Wine Review: Soffocone di Vincigliata

A full-bodied red with a dirty past.

A bottle of the naughty vintage

A lot of wines have great stories behind them, but how many involve a tribute to the sexual indiscretions of local adolescents and a subsequent ban by the U.S. Liquor Authority? One comes to mind: Soffocone di Vincigliata.


The vintage is the product of a Vincigliata, a small Tuscan town on the outskirts of Florence near Fiesole. Overlooking the beautiful Florentine skyline, tourists mostly know Vincigliata for its views, and, on occasion, for making some decent wines. For locals, the area holds a different meaning: make out point. Its vineyards are notorious among lovers as a perfect place to play a little game of Nasconda la Salsiccia, in English, “Hide the Salami.” In Italy, men typically live with their mothers until the day they are married (re: the term Mamino), so you can imagine that Vincigliata plays an incredibly important role as Florentine men come of age.


Another charming aspect of Italian culture is the many terms they use for what we here in America call a “blowjob”. Pompino, or the verb form Spompinare, Trombare or Bofilo all are used frequently. Still, in all languages, there is always that term that takes slang to the next level of dirty, and when it comes to a blowjob in Italian, that word is: Suffocone.


After years of watching Florentine coeds roll around in his vineyards, one of the local Vincigliata winemakers, Bibi Graetz, decided to make a wine that celebrated this often overlooked part of Florentine life. However, in the US, wine labels aren’t allowed to have any sort of sexual imagery on them, so when the Liquor Authority finally figured out what was painted on the bottle, it became illegal to import to the States. Still, you can purchase the wine online, it’s described as full-bodied with plum, berry, and vanilla notes. Talk about a sexy bottle of red.