This week, after meeting with Franco Maria Ricci, the president of the Italian Sommelier Association, Pope Francis put to bed any rumors that his only vice was maté, a traditional South American tea that contains caffeine.
“I'm not a teetotaler," said Pope Francis. "I drink a little wine from Italy and other countries from around the world. But just a little.”
Ricci later told the Vatican Insider, “When he uttered that phrase, I was relieved.”
The Italian wine delegation also honored the preeminent Catholic leader with a diploma as an honorary sommelier, along with a tastevin (a traditional tasting cup used by wine tasters and producers), and a wooden box with two bottles of red wine, according to Breitbart.
“The idea of asking for an audience with the Pope came to me when I heard that he made so many references to good wine in his preaching,” said Ricci. “For us producers, sommeliers, and vintners, it is an important honor and an encouragement for our work.”