One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A full-bodied sweet or semi-sweet red wine from the Valpolicella region of north-eastern Italy, made from grapes which are dried after picking in order to concentrate the flavours and sugars. [A trademark in the United States.]
Early 20th century. From Italian recioto kind of wine (although this is apparently first attested later: 1937) from Italian regional (Veneto) recioto small bunch of grapes, mature grapes on the outside of a bunch, probably from recio (also rechio, rechio d'ua) (particular kind of) small bunch of grapes + -oto.
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