Glossary of Wine Terms
You can browse our topics using the letters below, or search for a term.
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.
|Cabernet Franc||A red grape common to Bordeaux; characteristics include an herbal, leafy flavor and a soft, fleshy texture.|
|Crianza||A Spanish term for a red wine that has been aged in oak barrels for at least one year.|
|Chaptalization||The process of adding sugar to fermenting grapes in order to increase alcohol.|
|Decant||The process of transferring wine from a bottle to another holding vessel. The purpose is generally to aerate a young wine or to separate an older wine from any sediment.|
|Disgorge||The process by which final sediments are removed from traditionally made sparkling wines prior to the adding of the dosage.|
|Douro||A river in Portugal as well as the wine region famous for producing Port wines.|
|Dosage||A sweetened spirit added at the very end to Champagne and other traditionally made sparkling wines. It determines whether a wine is brut, extra dry, dry, or semisweet.|
|Denominazione di Origine Controllata||Italian for a controlled wine region; similar to the French AOC or Spanish DO.|
|Dry||A wine containing no more than 0.2 percent unfermented sugar.|
|Denominacion de Origen|
Spanish for 'appellation of origin;' like the French AOC or Italian DOC.
|Enology||The science of wine production; an enologist is a professional winemaker; an enophile is someone who enjoys wine.|
|Earthy||A term used to describe aromas and flavors that have a certain soil-like quality.|
|Fortified Wine||A wine in which brandy is introduced during fermentation; sugars and sweetness are high due to the suspended fermentation.|
|Fermentation||The process by which sugar is transformed into alcohol; how grape juice interacts with yeast to become wine.|
|Fume Blanc||A name created by Robert Mondavi to describe dry Sauvignon Blanc.|
|Fining||Part of the clarification process whereby elements are added to the wine, i.e. egg whites, in order to capture solids prior to filtration.|
|Filtration||The process by which wine is clarified before bottling.|
|Graft||A vineyard technique in which the bud-producing part of a grapevine is attached to an existing root.|
French for 'great growth;' the very best vineyards.