Weekly wine defined: Fiasco

Mary writes:

This week’s word is fun to say, but it’s meaning in English is quite different than its Italian translation (although more than a few nips off a flask can create quite the fiasco depending on the circumstance).

Fiasco is Italian for flask. In this definition though it’s not the flask we might think of — a small metal container kept in a breast pocket of a jacket to hold a favorite liquor.

Way back when, during the time when bottles were handmade, wine bottles were round, thin and extremely light. That meant there was hell to pay when taking the bottles to the market in the donkey cart to be refilled.

In order to keep things orderly, and to prevent the bottles from bouncing around and bumping into each other — and potentially breaking — straw coverings were woven around the lower portion of the bottles. This is what is known as a fiasco.

When the bottle was filled, the fiasco helped to keep the wine from flowing in the wrong direction. A true fiasco holds two liters.