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WordDefinition
AbboccatoItaly: a full-bodied wine with medium sweetness
AcescenceA sweet-and-sour wine
Acetic acidAn acid commonly found in vinegar. Also occurs in wine
AcidityCauses sourness in wine. Makes your mouth water
AcridStrong and unpleasant smell
AdamadoPortugal: describes medium-sweet wines
AdegaPortugal: a winery or cellar
AerationAdding air to wine
AftertasteAlso known as finish. How long the flavors linger in your mouth after you swallow
AgeHow old the wine is
AgeworthyA wine that will improve over time.
AggressiveA wine with harsh flavors.
AgingStoring wine to improve taste or add flavors
AlcoholEthanol is produced as after yeast eats sugar
Alcohol by volumeThe percentage of ethanol in wine
AllierA wine growing region the Rhone-Alpes area named for the river that runs through it
AlluvialSoil composed of stones, gravel and sand produced from water runoff
AlmacenistaSpain: A Sherry producer
AlsaceA wine region in northeastern France in the Rhine Valley
Alte RebenGermany: Old vine
AmabileItaly: a medium-sweet wine
AmaroneItaly: An full-bodied wine made in Valpolicella made from dried grapes, usually Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella
American OakQuercus Alba is a species of white oak used to make wine barrels
American Viticultural Area (AVA)A designated wine growing region in the United States
AmontilladoA medium-bodied dry Sherry
AmpelographyThe study of differences between grapevines
AmphoraA ceramic vessel used to store wine in ancient time
Amtliche PrüfungsnummerGermany: A designation that shows a wine has passed legal requirements
AnbaugebieteGermany: The German name for a wine region
Ancestral MethodA secondary, in-bottle fermentation used to make sparkling wine
AngularA wine with very few, but intense flavors
AnnataItaly: term for vintage
AnosmiaLosing your sense of smell
AnthocyaninsA pigment that shows as red, purple, blue or black. Occurs in grape skins
AOC Appellation d’Origine ControlleeFrance: A term once used as the French designation for an agricultural regions including wine regions
AperitifA beverage to be enjoyed before a meal
AppassimentoItaly: the process of drying grapes
AppearanceThe way a wine looks such as clarity, color and intensity
AOP Appellation d'Origine ProtégéeFrance: A term used as the designation for an agricultural regions including wine regions
AromaSmells
AromaticA distinctive, pleasant smell
AspersionSprinkling water on grapevine buds to prevent freezing
AstringentCauses the skin to contract, which creates a feeling of dryness
AssemblageFrance: blending wine
SeeSubstances that make skin cells tighten. Produces a drying effect
AszúThe collection of grapes used to make Tokaji wine
AttackThe intense initial taste of a wine
ATTTBAlcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a United States government agency that regulates wine
AusbruchAustria: A wine quality indicator between Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese
AusleseGermany: a quality indicator meaning select harvest
AustereRefers to wines without much fruit flavor
AutolysisThe breaking down of dead yeast cells that can result in bready or nutty flavors in wine
AwkwardA wine where one flavor characteristic dominates all the others
AziendaItaly: Means estate
Azienda agricolaItaly: A winery that only produces estate wines
Azienda vinicolaItaly: A winery that produces estate wines and wines from other vineyards
(BOB) Buyer's Own BrandThe same as house wine labelled with the same name as the business where you bought it
BacchusA German white wine grape known for pear flavors
BackboneA wine with a good balance of tannin, alcohol, fruit flavors and sometimes sweetness
BackwardA wine that tastes less mature than expected
BalanceSee "Backbone"
BalthazarA wine bottle that holds 12 liters
Ban de VendangeFrance: The start of harvest
BarbarescoItaly: Nebbiolo-based wine from Tuscany
BarnyardAromas or flavors that smell animal-like. They are usually consider a flaw
BaroloItaly: A Nebbiolo-based wine from Piedmont
Barrel AgedHolding wine in oak too develop more complexity and impart oak flavor
Barrel FermentedHolding wine in oak while the yeast and sugar produce alcohol
Barrel or BarriqueA vessel, usually made of oak, in which wine is aged
Barrel TastingTasting wine out of a vessel other than a bottle, while it's still being produced
BatonnageFrance: stirring the lees.
BauméA scale to measure the density of liquids
BDXAbbreviation for Bordeaux
BeadThe streams of bubbles in sparkling wine
BeansWood chips added to wine to impart oak flavors
BeaujolaisA region of France where a light-bodied red wine is may from Gamay grapes
Beaujolais NouveauThe first Beaujolais of the year, released on the third Thursday in November
BeefyRefers to a full-bodied wine, usually a red
BeerenausleseGermany: A white wine made from individually selected grapes consider of
BentoniteA clay used to clarify wines
BereichGermany: A district within a wine region
BerryAn individual graps
Bianco, Blanc, Blanco, BrancoItalian, French,Spanish and Portuguese terms for a white wine or grape
BigA full-bodied wine
BinThe location in a wine cellar where wine is stored
BiodynamicA kind of ecological farming that highly prizes closed nutrient cycles and animal welfare
Biodynamic wineWine produced using biodynamic practices.
BiologiqueFrance: organic
BiteA high acid wine
BitterUsually comes from drying tannin in wines
Black GrapesAlso known as red grapes
Blanc de BlancsWhite wine made from white grapes
Blanc de NoirsWhite wine made from red grapes
BlendThe set of grapes used to make a finished wine
Blind TastingDrinking wine without knowing it's identity
BluntUsually refers to a high alcohol wine without much flavor
BlushThe same as rosé
BodegaSpain: A winery
BodySee Weight
BoldIntense of flavor or aroma
BordeauxA wine region in Southwest France known for it's blended red and white wines
Bordeaux BlendA wine blend made from the sanctioned grapes of the region. Red varietals include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot and Carmenere.
BotaA vessel than can store 159 to 172 gallons of Sherry
Botrytis CinereaA fungus that reduces water in grapes and causes more intense sweetness in grapes
BotteItaly: A barrel that holds 220–660 gallons
Bottle Agingtime spent in bottle before the wine is released
Bottle ShockA condition where flavors are muted after wine is newly bottled or travels long distance
BouquetFlavors and aromas that develop with age
BrawnyA wine with bold or intense flavors
BreatheAdd air to wine
BrettanomyceA yeast that creates flavors and aromas known as barnyard or gamey
BriaryRefers to flavors or wild berries
BrickingWhen red wines develop a red or orange hue over time
BrightAcidic
BrilliantA wine with vibrant colos
BrixThe scale used to measure sugar in grapes
BrokerAn intermediary between wineries and distributors
BroodingA wine that offers more intense and/or deep flavors over frersh and light ones
BrowningSee Bricking
Brut (Champagne)A term used to describe dry sparkling wine
Brut Nature (Champagne)The driest style of sparkling wine
Bud burst (bud break)When grapevines just begin to grow shoots
BungThe stopper used to close a wine barrel
BurgundyA wine region in east-central France known for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir
BurntWine that has smoky or barbecued flavors or aromas
ButteryA fatty and milky flavor, usually associated with Chardonnay
C.A.Spain: Cooperativa Agrícola, agricultural cooperative
C.S. (Cantina Sociale)Italy: Cantina Sociale, agricultural cooperative
C.V.France: Coopérative de Vignerons, vineyard cooperative
CaneThe branch on a grapevine
Cane pruningCutting unneeded shoots to help the vine focus growth on just a few
CanopyLeaves covering the vine
CapFloating seeds and skins at the forms at the top of vats of grape juice
Cap ClassiqueSouth Africa: Sparkling wine made using bottle fermentation
CapsuleThe cover over the neck of a wine bottle
Carbonic macerationGrapes are placed in sealed containers with carbon dioxide to release enzymes. This breaks down sugar into alcohol versus using yeast.
CarboyUsually glass or plastic, used as a fermentation vessel
CasaSpain: house. Also see bodega
CascinaItaly: wine estate
Case12 bottles of wine
CaseinA protein found in milk that is used to clarify wine
CaskA generic word for a wine vessel
Cask NumberUsed as a way to desinate exceptional barrels. Similar to a bin number
CastaPortugal: grape varietal
CaudalieThe unit to measure how long the flavors in wine linger after swallowing
CavaSpain: cave or the name of a white sparkling wine produced in Catalonia
CedarA fragrant type of pine tree
CellarA cool storage room where wine is kept
Cellar doorThe sales area in a winery
Cellared Byindicates that the wine was made at a different winery than where it's being sold
CepageFrance: blend
CerasuoloItaly: cherry
ChablisA city in Bordeaux or Chardonnay from that area
ChaiFrance: cellar
ChampagneA wine region in France known for its sparkling wine
Champagne fluteA tall, narrow, stemmed glass used for drinking sparkling wine
ChaptalizationAdding sugar to grape juice to increase alcohol content
ChardonnayA white wine grape
CharmatA second fermentation in a sealed tank to produce sparkling wine
ChateauFrance: an estate with vineyards
ChateauxPlural for chateau.
Chef de CaveFrance: cellarmaster
Chenin BlancA white wine grape
ChewyFull-bodied
ChiantiA wine region Vin Tuscany cans the red wines from that area, usually Sangiovese dominant
ChiarettoA rosé from the Barolino region in Italy
Cigar BoxTobacco flavors found in wine
Citric acidone of the three predominate acids in wine
ClaretA red Bordeaux
ClarityThe transparency or translucence of a wine
Class growthsee Cru Classe
ClassicoItaly: classic. Can refer to historical center of a region
Classified GrowthSee Cru Classe
ClayType of soil with small grains that holds water
CleanNo off flavors or aromas
CleanskinSee shiner
ClimatFrance: a single vineyard plot in Bordeaux
ClimateLong term weather patterns in a region
Clonal SelectionChoosing the most well suited vine for a location based on the success of ancestor vines
CloneUsually am ew vine cutting that will be used to grow a whole new vine
ClosFrance: a walled vineyard
ClosedRefers to wines with muted flavor but than can improve with aeration or age
CloudinessLack of clarity
CloyingOverly sweet
ClusterA bunch of grapes with the stems still attached
CNDPChateauneuf du Pape.
CoarseWines that are course are rough in texture and rustic by nature.
Coates Law of MaturityA theory that wine drinkers will continue to enjoy a wine for the same amount of time it's been matured. For exampl, if you buy a three year old wine, drink it within three years to get maximum enjoyment
Col FondoAn Italian sparkling wine that is bottle fermented and includes the lees, usually mostly made of Glera grapes.
Cold MacerationPUtting grapes in a refrigerated environment before fermentation to extract color and fruit flavors
Cold StabilizationChlling wine just above the freezing point to prevent wine gems from forming
ColheitaPortugal: harvest
ColorThe pigmentation of a wine
Commercial wineUsually refers to wines made by large companies. Can also refer to high volume, low quality wines
CommuneFrance: a small village
ComplexA wine in which many characteristics are discerned
Composite corkcompressed granules of cork are glued together to make a stopper
ConcentratedConcentrated is the opposite of light. Concentrated wines display a wealth of fruit, richness and depth of flavor, as well as raw materials.
ConcentratorA machine that removes excess water from grape must
ConsorzioItaly: a consortium of wine producers
CookedA wine with stewed (versus fresh) flavors. Usually cause from storing wine in warm locations
CooperBarrel maker.
CooperageWhere barrels are made
CooperativeA consortium of wine producers
Cordon trainingPruning vines to have (usually) two woody spurs from the trunk
Cork taintA compound that results from chorine, mold and plant phenols and produces musty odors in large concentrations
Corkage FeeThe fee charged by restaurants when guests bring their own bottle of wine rather than ordering from the wine list.
CorkedDescribes a wine having the off-putting, musty, moldy-newspaper flavor and aroma and dry aftertaste caused by a tainted cork.
CorkscrewA wine opening device with metal helix used to remove a cork from a wine bottle
CosechaSpain: vintage
CoteauxFrance: slopes
CôtesFrance: slope
CoulureA wine condition where grape berries don't fully develop after flowering
Country wineA legally unrecognized blend or varietal of wine
CourtierFrance: wine broker
CreamyWhen wine has a milky texture
CrémantFrench sparkling wines that are not Champagne but are made using the same techniques
CrianzaSpain: Tempranillo based wine from Rioja that has 1 year of oak aging and 1 year of bottle aging
CrispHigh in acidity
Cru ClasseA wine quality ranking scheme used in Bordeaux
CrushThe time of year when grape are crushed
Cult winesWines with a small, but loyal following
CuvaisonFrance: maceration of grape juice with grape skins
CuveeBlend
CuverieFrance: the fermentation room
CuvierSee Cuverie
DébourbageLetting solids settle in the wine to improve clarity
DecadentRich and intense in flavor
DecantingPouring wine out of the bottle into another container
Dégorgement tardiveAged Champagne, usually 5-10 years
Degree DaysThe number of days per year when a vine is not dormant
DélestagePouring wine back over the must to increase flavor and color extraction
DelicateLight in any (or all) flavor, aroma or color
DemeterA certification body for biodynamic farming, named after the Greek godess of the harvest
Demi-MuidFrance: A 600-liter barrel
Demi-secslighty sweet
(DO) Denominacion de OrigenSpain: See AOP
(DOCa)Denominación de Origen CalificadaSpain: The highest level of quality indicator for an agricultural region
Denominazione di Origine Controllata (D.O.C.)Italy: See AOP
Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (D.O.C.G.)Italy: See DOCa
DenseIntense in flavor, aroma or color
DepthSee Complex
Dessert WineVery sweet wine
DestemmingRemoving the individual berries from the grap cluster
DesuckeringRemoving the vine shoots that won't bear fruit
Deutscher TafelweinGermany: simple table wine
DevattingSee Délestage
DevelopingA wine that is showing early signs of maturing in flavor, color or aroma
DirtyA wine with off smells, color or flavors
DisgorgeA method to remove sediment from sparkling wine
DisjointedSee Unbalanced
Diurnal Temperature ShiftsThe difference between a daily high and daily low temperature
DolceItaly: sweet
DomaineFrance: estate
DosageAdding sugar or sweet wine to balance out acidity. Typical of Champagne
Double BlindA wine tasting where the tasters don't know the wines identity or where a wine is in the line-up
Double DecantingPouring wine from the bottle into another container and then again into another container or back into the bottle
DouroA river in Portugal that centers the wine region with the same name.
DouxFrance: very sweet
Drip IrrigationA low-flow irrigation system that delivers water near the vine's roots
DryNot sweet
Dry FarmingGrowing crops using only rainfall
Drying OutA wine that's losing its positive characteristics, usually due to overaging
DumbSee Closed
Early HarvestGrapes that are picked before full ripeness. Wine made from these grapes are usually lower in alcohol and sugar
EarthyWines where you notice smells of decay or damp scents. This can be positive or negative
Eau de vieA grape derived spirit
ÉbourgeonnageFrance: debudding vines
EchantillonFrance: sample bottle
ÉclaircissageFrance: thinning out bunches of grapes
EdelfäuleGermany: Botrytis cinerea
EdelkeurSouth Africa: Botrytis cinerea
EdesHungary: sweet wine
EffeuillageFrance: canopy thinning to improve air flow and increase sunlight exposure
ÉgrappageFrance: destemming
EinzellageGermany: a single vineyard site
EisweinGermany: ice wine, wine made from frozen grapes
Elaborado porSpain: produced by
ElegantWines with moderate but clearly distinguishable flavors and qualities
ElevageFrance: the steps between fermentation and bottling such as selecting the best barrels and blending
Élevé en fûts de chêneFrance: See Barrel Aged
Embotellado porSpain: bottled by
EmptySimilar to hollow; devoid of flavor and interest.
En PrimeurWine futures
EncépagementFrance: the blend of grapes in a wine
EndnoteFinish
EnologistA wine scientist
EnologyThe science and study of winemaking. Also spelled oenology.
EnophileA wine lover
Entry-level wineA low-cost wine with widely agreeable flavors
EraflageFrance: See Destemming
Erste LageGermany: first-class vineyard site
Erstes GewächsGermany: denotes a high-quality vineyard site
ErzeugerabfüllungGermany: producer bottled
EstateA vineyard site usually also including a winery
Estate BottledWhen wine is made from grapes owned by the same winery that makes the wine
Estate wineryA winery with grapevines on site
EstersThe fleeting aromas or flavors in wine
EszenciaThe sweetest version of Tokaji
Ethyl AcetateA fruity smell similar to Brandy found in wine
EU lot numberA number used to track individual bottles of wine in the European Union
Ex-cellarsWine sales without a distributor
ExoticA wine with qualities that are unusual or new to the drinker
ExpansiveA wine that becomes more intensely flavor as you drink it
Extra BrutVery dry
ExtractionThe steps used to dervice color, flavor and aroma from grapes
ExuberantSee Lively
FadingSee Drying Out
Farm wineryA property with a winery and vineyard
FatRefers to a full-bodied wine with intense fruit flavors and low acidity
FattoriaItaly: wine estate
FederspielA dry wine with medium alcohol that is in the second in the three tier Wauchau wine classification
FeinherbGermany: off-dry
FeminineA wine that is light in color, flavor or aroma
FermageFrance: a leased farm
FermentationWhen yeast or bacteria breaks down a substance. In wine, yeast breaks down sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide
Fermentazione naturaleItaly: a naturally sparkling wine
FiascoThe straw basket that covers the bottom of wine bottles
Field BlendA wine blend made from grapes that are grown near other and are fermented together
Fifth GrowthThe lowest tier of vineyard groups in the Bordeaux classification
Fighting varietalRefers to wines of average quality
Fill LevelThe amount of the wine in the bottle
FilteredRemoving solids from wine to increase clarity
Fine LeesThe small yeast particles
Fine wineWine considered to be of high quality
FinesseSee Finesse
FiningAdding a substance to wine to make small particles bind to each other so that they are easier to remove
FinishThe flavors and aromas that linger after you swallow a wine
FinoDry sherry
FirmA wine that is highly tannic
First GrowthsThe top tier of vineyard groups in the Bordeaux classification
FlabbySee Fat
FlagonA large vessel, typicall two liters
FlatA sparkling wine that has lost its bubble
FlavorsThe distinctive tastes of a wine
FleshyA wine with some body
FlightWhen a series of wines is poured together
FlintyWines that exhibit mineral like aromas or flavors
FlorThe cap of yeast that grows while Sherry is fermenting
FloralThe scent of new blossoms in wine
FloweringWhen the vine first begin to produce blossoms
Flying winemakerConsultants that work with more than one winery
FortifiedAdding distilled spirits to wine
ForwardA wine that tastes more mature than expected
FoudreA large oak vessel that holds almost 8,000 gallons
Four SquareA way to describe solid, but simple wine
Fourth GrowthThe second to the top tier of vineyard groups in the Bordeaux classification
FoxyDescribes a musky animal smell
Free-Run JuiceJuice produced from grapes splitting under their own weight, rather than being crushed. It is the lighest juice
French OakQuercus rober is a species of oak used to age wine
FreshWine that has very little aging
FrizzanteLightly sparkling
FrizzantinoVery light bubbles
Fruit SetThe process of flowers turning into fruit
Fruit wineUsually describes wine made from another fruit besides grapes
FruityA wine where fruit flavors are the most dominant
Full-bodiedHeavy in the mouth or on the tongue
Fût de chêneFrance: oak barrel
FuturesWines that you can purchase before they are officially released
GameyFlavors that resemble wild meat
GaragisteFrance: a small producer
GarrafeiraPortugal: a wine warehouse or store
GarrigueName for the collection low-growing shrubs that grow along the Meditteranean coast
GelatinThe clear liquid derived from animal collagen. Often used to thicken food
GemeindGermany: see commune
GenericA wine blend where no one grape is dominant
Geographical IndicatorIdentify a food as being from a specific region
GlycerinIncreases the wine's mouthfeel
GöncHungary: casks traditionally use for Tokaji
GoonAustralia: box wine
Goüt de TerroirFrance: taste of terroir
GracefulSubtley pleasing
GraftingCombing two kinds of grapevsines together into a single plant
Grains NoblesFrance: grapes that have been infected with noble rot
Gran ReservaSpain: aged for five years, with at least two in oak
Grand CruFrance: the most prestigious of Burgundy wines
Grand VinFrench: means great wine, but is an unregulated term
Grande MarqueFrance: refers to prestigious wines
GraniteA descriptor for minerality in wine
GranvasSpain: Sparkling wine made using the tank method
GrapeyWines with intense berry flavor
GrassyA descriptor for wines that have vegetal flavors
GravelA descriptor for minerality in wine
Gravity WinemakingA winery that moves grape juice using natural forces rather than using pumps or pressure. This produces a more delicate juice
Gray RotAnother name for Botrytis Cinerea
GreenRefers to wines that hued or tinted to a grassy color
Green HarvestRemoving unripened grapes to decrease yields
GrenacheA red wine grape
GripCan refer to high acid or high tannic wine
Grosses GewächsGermany: a sanctioned wine classification for the highest quality dry wines
GrosslageGermany: A classification for a number of single vineyard sites
HabillageFrance: the metal cage and foil used in sparkling wine closures
HalbtrockenGermany: half-dry
Half-bottleHolds 375 ml versus the typical 75ml
Hang timeThe amount of time that grapes are on the vine
HardWines with high tannin
HarmoniousSee Balanced
HarshHigh tannin or high alcohol
HarvestThe time of year when the ripened grapes are picked
HazyA murky or foggy wine
Head-trainedVines that can grow without trellises
HeadyHigh-alcohol wine
HeartyWine with a warm and rustic quality
HectareAlmost 2.5 acres of wine
Hectoliter100 liters or about 2.5 gallons
HerbaceousRefers to a wine with spicy vegetal notes
HockBritain: A German white wine
HollowLacking fruit
HoneyedWines that exhibit this flavor
Horizontal TastingWines from the same year, same grape, but different wineries
HotHigh alcohol
Ice WineLow alcohol sweet wine made from frozen grapes
Imbottigliato all'origineItaly: Estate wine
ImperialA wine vessel holding six liters
Indication Géographique ProtégéeFrance: A sanctioned middle tier quality wine
Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)Italy: see Indication Géographique Protégée
InoculationAdd yeast to grape juice to start fermentation
Intensitythe frcefulness or power of a quality in wine such as color, aroma or taste
International varietyWines grapes that are grown in many countries
InvecchiatoItaly: aged wine
IrrigationAdding water beyond rainfall
IsinglassDerived from fish bladders and is used to clarify wine
JammyWines with the taste of stewed fruit
JeroboamA large wine bottle that holds six times a standard bottle
Jug wineBulk wine
KabinettGermany: A dry mid-level Reisling
Kosher wineWine produced as specified by Jewish dietary laws
Lactic AcidA silky acid found in milk
LandweinGermany: table wine
Late HarvestGrapes that are kept on the vine past their ripeness
Lay DownTo cellar a wine
Lazy BallerinaA kind of trellis used to hold up grapevine
LeafySee grassy
LeanHigh acid wines
LeatherAn aroma descriptor usually found in older wines
LeesDead yeast cells
Left BankThe wine region on the south shore of the Gironde River that produces Cabernet Sauvignon dominated red blends
LegsGlycerin gears that slowly trail down the wine glass after sipping
LengthSee Finish
Lo-fi wineNatural wine
LieFrance: See Lees
Lieu-ditSee Climat
LiftSee Acidity
LimestoneA kind of soil composed of seashells and other aquatic organisms
LimousinA region in Central France known for its cattle and wine barrels
LinearRefers to simply flavored wines
LingeringRefers to a wine with a long finish
Liqueur de TirageA sweet mixture of sweet wine and yeast often used in secondary fermentation
LiquoreuxFrance: refers to the sweetest of dessert wines
LiquorosoItaly: Fortified wine
LivelyRefers to fresh and fruity wine usually with good acidity
LoamSee Lively
LongRefers to Finish
Luscious (or Lush)Exhibiting intense and fresh, fruity flavors
MacerationThe part of the winemaking process where grape juice mixes with skins and seeds
MaderizationWhen wine is oxidized by heat. Common with Madeira
MagnumA 1.5 liter wine bottle
Malic AcidOccurs in fruit like tart green apples and also wine
Malolactic Fermentation (ML)A secondary fermentation that changes malic acid to lactic acid. Often creates a milkier texture and buterry flavors in wine
ManipulantFrance: a person that buys grapes or juice to make their own wine rather than growing it
ManzanillaA dry Sherry known for its salty tang
MarcDistilled spirits made from grape stems, seeds and pulp
MasculineSee Bold
Maso/MasseriaItaly: an agricultural estate
Massal SelectionReplacing underperforming vines with better performing ones
MassiveSee Bold
Master of WineA wine qualification issued by the Institute of the Masters of Wine in the UK
MatureWhen a wine is ready to drink or is at its peak
May wineA wine punch that is served with fruit and flavored with Woodruff
MeadA fermented honey drink
MeatyFlavor descriptor for animal flavors in wine. More common in aged wine
Meditation wineA high-quality wine that can be enjoyed on its own, and without food pairing.
Medium BodiedA wine with a medium weight on the tongue
MedocA large wine growing area on the south shore of the Gironde River
MeniscusThe area where the glass meets the wine
MercaptansThe compounds that produce aromas such as old cabbage in wine
MeritageRefers to blends of the Bordeaux grapes from California
Merlot-to-go lawA law allowing restaurant patrons to take unfinished bottles home
Méthode AncestraleFrance: see Ancestral Method
Méthode TraditionnelleFrance: see Ancestral Method
MethuselahA wine bottle that holds six liters
Metodo CharmatItaly: See Tank Method
Metodo classico/Metodo tradizionaleItaly: See Ancestral Method
Micro OxygenationA way to oxidize wine in a controlled manner to mimic a mature wine
MicroclimateA long-term weather pattern common to a very small area
Micro-VinificationSmall batch winemaking, often of experimental wine
Mid-PalateThe center of the mouth
MillerandageWhen berries are of vastly different sizes though in the same bunch
MillésimeFrance: Vintage
MineralityRefers to aromas and smells common to rocks. You may have experienced a similar flavor when taking a multivitamin
Mis en bouteille au châteauFrance: Estate-bottled
MistelaSpain: A sweet fortified wine
MistelleFrance: See Mistela
MistralFrance: The name for a wind pattern common to the Rhone Valley
MoelleuxFrance: A descriptor for a sweet wine with mild flavors
MonocepageFrance: A single varietal wine
MonopoleSee Monocepage
MousseA term for the foam at the top of sparkling wine
MousseuxFrance: Sparkling wine
MouthfeelA wine's weight on the tongue or in the mouth
Mouth-FillingConcentrated
Mulled wineA warm, sweet wine punch usually flavored with cinnamon
MurkyWine that isn't clear
MustThe mixture of grape juice, skins, seeds and pulp
MustyRefers to stale or moldy aromas in wine
MWSee Master of Wine
Nasal FatigueA temporary inability to detect scents
Native YeastThe naturally occuring yeast in the air of the winery or vineyard
NebuchadnezzarA large bottle holding 15 litres, the equivalent of 20 regular wine bottles.
Négociant (négociant-éléveur)France: A winemaker that buys grapes and makes wine from them
NervousRefers to wines with fresh (versus stewed) flavors and acid
NeversA forest in Central France known for its oak
New OakA barrel that hasn't been used
New World wineWine from countries other than European ones
Noble Grapes of AlsaceRiesling, Pinot Gris, Muscat, Gewurztraminer
Noble RotSee Botryis Cinerea
Noble Varieties of BordeauxCabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot
Non-filtréFrance: unfiltered
Non-VintageA blend of wine from many years
NoseThe aromas in wine when smelled
NouveauFrance: New
NuttyA flavor common in aged wines and is similar to almond, hazelnut, walnuts, etc
Oak ChipsSee Beans
Oak/oakyA set of flavors imparted from this wood. Can also be described as caramel, vanilla, coconut or spice
OenologyWinemaking
OenophileA wine lover
OenophobiaA fear of wine
OffSmells or aromas from bacteria decomposing wine. Spoilage smells
Off-DrySlightly sweet
OidiumFrance: Powdery mildew
OlallieberryA kind of hybrid blackberry
Old VineA vine that's 10 years old or older
Old World wineEuropean wine
Olfactory EpitheliumThe nerve that connects the nose to the mouth
OlorosoA full-bodied Sherry
OpenA wine that has been exposed to enough air that some off flavors and aromas have dissipated
Open Top FermentersA vessel to ferment wine without a top
Optical SorterA machine to separate items using cameras or lasers
OpulentSee Rich
Organic WineMade without chemicals
OrganolepticExperiences based on the sense organs
OuillageFrance: Topping off barrels with wine to fight evaproation
OverripeRefers to grape with a high pH or a wine with lower acid than normal for that variety
OxidativeA quality of wine when it has been exposed to air. It can remove off flavors in wine when managed appropriately, but can damage the wine when excessive
OxidizedSee Oxidative
PalateThe mouth and tongue
ParkerizedUsually a full-bodied, high alcohol wine. The kind of wine that Robert Parker might like
Passe-Tout-GrainsFrance: A blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay from Bordeaux
PassitoItaly: Wines made from dried grapes
PeakThe period of time in a wine's development when you will most enjoy the wine
Peer GroupWines that are related in some way: winery, variety, vintage, etc.
PepperyAn aroma in wine similar to peppercorns
PerfumedA wine with intense floral flavors
PergolaTraining grapevines so the canopy and fruit grow overhead
PétillantFrance: Sparkling
Petit ChateauA wine house that'sn not well-known
pHThe measurement for acidity in wine
Phenolic RipenessUsing acid levels in the grape to determine when to pick
Phenols/Phenolics/PolyphenolsAcids that affect the color, taste and mouthfeel of wine
PhylloxeraAn aphid that attacks the roots and leaves of wine grapevines
Pierce's DiseaseAn insect transfer a virus to inside of the plant, which blocks water and nutrients from moving through the plant
PigeageSee Punch-Down
PiquantFrance: A tart and crips white wine
Place de BordeauxFrance: A group of wine distributors with access to prestigious Bordeaux wines
Plafond Limité de ClassementFrance: A rule that relaxes grape yield during very hot years
Plan BordeauxA plan to reduce the amount of French wine on the market
PlonkLow-quality wine
PlummyA taste or aroma descriptor for plums
PlushSee Rich
PodereItaly: A small farmstead
PolishedSee Elegant
PolyphenolSee Phenols
Polyphenolic RipenessSee Phenolic Ripeness
PomaceThe remains of grapes after the juice is pressed off
PonderousSee Meditation Wine
Pop and PourPouring wine straight from the bottle, versus decanting
PortA fortified wine from the Douro Valley in Portugal
PotentSee Concentrated
Pourriture nobleItaly: See Noble Rot
PowerfulSee Concentrated
PrädikatGermany: The top tier of the German wine classification
PrädikatsweinSee Pradikat
Premier cruSee First Growths
Premium winesHigher quality classification of wine above every day drinking table wines. While premium wines maybe very expensive there is no set price point that distinguishes when a wine becomes a "premium wine." Premium wines generally have more aging potential than every day quaffing wines.
PremoxA shortened form of premature oxidation
Press Wine (or Pressing)Wine made from juice that is pressed from grapes rather than from free run juice
Primary aromasThe smells typical of a specific type of grape
Private ReserveThe best wines offered by a winery
Produced And Bottled ByThis statement on labels tells the buyer that 75% of the wine was made by the winery named on the bottle
ProduttoreItaly: Wine producer
PropriétaireFrance: Wine estate owner
(PDO) Protected Designation of OriginA region or area that is recognized for producing a specific food with specific qualities that are attributable to the region
(PGI) Protected Geographical IndicationA region or area that is recognized for producing a specific food with specific qualities that are influenced by the region
PruneyWines that taste of dried plums
PruningTrimming or cutting sections of grapevines
PuckeryRefers to a high acid and/or high tannin wine
Pump OverSiphoning wine from the bottom of a tank back over the grape must. Similar to a Punch-Down
Punch-DownPushing grape seeds, skins and pulp back into the juice to increase extraction of color and flavor
PuntThe recess in the bottom of a wine bottle
PuttonyosHungary: A measure of sweetness for Tokaji wine
PyrazinesFlavor and aroma compounds sometimes described as green pepper. Common in unripe grapes or grape grown in cool climates
QuafferInexpensive table wine
QualityA characteristic of wine
(QbA) Qualitätswein bestimmter AnbaugebieteGermany: A designation for middle-quality wines
(QmP) Qualitätswein mit PrädikatGermany: A designation for high-quality wines
Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions (QWPSR)A now-defunct wine classification category in the European Union that was formally abolished, along with the Table Wine designation, in 2009 with the adoption of the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) system.
(QPR) Quality-Price RatioQuality/price ratio
QuintaPortugal: A wine estate
QvevriGeorgia: An earthenware vessel that holds 800 liters of wine
RackingMoving wine from one container to another
RacySee Newvous
RaisinyA wine that tastes of dried grapes
RawAn unfinished wine
ReciotoItaly: A sweet wine made from dried grapes
RécoltantFrance: A winegrower that also makes wine
RecorkTo place the cork back into a wine bottle
RedoxAn abbreviation for oxidation-reduction potential
ReductionSee Oxidative
RefractometerA device used to measure grape ripeness
RehoboamA wine bottle that holds 4.5 liters
RemontageSee Pump Over
Reserve/Riserva/ReservaDenotes a higher quality wine as determined by a winery
Residual sugar/RSThe amount of sugar remaining in a finished wine
RichWines that are expressive in flavor or aroma
RiddlingTurning a bottle slowly and over time to move the lees to the neck
Right BankThe wine region on the south shore of the Gironde River that produces Merlot dominated red blends
RipassoA wine made from macerating fresh wine with dried grapes
RipeThe optimum level of maturity. This varies by maker
RobustSee Concentrated
RosadoSpain: Rosé wine
RosatoItaly: Rosé wine
RossoItaly: red wine
RougeFrance: red wine
RoughSee Astringent
RoundSee Balanced
RusticSee Austere
SackEngland: Sherry
SaigneeFrance: The process of making rosé by removing must from grape juice after a short period of time
SalmanazarA large wine bottle that holds 12 liters
SangriaA wine punch that includes spirits, sugar, assorted fruits and cinnamon
Satellite AppellationsFour wine regions outside the contiguous boundary of St. Emilion in Bordeaux
SeamlessSee Balanced
SecFrance: Dry
SeccoItaly: Dry
SecoPortugal: Dry
Second GrowthThe second highest quality tier in the Boardeaux vineyard classificiation
Second WineWine produced from lesser quality grapes
Secondary AromasSmells derived from fermentaation processes
Secondary FermentationAn additional process where yeast is used to change a characteristic of wine such as adding a sweet substance to finished wine usually to create bubbles or to change malic acid to lactic acid
SedimentYeast cells and grape solids that remain in the wine
Sélection de Grains NoblesFranceL The top tier for sweet wine from Alsace made with grapes that have been affected by Botrytis
Selection MassaleFrance: See Massal Selection
Semi-genericRefers to wine names that refer to a European wine region, but were produced in the United States, for example, California Champagne
SemiseccoItaly: Slightly sweet
Semi-secSpain Slightly sweet
ShinerA bottle without a label
ShoulderThe section of the bottle, just after the neck, where it expands
Sensory ThresholdThe point at which you can detect a quality of the wine such smell or taste
SexySee Rich
SforzatoItaly: A wine made from partially dried grapes
SherryA fortified wine from near Jerez, Spain
ShortRefers to the duration of the experience of a quality in a wine
SilexSoil composed of ground stone
SilkySee Elegant
SimpleRefers to a wine with out many noticeable qualities
Sin CrianzaSpain: Refers to wines without oak aging
Single BlindA wine tasting where tasters know the identity of the wine, but not its location in the line-up
SlateA rocky soil found in some wine regions
Slow oxidationRemoving the cork from a bottle and exposing it to air for several hours
SmaragdA wine region in Austria
SmashableUsed in Australia. Refers to light bodied, high acid, fresh red wine usually with bright cherry flavors.
SmokyA flavor characteristic of some wine that are aged in charred oak barrels
SmoothWines that are smooth, feel soft on your palate. They transition from the beginning to the middle through to the end, with that a smooth texture. This is a positive attribute.
Sulfur DioxideUsed as a preservative
SoftSee Elegant
SoleraThe system for blending new Sherry with older Sherry
SommelierA professional wine guide
SortingRemoving unripe or damaged grapes before fermentation
SoutirageFrance: Racking
Sparkling wineWine with bubbles from carbon dioxide
SpätleseGermany: See Late Harvest
SpicyA generic term for wine exhibiting the flavors from the common woods, seeds and barks used for food flavorings, such as clove, anise or cinnamon
SplitA wine bottle that holds about 190ml
SpoofilatedA negative term for wines made using high-tech techniques with the goal of intensifying flavor or aroma
SpritzigGermany: A light sparkling wine
SpumanteItaly: A robustly sparkling wine
SteinfederA wine region in Austra
StickiesAustralia: Any sweet wine
StoneSee Minerality
StravecchioItaly: very aged
Strohwein/SchilfweinGermany: Wine made from dried grapes
StructureSee Backbone
SubtleSee Elegant
Super SecondBetter than the majority of Grand Crus
Super TuscansA red wine from Tuscany that is blended with non-Italian grapes. Usually Sangiovese with a Boardeaux grape
SupérieurFrance: Indicates that the wine was aged
SuperioreItaly: Indicated that the wine was aged
SuppleSee Lush
Sur LieFrance: Aged on the lees
Sur pointeFrance: When wine is aged with the neck down so that the lees gathers in the neck
SüssGermany: sweet wine
SzamorodniHungary: A wine blend that includes fresh grapes and grapes affected by noble rot
SzárazHungarian wine term for a dry wine
TafelweinGermany: Table wine
TailleFrance: Juice made from pressing the grapes, versus free run juice
TalentoItaly: A sparking wine made using Méthode Traditionnelle
TankThe vessel where fermentation takes place
Tank MethodUsing a large vat for a second fermentation to create bubbles in wine
TanninAstringent compounds found in the stems, seed and skin of grapes
TartRefers to acidity in wine
Tartaric acidAn acid occuring in many fruits, including grapes
TastevinA shallow wine tasing cup
Tasting flightA group of small wine pours meant to be tasted in succession
TerroirThe weather and geographic characteristics of a specific place
Tertiary AromasSmells dervied from aging wine
TextureSee Mouthfeel
Third GrowthThe third tier of quality under the Bordeaux classification
Three Tier SystemWine markets where wineries sell to distributors who then sell to retailers
TightSee Closed
TinnySee Minerality
TintoRefers to red wine in Spain and Italy
TiredSee Drying Out
ToastyRefers to the savory flavors that occur after cooking or roasting food
TonneauFrance: A barell that holds 900 liters
TorrefactionThe process that turns natural materials into coal
TrancheFrance: A term for the slice of wine released and available for sale at a specific period of time
TransparencySee Clarity
TrellisingTraining vines to grow around wires or poles as a way to manage vine productivity
TriageFrance: See Sorting
Triple DigitsRefers to a wine with over a 100 point rating
TrockenGermany: dry
TrockenbeerenausleseGermany: a late harvest wine made with botyris affected grapes
TypicityHow well a wine represents the flavors typical of the grape varieties used to make it
(UC) Union CoopérativeFrance: A regional cooperative
UnbalancedA wine where one or a few qualities overpower all others
UllageThe air space in a bottle
UnctuousSee Full-bodied
UvaItaly: Grape
UvaggioItaly: Wine blend
(VA) Volatile AcidityGaseous acids in wine that are considered pleasant and fruity at low amounts, but present as chemical-like smells if too harsh
(VDP) Vin de PaysFrance: Table wine
VarietalSame as variety
VatThe vessel where fermentation takes place
(VC) Vino ComarcalSpain: Table wine
(VDL) Vin de LiqueurFrance: Fortified wine
(VDLT) Vino de la TierraSpain: A commercial wine of higher quality than table wine
(VDN) Vin Doux NaturelFrance: Naturally sweet wines
(VDQS) Vin Délimité de Qualité SupérieureFrance: A commercial wine of higher quality than table wine
(VDT) Vino da TavolaItaly: Table wine
VecchioItaly: Indicates that a wine has been aged
VegetalAn aroma or flavor characteristics similar to raw vegetables
VelvetySee Rich
VendangeFrance: Harvest
Vendangé à la mainFrance: Hand harvested
Vendange tardiveFrance: See late-harvest
VendemmiaSpain: Harvest
VendimiaItaly: Harvest
VeraisonWhen grapes begin to change color from bright greed
VermouthA fortified wine cocktail flavored with fruit skins and spices
Vertical wine tastingA series of small wine pours of the same wine from the same winery over different years
VibrantSee Lively
Vieilles VignesFrance: Old Vines
ViejoSpain: Old
Vigna/VignetoItalian terms for a vineyard
VigneronFrance: Wine maker or wine grower
VignobleFrance: Vineyard
VinFrance: Wine
Vin de gardeFrance: Wine with aging potential
Vin de glaceFrance: Ice wine
Vin de PailleFrance: Wine made from dried grapes
(VDT) Vin de TableFrance: Table wine
Vin MousseuxFrance: Sparkling wine
Viña/ViñedoSpain: Vineyard
VinhaPartugal: Vineyard
VinhoPortugal: Wine
Vinho TegionalPortugal: Table wine
VinificationWinemaking
VinologyThe study of wine and winemakine
VintageThe year a wine is bottled
ViticultureGrape growing
Vitis AestivalisA North American grape variety
Vitis LabruscaA North American grape variety
Vitis RipariaA North American grape variety
Vitis viniferaThe species of grape that wine is made from
VolatileAroma compound that quickly dissipates after a wine is opened
VolcanicA soil type composed of lava
Vosges OakA kind of oak used to make wine barrels
Waiter's friendA kind of corkscrew that resembles a pocketknife
WebsterA unit of measure referring to 1.5 liters of wine
WeightThe percieved heaviness or lightness of wine in the mouth
WeissherbstGermany: Rosé
Whole Bunch VinificationIncluding the grapes stems in the must during winemakin
Whole clusterA bunch of grapes with the stems still attachd
WineGrape juice that has undergone alcoholic fermentation
Wine Gems/CrystalsTartartic acid crystals
Wine LakeWine glut
Wine tastingA wine sampling event
WinemakingSee Vinification
WinzergenossenschaftGermany: A winery cooperative
WoodySee Oaky
XylemThe tissue inside the vine, underneath the bark
YeastA single celled fungi
Yieldthe productivity of a vineyard
YoungRefers to a wine before aging
ZymologyThe study of wine fermentation

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