaking are significant economic sectors with numerous common and connected contents still remaining to be explored. One such aspect is also presented at the Alpe–Adria: Tourism and Leisure Show.”
Dušan Brejc, Director of Vinska družba Slovenije
Slovenian Wine Association
organizes wine tastings which they named:
The Culture of Drinking Wine and Water
Slovenian Wine Association links together 25 partners
(nurserymen, family winegrowers, wine cellars, educational institutions), and among them also 16 most important Slovenian wine cellars
. That is why, as early as in 2006, the long term project of social responsibility was established:
1. Wine and water. Always!
It is often wrongly thought that wine growers would only like to sell as much as possible without being aware of the minority of those drinkers who are prone to exaggerate, which causes a certain social damage. According to the estimations of the Slovenian National Institute of Public Health, there are approximately 10 percent of such drinkers. Therefore we should not condemn 90 percent of other drinkers who drink sensibly and responsibly. Wine economics does not depend on the ten percent of those who exaggerate, because there are not enough of them to solve the branch, but on the majority of those drinkers who drink wine in moderation, but still regularly, mostly when having a meal. The actual wine economics takes place in the medium price bracket, where majority of drinkers can be found, and the prestige does not represent more than ten percent of demand. Therefore the most important thing is to have as many as possible of those who are moderate, but regular and, above all, responsible wine drinkers.
In the first phase of the project we made aware the wine growers themselves, and in the second phase we are spreading the good practice among all adult wine consumers. We speak frankly about everything: we talk about the good sides of moderate and about the bad sides of excessive drinking. We explain what is a moderate drinking, what are the amounts of moderate drinking. Wine tasting is an excellent didactic tool used to inform about cultural and responsible wine drinking, and it represents a methodical approach which enables wine connoisseurs and non-connoisseurs to become familiar with similarities and differences among different kinds if wine, while at the same time they come to know wine as the goods of civilization. Slovenia is a traditional wine growing country of quality wine, which is why during the wine tastings we also present a quality pyramid and the system of protected designation of origin. The more we know about wine, the more interested we become in wine and the more moderately we drink it.
3. What are the proceedings of such wine tasting?
A glass of wine and a glass of water are placed in front of every participant, and there is also a spittoon. First we taste the wine and explain the procedures of wine tasting. Anyone can quickly learn how to do it. Many different kinds of wine are offered, so that the participants can become familiar with an exceptional wealth of wine that we have in Slovenia. When we taste wines we do not drink them, but we spit them into the spittoon. It is not considered as a lack of culture, even if we taste a very precious kind of wine! It would be bad manners if we drank all the offered wine and then sat behind a car wheel – this would really be ill-mannered and irresponsible! We spit the wine and we drink only a small amount of it, therefore we become well familiar with wine, so we can have pleasure drinking it when it most suits us. During the wine tasting we drink one or two glasses of water, so that we are not thirsty, and by drinking water we also lower the content of ethanol in the body.
4. And what is the aim of such project?
Wine has already existed for eight thousand years. If harmful substances had been found in this otherwise alcoholic drink, it would have already been abolished ages ago. Therefore we only have to be aware that also too much of a good thing can harm you. With endeavours for moderate and responsible wine drinking we keep the good sides of wine for ourselves, and if we spread these wise habits on our descendants, we will preserve these beneficial effects of wine also for the future generations. The Ancient Greeks said everything about wine: wine is food and medicine, but it is also a poison for those, who exaggerate. Therefore we will not exaggerate, because we are aware that wine is beneficial only when consumed in moderation.