Glossary / Life Style

Wine Glossary

A.P. Number: Abbreviation for Amtliche Prüfungsnummer, the official testing number displayed on a German wine la
ABC: Acronym for "Anything but Chardonnay" or "Anything but Cabernet". A term conceived by Bonny Doon's R
Abfulling: Bottled by. Will be on the label followed by relevant information concerning the bottler.
Abfüllung (Germany): Means 'bottled by', and will be followed on the label by information regarding the bottler. Related
ABV: Abbreviation of alcohol by volume, generally listed on a wine label.
AC: Abbreviation for "Agricultural Cooperative" on Greek wine labels and for Adega Cooperativa on Portug
Acescence: Wine with a sharp, sweet-and-sour tang can be described as having acescence. The acescence character
Acetic : Vinegary taste or smell that develops when a wine is overexposed to air.
Acetic Acid: This volatile acid is one that contributes to the acidity of a wine. In small amounts it can also 'l
Acidity: A wine's acidity should be detectable as a sharpness in the mouth, particularly around the front sid
Acidity : All wines naturally contain acids, which should be in proper balance with fruit and other componen
Adega: Portuguese wine term for a winery or wine cellar.
Aftertaste: The taste left on the palate after the wine has been swallowed. The persistence of the aftertaste -
Aftertaste : The flavor impression the wine leaves after it is swallowed. Also referred to as the "finish" of a
Alcohol: There are many different compounds that may be described as 'alcohol'. Here we are referring to ethy
Alcoholic Fermentation: The action of yeast upon sugar results in its conversion to ethyl alcohol, with carbon dioxide as a
Alsace: See my Alsace wine guide.
Altar Wine: The wine used by the Catholic Church in celebrations of the Eucharist.
Amaro (Italy): Means 'bitter', hence the wine Amarone.
American Viticultural Area (USA): Abbreviated to AVA, this term describes a geographically defined region for growing grapes.
Amontillado: Best described as a matured Fino. After the flor dies, the yeast sinks to the bottom of the wine and
Amontillado (Spain): A true Amontillado Sherry is a matured Fino. When the flor dies and sinks to the bottom of the butt
Amtliche Prüfnummer (Germany): The Amtliche Prüfnummer (or AP number) is a unique code assigned to each individual bottling of qua
Anbaugebiet: A German wine region. Anbaugebiet are further divided into bereiche or districts.
Anbaugebiet (Germany): The thirteen German growing regions, namely Mosel-Saar-Ruwer, Rheingau, Rheinhessen, Nahe, Pfalz, Mi
AOC: Abbreviation for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, (English: Appellation of controlled origin), as
AP Number (Germany): See Amtliche Prüfnummer.
Aperitif: A wine that is either drunk by itself (i.e. without food) or before a meal in order to stimulate the
Appellation: A geographically delineated wine region.
Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (France): Often abbreviated to AC or AOC, this is the highest legal classification for French wine, above Vin
Argentina: See my South American wine guide.
Aroma : The smell of a wine, especially young wines.
Aromatic : A term for wines with pronounced aroma, particularly those redolent of herbs or spices.
Astringent : The "puckerish" quality of high tannin content, which has the effect of drying out the mouth. Many
Aszú (Hungary): The aszú are the grapes collected in 25kg lots in baskets known as puttonyos in the Tokaj-Hegyalja
Aszú Essencia (Hungary): This is a rare wine, made only from the free-run juice of the nobly rotten grapes in the puttonyos b
ATTTB: Abbreviation for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a United States government agency tha
Ausbruch: Austrian term originally referring to the aszú production method of mixing grapes affected by noble
Ausbruch (Austria): A Prädikat category for sweet wines from Rust in Austria. The grapes have undergone noble rot and h
Auslese: German for "select harvest", a Prädikat in Germany and Austria.
Auslese (Germany, Austria): A Prädikat category for sweet wines. The Auslese designation is conferred if the must weight, measu
Austere: A term used to describe a wine that is unforthcoming - often they are young, tannic wines. They give
Austere : Somewhat hard, with restrained fruit and character.
Australia: See my Australian wine guide.
Azienda Agricola (Italy): An estate or farm where wine can be produced.
B.O.B.: An acronym for "Buyer's Own Brand" which refers to a private label wine owned by the restaurant or r
Bacchus: The Roman god of wine. Also a white grape variety, the product of a cross between a Silvaner-Rieslin
Backward: A tasting term. Wines described as backward are undeveloped and not ready to drink. They are often y
Balance: A tasting term. Wines said to have balance have a harmonious combination of tannin, acidity, texture
Balance : Harmony among the wine's components -- fruit, acidity, tannins, alcohol; a well-balanced wine poss
Balthazar: A large bottle containing 12 litres, the equivalent of 16 regular wine bottles.
Balthazar: A large format Champagne bottle, equivalent to sixteen standard bottles. See my advisory page on Cha
Ban De Vendage: The official start of the harvest season in France.
Barrique: The French name for a 225 litre Bordeaux style barrel (Bordeaux hogshead). Will yield 24 cases of 12
Barrique (France): The barrique is a wooden barrel, the design of which originated in Bordeaux, France. It has a capaci
Basic: A low cost entry level offering from a winery as opposed to its more expensive premium wine offering
Bâtonnage (France): The term for stirring of the lees which is employed to impart body and flavour to the wine.
Baumé (France): A scale for must weight. This is a hydrometric method - meaning that the sugar concentration (and th
Bead: A tasting term used to describe the size of the bubbles in a glass of sparkling wine or Champagne. S
Beerenauslese: A German term meaning approximately "harvest of selected berries". A Prädikat in Germany and Austri
Beerenauslese (Germany, Austria): A Prädikat category for sweet wines. A Beerenauslese is made from individually harvested nobly rott
Bentonite: A clay that can be used as a fining agent.
Bereich: A district within a German wine region (Anbaugebiet). Contains smaller Grosslagen vineyard designati
Bianco (Italian): White.
Big : Powerful in aroma and flavor; full-bodied.
Bin Number (Australia): A bin is a storage area in a wine cellar. With each successive harvest, wines were allocated the sam
Biodynamic Viticulture: Like biodynamic agriculture in general, biodynamic grape-growing stems from the ideas and suggestion
Biodynamic Vitulture: An extension of organic viticulture, taking into account the effect of the moon and planets on the h
Bitter : Usually considered a fault in but characteristic of such wines as Amarone and certain other Italian
Black Rot: A fungal vine disease common in North America. It results in small, hard berries.
Blanc (France): White.
Blanc De Blancs (France): This describes a white wine made entirely from white grapes. If this sounds like stating the obvious
Blanc De Noirs (France): This describes a white wine made entirely from black grapes. It is a term commonly used in Champagne
Blanco (Spain): White.
Blind Tasting: Tasting and evaluating wine without knowing what it is.
Blind Tasting: If you're ever poured a wine without knowing what it is, this is a blind tasting. The advantage of a
Bodega: A Spanish wine cellar. Also refers to a seller of alcoholic beverage.
Bodega (Spain): A term meaning winery, although it may also be applied to a wine-making company.
Body: A tasting term. A wine with plenty of flavour, alcohol, extract and tannin may be described as full
Body : The weight and texture of a wine; it may be light-bodied or full-bodied. Often refers to alcohol con
Bordeaux: See my Bordeaux wine guide.
Bordeaux Mixture: A vine treatment, comprising copper sulphate, slaked lime and water. The mixture is sprayed onto the
Bota: A cask of wine used to store Sherry with a capacity between 159 to 172 gallons (600-650 liters)
Botrytis Cinerea: A mold that attacks certain grapes, producing honeyed sweet wines like Sauternes and late-harvest Ri
Botrytis Cinerea: The cause of Noble Rot, Botrytis cinerea is a fungus which, under suitable conditions, attacks grape
Bottle: A bottle is a small container with a neck that is narrower than the body and a "mouth." Modern wine
Bouquet : The complex of aromas that develops with age in fine wines; young wines have aroma, not bouquet.
Branco (Portugal): White.
Brawny: Taste descriptor for hefty, Herculean red wines usually young and full-bodied. The strength of brawn
Breathing: The interaction between air and wine after a wine has been opened. Breathing may take place while th
Breed : Similar to good bloodlines and handling, as in racehorses; the result of soil, grapes and vinifica
Brettanomyces: A fungal infection. The Brettanomyces fungus can originate in the vineyard but some wineries are chr
Bricking: A tasting term. It refers to a tawny, brick red colour, which implies age in a red wine.
Brix: Term used to measure the sugar content of grapes, grape juice (must) or wine. Grapes are generally
Brix: A measure of sugar content in grape juice, used particularly in the New World. My article on must we
Brut: Term for dry Champagne or sparkling wine.
Brut (France): A term used to describe a dry wine (usually Champagne or other sparkling wine), although even dry wi
Burgundy: See my Burgundy wine guide.
Buttery: Descriptor for rich flavor and smoothness of texture, somewhat akin to the oiliness and flavor of
C.A.: Abbreviation seen on Spanish wine labels meaning Cooperativa Agrícola or local co-operative.
C.S.: An Italian abbreviation for Cantina Sociale that appears on wine labels denoting that the wine has b
C.V.: Abbreviation for the French term Coopérative de Vignerons that may appear on wine labels to denote
Cane Pruning: Cane pruning is when one or two canes from a vine's previous year's growth are cut back to six to fi
Cane Pruning: A method of pruning vines. More details may be found in my advice page on vine pruning techniques.
Canopy Management: This term describes the processes used in the care of the leaf canopy, such as pruning, trimming and
Cantina: Italian term for winery.
Cantina (Italy): A winery or cellar.
Cantina Sociale: Italian term for a co-operative
Cantina Sociale (Italy): A wine co-operative.
Cap: The mass of skins, pips and other solid matter that rises to the surface of the wine during alcoholi
Capsule: The plastic or foil that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.
Carbonic Maceration: Whole, uncrushed grapes are fermented in a sealed vat containing a layer of carbon dioxide. This res
Carbonic Maceration: A method of vinification which produces wines with fruit flavours and colour, but little tannin, and
Cave: See wine cave
Cellar Door: The area of the winery where point of sale purchases occur. This can be a tasting room or a separate
Centrifuge: A centrifuge is a rapidly spinning device for the purpose of separating out mixed materials. It has
Cépage: French term for grape variety. When it appears on a wine label it will usually refer to the varietal
Cépage (France): Grape variety.
Cépage Améliorateur (France): An "improving variety", as this translates, is one encouraged for viticulture in order to improve th
Chai: A wine shed, or other storage place above ground, used for storing casks, common in Bordeaux. Usuall
Champagne: See my Champagne guide.
Champagne Flute: A piece of stemware having a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top.
Chaptalisation (France): The process of adding sugar to the fermenting vat, which is converted to ethyl alcohol by the yeast.
Chaptalization: The practice of adding sugar to the grape must prior to fermenting, to compensate for low sugar cont
Château: Generally a winery in Bordeaux, although the term is sometimes used for wineries in other parts of t
Chewy: Wines with unusual thickness of texture or tannins that one almost "chews" before swallowing.
Chile: See my South American wine guide.
Clairet: A French term for a wine that falls between the range of a light red wine and a dark rosé
Claret: British name for Bordeaux wine. Is also a semi-generic term for a red wine in similar style to that
Classed Growth: A literal translation of Cru Classé.
Classico: An Italian term for the historical or "classic" center of a wine region — sometimes located in the
Clean: Fresh, with no discernible defects; refers to aroma, appearance and flavor.
Cleanskin: In Australia, wine bottled without a commercial label, usually sold cheaply in bulk quantities.
Climat: French term for Lieu-dit used in Burgundy for a single plot of land located within a vineyard that h
Clos (France): Traditionally, a walled vineyard, although the term is much abused on wine labels.
Closed: Young, undeveloped wines that do not readily reveal their character are said to be closed. Typical
Closed: A tasting term to describe a wine where there is no, or very little, aroma or flavour. Many wines, a
Co-Operative: A winery run and owned by a group of local winemakers. Quality varies - some can turn out high quali
Coarse: Rude or harsh in flavor; clumsy or crude.
Coates Law Of Maturity: A principle relating to the aging ability of wine that states that a wine will remain at its peak (o
Cold Stabilisation: This process merely involves chilling wine prior to bottling. This causes tartaric acid to crystalli
Colheita (Portugal): An aged tawny Port from a single vintage which will be declared on the label.
Commercial Wine: A mass produce wine aimed for the wide market of wine drinkers made according to a set formula, year
Commune (France): Refers to a village and the surrounding vineyards, for example, the communes of the left bank of Bor
Complete: Mature, with good follow-through on the palate, satisfying mouth-feel and firm aftertaste.
Complex: Multifaceted aroma and/or flavor. Most wines considered great exhibit a combination of flavor and ar
Confected: A tasting term to describe a sweet aroma/flavour, but more manufactured (like candy) than honey. I g
Cooked: Heavy, pruney flavor; also said of wines from very hot growing regions or wines that are overripe.
Cordon: That part of the vine that is permanent - that is it to say it is left from year to year, whereas ot
Cordon Training: A method of vine training. Unlike cane pruning where the trunk itself is the only permanent, inflexi
Cordon Training: A vine training method. More details may be found in my advice page on vine training techniques.
Corked: A tasting term used to describe wines contaminated by trichloroanisole (a corked wine is not one wit
Corked, Corky: Smelling of cork rather than wine; due to a faulty cork.
Corkscrew: A tool, comprising a pointed metallic helix attached to a handle, for drawing Corks from bottles.
Cosecha (Spain): Vintage.
Côte (France): A côte is a slope or hillside. The term is used in many regions of France - Côte Rôtie (Rhône Va
Coteau (France): Like côte, this also refers to a slope or hillside.
Coteaux: French term for the hillside or slopes of a hill region that is not contiguous.
Côtes: French term for the hillside or slopes of one contiguous hill region.
Coulure (France): Once the vine has flowered, there should develop a small fruit (the grape) in place of each flower.
Country Wine: A quality level intermediate between table wine and quality wine, which in France is known as vin de
Crémant: French sparkling wine not made in Champagne region.
Crémant (France): A sparkling wine made by the Méthode Champenoise.
Crianza (Spain): A term describing the ageing that a wine has undergone. This is the youngest category, which is aged
Crisp: Fresh, brisk character, usually with high acidity.
Crossing: A crossing is the result of breeding two Vitis vinifera plants. This is distinct from a hybrid which
Cru: A French term that literally means "growth". May refer to a vineyard or a winery.
Cru (France): A term meaning 'growth' which is used in a number of French regions as a means of classifying wines.
Cru Bourgeois: A classification of Bordeaux wine estates in the Medoc that were not part of the originally 1855 Bor
Cru Bourgeois (France): Bordeaux châteaux that are classified below the Cru Classé. More details may be found here: Bordea
Cru Classé: A French term for an officially classified vineyard or winery.
Cru Classé (France): The upper classification for the châteaux of the Médoc, laid down in 1855. It is divided into five
Crust: The sediment formed by vintage Port.
Cryo-Extraction: A process whereby grapes are frozen in order to extract ice, thereby concentrating the sugars, flavo
Cult Wines: Wines for which committed buyers will pay large sums of money because of their desirability and rari
Cuvaison: The French term for the period of time during alcoholic fermentation when the wine is in contact wit
Cuvaison (France): The period of time when the solid matter such as pips, skin, stalks and so on is left to macerate in
Cuvée: French term, meaning vat or tank. On wine labels it is used to denote wine of a specific blend or ba
Cuverie: French term, along with cuvier that refers to the building or room where fermentation takes place. E
Debourbage: Refers to a process in which the must of a white wine is allowed to settle before racking off the wi
Débourbage (France): The process of allowing white wine must to settle prior to racking off the wine, thereby reducing th
Decanting: The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a decanter to separate the sediment from the wine.
Deep: Having layers of persistent flavor that gradually unfold with aeration.
Dégorgement (France): Part of the process of making sparkling wine. At this stage the bottle is opened after the neck has
Delicate: Light fragrance, flavor, and body.
Demi-Sec (France): Medium-dry.
Denominação De Origem Controlada (Portugal): A high quality level for Portuguese wine. Often abbreviated to DOC. The equivalent of the French app
Denominación De Origen (Spain): A high quality level for Spanish wine. Often abbreviated to DO. The equivalent of the French appella
Denominación De Origen Calificada (Spain): The highest quality level for Spanish wine. Often abbreviated to DOC. Rather similar to Italy's DOCG
Denominazione Di Origine Controllata (Italy): A high quality level for Italian wine. Often abbreviated to DOC. The equivalent of the French appell
Denominazione Di Origine Controllata E Garantita (Italy): The highest quality level for Italian wine. Often abbreviated to DOCG. Only a handful of wines have
Dessert Wine: Varies by region. In the UK, a very sweet, low alcohol wine. In the US by law, any wine containing o
Destemming: The process of removing the stems/stalks from the grape bunches before fermentation. Unripe stems wi
Developed: Mature. A well-developed wine is more drinkable than an undeveloped one.
Distinctive: Elegant, refined character that sets the wine apart on its own.
DO: 1. The abbreviation for Denominación de Origen, or "place name". This is Spain's designation for wi
DOC: The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or "controlled place name." This is Italy
DOCG: The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, or controlled and guaranteed
Dolce (Italy): Sweet.
Domaine (France): A wine estate.
Dosage (France): When making a sparkling wine, after dégorgement the wine can be topped up with sugar and wine to re
Double Magnum: A large format Bordeaux bottle, equivalent to four standard bottles. In Burgundy and Champagne this
Doux (France): Sweet.
Downy Mildew: A common vine disease favoured by warm, humid conditions. It results in unhealthy leaves and shrivel
Drip Dickey: Trademarked name for a cover that slips over the neck of a wine bottle and absorbs any drips that ma
Dry: Opposite of sweet; somewhat subjective in that tasters may perceive sweetness to varying degree.
Dry: A tasting term. Essentially this is the opposite of sweet, although a wine that tastes dry still con
Dull: Lacking liveliness and proper acidity; uninteresting.
Dumb: Not revealing flavor or aroma; closed; typical of wines that are too young or too cold.
Earthy: Smell or flavor reminiscent of earth. A certain earthiness can be appealing; too much makes the wine
Eau-De-Vie: French term for a grape-derived spirit such as brandy. Its literal translation is "water of life"
Edelfäule: German term for noble rot
Edelkeur: South African term for noble rot.
Egrappage: The French term for destemming. Destemming is removivg stems prior to pressing and frementing the gr
Egrappage (France): The process of destemming - removing stems/stalks from the grape bunches before fermentation
Einzellage: The smallest geographical unit in German wine law representing a single vineyard.
Eiswein: German for ice wine, a dessert wine made from frozen grapes.
Eiswein (Germany, Austria): An expensive, labour intensive sweet wine made from frozen grapes, principally in Germany and Austri
Elegant: Refined character, distinguished quality, stylish, not heavy.
Élevage: French term that describes the historical role that negociants play in the winemaking process-roughl
Élevage (France): An umbrella term describing all the winery processes after alcoholic fermentation up to bottling - s
Élevé En Fûts De Chêne: French phrase that may appear on wine labels to denote that the wine has been aged in oak barrels.
En Primeur: A system commonly associated with Bordeaux wine where the previous year's harvest is available for c
En Primeur: A method of purchasing wine before it has been bottled. Payment (not including duty or VAT) is made
Encépagement: French term for the proportion of grape varieties used in a blend.
Entry: A tasting term. Describing the wine on 'entry' is to describe your impression of the wine as it land
Entry-Level Wine: The wine from a producer's portfolio that is the lowest cost for purchase and offers the most basic
Erzeugerabfüllung (Germany): Means bottled by the producer. Related terms include abfüllung and gutsabfüllung.
Essencia (Hungary): The free run juice of the Aszú. See Aszú Essencia.
Estate Winery: A United States winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site, sometimes known as a
Estufa (Portugal): The estufa are the hothouses where Madiera is made. The heating of the wine is an essential part in
EU Lot Number: A European Union directive initiated in 1992 that mandates every bottle of wine produced or sold in
Ex-Cellars: Refers to the extra cost associated with buying wines en primeur that may include the cost of shippi
Extra Dry : A term used on Champagne labels to indicate not-quite-dry; not as dry as Brut.
Extract: This refers to the solid compounds in wine, such as tannins. Increasing the level of extract results
Farm Winery: A United States & South Africa winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site.
Fat: Full of body and flavor; fleshy.
Fiasco: The straw-covered flask historically associated with Chianti.
Fighting Varietal: A term that originated in California during the mid 1980s to refer to any inexpensive cork-finished
Filtration: A finishing process, performed before bottling. The wine is filtered in order to remove solid impuri
Fine: Distinguished.
Fine Wine: The highest category of wine quality, representing only a very small percentage of worldwide product
Finesse: Distinctive balance; fineness; elegance and flair.
Fining: A finishing process, performed before bottling. A coagulant such as bentonite, isinglass or egg whit
Finish: Aftertaste, or final impression the wine leaves; it can have a long finish or a short one (not desir
Finish: A tasting term. The finish is how the wine tastes at the point of, and just after, swallowing. After
Fino: A style of Sherry. Pale in colour, because it has been protected from oxidation from the thick coati
Firm: Taut balance of elements; tightly knit structure; also distinct flavor.
Flagon: A glass bottle that holds two litres of (usually inexpensive) table wine.
Flash Pasteurisation: The application of a short burst of heat to the wine. The intention is to stabilise the wine, althou
Flat: Dull, lacking in liveliness; wine without sufficient acid.
Flavor: How the wine tastes.
Fleshy: Fatness of fruit; big, ripe.
Flinty: Dry, mineral character that comes from certain soils, mostly limestone, in which the wine was grow
Flor: A yeast vital for making Sherry. It's presence on the surface of the wine protects it from oxidation
Flowery: Aroma suggestive of flowers.
Flying Winemaker: A winemaker who travels extensively across the globe, sharing techniques and technology from one reg
Flying Winemaker: A term that sprang up in the 1980s to describe a group of winemakers, chiefly Australian, that parac
Fortification: The process of adding spirit to a wine. If this is done before completion of the alcoholic fermentat
Fortified Wine: Wine to which alcohol has been added, generally to increase the concentration to a high enough level
Forward: Developed ahead of its peers; also, when the fruit is prominent, it is said to be forward.
Forward: A tasting term. This denotes a wine which is felt by the taster to be developing quickly, and is rea
Foxy: The "grapey" flavors of wines made from native American grapes, Vitis labrusca.
Free-Run Wine: The free-run wine is the juice that runs off the vat without any pressing. The wine released by pres
French Paradox: An 1991 episode of the American news program 60 Minutes that documented the low mortality rate from
Frizzante: Italian term for a semi-sparkling wine.
Frizzantino: Italian term for a wine that has very slight effervescence, more than a still wine but less than a s
Fruit Wine: A fermented alcoholic beverage made from non-grape fruit juice which may or may not include the addi
Fruity: Aroma and/or flavor of grapes; most common to young, light wines but refers also to such fruit fla
Full-Bodied : Full proportion of flavor and alcohol; big, fat.
Geneva Double Curtain: A vine training method. More details may be found in my advice page on vine training techniques.
Germany: See my German wine guide.
Globalization Of Wine: Refers to the increasingly international nature of the wine industry, including vineyard management
Glycerol: Also known as glycerine. A sweet, syrupy compound which is an essential part of all fats and oils. I
Gobelet: A method of vine training. The vines are cultivated as bushes. For more see my advisory article on v
Gönc (Hungary): A barrel used for making Tokay.
Grafting: The process of growing a cutting of Vitis vinifera on American or hybrid, phylloxera-resistant roots
Gran Reserva (Spain): This is the top category for Spanish wine. Such wines have received a minimum five years ageing, of
Grand Cru: French term for a "Great growth" or vineyard. In Burgundy, the term is regulated to a define list of
Grand Cru: A confusing term. In Burgundy Grand Cru refers to the best vineyard sites, which are on the slopes o
Grand Vin: French term most often associated with Bordeaux where it denotes a Chateau's premier wine, or "first
Grande Marque: French term for a famous brand of wine, most commonly associated with the large Champagne houses.
Grande Marques: A term frequently used to describe the top Champagne houses.
Green: A wine made from unripe grapes that is tart and lacking fruit flavor.
Green Harvest: The practice of removing unripe bunches of grapes in midsummer in order to reduce the yield per plan
Grey Rot: A vine affliction caused by the same fungus, Botrytis cinerea, that is responsible for Noble Rot. Gr
Grip: Firmness of flavor and structure.
Grosslage: A German designation for a cluster of vineyards within a Bereich.
Gutsabfüllung (Germany): Means estate-bottled. Related terms include abfüllung and erzeugerabfüllung.
Guyot: A vine training method. More details may be found in my advisory feature on vine training.
Halbtrocken (Germany): Translating literally as 'half-dry', this term is used for medium dry wines.
Hard: Stiff, with pronounced tannins; undeveloped.
Harmonious: All elements -- fruit, acid, tannin -- in perfect balance
Harsh: Rough, biting character from excessive tannin or acid.
Heady: High in alcohol, very full-bodied
Hectare: The most commonly used measurement of area in viticulture, the hectare is 10 000 m2, approximately e
Hectolitre: A measure of volume commonly used when expressing yields; a hectolitre is 100 litres.
Herbaceous: Aromas reminiscent of fresh grass or hay; grassy, as in certain Sauvignon Blancs; also the green p
Herby: Reminiscent of herbs, such as mint, sage, thyme, or of eucalyptus.
Hock: Term for Rhine wines, usually used in England.
Hogshead: In Australia this is a 300 litre barrel. Confusingly the term is also used by some when they are ref
Hollow: A tasting term. This describes a wine which lacks flavour and texture, often through the midpalate,
Honest: Without flaws, typical and straightforward, simple but not great.
Honeyed: Smell or taste reminiscent of honey, characteristic of late-harvest wines affected by "noble rot" (B
Horizontal Wine Tasting: A tasting of a group of wines from the same vintage or representing the same style of wine (such as
Hybrid: A hybrid grape results from a cross between a Vitis vinifera variety - such as Riesling or Pinot Noi
Ice Wine: Wine made from frozen grapes. Written, and trademarked as a single word - Icewine - in Canada. Calle
Icewine: A principally Canadian style of wine, named after the Eisweins made in Germany and Austria. See my e
IGT: Abbreviation for "Indicazione Geografica Tipica", the lowest-ranking of the three categories of Ital
Imperiale: A large format Bordeaux bottle, equivalent to an impressive eight standard bottles. In Burgundy and
In Bond: This term describes wine which is held in a bonded warehouse, which has not passed through customs i
Integrated: A tasting term. When the components of wine, such as tannin, oak and acidity, fade as the wine devel
International Variety: Grape varieties grown in nearly every major wine region, for example Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay
Intricate: Interweaving of subtle complexities of aroma and flavor.
Isinglass: A fining agent comprising protein from fresh-water fish.
Jerez Y Manzanilla (Spain): The Denominación de Origen in Spain famous for its dry and sweet fortified wines collectively known
Jeroboam: A large bottle holding three litres, the equivalent of four regular wine bottles.
Jeroboam: A large format bottle, and the most confusing of all, for it means different things to different win
Jug Wine: American term for inexpensive table wine (French: Vin de table).
Kabinett: A wine designation in Germany (where it is a Prädikat) and Austria.
Kabinett (Germany, Austria): The lowest category of wines in the Prädikat. The minimum required must weight varies from region t
KMW (Austria): An abbreviation for Klosterneuburger Mostwaage, a measurement of must weight used in Austria. A more
Kosher Wine: Wine that is produced under the supervision of a rabbi so as to be ritually pure or clean.
Lactic Acid: One of the many acids that contribute to the overall acidity of a wine. This acid, which is also fou
Lagar (Portugal, Spain): Not a misspelling of a popular style of beer, rather a traditional stone trough where grapes are cru
Landwein: German term for a wine slightly above table wines (tafelwine). Similar to a French vin de pays wine.
Landwein (Germany, Austria): The equivalent of French vin de pays, although whereas there are many enjoyable bottles of vin de pa
Languedoc: See my Languedoc guides, for the Coteaux du Languedoc and Outside the Coteaux du Languedoc.
Late Bottled Vintage: A style of Port, first introduced by Quinta do Noval in 1954. It is designed to mimic the vintage st
Late Harvest Wine: Also known as late picked, wine made from grapes that have been left on the vine longer than usual.
Lees: A heavy sediment consisting of dead yeast cells and other solid matter such as grape pulp, pips and
Left Bank: A collective term for the communes of the left bank of the Gironde in Bordeaux. For more information
Legs: The viscous rivulets that run down the side of the glass after swirling or sipping, a mingling of gl
Legs: A tasting term. It refers to the tear-like tracks that a wine makes down the side of a glass after i
Length: Lingering aftertaste.
Length: A tasting term, describing how long the flavour of the wine persists on the palate after it has been
Lie: French term for the dead yeast and sediment of wine also known as lees.
Lieu-Dit: French term for a named vineyard site. Usually used in the context of describing individual vineyard
Lieu-Dit (France): A term most often used when describing Burgundy and Alsace. It refers to a named vineyard which does
Light: Refers to wines light in alcohol but also to texture and weight, how the wine feels in the mouth.
Liquoreux: French term meaning "liqueur-like" used to describe dessert wine with a luscious, almost unctuous, q
Litre (US - Liter): A metric measure of volume equal to 33.8 fluid ounces (U.S.) or 35.2 fl oz (imperial).
Lively: Crisp, fresh, having vitality.
Loire: See my Loire Valley wine guide.
Long: Fine wines should have a long finish, or aftertaste; see Length.
Luscious: Rich, opulent, and smooth; most often said of sweet wines but also intensely fruity ones.
Lyre: A vine training method. More details may be found in my advice page on vine training techniques.
Macroclimate: A term used to describe the climate of a large area, such as a entire wine-producing region. Related
Madeirisation: A tasting term. Wines that taste Madeirised - like Madeira - are most probably oxidised and therefor
Maderized: Wine that has oxidized; has brown or amber color and stale odor.
Magnum: A bottle holding 1.5 litres, the equivalent of two regular wine bottles.
Magnum: A large format bottle, equivalent to two standard bottles. See my advisory page on wine bottle sizes
Malic Acid: One of the main contributors to the acidity of a wine. Malic acid has a sharp, green taste - rather
Malolactic Fermentation: This is completely separate from the alcoholic fermentation, which results from the action of yeast
Manzanilla (Spain): A dry Sherry, similar in style to Fino, from Sanlúcar de Barrameda.
Marc (France): This term describes the mass of skins, pips and stalks left behind once all the fermented juice - wi
Marie-Jeanne: A large format bottle, equivalent to three standard bottles. Not a commonly found format, and genera
Master Of Wine: A qualification (not an academic degree) conferred by The Institute of Masters of Wine, which is loc
Master Of Wine: The top qualification for those in the wine trade, it being the last in a series of examinations dev
Mature: Fully developed, ready to drink.
May Wine: A light German wine flavored with sweet woodruff in addition to strawberries or other fruit.
Mead: A wine-like alcoholic beverage made of fermented honey and water rather than grape juice.
Meaty: A wine with chewy, fleshy fruit; sturdy and firm in structure.
Mellow: Smooth and soft, with no harshness.
Meritage: Originally created in California, these blended wines can be summed up as the "American Bordeaux". T
Mesoclimate: This term describes the climate of a small area, typically an individual vineyard or hillside. Relat
Méthode Champenoise (France): The traditional method for making Champagne, in which the second fermentation occurs within the bott
Méthode Traditionelle (France): Winemakers outside Champagne using the Methode Champenoise may use this to describe the process on t
Methusaleh: A large format Burgundy and Champagne bottle, equivalent to eight standard bottles. In Bordeaux this
Methuselah: A large bottle holding six litres, the equivalent of eight regular wine bottles.
Microclimate: This term describes the climate immediately around the vine. It is influenced by canopy management.
Midpalate: A tasting term. After taking a mouthful, hold it in the mouth, and see what you get from the wine. D
Millerandage (France): This term describes the failure of some grapes in a normal bunch to fully develop. The result is une
Mis En Bouteille Au Château: French for "bottled at the winery", usually in Bordeaux.
Mise En Bouteille (France): Bottled.
Moelleux: French term usually used to describe wines of mid level sweetness or liquoreux.[6]
Moelleux (France): A sweet or medium-sweet wine.
Moldy: Wines with the smell of mold or rot, usually from grapes affected by rot or from old moldy casks use
Monopole: French term for a vineyard under single ownership.
Mousse: The sparkling effervescence of a wine. In the glass it perceived as the bubbling but the surface of
Mousse (France): A tasting term. A description of the mousse is referring to how fizzy a sparkling wine seems in the
Mousseux (France): A sparkling wine. Generally used outside Champagne to describe wines of lesser quality, quite possib
Mulled Wine: Wine that is spiced, heated, and served as a punch.
Muscular: Vigorous fruit, powerful body and flavor; robust.
Must: The must is the mixture of fermenting grape juice, pips, skins, stalks and so on. It is distinct fro
Must Weight: An indicator of the sugar content of the fermenting wine, and therefore an invaluable guide for the
Musty: Stale, dusty or rank aromas.
Mutage: The process of arresting fermentation by the addition of grape spirit, this is essentially fortifica
Nebuchadnezzar: A large bottle holding 15 litres, the equivalent of 20 regular wine bottles.
Nebuchadnezzar: A large format Champagne bottle, equivalent to twenty standard bottles. See my advisory page on Cham
Négociant: French for "trader". A wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and
Négociant (France): Term to describe a winemaker that buys in grapes or juice (fermented or unfermented) and then comple
Négociant-Éleveur (France): A négociant equipped to perform all the tasks involved in taking an unfinished wine through to the
New World: Broadly the world of wine is divided into Old World and New. The New World includes North and South
New World Wine: Wines produced outside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.
New Zealand: See my New Zealand wine guide.
Noble: Great; of perfect balance and harmonious expression. The so-called "noble" grapes are those that p
Noble Rot: A fungal virus brought on by Botrytis cinerea that results in dehydrated and shrivelled grapes that
Noble Rot: A fungal infection caused by Botrytis cinerea. Under the right conditions - damp, misty mornings fol
Nose: The smell of the wine; it may have a "good nose" or an "off-nose," meaning defective odors.
Nose: The aroma or bouquet of a wine.
Nose: A tasting term. The 'nose' of a wine describes how a wine smells.
Nutty: Nutlike aromas that develop in certain wines, such as sherries or old white wines.
Oak: The oak tree is an important source of wood for barrels. Although other woods, such as cherry, have
Oaky : Aroma and flavor that derive from aging in oak casks or barrels. Characterized by smokiness, vanilla
Oechsle (Germany): A scale of must weight based on specific gravity. It is vital to assess the must weight in Germany a
Oenology: The study of aspects of wine and winemaking.
Oenology: The science behind winemaking. Popular locations for studying oenology include the University of Bor
Oenophile: A wine aficionado or connoisseur.
Off-Dry : Not quite dry, a perception of sweetness too faint to call the wine sweet.
Off-Flavors: (also off-aromas or off-nose) Not quite right; flavors or odors that are not correct for a particula
Oidium: A fungal disease, also known as powdery mildew. Like many vine diseases it thrives in damp condition
Old World: In wine-speak the Old World refers to the European nations - France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria
Old World Wine: Wines produced inside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.
Oloroso (Spain): A style of Sherry - rich and flavoursome, although it may be dry or sweet if Pedro Ximénez has been
Open: Revealing full character.
Organic Viticulture: Like any other branch of agriculture, some winemakers wish to rely less on fertilisers, pesticides a
Organoleptic: A winetasting term for anything that affects one of the main senses such as smell. An example would
Oxidation: The degrading action of oxygen on a wine (or any other substance) is known as oxidation. Hence expos
Oxidized: Flat, stale or sherrylike aroma and flavor; spoiled as the result of overexposure to air.
Palo Cortado: A rare style of dry Sherry. It is the result of failure of complete development of the flor, so it s
Passito (Italy): The passito method describes the drying of grapes prior to fermentation. The dehydration results in
Pasteurisation: The process of sterilisation by heating, named after Louis Pasteur. The process may be used to prote
Pedro Ximénez: An important Sherry grape, which produces an intensely sweet juice. It may be bottled as an unblende
Petillant: A light sparkle.
Pétillant (France): A term used to describe a lightly sparkling wine. Pétillance may occur in many wines not intended t
Petit Château: A Bordeaux wine estate that doesn't have any official designation of classification.
Photosynthesis: The biological process in which plants, by virtue of chlorophyll and energy derived from the sun, co
Phylloxera: A vine louse which devastated the vineyards of Europe in the late 18th Century. The cause of the dis
Physiological Ripeness: This refers to the ripening of substances other than sugar in the grapes, such as tannins. Picking g
Pierce's Disease: A bacterial disease spread by insects known as sharpshooters or leafhoppers. It has devastated areas
Pigeage (France): This is one method of submerging the cap of skins and grape solids, which is kept in contact with th
Piquant: French term for a simple, quaffing white wine with pleasing fruit structure and balance of acidity.
Plafond Limité De Classement: An allowance within the French AOC system that allows producers to exceed the official maximum limit
Plan Bordeaux: A proposal for enhancing the economic status of the wine industry in Bordeaux.
Plonk: British English slang for an inexpensive bottle of wine. The term is thought to originate from the F
Port: A sweet fortified wine, which is produced from grapes grown and processed in the Douro region of Por
Portugal: See my Portuguese wine guide.
Potential Alcohol: The potential alcohol depends on the must weight. The more sugar there is in the juice prior to ferm
Powdery Mildew: See Oidium.
Prädikat: A wine designation for high quality used in Germany and Austria, based on grape ripeness and must we
Prädikat (Germany, Austria): The Prädikat is a classification of wine depending on the must weight, which may be reported in a v
Prädikatswein: The highest class of wine in the German wine classification, formerly called Qualitätswein mit Prä
Premier Cru: French term for a "First growth". Used mostly in conjunction with the wines of Burgundy and Champagn
Premium Wines: A subjective term to describe a higher quality classification of wine above every day drinking table
Press Wine: During the winemaking process the wine must be taken from the grape solids - pips, skins, pulp and s
Prüfungsnummer (Germany): See Amtliche Prüfnummer.
Pruning: Essential vineyard practice, important in canopy management. For more information see my article on
Punt: The indentation found in the base of a wine bottle. Punt depth is often thought to be related to win
Pupitre (France): A wine rack which holds bottles in a suitable position for remuage. For more information see my guid
Puttonyos (Hungary): A 25kg basket used in the harvest of grapes, puttonyos have become a measure of the addition of swee
Qba: German acronym for Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete.
Qba (Germany): The labelling term QbA (Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete) literally describes a "quality wine
Qmp: German acronym for Qualitätswein mit Prädikat.
Qmp (Germany): The term QmP is an abbreviation for Qualitätswein mit Prädikat, which literally interprets as "qua
QPR: An acronym for Quality-Price Ratio.
Quaffing Wine: A simple, everyday drinking wine
Qualitätswein: A designation of better quality German wines. When used in isolation on a wine label, it refers to Q
Qualitätswein Bestimmter Anbaugebiete (Qba): A designation of better quality German wines from recognized viticultural areas. It formally represe
Qualitätswein Mit Prädikat (Qmp): A former designation of the best quality German wines, since 2007 shortened to Prädikatswein.
Quality-Price Ratio (QPR): A designation for rating wine based on the ratio of its quality and its price. The higher quality an
Quinta: Portuguese term for a wine estate.
Quinta (Portugal): A term describing a farm, estate or vineyard. The individual quintas of the Port houses became of in
Racking: The process of racking involves transfer of wine from one container, such as a barrel, to another. C
Rancio (France): The rancio style is one of fortification and oxidation, generally achieved by prolonged (decades in
Recioto: An Italian sweet wine made from passito grapes.
Recioto (Italy): This term describes wines made from grapes which have been dried for several months prior to ferment
Redox: A term describing the reductive-oxidative way that wine ages. As one part gains oxygen and becomes o
Rehoboam: A large bottle holding 4.5 litres, the equivalent of six regular wine bottles.
Rehoboam: A large format Burgundy and Champagne bottle, equivalent to six standard bottles. In Bordeaux this s
Remuage (France): An essential step in the production of Champagne. The remuage or riddling process involves gradual t
Reserva: Spanish and Portuguese term for a reserve wine.
Reserva (Spain): In Spain, red wines designated as reserva have received a minimum of three years ageing prior to rel
Reserve: A term given to wine to indicate that it is of higher quality than usual.
Residual: Refers to any substance that remains after the fermentation. Typically used in relation to sugar (se
Residual Sugar: The amount of sugar left in the wine after alcoholic fermentation. Residual sugar may be the result
Rich: Full, opulent flavor, body and aroma.
Right Bank: A collective term for the communes of the right bank of the Gironde in Bordeaux. For more informatio
Ripasso: Describes the brilliant addition of slight Amarone flavor to Valpolicella wine by allowing the Valpo
Ripasso (Italy): A brilliant concept for increasing the amount of flavour and interest in basic Valpolicella. The Val
Ripe: Mature, fully ripe fruit.
Robust: Full-bodied, powerful, heady
Rootstock: The use of separate rootstock - essentially a clump of roots - onto which the vines are grafted was
Rough: Harsh edges, biting, unpleasant.
Round: Smooth and well-developed flavor, without angularity or rough edges.
Sack: An early English term for what is now called Sherry.
Saignée (France): This winemaking process involved bleeding off a portion of red wine after only a short period of con
Salmanazar: A large bottle holding nine litres, the equivalent of 12 regular wine bottles.
Salmanazar: A large format Champagne bottle, equivalent to twelve standard bottles. See my advisory page on Cham
Sangria: A tart punch made from red wine along with orange, lemon and apricot juice with added sugar.
Scott Henry: A vine training method. More details may be found in my advisory feature on vine training.
Screwcaps: The new alternative to sealing a wine with cork which, in case you hadn't realised, is tree bark. An
Sec (France): This term describes a dry wine.
Second Wine: The introduction of second wines - primarily in Bordeaux - was an important step in improving qualit
Sekt: A sparkling wine manufactured in Germany.
Selection De Grains Nobles: A sweet botrytized wine made in the French region of Alsace
Semi-Generic: Wines made in the United States but named after places that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bu
Sharp: Biting acid or tannin.
Sherry: A fortified wine that has been subjected to controlled oxidation to produce a distinctive flavor.
Short: Refers to finish, or aftertaste, when it ends abruptly.
Silky: Smooth, sinuous texture and finish.
Simple: Opposite of complex; straightforward.
Smart Dyson: A vine training method. More details may be found in my advisory feature on vine training.
Smoky: Aroma and flavor sometimes associated with oak aging.
Soft: May refer to soft, gentle fruit in delicate wines, or to lack of acidity in wines without proper s
Solera (Spain): Primarily a method employed in the production of Sherry, the solera system may also be found in use
Solid: Sound, well structured, firm.
Sommelier: A wine expert who often works in restaurants.
Sour: Sharply acidic or vinegary
South Africa: See my South African wine guide.
Soutirage: French term for racking.
Spain: See my Spanish wine guide.
Sparkling: Wines with bubbles created by trapped carbon dioxide gas, either natural or injected.
Sparkling Wine: Effervescent wine containing significant levels of carbon dioxide.
Spätlese: German for "late harvest". A Prädikat in Germany and Austria.
Spätlese (Germany, Austria): A Prädikat classification based on must weight.
Specific Gravity: The density of any substance, such as fermenting must, relative to the density of water. Measuring s
Spicy: Having the character or aroma of spices such as clove, mint, cinnamon, or pepper.
Spinning Cone: Another term used to describe a centrifuge.
Split: A wine bottle that holds approximately 6 oz (175-187 mL) or one-fourth the equivalent of a typical 7
Spritzig: German term for a light sparkling wine.
Spritzy: Slight prickle of carbon dioxide, common to some very young wines; frizzante in Italy.
Spumante: Italian for "sparkling".
Spur Pruning: A method of pruning vines. More details may be found in my advice page on vine pruning techniques.
Steely: Firmly structured; taut balance tending toward high acidity.
Stickies: An Australian term for a broad category of sweet wines included fortified and botrytized wines.
Stiff: Unyielding, closed; dumb.
Strohwein: A German word for "straw wine", same as the French term vin de paille. Refers to a dried grape wine.
Strong: Robust, powerful, big.
Structure: The way a wine is built; its composition and proportions.
Structure: A tasting term. When a wine is described as having structure, the taster is referring to the tannin
Stuffing: Big, flavorful, full-bodied wines are said to have "stuffing."
Sturdy: Bold, vigorous flavor; full-bodied; robust.
Sugar: A large collection of organic compounds present in grapes as a result of photosynthesis. Sugar is th
Sugar Ripeness: When the grapes reach a certain sugar concentration, sufficient for alcoholic fermentation and meeti
Sulphur: This is an important element in winemaking, with a wide variety of uses, often as part of the compou
Sulphur (SO2 ): An anti-oxidant used in making most wines; the fermentation process creates minute natural amounts.
Super Seconds: A term used in relation to lower classified Bordeaux wine estates that come close in quality to the
Super Tuscans: A style of Italian wine that became popular in Tuscany in the late 20th century where premium qualit
Supple: Yielding in flavor; a wine that is readily accessible for current Trocken (Germany): An increasingly important German style, these are wines fermented until dry, with less than 9 g/l of
Trockenbeerenauslese: A German term meaning approximately "harvest of selected dry berries". A type of German wine made fr
Trockenbeerenauslese (Germany, Austria): A sweet Prädikat category which translates literally as "dry berry selected". Essentially it refers
Typicity: A term used to describe how well a wine reflects the characteristics of its grape variety and terroi
UC: Abbreviation for the French term Union Coopérative denoting a regional or local cooperative.
Ullage: The space between the wine and the top of a wine bottle. As a wine ages, the space of ullage will in
Ullage: The small pocket of air in the bottle between the top of the wine and the cork. Most wines are bottl
Unctuous: Said of a wine that has layers of soft, concentrated, velvety fruits. Unctuous wines are lush, rich,
Uvaggio: An Italian term for a wine that has been blended from several grape varieties-the opposite of a vari
Vanilla: A scent imparted by aging in oak.
Varietal: Wines made from a single grape variety.
VC: Abbreviation for the Spanish term vino comarcal denoting a local wine similar to a vin de pays in Fr
VDL: Abbreviation for the French term vin de liqueur denoting a wine that has been fortified prior to fer
VDLT: Abbreviation for the Spanish term vino de la tierra denoting a "country wine" similar to the VDQS sy
VDN: Abbreviation for the French term vin doux naturel denoting a wine that has been fortified during fer
VDQS: Abbreviation for the French Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure system that ranks below Appellati
VDT: Abbreviation for the Italian term vino da tavola denoting a table wine.
Velvety: Smooth and rich in texture.
Vendange (France): Harvest.
Vendange Tardive: French term denoting a late harvest wine.
Vendange Tardive (France): Delayed harvest. Wines labelled as such usually have a sweet palate.
Venencia (Spain): The wonderful, long-handled ladle that features in so many pictures of Spanish winemakers tasting th
Vermouth: An aromatized wine that is made with wormwood and potentially other ingredients.
Vertical Trellis: A vine training method. More details may be found in my advice page on vine training techniques.
Vertical Wine Tasting: In a vertical tasting, different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery are tasted, suc
Vieilles Vignes: Literally "old vines" in French, sometimes written as an acronym V.V. It is worth noting there is no
Vielles Vignes (France): Old vines. Producers like to put this on the label if possible as old vines give better flavours and
Vigne (France): Vine.
Vigneron: French for vine grower.
Vigneron (France): Winegrower.
Vignoble: French term for a "vineyard"
Vignoble (France): Vineyard. Are you seeing a pattern emerge here?
Vigorous: Firm, lively fruit, strong body; assertive flavor.
Vin: French for wine.
Vin Clair (France): The base wine for Champagne, after the primary alcoholic fermentation and malolactic fermentation bu
Vin De Garde: French term for a wine with the potential to improve with age.
Vin De Glace: French term for an ice wine.
Vin De Pays: French classification system denoting wines that are above vin de table but below VDQS.
Vin De Pays (France): Essentially 'country wines', there are many very good wines to be found in this category. The catego
Vin De Table: French term denoting a table wine, the lowest classification of the French AOC system.
Vin De Table (France): The lowest category for French wine. By law such wines may not even declare grape varieties or vinta
Vin Délimité De Qualité Supérieure (France): This is a classification for French wine one step above Vin de Pays, and certainly above the lowly V
Vin Doux Naturel (France): A style of wine common in the south, vin doux naturel describes fortified wines where grape spirit h
Vin Gris (France): An old term which seems to have fallen from common usage. It describes 'grey' wines - really very pa
Vin Mousseux: Generic French term for a sparkling wine.
Vin Nouveau: French term similar to Vin primeur denoting a very young wine meant to be consumed within the same v
Vin Ordinaire: French term used to denote an "ordinary wine" as opposed to a premium quality wine.
Viña: Spanish for vines.
Viñedo: Spanish for vineyard
Vinegary: Having the smell of vinegar; see also Acetic.
Vinho: Portuguese for wine.
Vinho Regional: The lowest level of the Portuguese classification system. Similar to a vin de pays.
Vino: Italian for wine
Vino: Italian and Spanish, Originally derived from Latin, for wine.
Vino Da Tavola: Italian term for "table wine"
Vino De Mesa: Spanish term for "table wine"
Vino Novello: Italian term for a Vin primeur
Vinous: A term used to denoting anything relating to wine.
Vintage: Vintage is the process of picking grapes and creating the finished product. A vintage wine is one ma
Vintage: A seemingly innocuous term that turns out to mean many different things to different people. The 'vi
Vitis Labrusca: The fruit of the vine Vitis labrusca itself may be used in the production of wine, but is more often
Vitis Vinifera: This is the one. The vinifera species includes all our favourites - Cabernet Franc, Chenin Blanc, Mo
Volatile: Smells of acetic acid and/or ethyl acetate, quite disagreeable when excessive though a tiny amount m
Volatile Acidity: Wine has acidity, which is derived from the presence of a number of different acids including acetic
Waiter's Friend: A popular type of corkscrew used commonly in the hospitality industry.
Watery: Thin, lacking in flavor.
Weak: Lacking grip typical for the wine; without character
Weedy: Aromas or flavors reminiscent of hay or grasses; not necessarily unpleasant unless exaggerated.
Weight: A tasting term. When tasters refer to the weight of a wine, I think most are referring to its body.
Weighty: Strong, powerful, full-bodied, forceful.
Weingut (Germany): Describes an estate which owns vineyards as a source of fruit for its wine.
Weinkellerei (Germany): Describes an estate which buys in grapes to make wine, rather than owning its own vineyards.
Weissherbst: A German rosé made from only black grape varieties such as Pinot noir.
Wine: An alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of unmodified grape juice.
Wine Cave: A subterranean structure for storing and aging wine.
Wine Fraud: Any form of dishonesty in the production or distribution of wine.
Wine Label: The descriptive sticker or signage adhered to the side of a wine bottle.
Wine Lake: Refers to the continuing surplus of wine over demand (glut) being produced in the European Union.
Wine Tasting: The sensory evaluation of wine, encompassing more than taste, but also mouthfeel, aroma, and colour.
WO (South Africa): Stands for 'Wine of Origin'. The South African equivalent of the French Appellation d'Origine Contr
Woody: Excessive aromas of wood, common to wines aged overlong in cask or barrel.
Xylem: The woody tissue of a vine, inside of the cambium layer, that includes heartwood and sapwood, which
Yeast: A micro-organism present on the skins of grapes that reacts with the sugars inside and results in th
Yeast: A micro-organism without which we would not have bread, beer or wine - wouldn't life be dull! The ye
Yeasty: A bready smell, sometimes detected in wines that have undergone secondary fermentation, such as Ch
Yield: A measure of the amount of grapes or wine produced per unit surface of vineyard.
Yield: The yield is the amount of wine produced in vineyard or estate, and is usually expressed in hectolit
Young: In simple wines signifies youthful freshness; in finer wines, refers to immaturity, wines as yet und
Zymology: The science of fermentation in wine.