Glossary of Wine Terms
You can browse our topics using the letters below, or search for a term.
Spanish for 'cellar,' but also a Spanish sparkling wine made in the traditional Champagne style from Xarello, Macabeo, and Parellada grapes.
|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.|
|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.|
|Cabernet Franc||A red grape common to Bordeaux; characteristics include an herbal, leafy flavor and a soft, fleshy texture.|
|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.|
|Brut||A French term used to describe the driest Champagnes.|
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.
|Breathe||The process of letting a wine open up via the introduction of air|
The sum of a wine's aromas; how a wine smells as a whole; a key determinant of quality.
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.
|Bordeaux||A city on the Garonne River in southwest France; a large wine-producing region with more than a dozen subregions; a red wine made mostly from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc; a white wine made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.|
The impression of weight on one's palate; light, medium, and full are common body qualifiers.
Spanish for winery; literally the 'room where barrels are stored.'
|Blush||A wine made from red grapes but which appears pink or salmon in color because the grape skins were removed from the fermenting juice before more color could be imparted; more commonly referred to as rose.|
|Blend||The process whereby two or more grape varieties are combined after separate fermentation; common blends include Cotes de Rhone and red and white Bordeaux.|
|Blanc de Noirs||The name for Champagne made entirely from red grapes, either Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier, or both.|
|Blanc de Blancs||The name for Champagne made entirely from Chardonnay grapes.|
|Beaujolais Nouveau||The first Beaujolais wine of the harvest; its annual release date is the third Thursday in November.|
|Beaujolais||A juicy, flavorful red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the region of the same name.|
French for 'barrel,' generally a barrel of 225 liters.