Italian Wine Glossary



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Italian Wine Glossary

Here is a whole bunch of Italian wine terminology and wine terminology in general to help you understand the complex world of wines. I know I’m learning quite a bit.

  • Abboccato
  • - Lightly sweet, Semi-dry.

  • Acitic
  • - A vinegar like taste.

  • Acidity
  • - Wines that contain acids.

  • Amabile
  • - Semi-sweet wines usually referencing sparkling wines.

  • Amaro
  • - Bitter.

  • Annata
  • - The wine’s vintage year.

  • Appellation
  • - French system regulating authenticity.

  • Asciutto
  • - Totally dry.

  • Astringent
  • - High in tannin.

  • Azienda agricola
  • - A winery which also produces other products besides the grapes used under it’s label.


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  • Balance
  • - A relative degree of fruity quality, acidity, tannins and alcohol.

  • Bianco
  • - White wine.

  • Botte
  • - Barrel or cask.

  • Botticella
  • - Small cask.

  • Bottiglia
  • - Bottle

  • Bouquet
  • - Complex aromas.

  • Bricco
  • - Refers to the top of the hill Piedmontese dialect and is used to indicate particularly prestigious vineyards.

  • Brut
  • - Dry sparkling wine.


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  • Cantina
  • - Winery or cellars.

  • Cantina sociale
  • - A cooperative winery.

  • Casa vinicola
  • A wine merchant whose wines come from mainly purchased grapes.

  • Cascina
  • - Farmhouse used for estate wines.

  • Cerasuolo
  • Cherry hued rose wines.

  • Chiaretto
  • - Deep rose wines.

  • Classico
  • - The limited area within the confines of a particular D.O.C. zone.

  • Coltivatore
  • - Cultivator

  • Cooked
  • - Prunish flavor.

  • Dolce
  • - Sweet.

  • Dry
  • - Opposite of sweet.

  • Enoteca
  • - A wine library.

  • Etichetta
  • - Label


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  • Fattoria
  • - A town with its own production facility.

  • Fermentazione naturale
  • - Natural fermentation.

  • Fiasco
  • - Straw cased bottle used by Chianti producers.

  • Frizzante
  • - Fizzy

  • Frutta
  • - Fruit

  • Frutta di bosco
  • - Fruits of the forest such as blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.

  • Green
  • - Wine made from unripe grages.

  • Gradazione alcoolica
  • - The percentage of alcohol in a wine.

  • Honeyed
  • - Wines with a slight hint of honey flavor.

  • Imbottigliata
  • - Bottled

  • Imbottigliata dal Produttore All‘orgin
  • - Bottled by the producer at the source.

  • Imbottigliata dalla Cantina Sociale
  • - Bottled by a cooperative winery.

  • Invecchiato
  • - Aged wine.


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  • Length
  • - The lingering aftertaste of the wine.

  • Liquoroso
  • - A strong wine sometimes fortified.

  • Litro
  • - Liter

  • Madeiruzed
  • - Oxidized with a brownish color and stale oder.

  • Maso
  • - A vineyard or estate

  • Masseria
  • - A farm or estate

  • Metodo Classico or Tradizionale
  • - A term used in making sparkling wine.

  • Millesimato
  • - a vintage for sparkling wine.

  • Nero
  • - Black.

  • Noble
  • - A classification of grapes that produceCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Reisling.

  • Nose
  • - Aroma.

  • Nutty
  • - A nutlike aroma.

  • Oaky
  • - An aroma from aged oak casks

  • Oxidized
  • - Spoiled form too much air.


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  • Passito
  • - Wines mad from partially dried grapes.

  • Podere
  • - A small wine estate of farm.

  • Produttore
  • - Producer

  • Recioto
  • - Wines made from dried grapes in the style of passito.

  • Riserva
  • - A D.O.C. or D.O.C.G. aged for more than three years.

  • Ronco
  • - A Fiulan term indicating a hillside vineyard,

  • Rosato
  • - Rose’wine.

  • Rosso
  • - Red.

  • Scelto
  • - Selected late harvested D.O.C. wines.

  • Secco
  • - Dry white wine.

  • Semi-Secco
  • - Semi-Sweet.

  • Sommelier
  • - A specialist in selecting and serving wine,

  • Sori
  • - Used in Piedmont for a hillside vineyard with a certain favorable.

  • Sparkling
  • - Wine containing carbonation.

  • Sulpher
  • - An anti-oxidant introduced in some wines in small amounts.

  • Spumanti
  • - Dry or Sweet Sparkling wines.

  • Stabilimento
  • - Firm.

  • Superiore
  • - Indicates D.O.C. wine that meets standards above normal requirements.

  • Sweet
  • - Having residual sugar from fermintation.


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  • Tenimento
  • - Farm.

  • Uva
  • - A dried grape to be used for wine.

  • Vecchio
  • - Describes aged D.O.C. wines.

  • Vendemmis
  • - Late harvest.

  • Vigna
  • - Vineyard

  • Vignaiolo
  • - Term for grape grower.

  • Villa
  • - Manor

  • Vinificazion
  • - Vinification

  • Vino
  • - Wine

  • Vino da Tavolo
  • - Table wine.

  • Vino Novello
  • - Wines in Italy that are sold after one month.

  • Vin Santo
  • - Wines made from grapes dried on straw mats.

  • Vino da Tavolo
  • - Table wine.

  • Vintner
  • - A winemaker

  • Vite
  • - Vine.

  • Viticulture
  • - The art and science of winemaking.

  • Vitigno
  • - Vine or grape variety.

  • Vivace
  • - Lightly bubbly wines.

  • Woody
  • - Having the aroma or taste of an aging barrel.

  • Yeasty
  • - Smelling like yeast.


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