Funny Histories
Italian Wine Proverbs
There are many ways to get to know a population and proverbs are one of these. In the space of few words, proverbs contains history, culture and wine too!
"In vino veritas"

Literal translation: "In wine there is truth"

This is a Latin phrase which means "wine makes people tell the truth". Italians are still using this proverb in the original language, a clear evidence of the fact that wine has been playing a big role in the life of the Italian peninsula since Roman times.

"Nella botte piccola c'è il vino buono"

Literal translation: "In the small barrel, there's the good wine"

This Italian proverb refers to the fact that the finest wines are usually produced in limited quantities, but it actually uses the subject as a metaphor to talk about people and things in general. Basically, it's in contrast to the thought that "big" necessarily means "better", suggesting that the concept of quality often doesn't coincide with that of quality.
In everyday use, it may be used by people of short stature who, ironically, make a point of pride of what it's often considered a disadvantage.

"Buon vino fa buon sangue"

Literal translation: "Good wine makes good blood"

This is the most used among Italian proverbs about wine. This proverb deals with the relationship between wine and health and it claims that a good glass of wine does not hurt but it can rather have positive effects on the health.

"Amici e vini sono meglio vecchi"

Literal translation: "Old wine and friends improve with age"

Friendship and wine are authentic values for Italians, especially if they are old. Friends and wine, in fact, get better year after year. This proverb bids you to take a good care of your friends the same way a wine producer does with its wine.

"A San Martino ogni mosto diventa vino"

Literal translation:"When Saint Martin's day arrives, the must turns into wine"

In Italy St. Martin's day is celebrated every year on November 11th. This period coincides with the arrival of the "new wine", which is the first wine reaching the tables and which comes from the grapes just harvested a few weeks earlier. The meaning is that the time of change always comes, whether we like it or not.