Wine Tasting: 🇺🇸 Zinfandel vs. 🇮🇹 Primitivo [Italian – English Wine Vocab]

#DolceVitaBloggers 2019Welcome back to the first #DolceVitaBloggers of 2019!

#DolceVitaBloggers is a link up for Italy lovers hosted by myself, Kelly of, Jasmine of, and Kristie of #DolceVitaBloggers is open for submissions of Italy-related blog posts or YouTube videos starting the third Sunday of each month (January – October 2019). Think of it as a bilingual, virtual aperitivo hour to connect with your fellow Italophiles! You can find out all the details about #DolceVitaBloggers here, or please contact me with any further questions about how to participate!

I am getting my #DolceVitaBlogger submission in this month just in the nick of time! I filmed a video tasting Primitivo from Puglia and Zinfandel from the Central Coast of California side by side. I have head that Zinfandel & Primitivo are actually the same grape variety, but I wanted see for myself how similar they are, and the influence that Californian & Italian terroir have on the grape. I also included some key wine terminology in English & Italian so that language learning can be as easy and fun as wine tasting!

Zinfandel vs Primitivo wine tasting
Zinfandel & Primitivo are said the be the same grape variety, but do they taste the same?

I made sure that all variables except the country of origin were the same, including:

  • The cost: around $5.99 each from Trader Joe’s
  • The vintage: 2017
  • Climate: both from coastal regions (although temperatures in each location might vary a bit)

I recently got my WSET Level 2 certification, and I miss studying for it! I definitely want to continue my formal wine education eventually, but I figured I could still practice and I apply what I’ve learned in the meantime. There is SO MUCH to learn about wine, I don’t think I’ll ever be done learning (and that’s OK)!

I used the WSET Level 2 systematic approach to wine tasting to describe the appearance, nose, and palate of each wine. You can find the handy WSET Level 2 tasting chart in English & Italian online.


I am so excited that I finally have a computer that can handle video, and feel reasonably comfortable with editing on Adobe Premiere Pro. If you want to get into video editing, I have learned everything so far from YouTube tutorials and this AMAZING comprehensive tutorial on Skillshare. I can’t say that I feel 100% comfortable on camera yet, but that is EXACTLY why I want to make videos…there is something oddly satisfying about growing from discomfort. What matters to me more than feeling comfortable is sharing my passion for food & wine, all while learning Italian and I hope that Italian speakers can learn a little English from me too. I have so much planned for my YouTube channel and blog that I am bursting with excitement! The fact that you are here from the beginning MEANS THE WORLD TO ME.

What is your favorite Primitivo or Zinfandel? I’d love to try it next!

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Ciao, I'm Kelly!

Welcome to my adventures in learning Italian, often while cooking authentic Italian recipes and wine tasting! I love discovering the traditional regional cuisine of Italy and trying to recreate those dishes when I'm back home in the US. I'm also on my way to becoming an Italian citizen through jure sanguinis (by ancestry).

WSET Level 2 Certified Wine Blogger


Join me for a virtual "aperitivo chat" to get exclusive updates on my Italian progress, dual citizenship journey, plus food & wine adventures in the Bel Paese and beyond!

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1 year ago

I enjoyed watching your video, Kelly! Learned about wine terminology in English and Italian. Congratulations on getting your WSET Level 2 Certification! #dolcevitabloggers

Gina Martino Zarcadoolas

Great video Kelly! You provide some valuable information….Cheers!

LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia

I really enjoyed watching this video!! You did a great job explaining the wines in a way that anyone can understand! I don’t think I’ve ever had a Primitivo,I think I’ll pick one up the next time I stop by the store! I’ll let you know what I think! 🙂

Kristie Prada
1 year ago

You’re becoming so natural at this Kelly! I love watching you on video! And you know a lot about wine! I am hopeless on this topic! Really excited to see where your channels are going this year!


[…] Italian at Heart writes Zinfandel vs. Primitivo. […]

1 year ago

Kelly, I know I commented on YouTube but I wanted to leave one here too! I fully enjoyed your video on these two wines, I felt like I learnt SO MUCH. It’s those little things that you mentioned, those “chicche” of wisdom that I think I can use or bring up when with company or out at a restaurant!

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