Glossary of Wine Terms
You can browse our topics using the letters below, or search for a term.
|AOC||Appellation diOrigine Controlee, a French term for a denominated, governed wine region such as Margaux or Nuits-St.-Georges.|
|Aroma||A scent thatis a component of the bouquet or nose; i.e. cherry is an aromatic component of a fruity bouquet.|
|Alsace||A highly regarded wine region in eastern France renowned for dry and sweet wines made from Riesling, Gewuerztraminer, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, and others.|
|AVA||American Viticultural Area; a denominated American wine region approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.|
|Alcohol||The end product of fermentation; technically ethyl alcohol resulting from the interaction of natural grape sugars and yeast; generally above 12.5 percent in dry table wines.|
A naturally occurring component of every wine; the level of perceived sharpness; a key element to a wine's longevity; a leading determinant of balance.
|Amarone||A succulent higher-alcohol red wine hailing from the Veneto region in northern Italy; made primarily from Corvina grapes dried on racks before pressing.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Breathe||The process of letting a wine open up via the introduction of air|
The impression of weight on one's palate; light, medium, and full are common body qualifiers.
|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.|
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.|
Spanish for winery; literally the 'room where barrels are stored.'
|Barrel Fermented||A process by which wine (usually white) is fermented in oak barrels rather than in stainless steel tanks; a richer, creamier, oakier style of wine.|
French for 'barrel,' generally a barrel of 225 liters.
|Beaujolais||A juicy, flavorful red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the region of the same name.|
|Brut||A French term used to describe the driest Champagnes.|