Glossary of Wine Terms
You can browse our topics using the letters below, or search for a term.
|Cabernet Franc||A red grape common to Bordeaux; characteristics include an herbal, leafy flavor and a soft, fleshy texture.|
|Cabernet Sauvignon||A powerful, tannic red grape of noble heritage; the base grape for many red Bordeaux and most of the best red wines from California, Washington, Chile, and South Africa; capable of aging for decades.|
|Cap||Grape solids like pits, skins, and stems that rise to the top of a tank during fermentation; what gives red wines color, tannins and weight.|
Spanish for 'cellar,' but also a Spanish sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne style from Xarello, Macabeo, and Parellada grapes.
|Chablis||A town and wine region east of Paris known for steely, minerally Chardonnay.|
|Champagne||A denominated region northeast of Paris in which Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes are made into sparkling wine.|
|Chaptalization||The process of adding sugar to fermenting grapes in order to increase alcohol.|
|Chardonnay||Arguably the best and most widely planted white wine grape in the world.|
French for 'castle;' an estate with its own vineyards.
|Chenin Blanc||A white grape common in the Loire Valley of France.|
|Chianti||A scenic, hilly section of Tuscany known for fruity red wines made mostly from Sangiovese grapes.|
|Claret||An English name for red Bordeaux.|
Pronounced 'Cloh,' this French word once applied only to vineyards surrounded by walls.
A key determinant of a wine's age and quality; white wines grow darker in color as they age while red wines turn brownish orange.
|Cooperative||A winery owned jointly by multiple grape growers.|
|Corked||A wine with musty, mushroomy aromas and flavors resulting from a cork tainted by TCA (trichloroanisol).|
|Crianza||A Spanish term for a red wine that has been aged in oak barrels for at least one year.|
|Cru||A French term for ranking a wineis inherent quality, i.e. cru bourgeois, cru classe, premier cru, and grand cru.|