Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs. You can also follow me on Twitter: @AskDrVinny.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
I am a translator and I am currently translating a text about wine. Is the word “fizzy” used in a negative way? If I am saying a wine is fizzy, am I saying it’s a bad wine?
—Anna M., Italy
It depends on the context. When “fizzy” is used to describe a sparkling wine, usually it’s just acknowledging the effervescence of it and the carbonation that creates the fizz. I’ve seen wines described as being “gently fizzy” or having a “refreshing fizz”, which are compliments to the wine. I’ve also seen the term “fizzy” used the way the Italian word “frizzante” is used, to describe wines with a lighter effervescence and fewer bubbles, such as Prosecco or sparkling Moscato. In that case, it’s neither a positive nor a negative term, just a way to describe a style.
But when non-sparkling wines are described as fizzy or spritzy, that’s when it’s a negative term, and many consider it a flaw. There are two main reasons for a wine to have unpleasant fizz with it—either some carbon dioxide was trapped inside when the wine was bottled, or the wine started to re-ferment in the bottle. Sometimes you’ll see a wine described as having a hint of fizz, or a slight fizz, and that’s most often the negative connotation.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Passionate about wine? WineSpectator.com seeks a highly motivated digital journalist for an assistant editor position in its New York editorial department.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash