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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Gouttenoire

The 14 Most Important Italian Wine Words

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

If you are planning to join us on a Tuscan wine tour get a head start by learning the 14 most important words in Italian having to do with wine. Although our tours are in English, knowing a bit of the local lingo is always fun. These words will also come in handy when you are looking at a wine list at dinner or browsing at a wine shop.

Vino = Wine

Certainly, the most important and basic word that you must learn is vino, because of course you will want to be able to ask for the wine list, called a carta dei vini, during your travels. Annata = Vintage or YearThis is the year of production you will find on the label. Italian producers often talk about the year because climate conditions play such an important role in the final wine. Botte = Barrel

A large wooden barrel used for making wine. Cantina = Cellar

This is the location or place in a winery where the wine is transformed and stored. Restaurants often have a cantina as well where they store their wine bottles. Degustazione = Tasting

You will be doing several of these on your wine tour with us. In fact, we think that the best part of learning about wine is actually getting to taste it. Enologo = Winemaker or Enologist

The person who created that wonderful liquid you are drinking. Rosso = Red

On most of our tours, you will get to taste lots of reds because the majority of wines produced in Tuscany are red, such as Chianti, Brunello and Nobile di Montepulciano. Bianco = White

If you have booked a San Gimignano tour, then you need to learn this word because Vernaccia di San Gimignano is Tuscany’s most important white wine. Riserva = Reserve

This is a wine created from the best vintages and aged for longer than others. If you see this on the label it usually means it is a very nice wine with a higher price tag. Tappo = Cork

In Italian if a wine is corked you say, “Sa di tappo,”… but hopefully you won’t need this phrase. Uva = Grape

It all starts with the grapes! The plural of uva is uve…. Vendemmia = Harvest

The grape harvest time in Tuscany is in the fall, and varies based on altitude and grape variety. Vigneto = Vineyard

You will notice that the vineyards in Tuscany are usually smaller and more picturesque than in other wine regions around the world. Mosto = Must

This is the freshly crushed grape juice that comes from pressing the grapes and still contains seeds and skins and is then used to make the wine.

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