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How Drinking Italian Wine Can Be Downright Philanthropic (Kind Of…)

With everything going on in the news these days, you’d be forgiven if the earthquakes that literally shook residents in central Italy last year weren’t exactly in the forefront of your mind, but residents of that region have certainly not forgotten. Hundreds of lives were lost to the quakes and aftermath and some towns were left devastated. What can we do to help? Ellen Bhang at the Boston Globe has some delicious suggestions and they all revolve around one phenomenal thing: wine.

Bhang spoke to multi-hyphenate author Jeremy Parzen who also happens to be a professor at the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Piedmont. Parzen in turn was inspired by a colleague, Fabio Giavedoni, who is urging members of the international community to drink wine from central Italy to ease the financial burden the region is experiencing following the earthquakes.

A conversation with Parzen sheds light on the importance of tourism. “If you live in Rome, you drive a couple of hours to these medieval lands,” Parzen says. He describes the terrain as rustic, much less developed than regions like the Veneto or Lombardy. It’s typical, he continues, for people to visit important cultural sites, like the Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi in Umbria, drive to the wineries nearby, and load up the trunk with cases of wine. All of this was disrupted by the quakes, which damaged infrastructure and rendered some of the most-visited sites inaccessible. Tourism has fallen sharply. “People’s fear of seismic activity keeps them away,” he explains. “The smaller producers are really at risk, but even the bigger producers rely on tourism.”

The average wine drinker in the US might worry about finding regional Italian wines in American shops but Parzen says that many of his picks were on shelves in Boston-area stores.

Want to do your part? It’s easy! Head over to the original article at the Boston Globe and check out their picks or visit and see what they have in stock. What better way to lend a hand then by popping some corks?







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