Glossary of Wine Terms
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A beneficial mold that causes grapes to shrivel and sugars to concentrate, resulting in sweet, unctuous wines; common botryt's wines include Sauternes, Tokay, and German beerenauslese.
The sum of a wine's aromas; how a wine smells as a whole; a key determinant of quality.
|Breathe||The process of letting a wine open up via the introduction of air|
A scale used to measure the level of sugar in unfermented grapes. Multiplying brix by 0.55 will yield a wine's future alcohol level.
|Brut||A French term used to describe the driest Champagnes.|
|Burgundy||A prominent French wine region stretching from Chablis in the north to Lyons in the south; Pinot Noir is the grape for red Burgundy, Chardonnay for white.|
|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.