Wine Definitions, Volume 2

Are you familiar with Délestage? No, I wasn’t either until I read this post. You can use these cards to study up and build your wine knowledge. After you complete all of the definitions, you will know more about wine than 99% of people. You will basically be a wine expert.

If you prefer, we also offer these definitions as a list. You will find a link to the non-flashcard version of this article on the right. 

Bud burst (bud break)

When grapevines just begin to grow shoots


The stopper used to close a wine barrel


A wine region in east-central France known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir


Wine that has smoky or barbecued flavors or aromas


A fatty and milky flavor, usually associated with Chardonnay


Spain: Cooperativa Agr?cola, agricultural cooperative

C.S. (Cantina Sociale)

Italy: Cantina Sociale, agricultural cooperative


France: Coop?rative de Vignerons, vineyard cooperative

Cabernet Franc

A red grape common to Bordeaux; characteristics include an herbal, leafy flavor and a soft, fleshy texture.


The branch on a grapevine

Cane pruning

Cutting unneeded shoots to help the vine focus growth on just a few


Leaves covering the vine

Cantina Sociale

Italian term for a co-operative


Floating seeds and skins at the forms at the top of vats of grape juice

Cap Classique

South Africa: Sparkling wine made using bottle fermentation


The cover over the neck of a wine bottle

Carbonic maceration

Grapes are placed in sealed containers with carbon dioxide to release enzymes. This breaks down sugar into alcohol versus using yeast.


Usually glass or plastic, used as a fermentation vessel


Spain: house. Also see bodega


Italy: wine estate


12 bottles of wine


A protein found in milk that is used to clarify wine


A generic word for a wine vessel

Cask Number

Used as a way to desinate exceptional barrels. Similar to a bin number


Portugal: grape varietal


Unit of the persistence of the wine\'s finish in seconds. Derived from the word caudal (tail). A wine can have a caudalie of 8 or more seconds.[4]


Spanish for \'cellar,\' but also a Spanish sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne style from Xarello, Macabeo, and Parellada grapes.


Cedar is a common scent found in Bordeaux wines from the Medoc appellations. It smells of cedar wood, or an old cedar chest.


The room in a winery where wine is made or stored. Can also refer to a personal wine collection in a residence.

Cellar door

The area of the winery where point of sale purchases occur. This can be a tasting room or a separate sales area.

Cellared By

Means the wine was not produced at the winery where it was bottled. It usually indicates that the wine was purchased from another source


French term for grape varieties planted in vineyards.


Italian term for a cherry-pink colored wine


A town and wine region east of Paris known for steely, minerally Chardonnay.


French term for barrel cellar.


A denominated region northeast of Paris in which Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes are made into sparkling wine.

Champagne flute

A piece of stemware having a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top.


Arguably the best and most widely planted white wine grape in the world.


French for \'castle;\' an estate with its own vineyards.


Plural for chateau.

Chef de Cave

French term for cellarmaster or head winemaker

Chenin Blanc

A white grape common in the Loire Valley of France.


Chewy wines are dense or meaty, with a lot of texture, concentration and tannins.


A scenic, hilly section of Tuscany known for fruity red wines made mostly from Sangiovese grapes.


Italian term for a very pale or light colored ros?

Cigar Box

Descriptive term for common odors found in older Bordeaux wine.

Citric acid

one of the three predominate acids in wine


A French term for a wine that falls between the range of a light red wine and a dark ros?


The British term for red wines from Bordeaux. Originally the wines were quite pale or nearly clear in color, giving rise to the term clairet.

Class growth

see cru classe


Classic is most often used for Bordeaux and California wine when the wine is less alcoholic, less ripe and more austere than modern tasters enjoy. Similar to traditional. It can be a pejorative term.


An Italian term for the historical or

Classified Growth

Included in Bordeaux\'s 1855 Classification, which ranked ch?teaus from first-growth to fifth-growth. The original classification was set by the prices that the wines fetched and was intended to be synonymous with quality


Type of soil most often found in Pomerol and Saint Emilion that is perfect for Merlot.


Fresh on the palate and free of any off-taste. Does not necessarily imply good quality.


In Australia, wine bottled without a commercial label, usually sold cheaply in bulk quantities.


French term for Lieu-dit used in Burgundy for a single plot of land located within a vineyard that has its own name and demonstrated terroir.


The long-term weather pattern?including temperature, precipitation and hours of sunshine?in a specific region. In contrast, weather is associated with a specific event, such as a hailstorm

Clonal Selection

Vineyard management term for a technique by which dead or under-performing vines are replaced with new vines grown from a single superior vine, or mother vine


A group of vines originating from a single, individual plant propagated asexually from a single source. Clones are selected for the unique qualities of the grapes and wines they yield, such as flavor, productivity and adaptability to growing conditions


Pronounced \'Cloh,\' this French word once applied only to vineyards surrounded by walls.


Describes wines that are concentrated and have character, yet are shy in aroma or flavor. Closed wines may open up to reveal more flavors and aromas with aging or aeration


Lack of clarity to the eye. Fine for old wines with sediment, but it can be a warning signal of protein instability, yeast spoilage or re-fermentation in the bottle in younger wines.


Wines that are cloying are too sweet, without ample acidity, making them flabby.


A bunch of grapes.


Abbreviation for Chateauneuf du Pape. Also written as CDP.


Wines that are course are rough in texture and rustic by nature.

Col Fondo

Sparkling wine production method for traditional Prosecco, in which the spent yeast cells, or lees, left over from the secondary fermentation are not disgorged

Cold Maceration

The process before alcoholic fermentation where the temperature of the fermenting must remains low to help obtain the highest degree of extraction for additional color and aromas as well as raw materials.


Portuguese term for a harvest


A key determinant of a wine\'s age and quality; white wines grow darker in color as they age while red wines turn brownish orange.

Commercial wine

A mass-produced wine aimed for a wide market of consumers made according to a set formula, year after year. These wines tend to emphasize broad appeal and easy drinkability rather than terroir or craftsmanship.


French term for small village that is usually a part of an appellation.


a wine exhibiting numerous odors, nuances, and flavors


?An element in all great wines and many very good ones; a combination of richness, depth, flavor intensity, focus, balance, harmony and finesse.

Composite cork

Also known as an agglomerated cork. A wine bottle stopper made of particles or granules of natural cork pressed together and bound by an FDA?approved glue


Classification system used in the Armagnac and Cognac region based on the age of the spirit ranging from 00 for a newly distilled spirit to 2 for a VS (


Concentrated is the opposite of light. Concentrated wines display a wealth of fruit, richness and depth of flavor, as well as raw materials.


Machine that removes excess water from grapes to help concentrate the wine.


Italian term for a trade organization of wine producers. Often members of individual consorzio will have their wines packaged with a specific neck label that identifies their membership in the consorzio.


A wine that suffered heat damage during storage.


Barrel maker. A barrel maker works in a cooperage.


The facility where wine barrels are made


A winery owned jointly by multiple grape growers.


An appliance that allows wine to be removed from an unopened bottle of wine via a hollow needle.

Cordon training

A method of vine training. Unlike cane pruning where the trunk itself is the only permanent, inflexible piece of the vine, cordon trained vines have one or two woody arms extending from the top of the trunk. These are then spur pruned.

Cork taint

undesirable aromas and flavors in wine often associated with wet cardboard or moldy basements

Corkage Fee

The fee charged by restaurants when guests bring their own bottle of wine rather than ordering from the wine list.


Describes a wine having the off-putting, musty, moldy-newspaper flavor and aroma and dry aftertaste caused by a tainted cork.


A tool, comprising a pointed metallic helix attached to a handle, for drawing Corks from bottles.


Spanish term for


French term for slope.


French term for the hillside or slopes of a hill region that is not contiguous.


French term for the hillside or slopes of one contiguous hill region.


French term for a problem takes during flowering that causes flowers to drop off the cluster. When this takes place, the grape cluster reduces its yields and the berries develop unevenly in size and maturity.

Country wine

A quality level intermediate between table wine and quality wine, which in France is known as vin de pays and in Italy as Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) . Also a synonym for Fruit wine.


Broker in Bordeaux that acts as the intermediary between the chateau and the negociants.


When has the rich texture of cream.


French sparkling wines made in the traditional m?thode champenoise outside of the Champagne region. Cr?mants can be found in the Loire Valley, Burgundy, Alsace, and more.


A Spanish term for a red wine that has been aged in oak barrels for at least one year.


Similar to bright. Fruit that is crisp is usually high in acidity.


A French term for ranking a wineis inherent quality, i.e. cru bourgeois, cru classe, premier cru, and grand cru.


Harvest season when the grapes are picked and crushed.

Cult wines

Wines for which committed buyers will pay large sums of money because of their desirability and rarity.


The French term for the period of time during alcoholic fermentation when the wine is in contact with the solid matter such as skin, pips, stalks, in order to extract colour, flavour and tannin.[8] See also maceration.


This term is most often used to describe a special blend, barrel or bottling of a specific wine.


French term, along with cuvier that refers to the building or room where fermentation takes place. Essentially, the room, building, grange, barn, garage or shed, or other building, used for


French term for where the vinification of the wine takes place.


Refers to a process in which the must of a white wine is allowed to settle before racking off the wine, this process reduces the need for filtration or fining.


Decadence in a wine is a good thing. They are rich, sexy, opulent wines with mouth coating textures.

D?gorgement tardive

French term for a Champagne that has been aged sur lie for an exceptionally long time (far beyond the usually 5-10 years of vintage Champagne) before going through degorgement.


French term for racking and returning a wine back to the tank. Wine is pumped out of the fermenting tank and back over the cap to facilitate extraction of color and flavor


Light wines are delicate. This is not a quality to seek in Bordeaux. It is better suited for some white wines and Pinot Noir.

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