There is a long-standing wine-making tradition in many Italian families. There are even those who take the time to grow their own grapes and delicately pick them from the vine in order to carefully create what has been dubbed the elixir of the gods. In recent years, I have been allowed inside the circle of this custom and know that when the recycled glass bottles and jugs come out of hiding that the harvest has ended and the wine making has begun.
It is my belief that this tradition exists solely because of the end result that the jug of wine represents: gatherings of friends and family, laughter, camaraderie, wonderful food and good times of togetherness.
Last week while at a trade show, I had the pleasure of having dinner with a small group of folks from an exhibiting company. It just so happened that we dined at a wonderfully unique little Italian BYOB, and it just so happened that they brought along with them a wonderfully unique jug of “Angelo's Homemade Wine.” What ensued that night was exactly what I suspect Angelo had sought to accomplish—a great evening filled with memory-making moments, great conversation and laughter. But it didn't just include our table, others in the dining room noticed our curiously interesting jug of wine, commented on it, tasted with us and joined in the moment that Angelo and his grapes helped to create.
I have a friend from Italy who once told me, he would not do business with someone he had not eaten a meal with. “Nichole, it is at the table that you get to really know a man’s character, not before this can you sign a contract with him,” he told me. The dinner table is where business deals happen in Italy. I am finding the same to be true in the states, the strongest business relationships and ensuing friendships start with breaking bread and a sip of Angelo’s handiwork.