Italian Wine Terms

When tasting in Italian wineries it doesn't hurt to know how to talk about wines in Italian. The good people pouring the wines will appreciate it and who knows what you might learn once you've engaged in conversation. Below is a list of the wine-related terms I use most when talking with Italians about their wine. If you pull one or two of these out at Cantine Aperte (or whenever), I guarantee you'll make a good impression.

Basic Wine Terms

red - rosso
rose - rosato
white - bianco
dry - secco
sweet - dolce/amabile
soft - morbido
bright - vivace/vivo
dark fruit - frutta scura
tropical - tropicale
pineapple - ananas
vanilla - vaniglia
berry - bacca
plum - susina
apple - mela
cherry - ciliegia
velvet - vellutato
mineral - minerale
good acidity - buona acidita
body - corposo
light - leggero/lieve
medium - medio
balanced - equilibrato
strong/powerful - forte
oak - rovere
barrels - botti
small oak barrels - barrique
stainless steel - acciaio inossidabile
earth - terra
tannins - tannini
spices - spezie
grape harvest - vendemmia
grappolo - bunch
grapes - uva

and of course, the best Italian exclamation: bellissimo!

Basic Phrases

What type of grape?
Que tipo di uva?

How long is this aged?
Per quanto tempo e invecchiato?

This is good.
Questo é buono.

This is excellent.
Questo é ottimo.

I like this wine.
Mi piace questo vino.

I don't like it.
Non mi piace.

It tastes of...
Ha sapore di...

and of course: Grazie!


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