Wine was always generously served up on family and festive tables. If it was necessary to ride somewhere, a wooden vessel, the “burlui” was filled with wine, which vessel was able to keep the drink cool. The shepherds always took a “ploska” of wine – a vessel placed from the side. The “Ploska” was loved by the haiduks who hid in the oak forests from the Turks. It is mentioned precisely this sort of wood became the most precious and favoured material for the barrel-makers.
That is why wines of Moldova are drunk easily and. The wines from the basement (crama) are more valuable. Every court has a large or small cellar, where wine is stored in barrels at a specific temperature and under other conditions which protect the drink from cold and hot weather.
The villager carefully shifts his creation from the barrel to the glass decanter and then to the glass in order to evaluate its color and transparency, and then only afterwards to taste.
It should be drunk slowly and unhurriedly to feel the sense. Wine is also not bad to drink from a painted ceramic mug bought at the market with the bulky decanter – the burlui.
Moldovan wine is produced mainly in October. That is why this month is called “The Month of the Scoop” (“Luna lui kausi”). The “kaush” is a round wooden vessel with a handle. It is an obligatory item in the peasant’s winery. It serves to scoop up pulp, mash or fermenting green wine. One can taste the green wine, “tulburel”, with the kaush.
When the green wine “tulburel” stopped fermenting, the peasant would stand near the courtyard gates and regale the passers-by with his “tulburel”. No one could refuse. According to the tradition, the first taster should take a sip of wine and, without swallowing, silently “listen” to the new wine… Afterward he had to address the winemaker with a wish. The landlord would remember this wish, which would be very significant from this time.
In the olden days there was another custom – all the relatives gathered around a miraculous barrel. A cup-bearer was appointed according to his particular merits and respects. Everyone who entered the yard was very salutatory, especially if he could sing songs and dance with the company. The merriment would last until late at night, but no one would be tired. It was believed that green wine gives power and energy.
According to Moldovan tradition a kemel of dried walnut is offered as a snack to accompany a glass of wine. This kemel is considered a symbol of hospitality and warmth. During feasts when all the dishes were eaten and the wine drunk the time for departure was approaching. Then it was time for another wide-spread Moldovan custom. The meaning of “La botul calului” was the following: before leaving the guests would drink the last wineglass “near the horse” – that meant that the departing person would take part of hospitable hosts’ warmth and tenderness of feeling along with him on the road.
Moldovan people prepare wine not only for their family and friends. The older citizens of Chisinau remember the autumn time when everywhere from nearest villages a lot of vehicles with domestic wine barrels were coming to the capital.
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