acid: A compound present in all grapes and an essential component of wine that preserves it, enlivens and shapes its flavors and helps prolong its aftertaste.
aeration: The process of letting a wine "breathe" in the open air by swirling the wine in a glass, which can soften young, tannic wines.
after taste: The taste of flavors that linger in the mouth after the wine is tasted. This is the most important factor in judging a wine's character and quality. Great wines have rich, long, complex aftertastes.
aging barrel: A barrel, usually made of oak and used to age wine or various distilled spirits.
alcohol: A chemical compound formed by the action of yeast on the sugar content of grapes during fermentation. Most wines have between 7 and 35 percent alcohol. If wine has too much alcohol for its body weight, it is unbalanced, and will taste heavy or hot. The quality will be noticeable in aroma and aftertaste.
altar wine: Wine used by the Catholic Church during celebrations of the Eucharist.
alternative wine closures: Any substitute used for sealing wine bottles in place of traditional corks.
American Viticulture Area (AVA): A geographical grape-growing area that has officially been given appellation status in the United Stated by the US bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
American oak: The alternative to French oak for making wine barrels. Used by many California, Spanish and Australian winemakers, primarily for aging Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel. It provides strong vanilla and cedar flavors. It is not as popular or prestigious as French oak but it cost about half the price.
AOC: Appellation of controlled origin as specified under French law. The AOC laws specify the geography from which a particular wine originates along with methods by which it is made. The regulations are administered by the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO).
appearance: This refers to the wine's clarity, not its color.
appellation of origin: A French term that defines the area where a wine's grapes were grown and can be as small as a chateau. Regulations vary from country to country, state to state and region to region with regard to whether and in what manner the application can be used on a label. In some states 100% of the grapes must be grown in that state in order to print that state on the label. Some other regions only require 85% of the grapes to be grown in a specific district.
aroma (bouquet): The smell that the grapes, fermentation and oak aging impart to a wine.
astringency: The degree of astringency refers to how much a wine makes your mouth pucker, and depends upon the amount of tannin a wine has absorbed from the skins and seeds of the grapes. A moderate amount of astringency is desirable. It creates a lovely flavor in many red wines.
austere: Hard, high acid wines that lack depth and roundness. Usually young white wines.
backbone: Wines that are full-bodied, well structured and balanced, due to a correct level of acidity.
balance: Wines that are harmonious with no single dominating element. It refers to the ratio among the different characteristics of a wine, including fruitiness, acidity, tannin, content and alcoholic strength.
barrel fermented: Wine that has been fermented in small casks instead of large tanks. Experts believe that barrel fermentation contributes greater harmony in the wine, increases body and adds complexity, texture and flavor.
Barrique: The French name for a 225 litre Bordeaux style barrel. It will yield 24 cases of 12 bottles each.
Baumé: The measure of sugar concentration in juice or wine.
Bentonite: A type of clay used in wine clarification or decanting.
Biodynamic Wine: Wines that are produced by the principles of biodynamic agriculture.
Blanc de Blancs: A white wine made exclusively from white grapes, usually a sparkling wine. Often Chardonnay.
Blanc de Noirs: A white wine made from red grapes, usually a sparkling wine.
blend: Nearly every wine is made by blending in other grape varieties or other vintages.
blending: The mixing of two or more different parcels of wine together by winemakers to produce a finished wine that is ready for bottling. Laws usually dictate what wines can be blended together, and what is printed on the wine label.
blind tasting: Tasting and evaluating wine without knowing what wine it is.
Bodega: A Spanish wine cellar or a seller of alcoholic beverages.
body: Used to describe the impression of weight or fullness on the palate. Usually expressed as full-bodied, medium-bodied, or light-bodied.
bottle: A bottle is a small container with a neck that is narrower than the body and the mouth.
bottle shock: Known as bottle-sickness, a temporary condition of wine characterized by muted or disjointed fruit flavors. It often occurs immediately after bottling or when usually fragile wines are shaken during travel.
bottle variation: The degree to which bottled wine of the same style and vintage can be different.
body: How thin or thick the wine feels in your mouth. “Light body” suggests a thin feeling in your mouth. “Medium body” means that a wine is full-flavored, without being too heavy. “Heavy body” means the wine has a round, robust and very rich feel.
bouquet: Smells that result from a wine’s aging process, or a wine’s overall aroma.
box wine: Wine packaged in a bag made of flexible plastic and protected by a box, usually made of cardboard. The bag is sealed by a plastic tap.
breathing: What a wine does when it is exposed to air through decanting or swirling. There are different opinions on whether or not decanting is beneficial to a wine.
bright: Describes a wine that has high clarity and very low levels of sediment.
brix: A standardized scale that measures the sugar content in grapes before fermentation. Most table wines are harvested between 19 degrees and 25 degrees Brix.
Brut: A French term for a very dry champagne or sparkling wine.
bung: A commonly used term for corks. A stopper that is used to seal a bottle or barrel.
burnt wine: A liquor made from distilled wine or another name for Brandy.
butt: An old English unit of wine casks.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Cabernet Sauvignon is a variety of red grape mainly used for wine production. Along with Chardonnay, it is one of the most widely-planted of the world's noble grape varieties.
California cult wines: California wines for which consumers pay higher prices than those of Bordeaux's First Growths (Premiers Crus).
canopy: The parts of the grape vine above ground, mainly the shoots and leaves.
canopy management: A range of viticultural techniques applied in vineyards to manipulate the vine canopy in order to create the best growing environment this is performed for vine shape, limiting direct sunlight and disease control.
capsule: The foil or plastic that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.
carbonic maceration: The practice of fermenting whole grapes that have not been crushed.
cava: Spanish word for sparkling wine.
cave: French word for cellar or small household wine coolers.
cellar: A storeroom used specifically for holding wine. Years ago wine was best kept in underground cellars. Modern methods of insulation and temperature control have transformed the job of storing wine and made it possible for wine “cellars” to be above ground. Wine is best stored horizontally in a dark place with minimal temperature fluctuation. The optimal temperature for storing most wines is between 45°F and 65°F.
cellared by: A phrase that means the wine was not produced at the winery where it was bottled.
cellaring: To age wine for the purpose of improvement or storage. Cellaring may occur in any area which is cool, dark, free from drastic temperature fluctuation, and free from vibrations. Bottled wines should be stored on their sides.
Champagne flute: 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 most often done when grapes have not ripened adequately.
Chardonnay: A type of wine that is known as 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.
Château: Generally a winery in Bordeaux, but the term can used for wineries in other parts of the world.
chewy: A term applied to rich, heavy, tannic wines that are full-bodied.
Chianti: Italy's most famous wine that is derived from the Sangiovese grape.
Claret: British name for Bordeaux wine, also a semi-generic term for a red wine.
clarification: A winemaking process that involves the fining and filtration of wine to remove sediments and reduce it's cloudiness or haziness.
Cold Duck: A mixture of red and white sparkling wine that is high in sugar content.
cold stabilization: A winemaking process where the wine is chilled to almost freezing temperatures for several weeks to encourage the precipitation of tartrate crystals.
cork: A wine bottle stopper that is made from the thick outer bark of the cork oak tree.
corkage fee: The charge a restaurant may apply when customers bring their own bottle of wine.
corked: A term for a wine that has cork taint.
corkscrew: A tool that features a pointed metallic helix attached to a handle, for drawing corks from bottles.
cork taint: A type of wine fault describing undesirable aromas and flavors in wine that is often considered to be caused by mould growth on chlorine bleached corks.
corky: Wine that has been contaminated by a rotting cork that leaves an unpleasant smell and taste.
Country wine: A quality level between table wine and quality wine. Also a synonym for Fruit wine.
Crackling: Semi-sparkling wine that is slightly effervescent, also called frizzante.
Crémant: A French sparkling wine that is not made in Champagne region.
Crust: Sediment that adheres to the inside of a wine bottle, generally potassium bitartrate.
Cult wines: Wines for which committed buyers will pay large amounts of money because of their desirability and rarity.
Cuvaison (Maceration): The French term for the period of time during alcoholic fermentation when the wine is in contact with the solid matter such as skin, pips, stalks, in order to extract color, flavor and tannin.
Cuve: A large vat that is used for fermentation.
Cuvée: A wine blended from several vats or batches, or from a selected vat. It can also be used in Champagne to denote the juice from the first pressing of a batch of grapes.
decanting: The process of removing the sediment from a wine before drinking by carefully pouring wine from its bottle into another carafe or container.
Dégorgement: The removal of sediment from bottles that results from secondary fermentation.
Demi-sec: A moderate to medium sweet sparkling wines.
Dessert Wine: Varies by region. In the US by law, any wine containing over 15% alcohol.
Devatting: The process of separating red must from pomace, which happens before or after fermentation.
Diurnal temperature variation: The degree of the variation in temperature that occurs in a wine region from daytime to night.
D.O.: The abbreviation for dissolved oxygen, the degree of oxygen saturation in a wine, which strongly affects oxidation of the wine and it’s ageing properties.
D.O.C.: Abbreviation for the Italian “Denominazione di Origine Controllata.” This name on a label means the wine was grown and produced within a limited area in a regulated way (specific grape varieties used, growing method, winemaking method, aging, etc.). Various regulations and standards for each Italian D.O.C. are determined by producers within that zone, with oversight from Italy’s national wine committee.
D.O.C.G.: Similar to D.O.C., with the “G” standing for “Garantita” or Guaranteed. This certification is also administered by the local producers, but is even stricter than the D.O.C. and is considered the best of the best, the D.O.C.G. classification is reserved for a small portion of all wines from Italy.
Doux: The French word for sweet. It usually refers to the sweetest category of sparkling wines.
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: Not sweet, no taste of sugar.
Eiswein: A sweet German wine made by harvesting frozen grapes during a frost and pressing them while they are still frozen.
Enology: The 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. This is part of the Méthode Champenoise process.
estate bottled: A term used by producers for those wines made from vineyards that they owned and that were part of that winery estate. It indicates that the winery either owns the vineyard or has had a long term lease from a particular vineyard.
Estate winery: A United States winery license, sometimes known as a Farm winery that allows farms to produce and sell wine on-site.
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.
Extra dry: A champagne or sparkling wine with a small amount of residual sugar causing it to be slightly sweet, but not as dry as Brut.
Farm winery: A United States winery license that allows farms to produce and sell wine on-site.
Fault: An unpleasant characteristic of wine resulting from a flaw during the winemaking process or storage environments.
fermentation: The process that turns grape juice into wine. In fermentation, yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Fighting varietal: A term that began in California during the mid 1980s that refers 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 or sediments.
Finish: The overall taste that remains in your mouth after you’ve swallowed the wine. The length and pleasantness of the aftertaste. A well-balanced, full-bodied wine usually has a long finish, while a well-balanced, light-bodied wine has a shorter finish.
Flabby: A tasting term that is used to indicate a wine lacking in structure and is often marked by low acidity.
Flagon: A glass bottle that holds two litres of table wine. Usually inexpensive.
Flor: The yeast accountable for the character of dry Sherries.
Fortified wine: Wine to which alcohol has been added, usually to increase the concentration to a level high enough to prevent fermentation.
Free run: Juice that is obtained from grapes that have not yet been pressed.
French oak: The traditional wood for wine barrels. French oak supplies vanilla, cedar and other distinctive flavors to both red and white wines.
fresh: Having a clean, lively character. An excellent quality for young, especially white wines.
Fruit: The main component of the wine, usually grape but other fruits are also used to make wine, such as pear, plum, etc.
Fruit wine: A fermented alcoholic beverage made from non-grape fruit juice which may or may not include the addition of sugar or honey.
fume: Literally means "smoky." The term refers to a tangy aroma of certain wines made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
Gewürztraminer: A white wine grape variety from the wine producing region of Alsace in France.
Globalization of wine: Refers to the international nature of the wine industry, including vineyard management practices, winemaking techniques, wine styles, and wine marketing.
grand cru: Meaning "great growth" The term means different things in different regions. In Burgundy it is the highest rank. In Bordeaux it is the more universal while in some regions of the world, it is used only on less expensive wines.
grape juice: Pressed juice from grapes. Unfermented grape juice is known as "must."
Grenache: A red wine grape of the Rhone Valley of France, and also in Spain.
green: Describes the taste of unripe fruit or early harvest grapes. It mostly describes good German wines.
green harvest: The harvesting of unripened grapes in an attempt to increase the yield of quality grapes. hard: A tasting term for a wine that contains too much tannin and is unpleasant to taste. Hard wines often take a long time to mature.
harsh: A wine that has an astringent quality and is too high in tannin or alcohol.
heady: Wine that is very high in alcohol.
hearty: Full-bodied wine , warm and earthy. Often used to describe red wines that are high in alcohol.
hectare: A metric measure that equals 10,000 m² or 2.471 acres.
hock: Rhine wines, usually used in England.
hogshead: A wine barrel that will hold approximately 239 litres or 63 gallons.
hot: A wine that is very high in alcohol to the point where it is unbalanced. It is acceptable in Port wines.
ice wine: Wine made from frozen grapes. Trademarked as a single word - Icewine - in Canada. Called Eiswein in German.
jeroboam: A large bottle that holds three litres, the equivalent of four regular wine bottles.
jug wine: Inexpensive table wine.
Kosher wine: Wine that is produced under the supervision of a rabbi so as to be ritually pure or clean.
late harvest wine: 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. It consists of dead yeast, grape seeds, and other solids.
legs: The drops of wine that creep down the side of the wine glass. A higher alcohol content means thinner legs flow back into the wine after you swirl the glass.
lightstruck: Term for a wine that has had long exposure to Ultraviolet light causing "wet cardboard" type aroma and flavor.
liqueur de tirage: The French term for a liquid containing saccharose and yeast that is used to effect the second fermentation in sparkling wine production.
liqueur d'expedition: The French term for "shipping liquid", used to top up and possibly sweeten sparkling wine after disgorging. It is usually a solution of saccharose in base wine. Litre / Liter: A metric measure of volume that equals 33.8 fluid ounces (U.S.)
look: A tasting term for the sensory evaluation of a wine.
maceration: Steeping grape skins and other solids during fermentation with the purpose of extracting color, tannin and aroma from them.
Madeirized: A wine showing Madeira-like flavor, generally evidence of oxidation. It is used to describe white wine that has been kept long past its prime.
Magnum: A bottle that holds 1.5 litres or the equivalent of two regular wine bottles.
malolactic fermentation: A secondary fermentation that occurs in most wines and converts malic acid into softer lactic acid and carbon dioxide which reduces wines acidity. It softens red wines and adds complexity to hearty white wines.
marc: French for fruit skins. See pomace.
Master of Wine: A qualification, but not an academic degree, conferred by The Institute of Masters of Wine, which is located in the United Kingdom.
mature: When a wine is ready to drink.
May wine: A light German wine flavored with sweet woodruff in addition to other fruit such as strawberries.
Mead: A wine-like alcoholic beverage made from fermented honey and water instead of grape juice.
Merlot: A variety of wine grape used to create a popular red wine.
Meritage: Blended wines that originated in California can be summed up as the "American Bordeaux". The Red blend is made from at least 2 of the 5 Bordeaux varietals: 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.
methode champenoise: The labor intensive and costly process where a wine undergoes a secondary fermentation inside the bottle that creates bubbles or effervescence. All Champagne and most high quality sparkling wines are made with this process.
methuselah: A large bottle that holds six litres or the equivalent of eight regular wine bottles.
micro oxygenation: The controlled exposure of wine to small amounts of oxygen in order to reduce the length of time required for maturation.
midpalate: A tasting term for the taste and feel of a wine when held in the mouth.
mis en bouteille au château: French meaning for "bottled at the winery", usually in Bordeaux.
moelleux: A French term used to describe wines of mid level sweetness or liquoreux.
MOG: A winemaking abbreviation for "Material Other than Grapes". It refers to debris, such as leaves, dirt and stems that can be unintentionally harvested with the grapes.
mouthfeel: The various sensations a wine can create while in the mouth. Thick or thin, round or lean.
mulled wine: Wine that is heated and spiced and served as punch.
must: Unfermented grape juice, that includes pips or seeds, skins and stalks.
must weight: Level of fermentable sugars in the must and the resultant alcohol content if all the sugar was converted to ethanol.
nebuchadnezzar: A large bottle that holds 15 litres, or 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 them under its own name.
New World wine: Wines that are 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,that generally is a dessert wine.
nose: The smell or aroma of the wine. The nose of a wine is best sensed by smell just after you swirl the wine in your glass.
non vintage or NV: A wine that is blended from more than one vintage that allows the vinter to establish a stable style. Many champagnes, sparkling wines, sherries and ports are non vintage.
nouveau: A young, light fruit intensive wine that is sually applied to Beaujolais.
nutty: Used negatively to describe oxidized wine or used positively to describe an oaky flavor.
oak chips: Small pieces of oak wood used instead of oak barrels in fermenting or ageing wine.
oaky: The taste imparted to a wine as the result of being aged in oak barrels.
oenology: The study of wine.
off-dry: Indicated a light sweet wine.
old vine: Wine that is produced from vines that are notably old.
Old World wine: Wines that are produced inside the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.
oxidized: Wine that has been exposed too long to air and has taken on a brownish color. It looses its freshness and can develop a taste of old apples.
palate: A tasting term for the taste and feel of a wine in the mouth.
peak: The moment when a wine is at its best.
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."
Phylloxera: A minute underground insect that kills grape vines by attacking their roots.
pip: Term for grape seeds.
pipe: A cask that holds two hogsheads or 126 U.S. gallons of wine.
plonk: British English slang for an inexpensive bottle of wine.
pomace: The skins, stalks, and 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.
Porto: The legal name for a true Port wines sold in the United States. Imitation ports may be labeled as a "port" there.
potassium sorbate: Used as a wine stabilizer and preservative.
premium: An American term for better wines.
premium cru: In Bordeaux, a wine from the best chateaux. In Burgundy, the term refers to the second grade of classed vineyard, the first being Grand Cru.
proof: Refers to the alcohol content of a beverage. In the United States, proof represents twice the alcohol content as a percentage of volume. A 100 proof beverage is 50% alcohol by volume and a 150 proof beverage is 75% alcohol. Absolute or pure ethanol is 75.25 over proof, or 175.25 proof.
puncheon: A wine barrel that will hold approximately 84 U.S. gallons or318 litres.
punt: The indentation found in the base of a wine bottle. The punt depth is often thought to be related to wine quality, with better quality wines having a deeper punt.
Qualitätswein: A designation of better quality German wines. It refers to Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete when used in isolation on a wine label.
Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA): A designation of better quality German wines from recognized viticultural areas. It represents the second-highest level of German wine.
Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (QmP): A former designation of the best quality German wines. It was shortened to Prädikatswein in 2007.
Quality-Price Ratio (QPR): The rating of 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.
racking: The process of drawing wine off the sediment after fermentation and moving it into another vessel.
rehoboam: A large bottle that will hold 4.5 litres or the equivalent of six regular wine bottles.
reserve: A term given to wine that indicates that it is of a higher quality than usual.
residual sugar: It is a measure of the amount of sugar remaining in the wine after fermentation stops. RS is usually measured in grams of sugar per liter or milliliter of wine, and it indicates how sweet or dry a wine is.
reverse osmosis: The process used to remove excess water from wine.
Riddling: Known as "Rémuage" in French. It is 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: 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 is famous for its vivid acidity and fruitiness both in the nose and on the palate.
Rose: A pink wine that is made from black grapes and pressed quickly so that only a light tinge of color affects the juice. It is called rosato in Italy.
Ruby: A Port wine that is generally sweet.
sack: An English term for what is now called Sherry.
salmanazar: A large bottle that holds nine litres or the equivalent of 12 regular wine bottles.
Sangiovese: The grape for making the Italian wine known as Chianti.
Sangria: A tart punch made from red wine, orange, lemon and apricot juice with added sugar.
screwcap: An alternative to cork for sealing wine bottles. 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. There it means semi-sweet.
secondary fermentation: Term is used to refer to the continuation of fermentation in a second vessel. Moving the wine from a stainless steel tank to an oak barrel.
Sekt: German sparkling wine.
semi-generic: Wines that are made in the United States but are 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 but they are the same grape.
soft: Wines that are low in acid, tannin, or both.
solera system: A process used to blend various vintages of Sherry.
Sommelier: The French word for wine steward. Many fine restaurants have a Sommelier to assist guests in choosing a wine from the menu.
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 single serving wine bottle that holds approximately 6 oz (175-187 mL) or one-fourth the equivalent of a typical 750 mL bottle.
spumante: The Italian word for sparkling.
Stelvin: A brand of screwcap.
still wine: Wine that is not sparkling wine.
stoving wine: The method of artificially mellowing wine by exposing it to heat.
sulfites: Compounds such as potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite that are added to wine to prevent oxidation, microbial spoilage, and further fermentation by the yeast.
sulphur dioxide: The substance used in winemaking as a preservative.
sweetness of wine: The level of residual sugar in the final liquid after the fermentation has ceased. 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.
table wine: 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 wine.
tannin: A mouth puckering substance that is derived from grape skins, stems and seeds. It is found mostly in red wines.
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.
Strong>tasting flight: 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.: The abbreviation for the German wine Trockenbeerenauslese.
T budding: The technique that permits grafting of different grape varieties onto existing rootstocks in a vineyard.
terrior: A French word meaning soil and site. A wine is said to have a taste of the soil when it has gathered flavor from the land on which it was produced.
texture: The tasting term for the mouthfeel of wine on the palate.
thief: A tubular instrument for removing a sample from a cask or barrel, it is 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 good fortune.
transparency: The ability of a wine to clearly portray all unique aspects of its flavor such as fruit, floral, and mineral notes.
trocken German for dry.
trockenbeerenauslese: A German term meaning the 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.
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.
ullage: Headspace, the unfilled space in a wine bottle, barrel, or tank.
unoaked: Also known as unwooded. It refers to wines that have been matured without contact with wood/oak such as in aging barrels.
varietal: The varieties of grape from which the wine was made. Some well known varietals are: Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Shiraz.
Vermouth: A fortified wine that has been flavored 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 the 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.
vine: The 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 almost any other liquid containing alcohol.
vineyard: The 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.br>
vinification: The process of making grape juice into wine.
vinticultural area: The legal definition of a grape growing region, which takes into account the climate, soil, geographical features, definable boundaries and other features.
vin jaune: French for yellow wine, It is 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 the grapes used to make the wine were harvested.
vintner: A wine merchant. Someone who makes or sells wine.
viticulture: The cultivation, science and study of grapes.
vitis labrusca: Native North American species of grapes, including the Concord variety.
vitis vinifera: Classic European species of grapes used to make wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay varieties, among others.
volatile acidity: The level of acetic acid present in a wine.
waiter's friend: A type of corkscrew used in the hospitality industry.
wine: An alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of unmodified grape juice.
wine cave: A cave that is excavated to provide a cool, dark location for storing and aging wine.
wine cellar: A cool, dark location in which wine is stored for the purpose of ageing wine.
wine fault: Undesirable characteristics in wine that are caused by poor wine making techniques or storage conditions.
wine fraud: Dishonesty in the production or distribution of wine.
wine label: The descriptive sticker or signage that is adhered to the side of a wine bottle.
wine lake: 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: The devise 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 that involves more than taste, but also mouth feel, aroma, and color.
yeast: Micro-organisms that produce enzymes that convert sugar to alcohol which is necessary for fermentation of grape juice into wine.
young: Wine that is not matured and is bottled and sold within a year of its vintage.
Zymology: The science of fermentation.