A Quick Overview Of How To Say Chianti, Chianti Classico
English speakers see 'ch' in the pronunciation of Chianti and they immediately think of the sound those letters make in English, which you absolutely cannot use in this word. In Italian, whenever you see 'ch' you can be sure that those letters will be followed by either an 'e' or and 'i'. The 'h' is there to act as a buffer, so that the 'c' isn't softened by these letters, and keeps it's 'k' sound. The 'h' is only there as a buffer - there is no 'h' sound in Italian.
Without the 'h', a 'c' followed by an 'e' or an 'i' makes the sound English speakers assume when they see 'ch' in a word - although the closest phonetic approximation is the 'tch' in 'catch'.
English speakers also tend to say kee/yahn/tee. While it's not horribly wrong, this is a two syllable word in Italian, so the 'i' sound is not drawn out. Phonetically you say KYAHN/tee. You have the phonetic and audio pronunciation to guide you.
Read on for another word where these rules apply.
What is Chianti?
'Chianti' and 'Chianti Classico' are D.O.C.G wines from Italy. The DOCG classification means that only wines from the Chianti region of Tuscany may carry the name. The wine dates from the 13th century, and it is only comparatively recently that chianti became known as only a red wine: previously it could be a white or a red wine. This wine is made with predominantly Sangiovese grapes, but may include other varieties. It is an officially recognized wine of quality, but wines known as 'Chianti' can be very distinctive and different from each other.
Chianti and the Fiasco
Most tourists and casual wine lovers associate Chianti with the straw-wrapped rounded bottle, which is called a 'fiasco' in Italy. 'Fiasco' means 'flask', and yes, it is absolutely the origin of the English word 'fiasco'. It comes from the Italian phrase 'fare fiasco' which was theater slang for a flop or failure.
The plural is 'fiaschi'. Remember what I said about a 'ch' with regards to pronunciation? Here is another example of the rule. Again, the 'h' is a buffer to protect the 'c' from going soft. Phonetically you say 'FYAHS/kee.
'Chianti Classico' has its own region, and should be treated distinctly from 'Chianti'. The 'gallo nero' or 'black rooster' is the symbol of Chianti Classico.