Glossary of Wine Terms
You can browse our topics using the letters below, or search for a term.
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.
The impression of weight on one's palate; light, medium, and full are common body qualifiers.
|Brut||A French term used to describe the driest Champagnes.|
|Blanc de Blancs||The name for Champagne made entirely from Chardonnay grapes.|
|Blanc de Noirs||The name for Champagne made entirely from red grapes, either Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier, or both.|
|Beaujolais||A juicy, flavorful red wine made from Gamay grapes grown in the region of the same name.|
French for 'castle;' an estate with its own vineyards.
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.
|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.|
|Chenin Blanc||A white grape common in the Loire Valley of France.|
|Cru||A French term for ranking a wineis inherent quality, i.e. cru bourgeois, cru classe, premier cru, and grand cru.|
|Chianti||A scenic, hilly section of Tuscany known for fruity red wines made mostly from Sangiovese grapes.|
|Chaptalization||The process of adding sugar to fermenting grapes in order to increase alcohol.|
|Claret||An English name for red Bordeaux.|
|Champagne||A denominated region northeast of Paris in which Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Meunier grapes are made into sparkling wine.|
|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.|
|Chablis||A town and wine region east of Paris known for steely, minerally Chardonnay.|
|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.|