The meanings, abbreviation, and definitions for wine
An Italian term used to describe full-bodied wines with medium-level sweetness
Acronym for "Anything but Chardonnay" or "Anything but Cabernet". A term conceived by Bonny Doon's Randall Grahm to denote wine drinkers' interest in grape varieties.
Bottled by the proprietor. Will be on the label followed by relevant information concerning the bottler.
Abbreviation of alcohol by volume, generally listed on a wine label.
Abbreviation for "Agricultural Cooperative" on Greek wine labels and for Adega Cooperativa on Portuguese labels.
Wine with a sharp, sweet-and-sour tang can be described as having acescence. The acescence characteristics frequently recalls a vinegary smell.
Acidity: Identified as the crisp, sharp character in a wine. The acidity of a balanced dry table wine is in the range of 0.6 percent to 0.75 percent of the wine's volume
Portuguese term for a medium-sweet wine
Portuguese wine term for a winery or wine cellar.
This process of a wine absorbing oxygen. It is also called breathing. Decanting or even swirling the wine in a glass are preferred methods. This also allows a wine to release its aromas into the air.
The alcohol developed in the winemaking process is Ethyl alcohol. It is formed by the action of natural or added yeast on the sugar content of grapes during fermentation.
Alcohol by volume:
By law, wineries must state the alcohol level of a wine on its label. This is usually expressed as a numerical percentage of the volume.
Spanish term for a Sherry producers who ferments and matures the wine before selling it to a merchant
The wine used by the Catholic Church in celebrations of the Eucharist.
German term for old vine
Italian term for a medium-sweet wine
Abbreviation for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, (English: 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).
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.
Abbreviation for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, a United States government agency that is primarily responsible for the regulation of wines sold and produced in the United States.
American Viticultural Area (AVA):
A designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features.
Best described as a matured Fino. After the flor dies, the yeast sinks to the bottom of the wine and is no longer able to protect the Sherry from oxidation. The now unprotected Sherry begins to take on a rich and deep nutty flavor, and can now be described as Amontillado.
A German wine region. Anbaugebiet are further divided into bereiche or districts.
Italian term for a vintage
A wine that is either drunk by itself (i.e. without food) or before a meal in order to stimulate the appetite.
Defines the area where a wine's grapes were grown. Regulations vary widely from country to country. In the US, if a wine label identifies a specific appellation (e.g., Alexander Valley) then at least 85 percent of the grapes used to make the wine must have been grown in the specified appellation.
A wine with very noticeable and distinctive aromas
Astringent: Drying sensation in the mouth caused by high levels of tannin.
Austrian 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.
German for "select harvest", a Prädikat in Germany and Austria.
Italian term for an estate that makes wine from both its own vineyards and from purchased grapes
Italian term for a winery that only produces wine from its own estate vineyards
A large bottle containing 12 litres, the equivalent of 16 regular wine bottles.
Ban de Vendange
The official start of the harvest season in France.
The French name for a 225 litre Bordeaux style barrel (Bordeaux hogshead). Will yield 24 cases of 12 bottles each.
A low cost entry-level offering from a winery as opposed to its more expensive premium wine offerings.
Balance: A wine is balanced when its elements are harmonious and no single element dominates. The "hard" components—acidity and tannins—balance the "soft" components—sweetness, fruit and alcohol.
The individual grape from a cluster is called a berry.
A German term meaning approximately "harvest of selected berries". A Prädikat in Germany and Austria.
A district within a German wine region (Anbaugebiet). Contains smaller Grosslagen vineyard designations.
The Berthomeau Report
Commissioned by French Ministry of Agriculture to better position the wine industry for the future.
Bianco, Blanc, Blanco, Branco
Italian/French/Spanish/Portuguese terms for a white wine or grape
Describes one of the four basic tastes (along with sour, salty and sweet). Bitterness can be imparted by the use of underripe or green stems during the fermentation and aging processes.
A term originally meant to denote a location in a cellar where wine is stored but now often seen in brand marketing of some wines (i.e. Bin 75 Merlot, etc)
Like biodynamic agriculture in general, biodynamic grape-growing stems from the ideas and suggestions of Rudolf Steiner (1861.1925), which predate most of the organic movement. The principles and practices of biodynamics are based on his spiritual/practical philosophy which includes understanding the ecological, the energetic, and the spiritual in nature.
French term for organic winemaking
Tasting and evaluating wine without knowing what it is.
An acronym for "Buyer's Own Brand" which refers to a private label wine owned by the restaurant or retailer that sells the wine.
A Spanish wine cellar. Also refers to a seller of alcoholic beverage.
A cask of wine used to store Sherry with a capacity between 159 to 172 gallons (600-650 liters)
A 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.
The impression of weight, fullness or thickness on the palate; usually the result of a combination of alcohol, sugar, dissolved solids (including sugars, phenolics, minerals and acids) and, to a lesser extent, glycerin. Common descriptors include light-bodied, medium-bodied and full-bodied.
The smell that a wine develops after it has been bottled and aged.
The interaction between air and wine after a wine has been opened. Breathing may take place while the wine is decanting.
A spoilage yeast that can cause what are commonly described as barnyard aromas and flavors in a wine.
A measurement of the sugar content of grapes indicating the degree of the grapes ripeness (meaning sugar level) at harvest. Most wine grapes are harvested at between 21 and 25 Brix. To get an alcohol conversion level, multiply the stated Brix by 0.55. (Note: Conversion factors vary from 0.55 to 0.65 depending on the grape type and yeast strain used).
Brut: A general term used to designate a relatively dry-finished Champagne or sparkling wine. Usually 0-15% sugar.
The plug used to seal a wine barrel.
The opening in a wine barrel in which the wine enters and exits.
Indicates the smell of melted butter or toasty oak. Also a reference to texture, as in "a rich, buttery Chardonnay."
Abbreviation seen on Spanish wine labels meaning Cooperativa Agrícola or local co-operative.
Cane pruning is when one or two canes from a vine's previous year's growth are cut back to six to fifteen buds which will be the coming growing seasons grape producers.
Italian term for winery.
Italian term for a co-operative
South African wine term for a sparkling wine made according to the traditional method
The plastic or foil that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.
Whole, uncrushed grapes are fermented in a sealed vat containing a layer of carbon dioxide. This results in fruity, soft and distinct red wines. These wines have little tannin and are immediately drinkable. This is the method used throughout France's Beaujolais region.
Italian term for a farmhouse or wine estate
A wood barrel or storage vessel, often made from oak, that is used in winemaking for fermentation and/or aging
Portuguese term for a grape variety
Unit of the persistence of the wine's finish in seconds. Derived from the word caudal (tail). A wine can have a caudalie of 8 or more seconds.
Spanish term for a sparkling wine made according to the traditional method
French term for grape variety. When it appears on a wine label it will usually refer to the varieties used to make the wine.
Italian term for a cherry-pink colored wine
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 anégociant, is titled a Maître de Chai. The New World counterpart to the chai may be called the barrel hall.
A piece of stemware having a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top.
The practice of adding sugar (from sugar beets or sugarcanes) to the grape must prior to fermenting, to compensate for low sugar content/potential alcohol in the grapes.
Generally a winery in Bordeaux, although the term is sometimes used for wineries in other parts of the world, such as the Barossa Valley.
Italian term for a very pale or light colored rosé
A French wine estate or farm, typically located in Bordeaux
A barrel maker.
Describes a wine having the off-putting, musty, moldy-newspaper flavor and aroma and dry aftertaste caused by a tainted cork.
A French term for a wine that falls between the range of a light red wine and a dark rosé
British name for Bordeaux wine. Is also a semi-generic term for a red wine in similar style to that of Bordeaux.
German classification category for dry wine
An Italian term for the historical or "classic" center of a wine region — sometimes located in the heart of a DOC.
In Australia, wine bottled without a commercial label, usually sold cheaply in bulk quantities.
French term for Lieu-dit used in Burgundy for a single plot of land located within a vineyard that has its own name and demonstrated terroir.
French term for what was historically a vineyard whose boundaries were delineated by a walled enclosure. Commonly associated with vineyards in the Burgundy wine region such as the Grand Cru vineyard Clos de Vougeot.
Coates Law of Maturity
A principle relating to the aging ability of wine that states that a wine will remain at its peak (or optimal) drinking quality for as long as it took to reach the point of maturity. For example, if a wine is drinking at its peak at 1 year of age, it will continue drinking at its peak for another year.
Portuguese term for a harvest
A mass-produced wine aimed for a wide market of consumers made according to a set formula, year after year. These wines tend to emphasis broad appeal and easy drink-ability rather than terroir or craftsmanship.
A small wine-growing region that surrounds a village
Classification system used in the Armagnac and Cognac region based on the age of the spirit ranging from 00 for a newly distilled spirit to 2 for a VS ("Very Special"), 4 for a VSOP Reserve, 6 for a Napoleon XO (extra old) and 10 for a the longest aged XO.
Italian term for a trade organization of wine producers. Often members of individual consorzio will have their wines packaged with a specific neck label that identifies their membership in the consorzio.
Winemaking organization that is jointly owned by a number of growers who pool their resources and vineyards to produce wine under one label
A method of vine training. Unlike cane pruning where the trunk itself is the only permanent, inflexible piece of the vine, cordon trained vines have one or two woody arms extending from the top of the trunk. These are then spur pruned.
A tool, comprising a pointed metallic helix attached to a handle, for drawing Corks from bottles.
French term for the hillside or slopes of one contiguous hill region.
French term for the hillside or slopes of a hill region that is not contiguous.
A quality level intermediate between table wine and quality wine, which in France is known as vin de pays and in Italy as Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) . Also a synonym for Fruit wine.
French sparkling wine not made in Champagne region.
Spanish aging designation. For red wines a wine needs to be aged at least 6 months in oak (in Rioja and Ribera del Duero it is 12 months in oak) and a total of 24 months before release. For Spanish whites there is no minimum oak aging but a Crianza designated wines needs to be kept at the winery for at least 18 months after harvest before being released to the market
A French term that literally means "growth". May refer to a vineyard or a winery.
Bordeaux estate classification below that of Cru Bourgeois
A classification of Bordeaux wine estates in the Medoc that were not part of the originally 1855 Bordeaux classification.
A French term for an officially classified vineyard or winery.
An Italian abbreviation for Cantina Sociale that appears on wine labels denoting that the wine has been made by a local cooperative.
Wines for which committed buyers will pay large sums of money because of their desirability and rarity.
The French term for the period of time during alcoholic fermentation when the wine is in contact with the solid matter such as skin, pips, stalks, in order to extract colour, flavour and tannin. See also maceration.
(KOO-vay): There are two main uses for the word “cuvée” regarding wines When in reference to Champagne, it refers specifically to the first-pressed (and most desired) juice. Otherwise, cuvée typically refers to a particular blend of wine with more than one grape varietal being used.
French term, along with cuvier that refers to the building or room where fermentation takes place. Essentially, the room, building, grange, barn, garage or shed, or other building, used for "making wine." When the grapes are first picked, they arrive at the cuverie.
Abbreviation for the French term Coopérative de Vignerons that may appear on wine labels to denote that the wine has been made by a local cooperative.
Refers to a process in which the must of a white wine is allowed to settle before racking off the wine, this process reduces the need for filtration or fining.
The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a decanter to separate the sediment from the wine.
French term for a Champagne that has been aged sur lie for an exceptionally long time (far beyond the usually 5-10 years of vintage Champagne) before going through degorgement.
A medium-dry sparkling wine. In Champagne, this a wine that has received a dosage of 32-50 grams/liter
Varies by region. In the UK, a very sweet, low alcohol wine. In the US by law, any wine containing over 14.1% alcohol.
a.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.
b.The abbreviation for dissolved oxygen, the degree of oxygen saturation in a wine, which strongly affects oxidation of the wine and its ageing properties.
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.
Portuguese, Italian, French and Spanish terms for a sweet wine
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.
Trademarked name for a cover 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. The generic term isdrip cloth.
Lacking sweetness in taste.
Eau de vie
French term for a grape-derived spirit such as brandy up to a maximum of 96% ABV. Its literal translation is "water of life"
German term for noble rot
South African term for noble rot.
Hungarian term for a sweet wine
The French term for destemming. Destemming is removing stems prior to pressing and fermenting the grapes and their juice. Stems have a significant amount of coarse and often green tannin undesirable in the finished wine.
The smallest geographical unit in German wine law representing a single vineyard.
German for ice wine, a dessert wine made from frozen grapes.
Spanish wine label term meaning "produced by"
Élevé en fûts de chêne
French phrase that may appear on wine labels to denote that the wine has been aged in oak barrels.
Spanish wine label term meaning "bottled by"
French term for the historical role that negociants play in the winemaking process-roughly translating as "bringing up" or "raising" the wine. Traditionally negociants would buy ready made wines after fermentation, blend and then store the wine before bringing them to the market.
A system commonly associated with Bordeaux wine where the previous year's harvest is available for contract sales several months before the wine will be bottled and release.
French term for the proportion of grape varieties used in a blend.
The wine from a producer's portfolio that is the lowest cost for purchase and offers the most basic quality.
German vineyards that have been classified by the Verband Deutscher Prädikats- und Qualitätsweingüter (VDP) to be a "first class" location capable of producing Erstes Gewächs and Grosses Gewächs wines
A dry wine from a "great growth" vineyard that has been designated as Erste Lage. In many regions this term has been replaced by Grosses Gewächs.
German term for an estate-bottled wine
A very dry sparkling wine. In Champagne, this is a wine that has received a dosage with between 0-6 grams/liter sugar
A sparkling wine that is sweeter than a brut. In Champagne, this is a wine that has received a dosage between 12-17 g/l sugar
A United States winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site, sometimes known as a farm winery.
EU lot number
A European Union directive initiated in 1992 that mandates every bottle of wine produced or sold in the European Union to include a designated lot number. This allows identified defective or fraudulent wine to be tracked and removed from circulation more efficiently.
Refers to the extra cost associated with buying wines en primeur that may include the cost of shipping to the importer's cellars as well applicable duties and taxes.
A United States & South Africa winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site.
Italian term for a wine estate
In the Austrian wine region Wachau, a classification of wine with a harvest must weight of at least 17°KMW and a finished alcohol level between 11–12.5% with no more than 4 g/l residual sugar. This classification is between the levels of Steinfeder and Smaragd.
An unregulated German wine term used to describe an off-dry (or halbtrocken) wine
An Italian term for a "naturally sparkling" wine. This usually refers to a wine, such as Asti, that has been bottled before fermentation is completed so that a natural sparkle of CO2 can be achieved in the bottle
The straw-covered flask historically associated with Chianti.
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.
Ancient Roman flagons
The highest category of wine quality, representing only a very small percentage of worldwide production of wine.
Substances added at or near the completion of wine processing, to remove of organic compounds for the purpose of improving clarity or adjusting flavor or aroma.
A glass bottle that holds two litres of (usually inexpensive) table wine.
A winemaker who travels extensively across the globe, sharing techniques and technology from one region of the world to another. The term originated with Australian winemakers who would fly to Northern Hemisphere wine regions in Europe and the United States during the August–October harvest time when viticulture in the Southern Hemisphere is relatively quiet.
Wine to which alcohol has been added, generally to increase the concentration to a high enough level to prevent fermentation.
An 1991 episode of the American news program 60 Minutes that documented the low mortality rate from cardiovascular disease among the French who had a high-alcohol, high-cholesterol and low exercise lifestyle in contrast to the high mortality rate among Americans with a relatively lower cholesterol, low alcohol and more exercise lifestyle.
Italian term for a semi-sparkling wine.
Italian term for a wine that has very slight effervescence, more than a still wine but less than a semi-sparkling. Similar to the French term perlant.
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.
Portuguese term for a potentially superior quality wine that has seen extended aging in the barrel and bottle
German term for a commune where wine is produced
A term used by the World Trade Organization to designate a wine region that can produce wines with defined characteristics (such as an Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) 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.
In Hungary, the traditional oak cask used to age Tokaji
Australian term for inexpensive box wine.
A phrase that may appear on French wine labels from Alsace, Condrieu, Coteaux du Layon and Macon to indicate a wine made from botrytis-infected grapes
French term for a famous brand of wine, most commonly associated with the large Champagne houses.
French term for a "Great growth" or vineyard. In Burgundy, the term is regulated to a define list of Grand cru vineyards.
French term most often associated with Bordeaux where it denotes a Chateau's premier wine, or "first wine". On a wine label, the word's Grand vin may appear to help distinguish the wine from an estate's second or third wine.
Spanish aging designation that for red wine stipulates that it has been aged for a total of 5 years after harvest with at least 18 months in oak (in Rioja and Ribera del Duero the minimum is 24 months). For Spanish white wines the requirement is 4 years of total aging with at least 6 months in oak (increased to 12 months in Rioja and Ribera del Duero)
Spanish term for a sparkling wine that has been tank fermented as opposed to going through secondary fermentation in the bottle according to the Traditional Method used for Cava production
A dry wine made from a vineyard that has been designated as an Erste Lage ("Great Growth") by the wine grower association VDP
A German designation for a cluster of vineyards within a Bereich as opposed to an Einzellage which is a single vineyard.
French term for the foil and wire cork cage that are used to dress a bottle of sparkling wine
German term for a medium-dry wine
Term for Rhine wines, usually used in England.
Horizontal wine tasting
A tasting of a group of wines from the same vintage or representing the same style of wine (such as all Pinot noirs from different wineries in a region), as opposed to a vertical tasting which involves of the same wine through different vintages. In a horizontal tasting, keeping wine variety or type and wine region the same helps emphasize differences in winery styles.
Wine made from frozen grapes. Written, and trademarked as a single word - Icewine - in Canada. Called Eiswein in German.
Italian term for a wine that has been estate-bottled
A large bottle holding six lithe equivalent of eight regular wine bottles.
Abbreviation for "Indicazione Geografica Tipica", the lowest-ranking of the three categories of Italian wine regulated by Italian law.
Grape varieties grown in nearly every major wine region, for example Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot
Italian term for a wine that has been aged either in oak or in the bottle
A large bottle holding 3-5 litres, the equivalent of 4-6 regular wine bottles.
American term for inexpensive table wine (French: Vin de table).
A wine designation in Germany (where it is a Prädikat) and Austria.
Wine that is produced under the supervision of a rabbi so as to be ritually pure or clean.
German term for a wine slightly above table wines (tafelwine). Similar to a French vin de pays wine.
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.
The trellis that a wine grapevine is grown on
French term for the dead yeast and sediment of wine also known as lees.
Litre (US - Liter)
A metric measure of volume equal to 33.8 fluid ounces (U.S.) or 35.2 fl oz (imperial).
French term for a named vineyard site. Usually used in the context of describing individual vineyards below Grand cru status.
French term meaning "liqueur-like" used for dessert wine with a luscious, almost unctuous quality. Often used to describe wines made by botrytis-infected grapes
Italian term for a fortified wine
A wine that has been oxidatively aged by maderisation. Often associated with the wines of Madeira
A bottle holding 1.5 litres, the equivalent of two regular wine bottles.
French term for a grape grower who makes their own wine. Often associated with the Champagne wine region where producers of Grower Champagnes are identified by the initials RM (for Récoltant-Manipulant) on wine labels
The distillate made from pomace. The term can also refer to the pomace itself or, in the Champagne region, to individual press fractions from the traditional vertical wine press.
French term for a vineyard
Italian terms for a wine estate
Master of Wine
A qualification (not an academic degree) conferred by The Institute of Masters of Wine, which is located in the United Kingdom.
A light German wine flavored with sweet woodruff in addition to strawberries or other fruit.
A wine-like alcoholic beverage made of fermented honey and water rather than grape juice.
Originally created in California, these blended wines can be summed up as the "American Bordeaux". The term is a blend of the words "merit" and "heritage" and pronounced the same. The Red blend is made from at least 2 of the 5 Bordeaux grape varieties: 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.
A large bottle holding six liters, the equivalent of eight regular wine bottles.
Italian term for a sparkling wine that has gone through secondary fermentation in a tank (Charmat method) as opposed to the traditional method of fermentation in the bottle that consumers will eventually purchase.
Metodo classico/Metodo tradizionale
Italian terms for a sparkling wine that has gone through secondary fermentation according to the traditional method
The balance of weight, acidity and fruit flavors that are perceived while the wine is still in the tasters mouth and before swallowing
French term for a vintage date that can appear on a wine label
Mis en bouteille au château
French for "bottled at the winery", usually in Bordeaux
French and Spanish terms for a fortified wine made by mixing unfermented grape juice with an alcohol spirit. For example Pineau des Charentes
French term usually used for wines of mid-level sweetness or liquoreux.
French term for an appellation, where all the vineyards in the appellation are under single ownership.
The sparkling effervescence of a wine. In the glass it perceived as the bubbling but the surface of the glass can affect this perception. Premium quality sparkling wine has a mousse composed of small, persistent string of bubbles.
French term for a sparkling wine
Wine that is spiced, heated, and served as a punch.
A large bottle holding 15 litres, the equivalent of 20 regular wine bottles.
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.
A fungal virus brought on by Botrytis cinerea that results in dehydrated and shrivelled grapes that are high in concentrated sugar. Noble Rot grapes are an essential component of many Austrian and German wines.
French term for a wine that has not been filtered
The aroma or bouquet of a wine.
A wine aficionado or connoisseur.
The study of aspects of wine and winemaking.
Old World wine
Wines produced inside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.
A winetasting term for anything that affects one of the main senses such as smell. An example would be an affliction of the common cold or being in a room with someone wearing an overwhelming amount of perfume.
French term for a lightly sparkling wine
A Bordeaux wine estate that doesn't have any official designation of classification.
French term for a simple, quaffing white wine with pleasing fruit structure and balance of acidity.
Plafond Limité de Classement
An allowance within the French AOC system that allows producers to exceed the official maximum limit on yields by as much as 20% in warm weather years. Critics such as wine writer Tom Stevenson describes this loophole (also known as "PLC") as "legalized cheating"
A proposal for enhancing the economic status of the wine industry in Bordeaux.
British English slang for an inexpensive bottle of wine. The term is thought to originate from the French word for white wine, "blanc".
Italian term for a small wine estate
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.
Italian term for noble rot
A PDO 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. The Austrian Prädikat also includes the designation Ausbruch between Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.
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.
French term for a "First growth". Used mostly in conjunction with the wines of Burgundy and Champagne where the term is regulated.
Higher quality classification of wine above every day drinking table wines. While premium wines maybe very expensive there is no set price point that distinguishes when a wine becomes a "premium wine." Premium wines generally have more aging potential than every day quaffing wines.
The aromas in wine derived from the grapes themselves and are considered part of the varietal character or typicity of the grape variety. This is opposed to the secondary aromas which come from the fermentation and maturation process and the tertiary aromaswhich come from aging process in the bottle.
Italian term for a wine producer
French term for the owner of a wine estate
Protected Designation of Origin/PDO
Wine labeling term introduced to the European Union in 2009 to replace the Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions (QWPSR) designation. Used to denote a wine from a region with more specification and regulations than a generic Geographic Indication(GI)
Protected Geographical Indication/PGI
Wine labeling term introduced to the European Union in 2009 to replace the "Table Wine" designation. Used to denote a wine with lower specification and regulation than that with a PDO or GI designation.
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.
In Hungary, the measurement of sweetness levels for Tokaji ranging from 3 Puttonyos, which contains at least 60 grams/liter of sugar, to 6 Puttonyos containing at least 150 g/l of sugar.
German acronym for Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete.
German acronym for Qualitätswein mit Prädikat.
An acronym for Quality-Price Ratio.
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.
Quality Wines Produced in Specified Regions (QWPSR)
A now-defunct wine classification category in the European Union that was formally abolished, along with the Table Wine designation, in 2009 with the adoption of the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) system.
A simple, everyday drinking wine
Portuguese term for a wine estate.
French term for a grape
An Italian sweet wine made from passito grapes.
French term for a wine producer who grows their own grapes. Often associated with the Champagne wine region where producers of Grower Champagnes are identified by the initials RM (for Récoltant-Manipulant) on wine labels
The reductive-oxidative way that wine ages. As one part gains oxygen and becomes oxidized, another part loses oxygen and becomes reduced. Early in its life, a wine will exhibit oxidative aromas and traits due to the relatively recent influence and exposure of oxygen when the wine was barrel aged and/or bottled. As the wine ages and is shut off from a supply of oxygen in the bottle, a mature wine will develop reductive characteristics.
A large bottle holding 4.5 litres, the equivalent of six regular wine bottles.
Spanish aging designation. For red wines this means that a wine has been aged for at least 3 years following harvest with at least 12 months in oak. For Spanish white wines, the designation means that the wine has been aged for at least 18 months with at least 6 of those months in oak.
Terms given to wine to indicate that it is of higher quality than usual sometimes with longer aging and higher alcohol levels. Outside of the use of "Reserva" in Spanish wines, these terms usually have no official standings or requirements.
The unfermented sugar left over in the wine after fermentation. All wines, including those labeled as "dry wines" contain some residual sugars due to the presence of unfermentable sugars in the grape must such as pentoses.
French term for a very sweet wine. Often used as a description for very sweet sparkling wine
The addition of Amarone flavor to Valpolicella wine by allowing the Valpolicella to pass over the drained must of an Amarone on its way to secondary fermentation.
Spanish and Italian terms for a rosé wine
Italian and French terms for a red wine
A Spanish rosado Cava with semi-seco indicating its sweetness level on the label.
An early English term for what is now called Sherry.
A large bottle holding nine litres, the equivalent of 12 regular wine bottles.
A tart punch made from red wine along with orange, lemon and apricot juice with added sugar.
French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese terms for a dry wine. In Champagne production, "Sec" wines are actually medium-dry being sweeter than Brut and Extra Dry with 12-17 grams/liter of sugar added in the dosage.
The aromas in wine that are derived from the winemaking process which includes fermentation as well as potentially malolactic fermentation and oak aging. This is in contrast to the primary aromas which come from the grape variety itself and the tertiary aromas which come from aging process in the bottle.
A sparkling wine manufactured in Germany.
German wine classification for dry wines from a single vineyard location
Selection de grains nobles
A sweet botrytized wine made in the French region of Alsace
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.
Italian and Spanish designation for a medium-dry wine
A fortified wine that has been subjected to controlled oxidation to produce a distinctive flavor.
In the Austrian wine region Wachau, a classification of wine with a harvest must weight of at least 18.2°KMW and a finished alcohol level of at least 12.5% with no more than 8 g/l residual sugar. These wines are usually the most rich and full-bodied wines from the Wachau that are often made from late-harvest grapes.
A system of fractional blending used in the production of Sherry where younger wines are added to top up the barrels of older wines as they age in the cellar.
A wine expert who often works in restaurants.
French term for racking.
Effervescent wine containing significant levels of carbon dioxide.
German for "late harvest" that is made without chaptalization. A Prädikat in Germany and Austria.
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.
German term for a light sparkling wine.
Italian term for a sparkling wine made from any production method
In the Austrian wine region Wachau, a classification of wine with a harvest must weight be between 15-17°KMW, with no chaptalization permitted, and a finished alcohol level no greater than 11%. These wines usually the lightest in body among the wines of Wachau.
An Australian term for a broad category of sweet wines included fortified and botrytized wines.
Italian term for a very old wine, often used in association with Marsala