These contain some examples of vulgar language.

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Good wine is as much a part of Italian lifestyle as good food is. Italians are proud of their winemaking successes such as Chianti, Pinot Grigio and Brunello di Montalcino, just a few of the many wines known around the world.
Socialising in Italy mainly happens around the table and a successful evening is often determined by the quality of the alcohol as much as by the company and the grub.
Generally Italians consume wine with any meal but if it's pizza, beer seems to be the preferred choice.
Beer drinking has increased with the new pub trend in Italy. Look-alike British pubs have appeared all over the country with only one difference, you get served at the table by waiters and waitresses.

In the northern part of the country, boozing starts in the morning. Some people, in order to fight the cold, start the day with a Grappa in their coffee.
Evenings begin with an aperitif which can be a Prosecco or an alcoholic orange looking drink. A respectable aperitif always comes with lots of yummy, fun-looking food.
Wine accompanies dinner and spirits are a must after the evening meal with the excuse that they help the digestion.

Let's have a drink

(* = familiar, ** = very familiar, *** = vulgar, R = plain rude, Lit. = Literally)


Bianco macchiato aperol White wine with aperol (an Italian liqueur) and a slice of orange.

Prosecco Sparkling, dry, white.
Prosecchino Cheeky, little prosecco.

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Un quartino (*) A small glass of wine, or a small jug (quarter of a litre).

Un bianchetto (*) A small, white wine.

Un goccio (*) A drop (or twenty!).

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Un amaro (che fa bene alla digestione) A bitter spirit said to aid digestion, therefore also known as Un digestivo.

Limoncello Summer nights by the sea. A generic name for an Italian citrus-based lemon liqueur that is served well chilled in the summer months.

Grappa Yummy... grappa... you can have it straight, with coffee, with hot chocolate, cold, at room temperature, flavoured...

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Una birretta (*) A cheeky, little beer.

Una birra piccola/media/grande Small/medium/large beer.

In bottiglia Bottled beer.

Alla spina Draught beer.

Una bionda (*) A blonde. Lager.

Una rossa (*) A red head.

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Let's have a drink

Andiamo a farci un goccio/cicchetto (*) Let's go for a drink.

Un bicchierino (*) Lit. A little glass. A little drink.

Un ubriacone (*) Someone who gets drunk a lot.
To indicate someone is drunk or "a drunk", Italians don't really have a colloquial word but rather a hand gesture. Here's an attempt to describe it: The hand forms a fist but the thumb is left standing out. Then you indicate your mouth with the thumb in a repetitive gesture and at the same time you thin your lips to express disapproval while your eyes give a knowing look.

Tirar su balla, far balla (*) To get drunk.

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Argument Class Drinking Family
Food Friends Going out Health
Interjections Money Moods Music
Play up/Play down Politics Professions Pulling

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