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Wine in the Time of Pandemics: Wine Windows

If nothing comes between you and your wine, you’re not alone. You would have loved the Wine Windows of old Florence! Read on to discover a fascinating piece of wine history. 

 

Social distancing, shortages, and quarantines–oh my! While the world may feel like it’s been turned upside down, this isn’t the first time people have had to cope with a pandemic. Some things are definitely different, but one thing that’s still the same is our love of wine. In fact, wine lovers of the past found some pretty creative ways to make sure they could still get their daily glass of vino.

This week we’re taking a look at the Wine Windows of old Florence and exploring how people today are ensuring their supply of wine keeps on flowing!

 

Wine windows made selling wine fast, convenient, and tax free - SECCO Wine Club

The Historical Wine Windows of Florence, Italy

If you enjoy any part of Italian culture, you’re probably somewhat familiar with Florence. The capital city of the Tuscany region is known for breathtaking architecture, being the birthplace of the Italian renaissance, and for having a much needed small-town feel compared to the bustling metropolitan cities of Rome or Milan. Around every corner, there are hole-in-the-wall shops where you’ll find unique shopping and restaurant options. This leads us to a fascinating piece of wine history!

In the 16th century, wealthy Florentines began buying vineyards in the lush Tuscan countryside. This land helped them create excellent wine which they planned to sell. However, to avoid paying taxes on said wine, they created literal holes in the walls of buildings they owned. 

These are called buchette del vino, which roughly translates to “small holes for wine.” These foot-tall openings were built into street-facing walls and created a quick, no-fuss, on-demand option for wine sales. We don’t know about you, but we think that’s pretty ingenious! 

 

Picture this…

You’re strolling along the cobblestone streets of Florence. You’ve just seen several of Michelangelo’s sculptures and now you’re headed to see one of the many historical cathedrals. Honestly, it’s been a great day! However, your throat is a bit dry. In fact, you’re completely parched. That’s when you spot it. You make a beeline for a conveniently placed buchette del vino, knock on the window, hand them an empty bottle with your payment, and receive your vino. Ah, we can practically taste the wine just thinking about it!

 

These unique architectural features became even more useful when the bubonic plague struck Italy in the 1600s. An early description of these windows recounted how they were used to keep money flowing with less risk of disease. They began using pre-bottled wine and some even passed tubes through the windows so customers could fill their bottles and reduce contact even more. 

Today, many of these windows are bricked up, boarded over, or (sadly) vandalized. In 2015, however, a group was founded with the sole purpose of identifying, mapping, and preserving these special historical features. Today, with health and safety being a top priority, there’s even more reason to preserve and even continue the tradition of these wine windows.

 

Wine windows meant people could still buy wine during pandemics - SECCO Wine Club

Wine Delivery is the Modern Version of Wine Windows

Today health and safety are at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t being as inventive as Florentines of the past. 

Even before social distancing was part of our everyday lives, wine delivery services were becoming more and more popular. Let’s be honest, when it comes to getting your hands on a good cup of wine, lovers of wine tend to choose the path of least resistance. In the past, that might have meant frequenting your nearest vineyard, but today the vineyard can come to you. 

 

Picture this…

You’re scrolling through emails and Instagram posts while wearing your most comfortable pair of sweatpants. Your remote work is finished for the day and you’re debating whether it’s worth it to lift the purring cat off your lap to go on that jog you’ve been meaning to take all week. That’s when you hear it. A knock on the front door. The cat meows in protest as you scramble to get up, but you know what that knock means. Your wine has been delivered!

The hardest part of the entire process was deciding which bottles to order. That and then moving them from the porch and into the kitchen because you ordered several bottles (no judgment). You’ll take a jog another day, and that’s okay. Honestly, life is pretty good.

 

Mmm, we can taste the wine just thinking about it. Well, we’re tasting wine because we had wine delivered straight to our door, so we’re drinking wine…in real life.

 

Wine delivery lets you access wine safely and conveniently - SECCO Wine Club

Safely Stock Up On Wine From The Comfort of Your Home

Whether you subscribe to our Wine Club, or if you just want to order a few bottles whenever the urge strikes you, we work hard to ensure the safe delivery of your wine. On top of that, we believe in high-quality Italian wines with low carbs and no added sugar. So, you can feel good about what you’re ordering and how you’re ordering it.

Don’t forget to follow-us for all the latest updates, and definitely don’t forget to order some wine 😉