Wine is an alcoholic drink produced by the fermentation of grapes. The study of grapes and the science of their growth and production is known as viniculture, while vinification is the process by which grapes are transformed into wine. This Tastessence article provides you with many more such wine terminologies accompanied with their meanings.
According to an ancient Persian legend, the banishment of one of the ladies in the Persian king’s (Jamsheed’s) harem inadvertently led to the discovery of wine. The woman in a bid to end her life, chose to consume fermented grapes, which were then thought to be poisonous. However, when instead of dying, she felt lively and light-headed, the vinous nature of fermented grapes was discovered.
While the origins of winemaking or vinification, predate all written and archeological records, the earliest evidence of a wine-like beverage dates back to 7000 BCE to the country of China. The first archeological evidences of winemaking were found around 6000 BCE in the countries of Georgia and Iran in Eurasia. Later, the knowledge of wine and winemaking spread through the trade routes.
Since then, the popularity of wine has gained momentum, and it is now widespread across the globe. Its use and consumption as a beverage as well as a cooking ingredient can be observed in all parts of the world. Such a popular demand of wine has spawned its own culture (viticulture) and science. The first step towards which, can be taken by comprehending all the terms used in conjugation with wine and its production.
List Of Wine Terms With Their Meanings
(Italian) Medium-sweet, full bodied wine.
A vinegar-like sharp, sweet, and sour taste. Also called “acidic”.
Addition of acid to wine by the winemaker.
Harsh, bitter taste and pungent odor caused due to addition of excessive amounts of sulfur to the wine during its production.
(Portuguese) Medium-sweet wine.
(Portuguese) Wine cellar.
Process by which a wine absorbs oxygen and releases its aroma.
High level of tannins or acid, causing a harsh, bitter taste.
Storage of wine in wooden barrels to intensify flavors and also to develop complex taste profile.
The winemaking process by which yeast digests the grape sugars to produce alcohol, carbon dioxide, and heat.
A grape variety used for sweet dessert wines on account of its pungent flavor.
A red wine grape of Spnaish origin.
A white wine grape with a fruity and light taste.
A French forest that produces the oakwood, used in making wine barrels.
(Spanish) Sherry producers who mature wines before selling them.
Wine used in the Eucharist celebrations.
(German) Old wine.
(Italian) Medium-sweet wine.
Wine produced by utilizing dried harvested grapes.
A variety of Oak characterized by its strong vanilla, dill, and cedar flavor notes.
Matured sherry that shows a distinct rich and deep, nutty flavor.
The study of grape varieties.
A type of jar used by Greeks and Romans for storing and transporting wine.
(German) Wine region.
A sweet, amber-colored dessert wine.
Pigments found in grape skins that lend color to the red wine.
Pre-meal wine that stimulates the appetite.
(Italian) Dried harvested grapes.
Clarity of a wine.
Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée
(English: Appellation of controlled origin) Laws specifying the regions where wine can be produced, and the methods to be used in its production. They are administered and regulated by the Institut National des Appellations d’Origine (INAO).
Amtliche Prüfungsnummer, the number observed on a German wine label, indicating that the wine passes the government’s tests and standards.
A tasting term that describes a smell similar to that of fresh apples.
Smells that are naturally produced by the grapes.
Raw cream of tartar crystals found in wine tanks.
(French) Blending many batches of wine before its bottling.
Dessert wine made from botrytized grapes.
Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, an agency responsible for the regulation and sale of wines in the US.
Grape variety used in sparkling wine production.
(Austrian) The Aszú method of winemaking.
(German) Select harvest based on ripeness and sugar content of grapes.
Australia and New Zealand, collectively.
Wine with unbalanced flavor.
(Italian) Estate that produces wines from grapes grown in its own vineyards, or purchased from other vineyards.
(Italian) Estate that produces wines only from the grapes in its own vineyards.
Roman god of wine.
Balance of acidity, alcohol, and tannin, if any, in a wine.
Harmony of the acidity and tannins with the sweetness, fruitiness, and alcohol in the wine.
A large wine bottle that is equivalent to 16 regular wine bottles.
Ban de Vendange
Initiation of the French harvest season.
French dessert wine.
Nebbiolo-based red wine.
Wine made from 100 percent Nebbiolo grapes in Piedmont.
Wine that has been aged in barrels before bottling.
Wine that has been fermented in small barrels instead of larger tanks.
(French) 225-liter, Bordeaux-style barrel.
(French) Intermittent stirring during the aging and maturation process of wine.
Measure of the sugar content, and eventual alcohol-producing potential.
Tiny bubbles found in sparkling wines.
Bean-shaped pieces of wood added to wine to impart oak flavors.
(German) Harvest of selected berries affected by noble rot.
Clay compound used improve clarity of white wines.
German wine district.
The Berthomeau Report
Commissioned by French Ministry of Agriculture for improving the wine industry.
(Italian)/(French)/(Spanish)/(Portuguese) White wine or grape.
(French) Organic winemaking.
A degree of acidity of wine.
Blanc de Blancs
White wine made exclusively from white grapes.
Blanc de Noirs
White wine made from black or red grapes.
Mixing two or more wines to balance their flavors.
Tasting and evaluating wine without any knowledge of the type and brand of wine.
Strong-flavored wine that lacks aroma.
Rosé or pinkish salmon-colored wine made from red grapes.
(Spanish) Wine cellar.
Complexity of flavor.
A small barrel used to store sherry.
Beneficial mold that dehydrates the grapes.
Smells developed by the wine after it has been bottled and aged.
Intense and tannic wines.
Yeast that can cause barnyard aromas and flavors in a wine.
Earthy, wild berry flavor.
Fresh, zesty young wines.
High clarity wine.
A measure of sugar content of grapes.
A dry sparkling wine.
Start of a new growing season.
(Spanish) Cooperativa Agrícola or local co-operative.
French grape variety.
Layer of macerated grape found at the surface of fermenting red wine.
(South-African) A type of traditional sparkling wine.
The covering of the cork and neck of a wine bottle.
Fermentation of whole grapes in sealed vats containing a carbon dioxide layer.
(Italian) Wine estate.
A dairy-based protein used to clarify wine.
Wooden storage barrel.
(Portuguese) Grape variety.
American hybrid wine grape.
Measure of the persistence of the taste of a wine.
(Spanish) Traditional sparkling wine.
American hybrid wine grape.
(French) Grape variety.
(French) Greatest grape variety.
(Italian) Cherry pink-colored wine.
Wine region in central France.
Wine storage area (barrel hall).
Red table wine produced in Burgundy.
Sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region of France.
Addition of sugar to the grapes before fermenting them.
Taste of a wine.
Italian red wine grape.
Popular variety of white wine grape.
Cheap mass production of sparkling wines.
White wine grape.
Italian blended, red table wine.
(Italian) Light colored rosé wine.
(French) Wine color that falls between a light red wine and a dark rosé.
(British) Bordeaux wine.
Transparency of wine.
(German) Dry wine.
(Italian) Heart of the wine region.
(French) Winery enclosed by a walled structure.
Coates Law of Maturity
The law states that a wine will be at its drinking peak for the same amount of time that it takes to reach full maturity.
Brandy produced by distilling wine.
A technique that prevents crystallization in wine bottles.
(Italian) Organization of wine producers.
Training the grape vine to grow in a desired manner.
A barrel maker.
Place where barrels are made.
Spoilage of wine due to problems with the cork.
Unfertilized grape flowers that fall off.
Cream of tartar
Potassium bi-tartrate, a by-product of wine production.
(French) Sparkling wine that is not from the Champagne region.
(Spanish) Measure of aging.
Wine with moderate acidity and a bright aftertaste.
(French) Tank or vat.
(French) Coopérative de Vignerons, local cooperative.
Process that involves letting the particles in the white wine settle before any further processing or bottling of the wine.
Separation of the wine from the sediments in the bottle.
French-American hybrid wine grape.
(French) Champagne that is aged for more than 5-10 years.
Climate classification based on the actual number of days that a vine can grow in a year.
(French) Pumping of wine out of a barrel and then back in, to help develop character of the wine.
Light to medium complexity of flavors in a wine.
(French) 600-liter capacity oak barrels.
Slightly dry sparkling wine.
Wine with concentrated aroma.
Complexity of flavors in a wine.
Pruning of non-fruit-bearing shoots of a vine.
Sweet, low alcohol wine.
Removal of grapes from their stems.
Wine made from grapes grown in Germany.
Greek deity of wine and revelry.
Unbalanced wine flavors.
(Italian) Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or a wine whose characteristics are regulated by law.
(Portuguese)/(Italian)/(French)/(Spanish) Sweet wine.
A fungus affecting grapes.
The residue left behind after juice is extracted by crushing grapes.
A cloth that wipes off any drips that may happen after pouring wine.
Absence of sugar content in wine.
Loss of sweetness, with a noticeable taste of acidic tannins.
Undeveloped flavor and aroma.
Wine produced using early harvested grapes.
Aroma of flavor reminiscent of the earth or soil.
Eau de vie
(French) Grape derived spirit. Translates to “Water of life”.
(French) Removal of buds from vines.
(French) Intentinal crop removal.
(German) Noble rot.
(South African) Noble rot.
(Hungarian) Sweet wine.
European Economic Community.
(German) Single vineyard.
(German) Dessert wine produced from naturally frozen grapes.
(Spanish) Produced by.
Élevé en fûts de chêne
(French) Wine aged in oak barrels.
Balanced and refined wine.
(French) process in which people buy young wines, age them, and then sell them.
(Spanish) Bottled by.
(French) Proportion in which wines are blended.
Scientist studying winemaking.
Science and study of winemaking.
Lover of wine and wine-related things.
(German) Estate-bottled wine.
Farms that produce wine and sell it.
Chemical compounds responsible for aroma.
Turkish dessert wine made from botrytized aszú berries.
EU lot number
Lot number of every wine. Designated by the European Union to prevent fraudulent wines from entering the market.
Extremely dry spakling wine.
(Italian) Wine estate.
Austrian wine classification.
Process by which yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide.
(Italian) Natural sparkling wine.
Flask associated with Chianti.
Wine made from different varieties of grapes grown on the same farm.
Inexpensive cork-bottle wine.
Technique used to clarify wines.
Substances added to wine to improve its clarity.
Measure of the lingering taste of a wine.
Dry sherry wine.
Glass bottle with a capacity of 2 liters.
Dull flavored wine.
Heightened fruit flavor.
Reminiscent smell of struck flint.
(Spanish) Layer of yeast on sherry, as it ages, protecting it from oxidation.
Aromatic smell of flowers.
Winemaker who travels frequently to share techniques and technology regarding winemaking.
Fuit-like aroma and taste.
Large wooden vat.
Wine that has additional alcohol added to it.
Musky character of wine.
(Italian) Semi-sparkling wine.
(Italian) Slightly effervescent.
Wine made from any fruit other than grape.
(Portuguese) Superior quality wine that has been aged in a barrel as well as the bottle.
(German) Community that produces wine.
UN designated wine regions that produce distinctive wines.
(Hungarian) Oak barrel used to age Tokaji wine.
(Australian) inexpensive wine.
Goüt de Terroir
(French) Taste of the terrain.
Harmonius and subtle wine.
(French) Wine made from grapes affected by noble rot.
(French) Famous brand of wine.
(French) Great growth.
(French) An estate’s premier wine.
Spanish aging guideline.
(Spanish) Tank-fermented sparkling wine.
Fungal affliction that occurs after an incidence of noble rot.
Unripe fruit-like taste.
Intentional crop thinning.
Slightly tannic taste.
Wine produced from an Erste Lage vineyard.
(German) Cluster of vineyards.
(French) Foil and wire cork cage seen on bottles of sparkling wine.
(German) Semi-dry wine.
Bottle with 375ml capacity.
High acidity and tannin content.
Cloudiness in a wine.
High alcohol content.
The innermost section of the trunk of the vine.
(British) Rhine wines.
Horizontal wine tasting
Tasting of wines from the same vintage or the same style.
Wines with a burning finish.
Indicazione Geografica Tipica, Italian wine regulation.
(Italian) Estate-bottled wine.
A six-liter bottle of wine.
Grape variety that can be grown in any wine region.
(Italian) Oak or bottle-aged wine.
A protein obtained from the bladders of fish, that is used in fining.
Wine bottle with a 4-liter capacity.
(American) Inexpensive wine.
City in Spain, which is the birthplace of sherry.
Wine region in eastern France.
German and Austrian wine designation.
Small barrel with a 12-gallon capacity.
Knights of the Vine
A society founded by National Grand Commander Norman Gates, towards wine appreciation.
Wine produced as per instructions laid down by the Judaic texts. The production is overseen by a Rabbi.
A variety of native North American grapes.
Italian sparkling red wine.
(German) Wines superior to table wines.
Late harvest wine
Wine produced from grapes that were harvested later than usual.
The trellis support given to a grapevine for its growth.
(French) Dead yeast that forms sediments.
Volume equalling 33.8 fluid ounces (U.S.).
(French) Liqueur-like quality of wine.
(Italian) Fortified wine.
Fresh and fruity flavor.
Viscous and fleshy wine.
Oxidative aging of wine by maderization.
Oxidation of wines due to long storage periods.
A 1.5-liter wine bottle.
(French) One who grows grapes and makes their own wine.
A variety of fino Sherry.
Pomace or its distillate.
(Italian) Wine estate.
Master of Wine
A non-academic title given by The Institute of Masters of Wine,UK.
German fruit flavored wine.
Wine like drink made from fermenting honey and water.
Red wine variety of grape.
A 6-liter wine bottle.
Secondary fermentation of wine,inside the bottle.
(Italian) Sparkling wine that has undergone secondary fermentation in a tank.
Metodo classico/Metodo tradizionale
(Italian) Traditionally made sparkling wine.
Mis en bouteille au château
(French) Bottled at the winery.
(French)/(Spanish) Fortified wine.
(French) Apellation under single ownership.
(French) Sparkling wine.
Feel of a wine in the mouth.
Spiced and heated wine.
Wine produced using Muscat grapes.
Unfermented juice of grapes.
Moldy or mildewy smell.
A 15-liter wine bottle.
A fungal virus, Botrytis cinerea.
Classic grape varieties.
(French) Unfiltered wine.
Aroma of a wine.
Light and fruity young wine.
Oaky, oxidized flavor.
Flavor imparted by aging wine in oak barrels.
German measure of ripeness and alcohol potential.
A hybrid cross between loganberry and youngberry.
Darkest, type of dry Sherry.
Gateway to pot wine region.
White wines that are exposed to white grape skins during fermentation.
(French) Common wine.
Anything that affects the senses.
(French) Volume of air in a bottle of wine.
Grape variety used to produce Spanish sherries.
(French) Slightly sparkling wine.
Small wine estate.
One of the most popular wine grape varieties.
(French) Simple and pleasant white wine.
(British) Inexpensive wine.
(Italian) Wine estate.
Grape solids left after crushing of grapes.
Sweet fortified wine.
(Italian) Noble rot
German and Austrian term designating high quality.
Highest class of German wine.
Italian variety of wine grape.
(Italian) Wine producer.
Measure of alcohol content.
(French) Wine estate owner.
Flavor describing dry, over-ripe grapes.
Highly tannic or dry wine.
Indent on the base of a bottle of wine.
(Hungarian) Measure of sweetness of Tokaji.
Good-quality German wine.
Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete (QbA)
(German) Second highest quality level of wine.
Simple, ordinary wine.
Moving wine from one container to another for clarification and aeration.
Slight acidity along with a fruity quality.
Italian wine made from passito grapes.
(French) Winemaker who grows his own grapes.
4.5-liter wine bottle.
Terms for aging of wine.
Wine produced by the vineyards near the Rhine river in Germany.
(French) Sweet wine.
Process of moving bottles of sparkling wine in such a way that the sediments from the bottom of the bottle come to the top for easy removal.
Type of Spanish table wine.
Addition of an amarone flavor.
Intense and vigorous wine.
(Spanish)/(Italian) Rosé wine.
Pinkish salmon-colored wine.
(Italian)/(French) Red wine.
9-liter bottle of wine.
Punch made with fruits, sugar, and red wine.
Outermost sap producing ortion of the vine stem.
White wine grape variety.
(French)/(Italian)/(Spanish)/(Portuguese) Dry wine.
German sparkling wine.
White wine grape.
(Italian)/(Spanish) Medium-dry wine.
Fortified wine that is slightly oxidized.
Italian white wine.
Low acid or tanin content in wine.
Method of fractional blending.
Wine expert, who works in restaurants.
Effervescent wine on account of carbon dioxide.
(German) Late harvest.
Wine bottle that holds a single serving of wine.
(German) Mild sparkling wine.
(Italian) Sparkling wine.
(Italian) Old wine.
(German) Straw wine.
(German) Sweet wine.
(Hungarian) Dry wine.
(German) Table wine.
(Italian) Traditional sparkling wine.
High tannin content.
Natural substance in grapes that causes a puckering effect.
Shallow cup that is used to taste wine.
(Italian) Wine estate.
Pipette like device used to sample wines from barrels.
(Spanish/Portuguese) Red wine or grape.
900-liter capacity barrel.
Process of imparting wines with a roasted aroma.
(French) Selective harvest of grapes.
Wine made from late harvested dry berries.
(German) Wooden wine casks.
Layers of rich, fruity flavors.
(Italian) Wine grape.
(Italian) Blended wine.
(Spanish) Local wine.
(French) Vin de liqueur, fortified wine.
(Spanish) Vino de la Tierra, country wine.
(French) Vin doux naturel, wine that is fortified during fermentation.
(Italian) Vino da Tavola, table wine.
(French) Grape harvest.
Color change in grapes.
Aromatic, dry wine.
Vertical wine tasting
Tasting of different vintages of the same wine.
(French) Grape farmer.
The science of grape production.
The act of vinification.
Related to wine.
1.5-liter unit of wine.
Wine producer in Germany.
German pink wine made from black grapes.
Alcoholic drink made by fermenting grapes.
One who makes wines from grapes.
Sensory evaluation of a wine’s characteristics.
(German) Co-operative winery.
(German) Wine road.
Woody tissue of a vine stem.
A micro-organism that converts the sugars of the grape into alcohol (wine) during the process of fermentation.
Quantity of grapes or wine produced by a vineyard, per square unit.
Science of fermentation, in wine production.
A popular black grape variety.
This comprehensive list of terms and terminologies used in viniculture will aid one in gaining an understanding of the world of winemaking and its related aspects.