Word of the Week: BICCHIERE

After so much talking about wine, the first word of the week coming to mind is..of course glass: BICCHIERE. ( photo repost from Il Vinaio, Siena)

Vedere il bicchiere mezzo pieno o mezzo vuoto? – as we say to describe whether someone is an optimist or a pessimist

IL bicchiere
Il bicchiere

Il Bicchiere is a masculine word, I Bicchieri is the plural

Un BICCHIERINO is a small glass (as always in Italian when the suffix –INO /A is added at the end of the word), c’è il bicchierino da caffè in vetro (coffee glass) but there are numerous types of glasses indicated for different types of drinks and various occasions.

Just for wine, there are 13 different types of glasses used according to the wine type.  However, at home, if you really want to stand out in serving wines, all you need to have is four sets of wine glasses, each to serve specific categories. In addition, there is what everyone calls “Sommelier glass” BICCHIERE DEL SOMMELIER which simply is a CALICE DA DEGUSTAZIONE- tasting glass

There  is the Glass for white wine only BICCHIERE DA VINO BIANCO (full-bodied and mature whites can be served in it but also Rosé wines such as Salento or Santa Maddalena) and there is BICCHIERE DA VINO ROSSO : for reds  usually two types of glasses are used : one more rounded (Ballon), used for full-bodied and aged reds, and a narrower one,  for young and light red wines and often called “Bordeux”.

glass with a view
glass with a view

For aged and well-structured wines, rather than a glass we need the DECANTER, while  for vini spumanti, prosecco  o champagne the narrow FLUTE or the rounded COPPA is indicated.


Vedere il bicchiere mezzo pieno o mezzo vuoto

Il bicchiere della staffa : it is the last drink before leaving friends, to go home. It is believed that the expression dates back to the nineteenth century, when the gentlemen who went to the pubs drank the last glass when they already had a foot in the stirrup (la staffa) , ready to mount on horseback

Scatenare una tempesta in un bicchier d’acqua: Indicating a scandal, a great confusion but of short duration caused by a nonsense just like that of a storm that would immediately calm down in a glass of water.

Perdersi in un bicchier d’acqua: Get easily lost in a situation: Surrender to the slightest difficulty, not knowing how to get away in the most trivial situations



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