Definitions

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Glossary of wine terms

The glossary of wine terms lists the definitions of many terms used within the wine industry. These terms may be used by winemakers, connoisseurs, and wine writers to name but a few.

A

Acidity
The quality of wine that gives it its crispiness and vitality. A proper balance of acidity must be struck with the other elements of a wine, or else the wine may be said to be too sharp - having disproportionately high levels of acidity - or too flat - having disproportionately low levels of acidity. The three main acids found in wine are tartaric acid, malic acid and lactic acid. The first two come from the grapes and the third from Malolactic fermentation which often occurs in the winemaking process.
Acrid
A tasting term for a wine with overly pronounced acidity, this is often apparent in cheap red wines.
Aftertaste
A tasting term for the taste left on the palate after wine has been swallowed. "Finish" is a synonym.
Aging barrel
A barrel, often made of oak, used to age wine or distilled spirits.
Alcohol
Generally refers to ethanol, a chemical compound found in alcoholic beverages. It is also commonly used to refer to alcoholic beverages in general.
Altar wine
The wine used by the Catholic Church in celebrations of the Eucharist.
Alternative wine closures
Various substitutes used in the wine industry for sealing wine bottles in place of traditional cork closures.
Amphora
A type of ceramic vase, used for transporting and storing wine in ancient times.
Angel's share
The portion of a wine in an aging barrel that is lost to evaporation.
Anthocyanin
Phenolic pigments that give red wine its colour.
A.O.C.
Abbreviation for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, (Appellation of controlled origin), as specified under French law. The AOC laws specify and delimit the geography from which a particular wine (or other food product) may originate and methods by which it may be made. The regulations are administered by the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO).
A.P. number
Abbreviation for Amtliche Prüfungsnummer, the official testing number displayed on a German wine label that shows that the wine was tasted and passed government quality control standards.
Appellation
A geographical based term to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown.
Aroma
The smell of a wine. The term is generally applied to younger wines, while the term Bouquet is reserved for more aged wines.
ATTTB
Abbreviation for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a United States government agency which is primarily responsible for the regulation of wines sold and produced in the United States.
Ausbruch
German term originally referring to the aszú production method of mixing grapes affected by noble rot with a fermenting base wine. Today a Prädikat in Austria, intermediate between Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.
Auslese
German for "select harvest", a Prädikat in Germany and Austria.

B

Balance
The harmonious relationship of the components of wine - acids, fruit, tannins, alcohol, etc. - resulting in a well proportioned, or well balanced, wine.
Balthazar
A large bottle containing 12 litres, the equivalent of 16 regular wine bottles.
Barrel
A hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of wood staves, used for fermenting and aging wine. Sometimes called a cask.
Barrique
The French name for a 225 litre Bordeaux style barrel (Bordeaux hogshead). Will yield 24 cases of 12 bottles each.
Baumé
A measure of the sugar concentration in the juice or wine.
Beerenauslese
A German term meaning approximately "harvest of selected berries". A Prädikat in Germany and Austria.
Beeswing
A light sediment, chiefly mucilage, found in Port.

Bentonite
A type of clay used in wine clarification.
The Berthomeau Report
Commissioned by French Ministry of Agriculture to better position the wine industry for the future.
Biodynamic wine
Wines produced by the principles of biodynamic agriculture.
Blanc de Blancs
A white wine, usually sparkling, made exclusively from white grapes, often Chardonnay.
Blanc de Noirs
A white wine, usually sparkling, made from red grapes.
Blatina
a red wine grape of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Blending
The mixing of two or more different parcels of wine together by winemakers to produce a consistent finished wine that is ready for bottling. Laws generally dictate what wines can be blended together, and what is subsequently printed on the wine label.
Blind tasting
Tasting and evaluating wine without knowing what it is.
Bodega
A Spanish wine cellar. Also refers to a seller of alcoholic beverage.
Body
A tasting term describing the weight and fullness of a wine that can be sensed. A wine may be light-, medium-, or full-bodied. A less specific term than texture, wines rich in concentration, extract, alcohol, tannin and glycerol may be described as full-bodied.
Botrytis cinerea
See Noble rot.

Bottle
A bottle is a small container with a neck that is narrower than the body and a "mouth." Modern wine bottles are nearly always made of glass because it is nonporous, strong, and aesthetically pleasing.
Bottle shock
Also known as bottle-sickness, a temporary condition of wine characterized by muted or disjointed fruit flavors. It often occurs immediately after bottling or when wines (usually fragile wines) are shaken in travel. After several days the condition usually disappears.
Bottle variation
The degree to which bottled wine of the same style and vintage can vary.
Bouquet
A tasting term for the complex aromas of an aged wine. The term is generally not applied to young wines.
Box wine
Wine packaged in a bag usually made of flexible plastic and protected by a box, usually made of cardboard. The bag is sealed by a simple plastic tap.
Brandy
See "Burnt wine".
Brettanomyces
A wine spoilage yeast that produces taints in wine commonly described as barnyard or band-aids.
Bright
Describes a wine that has high clarity, very low levels of suspended solids.
Brix
A measurement of the dissolved sucrose level in a wine.
Brut
A French term for a very dry champagne or sparkling wine. Drier than extra dry.
Bung
A stopper used to seal a bottle or barrel. Commonly used term for corks.
Burnt wine
Another name for Brandy, a liquor made from distilled wine. It is often the source of additional alcohol in fortified wines.
Butt
An old English unit of wine casks, equivalent to about 477 litres (126 US gallons/105 imperial gallons).

C

Cabernet Sauvignon
Cabernet Sauvignon is a variety of red grape mainly used for wine production, and is, along with Chardonnay, one of the most widely-planted of the world's noble grape varieties.
California cult wines
Certain California wines for which consumers and others pay higher prices than those of Bordeaux's First Growths (Premiers Crus).
Canopy
The parts of the grape vine above ground, in particular the shoots and leaves.
Canopy management
A range of viticultural techniques applied in vineyards to manipulate the vine canopy. This is performed for vine shape, limiting direct sunlight and disease control, in order to create an optimal growing environment.
Capsule
The plastic or foil that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.
Carbonic maceration
A winemaking practice of fermenting whole grapes that have not been crushed.
Cellaring
To age wine for the purpose of improvement or storage. Cellaring may occur in any area which is cool (12-15°C), dark, free from drastic temperature change, and free from vibrations. Bottled wines are typically cellared on their sides.
Chai
A wine shed, or other storage place above ground, used for storing casks, common in Bordeaux. Usually different types of wine are kept in separate sheds. The person in charge of vinification and ageing of all wine made at an estate, or the chais of a négociant, is titled a Maître de Chai. The New World counterpart to the chai may be called the barrel hall.
Champagne flute
A piece of stemware having a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top.
Chaptalization
A winemaking process where sugar is added to the must to increase the alcohol content in the fermented wine. This is often done when grapes have not ripened adequately.
Chardonnay
A type of wine, one of the "noble" white varietals.
Charmat process
The Charmat or bulk process is a method where sparkling wines receive their secondary fermentation in large tanks, rather than individual bottles as seen in Méthode champenoise.
Château
Generally a winery in Bordeaux, although the term is sometimes used for wineries in other parts of the world, such as the Barossa Valley.
Chianti
Italy's most famous wine; derived from the sangiovese grape.
Claret
British name for Bordeaux wine. Is also a semi-generic term for a red wine in similar style to that of Bordeaux.
Clarification
A winemaking process involving the fining and filtration of wine to remove suspended solids and reduce turbidity.
Cleanskin
In Australia, wine bottled without a commercial label, usually sold cheaply in bulk quantities.
Cold Duck
A mixture of red and white sparkling wine that has a high sugar content.
Cold stabilization
A winemaking process where wine is chilled to near freezing temperatures for several weeks to encourage the precipitation of tartrate crystals.

Cork
A wine bottle stopper made from the thick outer bark of the cork oak tree.
Corked
A tasting term for a wine that has cork taint.
Corkscrew
A tool, comprising a pointed metallic helix attached to a handle, for drawing Corks from bottles.
Cork taint
A type of wine fault describing undesirable aromas and flavours in wine often attributed to mould growth on chlorine bleached corks.
Country wine
A quality level intermediate between table wine and quality wine, which in France is known as vin de pays. Also a synonym for Fruit wine.
Crackling
Semi-sparkling wine; slightly effervescent. Also called frizzante.
Crémant
French sparkling wine not made in Champagne region.
Crust
Sediment, generally potassium bitartrate, that adheres to the inside of a wine bottle.
Cult wines
Wines for which committed buyers will pay large sums of money because of their desirability and rarity.
Cuvaison
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 in order to extract colour, flavour and tannin. See also maceration.
Cuve
A large vat used for fermentation.
Cuvée
A wine blended from several vats or batches, or from a selected vat. Also used in Champagne to denote the juice from the first pressing of a batch of grapes.

D

Decanting
The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a decanter to separate the sediment from the wine.
Dégorgement
The disgorging or removal of sediment from bottles that results from secondary fermentation.
Demi-sec
Moderately sweet to medium sweet sparkling wines.
Dessert wine
Varies by region. In the UK, a very sweet, low alcohol wine. In the US by law, any wine containing over 15% alcohol.
Devatting
The process of separating red must from pomace, which can happen before or after fermentation.
Diurnal temperature variation
The degree of temperature variation that occurs in a wine region from daytime to night.
DO
1. The abbreviation for Denominación de Origen, or "place name". This is Spain's designation for wines whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are regulated by law.
2. The abbreviation for dissolved oxygen, the degree of oxygen saturation in a wine, which strongly affects oxidation of the wine and its ageing properties.
DOC
The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or "controlled place name." This is Italy's designation for wine whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are regulated by law. It is also the abbreviation for Portugal's highest wine category, which has the same meaning in that country.
DOCG
The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita, or controlled and guaranteed place name, which is the category for the highest-ranking wine in Italy.
Doux
The French word for sweet. Usually refers to the sweetest category of sparkling wines.
Drawing off
see Devatting.
Drip dickey
A wine accessory that slips over the neck of a wine bottle and absorbs any drips that may run down the bottle after pouring - preventing stains to table cloths, counter tops or other surfaces.
Dry
Wines with zero or very low levels of residual sugar. The opposite of sweet, except in sparkling wines, where dry means sweet.

E

Eiswein
German for ice wine, a dessert wine made from frozen grapes.
Enology
American English spelling of oenology, the study of wine.
en Tirage
French for "in pulling", refers to the period of time in which bottled sparkling wine is rested in contact with lees generated during secondary fermentation. Part of the Méthode Champenoise process.
Estate winery
A United States winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site, sometimes known as a Farm winery.
Extract
Everything in a wine except for water, sugar, alcohol, and acidity, the term refers to the solid compounds such as tannins. High levels of extract results in more colour and body, which may be increased by prolonging the wine's contact with the skins during cuvaison.
Extra dry
A champagne or sparkling wine with a small amount of residual sugar (slightly sweet). Not as dry as Brut.

F

Farm winery
A United States winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site.
Fault
An unpleasant characteristic of wine resulting from a flaw with the winemaking process or storage conditions.

Fermentation
The conversion of grape sugars to alcohol by yeast.
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 varietal wine in a 1.5 liter bottle.
Fining
A clarification process where flocculants, such as bentonite or egg white, are added to the wine to remove suspended solids.
Finish
A tasting term for the lingering aftertaste after a wine has been swallowed.
Flabby
Tasting term used to indicate a wine lacking in structure, often marked by low acidity.
Flagon
A glass bottle that holds two litres of (usually inexpensive) table wine.
Flor
The yeast responsible for the character of dry Sherries.
Fortified wine
Wine to which alcohol has been added, generally to increase the concentration to a high enough level to prevent fermentation.
Foxy
A tasting term for the musty odor and flavor of wines made from Vitis labrusca grapes native to North America.
Free run
Juice obtained from grapes that have not been pressed.
Frizzante
See "crackling".
Fruit
The main component of the wine, usually grape but other fruits are also used to make wine, such as pear, plum, etc. Often mentioned when the fruit isn't grown in the same site as the winery, such as "the wine is produced here on-site, but the fruit is purchased from a vineyard upstate."
Fruit wine
A fermented alcoholic beverage made from non-grape fruit juice which may or may not include the addition of sugar or honey. Fruit wines are always called "something" wines (e.g., plum wine), since the word wine alone is often legally defined as a beverage made only from grapes.

G

Gewürztraminer
Gewürztraminer is a white wine grape variety from the wine producing region of Alsace in France.
Globalization of wine
Refers to the increasingly international nature of the wine industry, including vineyard management practices, winemaking techniques, wine styles, and wine marketing.
Grape juice
The free-run or pressed juice from grapes. Unfermented grape juice is known as "must."
Grenache
A red wine grape of the Rhone Valley of France, and elsewhere (especially Spain). In the southern Rhone, Grenache replaces Syrah as the most important grape (Syrah being more important in the north).
Green harvest
The harvesting of green (unripe) grapes in an attempt to increase the yield of quality grapes.

H

Hard
A tasting term for a wine that contains too much tannin and is therefore unpleasant. Hard wines often take a long time to mature.
Hectare
A metric measure that equals 10,000 m² (2.471 acres).
Hock
Term for Rhine wines, usually used in England.
Hogshead
A wine barrel that holds approximately 239 litres (63 gallons).

I

Ice wine
Wine made from frozen grapes. Written, and trademarked as a single word - Icewine - in Canada. Called Eiswein in German.
IGT
Abbreviation for "Indicazione Geografica Tipica", the lowest-ranking of the three categories of Italian wine regulated by Italian law.

J

Jeroboam
A large bottle holding three litres, the equivalent of four regular wine bottles.
Jug wine
American term for inexpensive table wine (Vin de table).

K

Kabinett
A wine designation in Germany (where it is a Prädikat) and Austria.
Kosher wine
Wine that is produced under the supervision of a rabbi so as to be ritually pure or clean. Although commonly sweet, it need not be so.

L

Late harvest wine
Also known as late picked, wine made from grapes that have been left on the vine longer than usual. Usually an indicator for a very sweet or dessert wine.
Lees
Wine sediment that occurs during and after fermentation, and consists of dead yeast, grape seeds, and other solids. Wine is separated from the lees by racking.
Legs
The tracks of liquid that cling to the sides of a glass after the contents have been swirled. Often said to be related to the alcohol or glycerol content of a wine. Also called tears.
Lightstruck
A tasting term for a wine that has had long exposure to Ultraviolet light causing "wet cardboard" type aroma and flavour.
Liqueur de tirage
French term for a liquid containing saccharose and yeast used to effect the second fermentation in sparkling wine production.
Liqueur d'expedition
French term for "shipping liquid", used to top up and possibly sweeten sparkling wine after disgorging. Usually a solution of saccharose in base wine.
Litre (US - Liter)
A metric measure of volume equal to 33.8 fluid ounces (U.S.) or 35.2 fl oz (imperial).
Look
A tasting term for the casual sensory evaluation of a wine.

M

Maceration
The contact of grape skins with the must during fermentation, extracting phenolic compounds including tannins, anthocyanins, and aroma. See also cuvaison.
Madeirized
A wine showing Madeira-like flavour, generally evidence of oxidation. Sometimes used to describe white wine that has been kept long past its prime.
Magnum
A bottle holding 1.5 litres, the equivalent of two regular wine bottles.
Malolactic fermentation
Also known as malo or MLF, a secondary fermentation in wines by lactic acid bacteria during which tart tasting malic acid is converted to softer tasting lactic acid.
Marc
French for "fruit skins". See "pomace".
Master of Wine
A qualification (not an academic degree) conferred by The Institute of Masters of Wine, which is located in the United Kingdom.
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.
Merlot
Merlot is a variety of wine grape used to create a popular red wine.
Meritage
Originally created in California, these blended wines can be summed up as the "American Bordeax". The Red blend is made from at least 2 of the 5 boreaux variatals: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec. The White Meritage is a blend at least 2 of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Vert and Semillon.
Méthode Champenoise
(aka Methode Traditionelle, Traditional Method) Process whereby sparkling wines receive a second fermentation in the same bottle that will be sold to a retail buyer. Compare with Charmat, transfer or bulk fermented methods.
Methuselah
A large bottle holding six litres, the equivalent of eight regular wine bottles.
Microoxygenation
The controlled exposure of wine to small amounts of oxygen in the attempt to reduce the length of time required for maturation.
Midpalate
A tasting term for the feel and taste of a wine when held in the mouth.
Millerandage
A French term referring to a viticultural problem in which grape bunches contain berries of greatly differing size and levels of maturity. Caused by cool weather during flowering.
Mis en bouteille au château
French for "bottled at the winery", usually in Bordeaux.
Moelleux
French term usually used to describe wines of mid level sweetness or liquoreux.
MOG
A winemaking abbreviation for "Material Other than Grapes". Usually refers to debris like leaves, dirt and stems that can be unintentionally harvested with the grapes.
Mud
See "Lees".
Mulled wine
Wine that is spiced, heated, and served as a punch.
Must
Unfermented grape juice, including pips (seeds), skins and stalks.
Must weight
The level of fermentable sugars in the must and the resultant alcohol content if all the sugar was converted to ethanol.

N

Nebuchadnezzar
A large bottle holding 15 litres, the equivalent of 20 regular wine bottles.
Négociant
French for "trader". A wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name.
New World wine
Wines produced outside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.
Noble rot
Another name for the Botrytis cinerea mould that can pierce grape skins causing dehydration. The resulting grapes produce a highly prized sweet wine, generally dessert wine.
Nose
A tasting term for the aroma or bouquet of a wine.

O

Oak chips
Small pieces of oak wood used in place of oak barrels in fermenting and/or ageing wine.
Oechsle, Öchsle or degrees Oechsle
a measure of must weight
Oenology
The science of wine and winemaking.
Oenophile
A wine aficionado or connoisseur.
Off-dry
A wine that has the barest hint of sweetness; a slightly sweet wine in which the residual sugar is barely perceptible.
Old vine
Wine produced from vines that are notably old.
Old World wine
Wines produced inside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.

P

Palate
A tasting term for the feel and taste of a wine in the mouth.
pH
A measure of the acidity. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity. The term comes from the French Pouvoir Hydrogéne meaning "hydrogen power". pH is a shorthand for its mathematical approximation: in chemistry a small p is used in place of writing log10 and the H here represents [H+], the concentration of hydrogen ions.
Phylloxera
A minute (ca. 0.75 mm) underground insect that kills grape vines by attacking their roots.
Pip
Grape seeds.
Pipe
A cask holding two hogsheads or 126 U.S. gallons of wine.
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 French word for white wine, "blanc".
Pomace
The skins, stalks, and pips (seeds) that remain after making wine. Also called marc.
Port
A sweet fortified wine, which is produced from grapes grown and processed in the Douro region of Portugal. This wine is fortified with the addition of distilled grape spirits in order to boost the alcohol content and stop fermentation thus preserving some of the natural grape sugars. Several imitations are made throughout the world.
Porto
The legal name for a true Port wines sold in the United States since imitation ports may be labeled as a "port" there .
Potassium sorbate
A wine stabilizer and preservative.
Prädikat
A wine designation for high quality used in Germany and Austria, based on grape ripeness and must weight. There are several Prädikate ranging from Kabinett (Spätlese in Austria) to Trockenbeerenauslese.
Prädikatswein
The highest class of wine in the German wine classification, formerly called Qualitätswein mit Prädikat. These wines always display a specific Prädikat on their label.
Proof
Refers to the alcohol content of a beverage. In the United States, proof represents twice the alcohol content as a percentage of volume. Thus, a 100 proof beverage is 50% alcohol by volume and a 150 proof beverage is 75% alcohol. In the Imperial system, proof, (or 100% proof), equals 57.06% ethanol by volume, or 48.24% by weight. Absolute or pure ethanol is 75.25 over proof, or 175.25 proof.
Puncheon
A wine barrel that holds approximately 84 U.S. gallons (318 litres) .
Punt
The indentation found in the base of a wine bottle. Punt depth is often thought to be related to wine quality, with better quality wines having a deeper punt.

Q

QbA
German acronym for Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete.
QmP
German acronym for Qualitätswein mit Prädikat.
QPR
An acronym for Quality-Price Ratio.
Qualitätswein
A designation of better quality German wines. When used in isolation on a wine label, it refers to Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete.
Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA)
A designation of better quality German wines from recognized viticultural areas. It formally represents the second-highest level of German wine.
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 and less expensive price a wine has, the better the ratio.

R

Racking
The process of drawing wine off the sediment, such as lees, after fermentation and moving it into another vessel.
Rehoboam
A large bottle holding 4.5 litres, the equivalent of six regular wine bottles.
Rémuage
See "riddling".
Reserva
Spanish and Portuguese term for a reserve wine.
Reserve
A term given to wine to indicate that it is of higher quality than usual.
Residual sugar
Also known as RS, the level of sugar that remains unfermented in a wine. See also sweetness of wine.
Reverse osmosis
A process used to remove excess water from wine.
Riddling
Also known as "Rémuage" in French, part of the Méthode Champenoise process whereby bottles of sparkling wine are successively turned and gradually tilted upside down so that sediment settles into the necks of the bottles in preparation for degorgement.
Riesling
Also known as White Riesling in countries outside of Germany. Riesling is a variety of grape used to make white wine. It is grown mainly in Germany, where the relatively cold climate enables it to produce grapes for some of the best white wines in the world. Riesling grapes are also used also for high quality wines in Austria and can be found in countries like Australia, South Africa and Canada. Riesling is famous for its vivid acidity and fruitiness both in the nose and on the palate.
Rosé wines
Pink wines are produced by shortening the contact period of red wine juice with its skins, resulting in a light red colour. These wines are also made by blending a small amount of red wine with white wine.
Ruby
A style of Port wine that is generally sweet.

S

Sack
An early English term for what is now called Sherry.
Salmanazar
A large bottle holding nine litres, the equivalent of 12 regular wine bottles.
Sangiovese
The preponderant grape for making the Italian wine known as Chianti.
Sangria
A tart punch made from red wine along with orange, lemon and apricot juice with added sugar.
Screwcap
An alternative to cork for sealing wine bottles, comprising a metal cap that screws onto threads on the neck of a bottle. Also called a "Stelvin".
Sec
French for dry, except in the case of Champagne, where it means semi-sweet.
Secondary fermentation
Most commonly the term is used to refer to the continuation of fermentation in a second vessel - e.g. moving the wine from a stainless steel tank to an oak barrel.
Sekt
German sparkling wine.
Semi-generic
Wines made in the United States but named after places that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau requires be modified by a US name of geographic origin. Examples would be New York Chablis, Napa Valley Burgundy or California Champagne.
Sherry
A fortified wine that has been subjected to controlled oxidation to produce a distinctive flavor.
Shiraz
Shiraz or Syrah is a variety of grape used to make red wine. Shiraz is most often used in Australia for the French varietal Syrah and are the same grape.
Solera system
A process used to systematically blend various vintages of Sherry.
Sommelier
A trained wine expert who often works in fine restaurants.
Sparkling wine
Effervescent wine containing significant levels of carbon dioxide.
Spätlese
German for "late harvest". A Prädikat in Germany and Austria.
Spinning cone column
Used to reduce the amount of alcohol in a wine.
Split
A wine bottle that holds approximately 6 oz (175-187 mL) or one-fourth the equivalent of a typical 750 mL bottle; a single-serving.
Spumante
Italian for "sparkling". Generally any sparkling wine from Italy, although producers of Franciacorta have recently started stating that Franciacorta is not a "spumante".
Stelvin
A brand of screwcap.
Still wine
Wine that is not sparkling wine.
Stoving wine
A production method of artificially mellowing wine by exposing it to heat.
Strohwein
A German word for "straw wine", same as the French term vin de paille. Refers to a dried grape wine. A Prädikat in Austria.
Sulfites
Compounds (typically: potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite) which are added to wine to prevent oxidation and microbial spoilage.
Sulphur dioxide
A substance used in winemaking as a preservative.
Sweetness of wine
Defined by the level of residual sugar in the final liquid after the fermentation has ceased. However, how sweet the wine will actually taste is also controlled by factors such as the acidity and alcohol levels, the amount of tannin present, and whether the wine is sparkling.
Syndicat des Vins de Bordeaux et Bordeaux Superieur
An organisation representing the economic interests of wine producers in Bordeaux.

T

Table wine
Generally any wine that is not sparkling or fortified. In the US these wines must also be between 7% and 14% alcohol by volume. The term table wine is also used to describe a wine that is considered a good, everyday drinker.
Tannin
Polyphenolic compounds that give wine a bitter, dry, or puckery feeling in the mouth.
Tart
A tasting term describing a wine high in acidity. Often displayed by young, unripe wines.
Tartaric acid
The most important acid found in grapes.
Tasting flight
Refers to a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.
T.B.A.
An abbreviation for the German wine Trockenbeerenauslese.
T budding
A technique that permits grafting of different grape varieties onto existing rootstocks in a vineyard.
Tears
See "legs".
Terroir
French for "soil", the physical and geographical characteristics of a particular vineyard site that give the resultant wine its unique properties.
Texture
A tasting term for the mouthfeel of wine on the palate.
Thief
A tubular instrument for removing a sample from a cask or barrel. Also called a pipe.
Toast
The charcoal that is burned into the inside of wine casks. To toast refers to that process. It also refers to the practice of drinking an alcohol beverage along with wishing good health or other good fortune.
Transparency
The ability of a wine to clearly portray all unique aspects of its flavor--fruit, floral, and mineral notes. The opposite would be a wine where flavors are diffused and thoroughly integrated.
Trocken
German for "dry".
Trockenbeerenauslese
A German term meaning approximately "harvest of selected dry berries". A type of German wine made from grapes affected by noble rot. Such grapes can be so rare that it can take a skilled picker a day to gather enough for just one bottle. A Prädikat in Germany and Austria.
Tun
A wine cask that holds approximately, two butts, or 252 U.S. gallons.
Typicity
A wine tasting term used to describe how much a wine expresses the typical characteristics of the varietal.

U

Ullage
Also known as headspace, the unfilled space in a wine bottle, barrel, or tank. Derrived from the French ouillage, the terms "ullage space" and "on ullage" are sometimes used, and a bottle or barrel not entirely full may be described as "ullaged".
Unoaked
Also known as unwooded, refers to wines that have been matured without contact with wood/oak such as in aging barrels.

V

Varietal
Wines made from a single grape variety.
Vermouth
A fortified wine that has been flavoured with as many as 40 herbs and spices.
Vertical and horizontal wine tasting
In a vertical tasting, different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery are tasted. This emphasizes differences between various vintages. In a horizontal tasting, the wines are all from the same vintage but are from different wineries. Keeping wine variety or type and wine region the same helps emphasize differences in winery styles.
Vigneron
French for vine grower.
Vin
French for wine.
Viña
Spanish for vines.
Viñedo
Spanish for vineyard
Vin de paille
French for "straw wine", a dried grape wine.
Vine
A plant on which grapes grow.
Vinegar
A sour-tasting, highly acidic, liquid made from the oxidation of ethanol in wine, cider, beer, fermented fruit juice, or nearly any other liquid containing alcohol.
Vineyard
A place where grape vines are grown for wine making purposes.
Vinho
Portuguese for wine.
Vinho verde
An effervescent white wine produced in Portugal.
Viniculture
The art and science of making wine. Also called enology (or oenology). Not to be confused with viticulture.
Vinification
The process of making grape juice into wine.
Vin jaune
French for "yellow wine", a wine fermented and matured under a yeast film that protects it, similar to the flor in Sherry production.
Vino
Italian and Spanish, Originally derived from Latin, for wine.
Vintage
The year in which a particular wine's grapes were harvested. When a vintage year is indicated on a label, it signifies that all the grapes used to make the wine in the bottle were harvested in that year.

Vintner

Someone who makes or sells wine. A wine merchant.
Viticulture
The cultivation of grapes. Not to be confused with viniculture.
Vitis labrusca
A breed of grapes native to North America. See also Foxy.
Vitis vinifera
A breed of grapes native to Europe.
Volatile acidity
The level of acetic acid present within a wine.

W

Waiter's friend
A popular type of corkscrew used commonly in the hospitality industry.
Wine
An alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of unmodified grape juice.
Wine cave
A large cave that is excavated to provide a cool location for storing and aging wine. Similar to wine cellar.
Wine cellar
A cool, dark location in which wine is stored, often for the purpose of ageing.
Wine fault
Undesirable characteristics in wine caused by poor winemaking techniques or storage conditions.
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.
Winemaker
A person engaged in the occupation of making wine.
Wine-press
A device, comprising two vats or receptacles, one for trodding and bruising grapes, and the other for collecting the juice.
Winery
A building, property, or company that is involved in the production of wine.
Wine tasting
The sensory evaluation of wine, encompassing more than taste, but also mouthfeel, aroma, and colour.

Y

Yeast
A microscopic unicellular fungi responsible for the conversion of sugars in must to alcohol. This process is known as alcoholic fermentation.
Young
Wine that is not matured and usually bottled and sold within a year of its vintage.

Z

Zymology
The science of fermentation.

References

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