Natural acids (citric, malic, lactic or tartaric) that occur in
fruit. In wine, tartaric acid provides tartness.
To add oxygen to wine during the winemaking process or while decanting
Holding wines for a period of time in barrels, tanks or bottles
to affect the character of the finished wine.
Ethyl alcohol (or ethanol) formed in wine during fermentation, which
affects the taste, aroma and mouthfeel of wine.
The percentage of alcohol by volume of a wine. Most table wines
have between 9 and 15% alcohol by volume.
American oak barrel
Barrels made from oak wood from American forests. American oak barrels
are generally thought to impart more aggressive wood flavors than
do French oak barrels.
American Viticultural Area (AVA)
The term given in the United States to an officially designated
winegrape growing region. AVAs are defined officially by the Bureau
of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) based on geographic, climatic
and historical criteria. Generally, if an area can demonstrate that
it has geographic and climatic conditions significantly different
from the surrounding area, it may petition the BATF for an AVA designation.
A descriptor used to describe the impression of fullness in the
Generally the first category by which wines are judged in a sensory
evaluation. The wine's clarity and color are the primary factors
The official geographic origin of a wine, which becomes part of
a wine's official name.
Odors in a wine that originate from the grape. Some distinguish
these smells from "bouquet," but the term is often used
to describe all smells of a wine.
A descriptor used to describe wines that have pronounced smells,
particularly fruity and floral smells.
The harsh, drying sensation in the mouth that is caused by high
levels of tannin. The opposite of the wine descriptor "smooth."
The relationship between a wine's alcohol, acid, residual sugar
and tannin. A wine is considered well-balanced when no one of these
components stands out significantly from the rest.
A wooden container, generally 60-gallons, used for fermenting and/or
A term used for wines that matured for a period of time after fermentation
in oak barrels.
A term used for wines that are fermented in oak containers. The
benefit of this method is the development of a more subtle oak character
than that of barrel-aged only wines.
The term used to describe red wines that exhibit aroma and flavor
reminiscent of strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, etc.
A term used to describe wines that are very intense or very full.
To store bottled wine for further aging, before its release for
A taste sensation generally experienced on the back of the tongue.
Wine aromas and/or flavors that suggest black currants, black cherries,
blackberries, blueberries, or other black fruit.
Wine grapes with a blue or reddish skin pigmentation that are used
to make red wines.
Blanc de blancs
A white wine made of white grapes.
Blanc de noirs
A white wine made of red grapes.
To combine two or more individual lots of wine, either of different
varietals, different vineyards or different vintages. The term generally
applied to a wine derived from the juice of different grape varieties.
The Spanish term for a winery, or the building where wine is stored.
A tactile sensation describing the viscosity or "weight"
of wine in the mouth. Body is correlated with the level of alcohol
and extract. Wines are described as light-, medium- or full-bodied.
A mold produced in very particular conditions of temperature and
humidity that pierces grape skins, causing dehydration. Also known
as "noble rot."
Sweet wines made from grapes affected by botrytis cinera.
Description of the character of a wine derived from its maturation
period in bottle.
The maturation period of a wine after bottling that allows some
of its components to mature and a bottle-aged bouquet to form.
The odors of wine attributed to the winemaking process: fermentation,
processing and aging, particularly those that develop after bottling.
A term used to describe wines whose characteristics are perceived
vividly, either visually or by aroma and flavor.
The description of a wine that is absolutely clear.
The measure of the density of grape juice or fermenting wine, used
to ascertain sugar level at harvest.
Butter-like flavor in wine created by malolactic fermentation (a
secondary fermentation) caused by the presence of diacetyl.
A red wine grape known for its use in the fine wines of Bordeaux,
particularly wines of Pomerol, Saint-Emilion and Medoc. Also grown
in Italy and California.
Considered the most important red wine grape throughout the world,
and the basis of the most famous wines of California, Bordeaux,
and many other wine districts.
The foliage of a grape vine.
The viticultural techniques used to balance shoot growth and fruit
development to maximize the varietal character of the grapes.
A layer of skins and seeds that forms on top of the juice during
fermentation of red wines.
Metallic or plastic foil that covers the cork and the upper neck
of a wine bottle.
A distinctive odor in heated sweet wines and a subtle component
A large wooden container used for making or storing wines.
Aromas or flavors that resemble the smell of cedar wood.
A region in France and the sparkling wines produced there using
the methode champenoise. In the US, this term is semi-generic to
mean sparkling wine.
A product or person of France's Champagne district.
The impression of a wine being solid and having integrity and substance.
A white grape variety considered one of the world's finest. Widely
planted and used both for dry, barrel-aged table wines as well as
blends for fine sparkling wines.
A versatile white variety known for dry and sweet table and sparkling
wines of Loire, France, as well as dry table wines of California
and South Africa.
Clearness in the wine.
A sub-variety of a wine grape variety that exhibits specific enological
The device used to seal a wine bottle, usually a cork.
Chilling wine before bottling to remove potassium acid tartrate
crystals or other sediment from the finished wine.
A descriptor used to describe a wine that is intense but not full.
A wine that exhibits many different odors and flavors.
A term to describe aromas and flavors that are dense.
A descriptor used for a wine whose flavors or fruit character are
One who makes or repairs wooden barrels or casks.
Corked or Corky
A moldy odor and flavor caused from a fungus-infected cork, caused
by tiny amounts of tyrene that contaminate the wine.
A characteristic used to describe a wine. Often associated with
a wine that has ungone malolactic fermentation.
French term for wines that are slightly sparkling, literally "creaming."
Cramant wines have 4 atmospheres of pressure compared to Champagne's
A term for wine that feels clean and slightly brittle in the mouth,
usually from high acidity.
After stems are removed, breaking the grape skins prior to pressing
and fermentation. The term also applied to the season of the year
(during harvest) when this occurs.
A machine that breaks open grapes and usually de-stems them as well.
French term for a specific blend of
wines, usually of different varietals and vintages, combined to