Glossary

We've compiled a list of common (and not-so-common) phrases to help you better understand the language of wine. Are we missing anything? Let us know.

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2-Buck-Chuck
Term for Charles Shaw wine which sells for $2.

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a
A.O.C.
An abbreviation for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (Appelation of Controlled Origin) as specified under French law. The AOC laws specify and limit the geography from which a wine may originate and methods by which it is made.
A.P. number
An 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.
Abafado
Unferemted fortified grape juice used to sweeten the wines of Carcavelos.
Abfüller
German term referring to a bottler or shipper.
Acidification
A process where tartaric acid is added to a low-acid juice in order to take a flat and flabby raw product and bounce it right back to piquancy.
Acidity
A quality giving wine its crispness and vitality.
Aconcagua Valley Region
The northernmost fine wine region in Chile.
Acrid
Used to say a wine has too much acidity.
Aging Barrel
A barrel used to age wine.
Ahr
One of Germany's more northerly wine regions.
AirÉn
White wine grape from central Spain.
Albariza
The most favored soil type in the sherry district of Spain; it is mostly chalk.
Aldehydes
Oxidized alcohols that form when wine is exposed to air.
Algarve
A wine region located along the soughern coast of Portugal.
Alley Juice
Term for bum wine.
Alsace
A wine region located in eastern France.
Altar wine
The wine used by the Catholic Church in celebrations of the Eucharist.
Alvarihno
A white wine grape.
Amelioration
The proces of adding water to wine.
American Viticultural Area (AVA)
A delimited grape growing region. AVAs are granted appellation status by the US Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
Ampelography
The science of grapevine identification.
Amphora
A type of ceramic vase used for transporting and storing wine in ancient times.
Anaerobic
Free of oxygen.
Anbaugebiete
Largest geographical classification in the German place of origin system.
Andalucla
Southern regioin of Spain that includes Jerez DO where Sherry is produced.
Angel's share
The portion of a wine in an aging barrel that is lost to evaportaion.
Anthocyanin
Phenolic pigments that give red wine its color.
Anthocyanins
Blue purple and red pigments found in grape skins.
Appelation
A term used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown.
Appellation
The area where grapes are grown and made into wine.
Apulia
A wine growing region along the Adriatic coast.
Arena
Spanish term for sand. A soil type in the sherry district of Spain.
Arinto
A white Portuguese grape.
Aroma
The smell of wine (often used for young wines while bouquet is used for more aged wines).
Aroma
Smells that are directly related to the odor of wine.
Assemblage
A process used to craft the cuvée in Champagne.
Auslese
German for select harvest.
Autovinificator
A fermentation vessel used in port production that consists of an inner tube that continuasly circulates juice and skins so that the cap stays broken and submerged.

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b
Baga
A tannic red grape.
Bairrada
A wine region south of Oporto in Portugual.
Baixo Corgo
Western sub-region of Douro; makes 50% of the port in Portugal.
Balance
The harmonious relationship of the components of wine - acids fruit tannins alcohol etc. Reach when one of these does not stand out more than the others.
Balthazar
A large bottle holing 12 liters the equivalent to sixteen regular wine bottles.
Barbera
A red wine grape varietal common in Italy.
Barrique
The French name for a 225 litre Bordeaux style barrel. Will yield 24 cases of 12 bottles each.
Barro
Spanish word meaning clay.
Baumé
A measure of the sugar concentration.
Bead
A term for bubble used when describing sparkling wines.
Beerenauslese
German for harvest of selected berries.
Beeswing
A light sediment usually mucilage found in Port.
Benchland Areas
Vineyards located on hillsides where the soil often has inorganic rocks.
Benguela Current
A cold current that flows up the west coast of Africa from Antarctica.
Bentonite
A fining agent that removes protein.
Bentonite
A type of clay used in wine clarification.
Berry Set
Occurs after the flower is fertilized; marks the transition from flower to berry.
Binning
Bottle aging done at the winery.
Biochemical Esters
Esters formed during the course of fermentation.
Blanc de Blancs
A white wine usually sparkling made from white grapes often Chardonnay.
Blanc de Noirs
A white wine usually sparkling made from red grapes.
Blaufrankisch
A red wine with licorice and cinnamon accents boysenberry fruit and chewy tannins.
Blend
Term used to describe wine made by blending grape varieties or vintages.
Blind tasting
Tasting and evaluating wine without knowing what it is.
Boberg
A region in South Africa.
Bodega
A Spanish wine cellar or sellar of alcoholic beverages.
Body
A tasting term that describes the weight and fullness of a wine (usually described light- medium- or full-bodied).
Bordeaux
A wine region located in western France.
Bordeaux Classification of 1855
Napoleon III asked the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce to develop a system for classifying their very best red wines. They identified 61 and divided them into five categories called crus.
Borossa Valley
Wine region in South Australia.
Botrytis
A mold that can pierce grape skins causing dehydration. The result produces a highly prized sweet wine. (a.k.a. Noble rot)
Bottle Shock
A temporaty condition of wine characterized by muted or disjointed flavors. Often occurs immediately after bottling or when 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
The smell of wine (often used for aged wines while aroma is used for younger wines).
Box wine
Wine packaged in a bag and protected by a box.
Brandy
A liquor made from distilled wine. Often used to fortify other wines. (a.k.a. Burnt wine.)
Breede River Valley
A wine region; its two prominent districts are Worcester and Robertson.
Bright
Describes a wine that has high clarity.
Brix
A measure of the dissolved sucrose level in a wine.
Brunello di Montalcino
A red wine comprised only of Sangiovese from the commune of Montalcino in Chianti. Must be aged for a minimum of 2 years in oak and 1 year in bottle.
Brut
A French term for a very dry champagne or sparkling wine. More dry than extra dry.
Bual
One of the four noble grape varieties used in the production of Madeira.
Bucelas
A white wine region in Portugal.
Budbreak
Initial shoot growth in Spring.
Bung
The stopper (a.k.a. cork) used to seal a barrel or bottle.
Burgenland
One of four wine regions in Austria.
Burgundy
A wine region in France.
Butts
Wooden casks that hold 130 gallons used in sherry production.

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c
Cabernet Sauvignon
A variety of red grape.
Cadastro
The system used to rate the vineyards designated for port production in the Douro.
California cult wines
Certain California wines that consumers pay higher prices for than those of Bordeaux's First Growths (Premiers Crus).
Canopy
The parts of the vine above the ground mainly the shoots and leaves.
Canterbury
A winegrowing region in New Zealand.
Cap
Skins that rise to the top of the fermentation tank.
Capsule
The foil or plastic that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.
Carbonation
The least expensive method of sparkling wine production.
Carbonic maceration
A winemaking process of fermenting whole grapes that have not been crushed.
Carcavelos
A small fortified wine region with DOC status near Lisbon.
Casablanca
A sub-region of the Aconcagua Valley wine region in Chile.
Cask
Synonym for barrel. Used for fermenting and aging wine.
Catalunya
A winegrowing region near Barcelona.
Catamarca
A wine region in Argentina.
Cava
Spanish sparkling wine.
Cellaring
To age a wine for the purpose of improvement or storage.
Cencibel
Name used in Spain for the red wine grape also known as Tempranillo.
Central Coast
A wine region in California (between San Francisco and Santa Barbera).
Centrifuging
A clarification procedure that separates substances of different densities through rotation at high speed.
Cépage
A blending formula used in Champagne for their house cuveée.
Chai
A wine storage above ground used to store casks common in Bordeaux.
Champagne flute
Stemware having a long stem with a tall and 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 variety of white grape.
Charmat process
A method where sparkling wines receive their secondary fermentation in large tanks rather than individual bottles as seen in Méthode champenoise. (a.k.a. bulk process)
Château
A term for a winery in Bordeaux occasionally used other places as well.
Chemical Esters
Esters formed during the course of aging.
Chianti
Derived from the sangiovese grape Italy's most famous wine.
Chopine
A small bottle holing .25 liters the equivalent to 1/3 regular wine bottles.
Cima Corgo
The central sub-region of the Douro responisble for 35% of the total port production in Portugal.
Claret
British name for Bordeaux wine. Is a also semi-generic term for a red wine in a style similar to a Bordeaux.
Clarification
A winemaking process involving the fining and filtration of wine to remove suspended solids and reduce turbidity.
Clarity of wine
There are 3 categories of clarity: brillant: absolutely free of sediment and crystal clear; clear: free of sediment but not brillant; cloudy: visible sediment or a muddy look.
Classic
A German classification for dry wines.
Clavelin
A small bottle holing .62 liters.
Clay
The finest of the inorganic soil fractions; has the greatest capacity for holding water.
Cleanskin
In Australia wine bottled without a commercial label usually sold cheaply in bulk quantities.
Climate
Consists of temperature moisture sunlight and wind. A very important factor in determining the quality and balance of a grape's aroma flavor texture and color.
Clonal Selection
One method of improving a vine variety. The practice of selecting a single superior plant in the vineyard and then taking cuttings from this vine for propogation.
Clones
Vines descended from a single plant through cuttings; in theory each cutting will be an exact copy of the original or parent plant.
Cluster Primordia
Tissues that develop into clusters of the upcoming season. They are located inside the buds of existing shoots.
Cold Duck
A mixture of red and white sparkling wine that has a high sugar content.
Cold soak
A winemaking process that allows for the aqueous extraction of pigment and tannin before fermentation begins.
Cold stabilization
A winekmaking process where wine is chilled to near freezing temperatures for several weeks to encourage the precipitation of tartrate cystals.
Colheita
A single vintage tawny port; the rarest of all ports.
Constantia
A wine that hailed from the western cape of South Africa during the 18th century. At the time it was one of the most expensive and sought after wines on the market.
Continental Climate
A climate characterized by significant seasonal and daily temperature swings. Causes much variation in the vintages. Frosts are often an issue.
Cooperative
A buisness venture that is jointly owned by many individual wine producers.
Cork
A stopper made from the thick outer bark of the cork oak tree.
Cork taint
A type of wine fault describing undesirable aromas and flavors in wine often attributed to mold growth on chlorine bleached corks.
Corked
A tasting term for a wine that has cork taint.
Corkscrew
A tool comprising of a pointed metallic helix attached to a handle for drawing corks from bottles.
Country wine
A quality level intermediate between table wine and quality wine which in France is known as vin de pays. (a.k.a. Fruit wine)
Cover crops
Crops planted annually or perennially to prevent erosion control vine vigor and provide a natural habitat for beneficial insects.
Crackling
Semi-sparkling wine; slightly effervescent. (a.k.a. frizzante)
Crémant
French sparkling wine not made in the Champagne region.
Crianza
Red wine. One of the rioja classifications aged for at least two years at least one of which was in oak.
Crown Gall
A bacterial infection that causes large tumors to grow on the trunk of the vine. The tumors inhibit the flow of water and cause the vine to die.
Crush
Involves the ripping and tearing of the grapes to release their pulp and juice.
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.
Cultured yeast
Natural yeast strains that have been cultured in a lab.
Cuvaison
The French term for the period of time during alcoholic fermentaion when the wine is in contact with the solid matter such as skin pips and stalks in order to extract color flavor and tannin.
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.

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d
Débourbage
Juice settling. A winemaking technique whereby must is allowed to rest before fermentation begins in order for the gross particulate matter to fall out of solution.
Decanting
The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a decanter.
Dégorgement
The disgorging or removal of sediment from bottles that results from secondary fermentation.
Demi
A small bottle holing .375 liters the equivalent to 1/2 regular wine bottles.
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.
Detection Threshold
The smallest amount of stimulus required to create an unidentifiable sensation.
Deutscher Landwein
German classification for country wine (rarely exported).
Deutscher Tafelwein
German classification for table wine mostly consumed in the country (not exported).
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 abrreviation 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 lay. 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 shose name origin of grapes grape varieties and other important factors are regulated be 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. The category for the highest-ranking wine in Italy.
Dornfelder
A red wine grape varietal developed in Germany with a fresh fruity nose good color balanced acidity and good yields.
Dosage
Since a small amount of wine is lost during disgorging it is replaced with the same plus a specified amount of sugar to determine the level of sweetness in the finished wine.
Double Magnum
A large bottle holing 3.0 liters the equivalent to four regular wine bottles.
Douro Bake
A carmel flavor common in ports that have matured without the benefit of temperature control in the hot Douro region.
Douro Superior
The eastern sub-region of the Douro responsible for 15% of total port production in Portugal.
Doux
The French word for sweet. Usually refers to the sweetest category of sparkling wines.
Down mildew
A mildew that attacks the green portions of the plant (aka peronsopera).
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.
Dry
Wines with zero or low levels of residual sugar.
Dry Creek Valley
Located in Sonoma and considered to be one of the superior AVAs for growing Zinfandel grapes.
Dulce Almibar
Pure invert sugar a 50-50 mix of fructose and glucose; used as a sweetening agent in sherry.
Dulce Apagado
Unfermented must to which spirits have been added. OR a sweet wine whose fermentation has been stopped through the addition of grape spirits (used as a sweetening agent in sherry).

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e
Egg White
A fining agent that removes excess tannin.
Eiswein
German for ice wine a dessert wine made from frozen grapes.
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.
Enology
American English spelling of oenology the study of wine.
Epithelium
The sensory organ responsible for the sense of smell.
Esca
A fungus common in warm climates that kills a vine suddenly as hot weather arrives.
Estate winery
A US winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site. (a.k.a. Farm winery)
Ester
The result of an alcohol/acid bond. Represent the largest group of aromatic compounds in wine.
Ethanol
An alcohol; the principal product of the primary fermentation.
Ethyl Acetate
An ester that in small quantities adds complexity to a wine; in large quantities it detracts from the wine.
Extra dry
A champagne or sparkling wine with a small amount of residual sugar (slightly sweet). Not as dry as Brut.
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 color and body.

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f
Farm winery
A US winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site. (a.k.a. Estate winery)
Fault
An unpleasant characteristic of wine resulting from a flaw with the winemaking process or storage conditions.
Feinburgunder
Australian for Chardonnay.
Feinherb
A German term meaning off dry.
Fermentation
The conversion of grape sugars to alcohol by yeast.
Fiasco
The straw-covered flask historically associated with Chianti.
Fifth
A large bottle holing .757 liters.
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.
Filtering
A clarification procedure that forces wine through a very fine barrier to remove particulates and contaminants.
Fining
A clarification proces where flocculants such as bentonite or egg white are added to the wine to remove suspended solids.
Finish
The taste left on the palate after the wine has been swallowed (a.k.a. aftertast).
Finish
A tasting term for the lingering aftertaste after a wine has been swallowed.
Fino Sherry
Made from the Palomino grape alone. It is one of the least acidic and most aldehydic wines in the world.
Fixed Acid
Will remain in the residue during distillation; will not pass into wine spirits.
Flabby
Tasting term used to indicate a wine lacking in structure often marked by low acidity.
Flagon
A glass bottle that holds two liters 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
Semi-sparkling wine; slightly effervescent. (a.k.a. crackling)
Fruit
The main component of the wine usually grapes.
Fruit wine
A fermented alcoholic beverage mad from non-grape fruit juice. Always called something wine (e.g. plum wine) since the word wine by itself is often legally defined as a beveraged made only from grapes.

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g
Gelatin
A fining agent that removes excess tannin.
Gewürztraminer
A white wine grape variety from the wine producing region of Alsace in France.
Glycerol
An alcohl with a bona fide sweetness.
Gran Reserva
A term used in Spain for DO and DOCa wines that have met the highest aging requirements. Red wines must be aged for at least 5 years (with 2 of those years in oak). White wines must be aged for at least 4 years (with 6 months in oak).
Grand Cru
In Bordeaux one of the 61 estates included in the 1855 classification. In Burgundy one of 32 individual vineyards classified as producing the top 1% of the region's wine.
Grape juice
The free-run or pressed juice from grapes. Unfermented grape juice is known as must.
Gravel
Free draining soil composed primarily of small pebbles.
Green harvest
The harvesting of green (unripe) grapes in an attempt to increase the yield of quality grapes.
Grenache
A red wine varietal from the Rhone Valley.
Grog
Term for beer or cheap wine.
Gutsabfüllung
German term referring to a grower/producer wine that is estate bottled.

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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.
Headspace
The unfilled space in a wine bottle barrel or tank (a.k.a. ullage).
Heat Stabilization
A winemaking process that uses fining agents like tannins and bentonite to remove proteins.
Hectare
A metric measure that equals 2.471 acres.
Hogshed
A wine barrel that holds approximately 239 liters (63 gallons).
Horizontal wine tasting
The wines are all from the same vintage but are from different wineries.

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i
Ice Wine
Wine made from frozen grapes. In Canada it is trademarked as one word - Icewine. (a.k.a. Eiswein in German)
IGT
An abbreviation for Indicazione Geografica Tipica the lowest-ranking of the three categories of Italian wine regulated by Italian law.
Imperial
A large bottle holing 6 liters the equivalent to eight regular wine bottles.

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j
Jennie
A small bottle holing .5 liters.
Jeroboam
A large bottle holding three liters the equivalent of four regular wine bottles.
Jug wine
American term for inexpensive table wine. (In French: Vin de table)

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k
Kabinett
First picked grapes of the Prädikat level.
Kosher wine
Wine that is produced under the supervision of a rabbi so as to be ritually pure or clean.

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l
La Mancha
Vast winegrowing region on the hot dry plateau of central Spain.
Lactic Acid
An acid formed during alcoholic and malo-lactic fermentations.
Languedoc-Roussillon
Located in southwest France it is the contries largest winegrowing area.
Late harvest wine
Wine made from grapes that have been left on the vine longer than usual. Usually and indicator for a very sweet or dessert wine. (a.k.a. late picked)
Leefhoppers
An insect responsible for spreading Pierce's Disease to the vine.
Lees
Wine sediment that occurs during and after fermentation. Consists of dead yeat grape seeds and other solids. Wine is separated from the lees by racking.
Leesy
A pungent odor that may develop if wine spends too long in contact with dead yeast cells.
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. (a.k.a. tears)
Lightstruck
A tasting term for a wine that has had long exposure to Ultraviolet light causing wet cardboard type of aroma and flavor.
Litre
(In US Liter) A metric measure of volume equal to 33.8 fluid ounces.
Loam
Soil composed of a balanaced mixture of clay silt and sand.
Loire
Famous winegrowing region of France.

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m
Macabeo
White wine grape varietal in northern Spain.
Maceration
The contact of grape skins with the must during fermentation extracting phenolic compounds including tannins anthocyanins and aroma. (See also cuvasion)
Madeirized
A wine showing Madeira-like flavor generally evidence of oxidation. Sometimes used to describe white wine that has been kept long past its prime.
Magnum
A large bottle holing 1.5 liters the equivalent to two regular wine bottles.
Malbec
A red wine grape varietal from Argentina.
Malic Acid
The second most abundant acid in grape juice and in wine. It tastes like apple.
Malolactic fermentation
A secondary fermentation in wines by lactic acid bacteria during which tart tasting malic acid is converted to softer tasting lactic acid. (a.k.a. malo or MLF)
Malvasia
One of the four noble grape varieties used in the production of Madeira.
Malvasia Fina
A white wine grape variety used in top-quality port production.
Marc
French for fruit skins.
Marie Jeanne
A large bottle holing 2.25 liters the equivalent to three regular wine bottles.
Marsala
A fortified wine traditionally produced in Sicily.
Master of Wine
A qualification (not an academic degree) conferred by The Institute of Masters of Wine which is located in the United Kingdom.
Maximus
A large bottle holing 130 liters the equivalent to 173 regular wine bottles.
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.
Melchior
A large bottle holing 18 liters the equivalent to twenty-four regular wine bottles.
Melchizedek
A large bottle holing 30 liters the equivalent to fourty regular wine bottles.
Mendoza
The largest wine region in Argentina; over 70% of the country's wine comes from here.
Meritage
A red or white proprietary blend made in the US from Bordeaux grape varieties.
Merlot
A variety of red grape.
Méthode Champenoise
Process whereby sparkling wines receive a second fermentation in the same bottle that will be sold to a retail buyer.
Methoxpyrazine
An organic compound responsible for the green grassy aroma that is considered typical of Sauvignon Blanc and the bell pepper aroma that is found in Cabernet Sauvignon.
Methuselah
A large bottle holding six liters 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.
Mission grape
A grape that followed the church during the early days of colonization in America.
Moelleux
French term mostly used to describe wines with mid level sweetness.
MOG
Abbreviation for Material Other than Grapes. Usually means debris such as leaves dirt and stems.
Mogen David
An inexpensive kosher wine sometimes used in cooking and frequently consumed by bums (aka MD or Mad Dog).
Morillon
Australian for Chardonnay.
Mosto Cotto
A concentrated must used to sweeten Ambra marsalas only.
Mousse
The stream of bubbles in a glass of sparkling wine.
Mouthfeel
A tasting term for the texture of a wine.
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.
Nebbiolo
A black grape varitetal used in some wines in Italy. Barolo and Barbaresco are made from this grape.
Nebuchadnezzar
A large bottle holding fifteen liters the equivalent of twenty bottles of wine.
Négociant
French for trader. A wine merchant that assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under his own name.

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n
New World Wine
Wines produced outside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.
Noble rot
A mold that can pierce grape skins causing dehydration. The result produces a highly prized sweet wine. (a.k.a. Botrytis)
Nose
A tasting term for the aroma or bouguet of a wine.

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o
Oak chips
Small pieces of oak wood used in place of oak barrels in fermenting and/or ageing wine.
Oechsle
Öchsle or degrees OechsleA 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.
Oxidize
To combine oxygen and wine.

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p
Palate
A tasting term for the feel and taste of a wine in the mouth.
Palomino
The main grape used in sherry production.
Parellada
A white wine grape variety from Spain. One of three grapes used in traditional cava blend.
pH
A measure of the acidity. The lower the pH the higher the acidity.
Phenyl Ethanol
An alcohol responsible for rose aromas.
Phylloxera A
A minute underground insect that kills grape vines by attacking their roots.
Physiochemical Aging
Aging that involves direct contact with air and its oxidizing effects.
Piccolo
A small bottle holing .1875 liters the equivalent to 1/4 regular wine bottles.
Piedmont
A wine region in Italy.
Pinard
French term for cheap wine.
Pinot de la Loire
A term from Argentina meaning Chenin Blanc.
Pinotage
A cross of Pinot Noir and Cinsault.
Pip
Grape seeds.
Pipe
A cask holding two hogsheads or 126 US gallons of wine.
Pips
Seeds.
Plan Bordeaux
A proposal for enhanving the economic status of the wine industry in Bordeaux.
Plonk
British English slang for inexpensive bottle of wine.
Poignetage
A French term describing a brief brisk shaking process performed in the Champagne cellars to prevent the more sticky sediment from adhereing to the bottle.
Pomace
The skins stalks and pips (seeds) that remain after making wine (a.k.a. marc).
Pompe Bicyclette
What lowbrow sparkling wine producers use to get the bubbles into their wines.
Port
A sweet fortified wine which is produced from grapes grown and processed in the Douro region of Portugal.
Porto
The legal name for a true Port wine sold in the US.
Portugieser
A red wine grape variety grown in Germany and Austria.
Potassium sorbate
A wine stabilizer and preservative.
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.
Premier Cru
In Bordeaux identifies the five top chateaux designated by the 1855 classification. In Burgundy applies to more than 500 different vineyards which produce 10% of the wine from the region.
Press
A gentle way of extracting pulp and juice from the grape; they are squeezed until they pop.
Proof
Refers to the alcohol content of a beverage. In the US proof is twice as much as percentage (i.e. a 100 proof beverage is 50% alcohol by volume).
Pump-Over Fermenter
A fermentation vessel that uses pumps to move the grape juice from the bottom of the tank through a rotating spray unit at the top in order to mix and churn floating skins into the body of the fermenting must.
Punch Down Fermenter
A fermenter that uses a mechanical mixing rod to punch down the cap that has risen during fermentation.
Puncheon
A wine barrel that holds approximately 318 liters (84 gallons).
Punt
The identification found in the base of a wine bottle.

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q
QbA
German acronym for Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete.
QmP
German acronym for Qualitätswein mit Prädikat.
QPR
An acronym for Qualtiy - Price Ration.
Qualitätswein
A designation of better quality German wines. When used in isolation on a wine label it refers to Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete.
Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugbiete (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 Ration (QRP)
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.
Quinta
A Portugese term for vineyard or estate.

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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 liters the equivalent of six bottles of wine.
Rémuage
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 bottles in preparation for degorgement (a.k.a. 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
The level of sugar that remains unfermented in a wine (a.k.a. RS).
Resperation
The process in which sugars and malic acid are broken down and used by the vine as energy sources.
Reverse osmosis
A process used to remove excess water from wine.
Riddling
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 bottles in preparation for degorgement (a.k.a. Rémuage).
Riesling
A variety of white grape mainly grown in Germany. Known for its vivid acidity and fruitiness both in the nose and on the palate.
Rioja
Red wine. Youngest of rioja classifications spend less than a year in an oak aging barrel.
Rioja Gran Reserva
Red wine. One of the rioja classifications aged for at least two years in oak and three years in bottle.
Rioja Riserva
Red wine. One of the rioja classifications aged for at least three years at least one of which was in oak.
Rosé wines
Pink wines that are produced by shortening the contact period of red wine juice with its skins or by blending red and white wine.
Rotgipfler
A spicey white that is a cross between Traminer and Roter Veltliner.
Ruby
A style of Port wine that is generally sweet.

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s
Sack
An early English term for what is now called Sherry.
Salmanazar
A large bottle holding nine liters the equivalent of twelve bottles of wine.
Sand
The largest of the inorganic soil fractions; has the least capacity for holding nutrients and water.
Sangiovese
A red wine varietal. Predominant grape in Chianti.
Sangria
A tart punch made from red wine along with orange lemon and apricot juice with sugar added.
Sauvignon Vert
A less aromatic clone of Sauvignon Blanc.
Scales
The tiers or stacks of barrels that create a solera (aka criaderas or nurseries).
Schilcher
A tart herbal rosé made from the Blauer Wildbacher grape in Weststeiermark Austria.
Scondary fermentation
Most commonly the term is used to refer to the continuation of fermentation in a second vessel.
Screwcap
An alternative to cork for sealing wine bottles comprising a metal cap that screws onto threads on the neck of the bottle (a.k.a. Stelvin).
Sec
French for dry except in the case of Champagne where it means semi-sweet.
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 (i.e. Napa Valley Burgundy).
Semillon
A dry white wine from Australia.
Sherry
A fortified wine that has been subjected to controlled oxidation to produce a distinctive flavor.
Shiraz
A red wine varietal (a.k.a. Syrah).
Silt
A soil fraction of inermediate size; has a moderate capacity for holding nutrients and water.
Solera system
A process used to systematically blend various vintages of Sherry.
Solomon
A large bottle holing 20 liters the equivalent to twenty-eight regular wine bottles.
Sommelier
A trained wine expert who often works in fine restaurants.
Sovereign
A large bottle holing 25 liters the equivalent to thirty three regular wine bottles.
Sparkling wine
Effervescent wine containing significant levels of carbon dioxide.
Spätlese
German for late harvest.
Spinning cone column
Used to reduce the amount of alcohol in a wine.
Split
A wine bottle that holds approximately 6oz or one-fourth a regular size bottle.
Spumante
Italian for sparkling. Generally any sparkling wine from Italy.
Standard bottle
Holds .75 liters
Staves
Slender tapered wooden planks that are assembled together when a barrel is built.
Steen
A South African term for Chenin Blanc.
Stelvin
An alternative to cork for sealing wine bottles comprising a metal cap that screws onto threads on the neck of the bottle (a.k.a. Screwcap).
Still wine
Wine that is not sprakling wine.
Strohwein
A German word for straw wine. Refers to a dried grape wine
Sulfites
Compounds (often 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.
Sussreserve
A German term meaning sweet resesrve. Unfermented grape must that is used as a sweetening agent.
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 organization representing the economic interests of wine producers in Bordeaux.

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t
T budding
A technique that permits grafting of different grape varieties onto existing rootstocks in a vineyard.
T.B.A.
An abbreviation for the German wine Trockenbeerenauslese.
Table wine
Generally any wine that is not sparkling or forified. In the US these wines must also be between 7% and 14% alcohol by volume.
Talia
A white wine grape variety grown in Ribatejo Portugal.
Tannin
Polyphenolic compounds that give wine a bitter dry or puckery feeling in the mouth.
Tart
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 (alhtough much more at times) presented for the purpose of sampling and comparing.
Tears
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. (a.k.a. legs)
Tempranillo
A red wine grape varietal from Spain.
Terroir
French for soil the physical and geographical characteristics of a particular vineyard site that gives the resulting wine its unique properties.
Texture
Tasting term for the mouthfeel of wine on the palate.
Thief
A tubular instrument for removing a sample from a cask or barrel (a.k.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 and 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.
Trebbiano
A white wine grape varietal from Italy.
Trocken
German for dry.
Trockenbeerenauslese
German term meaning approximately harvest of selected dry berries. A type of wine made from grapes affected by noble rot.
TTB
An abbreviation for the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms. The US agency primarily responsible for the regulation of wine sold and produced in the US.
Tun
A wine cask that holds approximately two butts or 252 US gallons.
Typicity
A wine tasting term used to describe how much a wine expresses the typical characteristics of the varietal.

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u
Ullage
The unfilled space in a wine bottle barrel or tank (a.k.a. headspace).
Unoaked
Refers to wines that have been matured without contact with wood/oak such as in aging barrels.

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v
Varietal
Wines made from a single grape variety.
Veraison
When grapes change color (from green berries to red grapes).
Vermouth
A fortified wine that has been flavored with as many as 40 herbs and spices.
Vertical wine tasting
Different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery are tasted.
Vigneron
French for vine grower.
Vin
French for wine.
Vin de paille
French for straw wine a dried grape 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.
Viña
Spanish for vineyard.
Vine
A plant on which grapes grow.
Vinegar
A sour-tasting highly acidic liquid mad from the oxidation of ehtanol in wine cider beer fermented fruit juice or nearly any other liquid containing alcohol.
Vineyard
A place where grape vines are grown for the purpose of making wine.
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.
Vino
Italian and Spanish for wine.
Vintage
The year in which a 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.
Viscosity
The weight or body of a wine; determined by alcohol level sugar level and extract level.
Viticulture
The cultivation of grapes. Not to be confused with viniculture.
Vitis vinifera
A breed of grapes native to Europe.
Volatile acidity
The level of acetic acid present within a wine.

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w
Waiter's friend
A popular type of corkscrew used commonly in the hospitality industry.
Weingut
German term refering to a wine producing estate.
Weinkellerel
German term refering to a winery.
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 a wine cellar.
Wine cellar
A cool dark location in which wine is stored often for the purpose of ageging.
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 being produced in the European Union.
Wine tasting
The sensory evaluation of wine encompassing more than taste but also mouthfeel aroma and color.
Wine-press
A device comprising two vats or receptacles one for trodding and bruising grapes and the other for collecting the juice.
Winemaker
A person engaged in the occupation of making wine.
Winery
A building property or company that is involved in the production of wine.
Winzergenossenschaft
German term refering to a winegrowers' co-operative wine.

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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 withing a year of its vintage.

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z
Zinfandel
A red wine grape varietal.
Zymology
The science of fermentation.

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