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Video: Pronouncing Italian wine names

June 1, 2011 |  9:43 am

 

Hilarious and endearing: The wine blog Do Bianchi features the Italian Grape Name Pronunciation Project “inspired by a desire to share the aural experience of Italian ampelography, vinography and toponymy — in the voice of the winemakers and grapegrowers themselves."

Not just a disembodied voice, but a brief (under one minute) YouTube video with an Italian speaker (a different one each time) pronouncing the name of a grape. The current one up is Freisa, in which Chiara Martinotti of Cascina Gilli pronounces the word several times. That’s it. In the text below, blogger and Italian wine maven Jeremy Parven contributes a concise history of the grape in Italy.

Let’s take a somewhat more difficult pronunciation assignment: Aglianico (pronounced by Bruno de Conciliis of Viticoltori De Conciliis or Teroldego spoken by Elisabetta Foradori of Azienda Agrigola Elisabetta Foradori

The blog has much more, though, from blogger, food and wine historian, Italian translator and rock musician Jeremy Parzen. A local boy (La Jolla) now living in Austin, Texas, he did his doctorate at UCLA and taught Italian literature and cinema there for several years. Lately, he’s been visiting Los Angeles more often, collaborating with Steve Samson on the wine list for Sotto, the Italian restaurant that replaces the Test Kitchen on Pico Boulevard.

Don’t be caught mispronouncing Italian wine names. Even highly trained sommeliers sometimes make mistakes, though more likely with French wine names than Italian. Check out Do Bianchi and learn a little about Italian wines in a relaxed, easy manner. Parven has fun with his blog, and is incredibly generous with information. Through him, you can vicariously attend Italian wine tastings, visit vineyard area, and meet the winemakers.

Do Bianchi also includes a very nice listing of other wine blogs to check out.

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— S. Irene Virbila

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