“Revisiting”: The Only Wine Term You Need to Know

Giorgio set the glass of garnet-colored wine in front of me confidently, as if he already knew the ultimate decision I’d make.

“Thanks, but I’m not sure if I should try it,” I politely declined, still in disbelief at the fact that it was acceptable to legally drink wine under the age of 21. It was 2006, and the 20-year-old me, studying abroad in Rome, still clung to the rules and regulations she had grown up with in America.

My roommate and I had recently discovered a neighborhood Italian restaurant on one of the side streets near the Pantheon. Lured by the aromas of sizzling meat sauces and freshly-cooked tagliatelle, we were quickly seated in an outdoor table near the back. Upon learning that I had never had wine before, our server, Giorgio, insisted that I try some Montepulciano d’Abruzzo to “make my life complete.”

I hesitated as I held the glass in front of me, but Giorgio’s persistent smiles and promises of “it’s like amore, bella!” finally won me over. I took a dainty sip of the tannic liquid and immediately understood.

“It’s fantastic!” I exclaimed eagerly, taking a larger gulp. “Un altro, per favore!” Another one, please.

Giorgio tossed his head back and laughed. “Not too fast, bella. Take your time and enjoy the wine,” he said. “But when you want more wine, if you want it for free, just use your charms.” He winked at me, taking off with our bread basket. “It will work every time.”

Wine

I thought little of Giorgio’s advice until two years later, when I was on a road trip to Paso Robles, California with the man I would one day marry. As devoted oenophiles, it should come as no surprise that we wanted to celebrate our one-year anniversary with a weekend of wine tasting with Grapeline Wine Tours.

Our shuttle driver for the tour, Ray, was a laidback, stocky man with a mischievous twinkle in his eye. As we pulled into our first winery of the morning, his first order of business was to introduce us to the delightful concept of “revisiting.”

“If you taste a wine that you like, and you want to try it again later on, don’t be afraid to ask the tasting room staff to revisit that wine,” Ray grinned. “It’s a classy way to ask for more. They’ll pour you another taste for free.”

We heeded his advice and asked the staff at Tobin James Cellars to revisit the chardonnay, then the zinfandel, and oh yes, how about that cabernet franc… and before we knew it, we had imbibed the equivalent of three glasses. It was like we had been inducted into some secret wine society—all we had to do was utter this one phrase, and abracadabra! More wine would appear.

Over time, Mr. Five O’Clock and I became pros at using our charms to revisit as many wines as we could. We learned to engage with the tasting room staff, asking them about their love of wine, the history of their winery, or even how to join their wine club. Connections were made; the wine continued to flow.

“If you taste a wine that you like, and you want to try it again later on, don’t be afraid to ask the tasting room staff to revisit that wine,” Ray grinned. “It’s a classy way to ask for more. They’ll pour you another taste for free.”

It was with this mindset that we traveled to Spain on our honeymoon in August 2012. If our beguiling ways had enchanted the staff at American wineries, surely they would work on the staff in Spanish vineyards as well! And so, with high hopes, we booked a tour at a winery in Alicante.

After a short tour of the property, which included tales of their winery’s origins and their winemaking process, we sidled up to the counter and locked eyes with our target.

“Hi, I’m Julianne. This place is so beautiful,” I said as I leaned in closer to the gentleman pouring the wine for other guests on our tour. “Could I have a taste of your red wine, please?”

He poured an ounce of wine into the glass I was holding, muttering, “This is part syrah, part petit verdot,” before abruptly walking over to the other end of the counter. After five minutes, my husband caught his eye, and he came back over to us.

“That was sooo delicious, mmmm,” I cooed, making some exaggerated gestures to ensure that he knew how much I meant it. “Could I revisit it?”

The man stared at me as if I was speaking some archaic babble that he didn’t care to decipher.

“Revisitar?” I tried hopefully, pushing my glass toward him.

“Ah, yes, you come visit our winery again next year!” he exclaimed, rushing on to the next guest.

He never came back.

Subsequent attempts with other tasting staff followed a similar script—complete lack of comprehension of this term we loved so dearly. Ray, your words have failed me, I thought, wondering how I’d lost my vino mojo. This magic word, which had worked so well in America, apparently didn’t have the same power overseas.

As I sighed, feeling utterly deflated, my new husband put his glass in my hand. He had barely tasted any of his pour.

“Here, you can taste mine,” he smiled earnestly, squeezing my hand and ignoring the absurdity of my dejection. “Don’t worry, honey. It still counts.”

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