What needs to be translated?

I hate those recipes where it says: add some salt. What measure is “some” at all? Does it equal ten grains or a tablespoon?
When I approach wineries at different industry events and ask them if they work with someone who provides translation of their material, I see the same question in their eyes: what is material? Is it my passport? Is it the tasting note for tasting events?

Well, as there is no person who can define the measure of “some”, there is no person to define what is meant by “your material”. It depends on your winery and your plans.

I show you a typical scenario to help you get a feel for when you might want to contact us for translation.

Elephant-winery” from Cabot Cove, Maine.
Mr. and Mrs. Elephant recently had in their B&B a German guy, who turned out to be a restaurant owner and insisted on taking some bottles to his restaurant to “see how it’s going”. The guy just emailed to confirm that people seem to love the wine, so he will order regularly fifty bottles a month. Mr. Elephant is happier than ever, he knew that his father’s instruction to keep the wine in the barrel ten months longer than those of Mr. Tiger made the necessary difference.
Mr. Elephant only thinks about how he could get other German restaurants to order another twenty bottles of his wine.

This is a typical situation, where you should be alarmed that you need translation.
The German restaurant owner might or might not be able to sell your wine, so you – who knows the wine better than anyone else in the world – should make sure they have everything they need – and even more – to get you known in their town.
I suggest to start translating the label. To get more information place a QR-code on it, which brings to a website where the person can find, for example:

    1. where your products are available for purchase
    1. your contact information, such as email address, telephone number
    1. the dates when you will be in a wine-fair in Germany
    1. the technical wine data sheets

You should send with the next order your translated brochures, which can be placed into the hall of the restaurant, so people waiting for a table can grab it and read on it.

Make sure to personalize the brochure so it gets to the reader’s heart.

Wine is passion, wine is love, you don’t want to annoy the reader with some mediocre story about how many hectares you work on, do you?
Write about your products which are not available in the restaurant, about the unique taste due to the ten additional months in the barrel, and how your father insisted on this decision, put pictures of your B&B and announce the next harvest, which people can enjoy with you!

Once you are in someone’s restaurant, you have a foot in the door. Wait a couple of months to see how it is going, stay in contact with the owner, get his feedback, then go ahead and see the place for yourself!
Organize a tasting one evening, ask a German sommelier to do it for you and send information about your region, possibilities of wine-tourism to your B&B, look for travel agencies in the town, call up the in-flight magazine office of the airline arriving closest to your place to ask if you can advertise your place and wine events in their magazine and let us write an article about you.

One idea stitches into the other. You could have a YouTube channel with subtitles, contracts to translate, Season’s greetings, a poll about how your guests stayed at your place, a website, e-shop…

If you have one idea, your business will grow! Make sure we will be your speaker in your target market. We could have the next “ten months more in the barrel” idea for your wine’s words.

So what about wine?

During the last session of my sommelier course our professor said, it is strange, we keep calling white wine white, while we only describe it’s color according the sommelier terminology with different shades of yellow.

This made me think of how fun is that for example Spanish speaking people call the red wine “tinto” – which means red but also colored…

How is red and white (wine) called in the different languages?

German says: weiß

and rot

Italians call it vino bianco

and vino rosso

Hungarians say: fehér

and vörös

Rosé? You say that with your heart!

Pulp fiction

Did you know that the title of Pulp Fiction refers to those pulp magazines, which were quite violent? How interesting language is, right? If you say pulp fiction, you remember automatically John Travolta dancing with Uma Thurman, but if I say grape pulp, your brain lets your saliva flow into your mouth.


Germans call it “Fleisch”, meaning flesh. (The whole word would be Traubenfleisch – grape pulp -, I assume Fleisch will be enough for our quick course)

Hungarians say hús (same as before, the whole word is gyümölcshús, but hús should be enough for now

while Italians very similarly call it polpa

Don’t throw away the grape-seeds

Grape seeds seem to be the less important part of the fruit.
People who think this, couldn’t be more wrong! Grape-seed contain a certain polyphenol, called resveratrol, which is studied for its effect on cancer cell growth (according to Wikipedia


Other preliminary research on disease models

skin and wounds – OPCs induced vascular endothelial growth factor and accelerated healing of injured skin in mice[4]
teeth – seed phenolics may inhibit oral sugar metabolism and retard growth of certain bacteria that cause dental caries[5]
bones – grape seed extracts enhanced bone density and strength in experimental animals[6]
in vitro cancer studies – grape seed proanthocyanidins decreased tumor numbers and reduced the malignancy of papillomas[7]
ultraviolet damage – dietary proanthocyanidins are under study for mechanisms against carcinogenesis and sunscreen protection[8]
anti-viral effects[9][10]
antibacterial properties[11]
liver function[12]
blood flow and fluid balance


Please take a moment to talk to your customers about grape seed, when you have the chance.

How is grape-seed in different language?

In Italian you say: vinacciolo (the mp3 says olio di vinacciolo, which is the grape-seed oil

In Hungarian: mag

And Germans call is: Samen


We all know, what the skin of a grape is good for. During the wine-making process the time, until the juice is in contact with skin, can determine the identity of the wine. In the skin is aroma, colour and the beloved tannins. Beside all these facts though, if you are on your wineyard and are simply pointing the grape, no one will understand, you mean the skin.


Listen to the German word!

The Hungarian pronunciation is also available

Listen to the pronunciation of the Italian word!



The German word “Haut” has nothing to do with the French “Haute”. The French word means fashionable, high class.

Why do you need a professional translator at all?

Few months back I founded this new business, called Message in a Bottle, which aims to translate any wine-related material (written or said) into some languages to help small – or big – wineries, wine producers, cellars, restaurants to sell their product in foreign markets or foreign guests.

There are numerous studies, which prove that you sell better, if you speak the mother tongue of your customers, so it is not up to me to show this. Just think on the very popular sign of “We speak your language” in hotels or restaurants and everywhere really, just like the article says (the article talks about doubling a business “just” by hiring native salespeople in a car dealer shop….wow!!!).

I still find though so many potential clients, who look at me, like I would sell fried air to them, when I start my sales pitch and want let them understand that wine sells best in a foreign country, if the material, which introduces it is perfectly translated.

I started MIB, because I was sure that if there is a business, which never compromises on quality, it is wine. The price of two wines from the same producer, carrying the same varieties can depend on the year or the amount of sun or rain, when the product has been bottled, so I was sure, I don’t have to tell, why it is so important to have any marketing material in the mother tongue of their customers translated by a professional translator.

Just like every grape counts, every word counts too. I will buy a bottle of wine for over 50 € if I am sure, the wine is worth it. During this year’s London Wine Fair I listened to a seminar saying that 33% of the wines this year has been bought with a mobile device.

They haven’t said: you need a website, you need to translate your labels or you should have someone taste your wine in the language of your market and publish it for God’s sake, if you want to convince people to buy it – it says that wines are sold while we wait for a bus, while we go to work, while we sunbath on the beach and I am sure that wine is sold, which characteristics the buyer understands.

It is the way of life: people have smartphones and tablets and most of them already by setting up the device link their credit card to it to buy anything they want through the internet.

You want to get to their credit card? Let them know, you have something for them!

Let them know in the best of ways, hire a pro to give the message you would like to share. Do not give your website to your friend, who happened to live for 6 months in Venice, give it to someone, who translates thousand of words every day and who is willing to weigh the words just to make your message sound as perfect as your wine is! Hire Message in a Bottle, and be sure to make the right investment for your market!