One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A sweet red wine made from a variety of grape grown chiefly in southern Italy.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826), revolutionary politician and president of the United States of America. From Italian aleatico, further etymology uncertain and disputed. Most authorities accept a derivation from Italian regional (Emilia-Romagna) aliädga, lit. ‘(grape) growing in July’, regional variant of lugliatico (of a grape) that ripens in July from luglio + -atico, but this presents phonological problems.
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