If you want to understand smoked wine, first let’s talk about wine storage. When you buy a good bottle of wine, you may go to great lengths to properly preserve it from the harsh effects of climate, light and atmosphere. We’ve said it over and over again – don’t place your Brunello di Montalcino on your kitchen shelves, above the fridge, in the cupboard – just take it completely out of the kitchen! Preserving wine is a technique, with very standard rules and dates back to Ancient Roman times.
Romans stored their wine in large, airtight clay jugs known as amphora. These were ideal for transport and for holding large quantities of liquid. They were also perfect containers for storage and preservation with the techniques used back then.
Much like today, Ancient Romans were keen to finding techniques to age their wine. Today, we revel in the idea of drinking an aged red, and Romans were no strangers to this thought as well, though their tastes were dictated more by need than taste.
Preserving wine and food has always been a top priority for ancient cultures who were simply not equipped with the refined technology and processes that are now commonplace for modern gastronomy. In short, Ancient Romans needed to age their wine, as a form of keeping it around for as long as possible.
Later on, did modern wine drinkers discover that this technique was also pretty good for a romantic date over a full-bodied red.
So, What About Smoked Wine?
Ok, so now that we get the importance of storage – let’s get down to the nitty gritty. Ancient Romans used smoke chambers to store their wine, also known as a fumarium. Chambers usually had naturally heated floors and the amphora were perfect containers for wine smoking.
The smoke chambers gave wine a smoky flavor, higher acidic concentration and most of all helped artificially age wine.