5 Italian White Grapes You’re Mispronouncing
We’re not trying to shame you: just offer some subtle direction.
For years I didn’t order wine made with the Ribolla Gialla grape in a restaurant because I wasn’t 100-percent sure how to say it. Ditto the grape Grillo from Sicily (which I love): do I pronounce either of the Ls? But never fear – we’re hear to knock of few of your fears from their perch.
Ribolla Gialla the cool grape from Fruili has been on a decade long tear due to it’s unique blend of the floral and high-acid point is pronounced: REE-bolla JALL-ah.
The Bottle Jermann Ribolla Gialla $40. This can be tough to find, but well worth it (Marquis in Vancouver frequently carries them). It’s something special.
Grillo The wonderful Sicilian grape used to be only famous for making marsala, but is now a stand alone star thanks to its blend of savoury notes with a crisp bite is pronounced : GREE- loh
The Bottle Feudo Maccari Olli $23.50 Now this is a well priced beauty – it has lemon zest and a lick of salinity from the sea. Great for the heat.
Arneis The pride of Piedmont, this nearly extinct grape is now back in vogue thanks to its full bodied nature that channels soft pears and apricots. It’s pronounced Ahr-NAYZ
The Bottle Moon Curser Arneis $23 If you can find Vietti, it’s the pinnacle of the grape (and the winery was, along with Bruno Giacosa, the saviours of the grape), but it’s pricey and tough to locate. So let’s go for the wonderful homegrown version from Moon Curser – a treasure and a steal at the same time.
Garganega I always have trouble with this grape that form the backbone of the famed Soave, the iconic white that is making big leaps in quality of late. It’s pronounced gahr-GAH-neg-ah, not gahr-guh-NEG-ah as you sometimes here.
The Bottle Ca’ Rugate San Michelle $24 If you’re looking for a bottle that signals the Soave renaissance, look no further than this mix of crisp apple and alpine meadows.
Valdobbiedene Well this one’s always a trick, but not to learn it would mean your relegated to bland mass-market Prosecco, but learn this one and the best bubbles of the region—the DOCG of Conegliano-Valdobbiedene—will suddenly make you a believer. That is if you can learn to say: VAHL-doh-BEE’AH-deh-nay, but this one has a few variations – some will say BEE-ah-deh-nay, adding almost an extra syllable.
The Bottle Sorelle Branca $31 What a shining example of how great DOCG Prosecco can be—focussed aromas of honey and floral notes with crisp pear. A winner.