AC

Acronym for Appellation Contrôlée, a shortened version of Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée. Often used to distinguish high-quality wines like the great crus of Burgundy and the simple vins de table…

Acetic acid

Acetic acid is the main acid of vinegar, which is found in small amounts in any wine. In wine acetic acid becomes perceptible only when, during fermentation or aging, it is over–exposed to oxygen.…

Acid

When you squee a slice of lemon in your tea to improve its taste, in fact you increase the acid content of the drink. The same happens for wine. All wines contain a variety of basic natural acids,…

Acidity

Character given to must and to wines by free acids. It is the important element in the balance of wine, in the right measure it brightens the colour, gives freshness to the flavour and promotes…

Aggressive

An aggressive wine is disharmonious, unpleasant, due to the presence of too much tannin or acidity.

Aging

Aging is the process by which to try to bring the wine to the maximum of its organoleptic qualities. Aging can take place in contact or shielded from the air. It can last from a few weeks, for jug…

Aging in bottle

Aged in bottle means that the wine has been left for a certain period of time in the bottle in order to mature and develop. Many wineries age their wine in bottles (from a few weeks to several…

Alcohol

1.Alcohol is the natural byproduct of the alcoholic fermentation of sugary liquids by yeasts that convert sugars. In wine the most important is ethyl alcohol. 2. in the common lexicon it is any…

Alcohol by volume (ABV)

Many countries require their wineries to specify to the consumer how much alcohol there is in their wine. eg: "Alcohol 13% volume", means that almost 1/8 of the wine is pure alcohol. US laws…

Alcohol potential

The alcohol potential of a wine is the alcohol content that would result if all the sugar was converted into alcohol through fermentation. Using a simple equation, oenologists can determine the…

Alcoholic

Alcohol is the term used to describe an unbalanced wine so as to give a feeling of pseudo–heat.

Aligoté

A French grape variety with white grape widely grown in Burgundy, used to create a dry white wine meant to be consumed young. Aligoté is still popular in some countries in Eastern Europe such as…

American oak

A winery can utilize American oak barrels for the process of aging of wine. Traditionally, the wines are aged in French oak barrels, but the American oak has become increasingly popular both for its…

American Viticultural Area (AVA)

AVA is a system that regulates the American wine industry, created in 1983 with the main purpose of ensuring that at least 85% of the grapes used to make a bottle of wine recorded AVA, come from a…

Angular

An angular wine is disharmonious, unpleasant, often immature.

AOC

Acronym for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée

Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC)

It is the system used by the French Government to identify the wine regions of the country and set the standards of wine making (alcohol content, grape varieties, cultivation methods, etc.). The AOC…

Arneis

The Arneis grape varieties are grown exclusively in the province of Cuneo, in the Roero area. Only since the 70s Arneis, after being on the verge of extinction, came back to life. The wine made from…

Astringent

It is said that a wine is astringent when, for excessive tannins (found especially in young red wines, particularly those in Tuscany and Piedmont), there is bitterness and harshness. The effect that…

Auslese

Auslese is a German word meaning "selection". The Auslese wines are produced from harvested by hand grapes in late harvest (very mature, then) and pressed separately from other grapes. The Auslese…

AVA

Acronym for American Viticultural Area.

B.A.T.F.

Acronym for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Balance

A wine is defined balanced when every component of it, appearance, nose and mouth is in the right proportion and thus in harmonious balance (Veronelli). The balance occurs making wine rotate on the…

Balthazar

Baltahazar is the second largest bottle in the family of large Champagne bottles, bigger than a Salmanazar, but smaller than a Nabuchodonosor. It contains 8 magnum or 16 bottles of 0.75 l.

Barbera

It is since the second half of the XIX century the most representative and widespread native grape variety of wine production in Piedmont and in particular the provinces of Asti and Alessandria…

Bare

For tasting, a wine is said bare if, of the three phases between tasting and swallow (first tasting, second tasting and final), the second stage is missing. This is due to the lack of depth, acidity…

Barrel

A wine barrel is a rounded wooden container, used for storing, aging, give flavour and sometimes make ferment excellent table wines. Size, age, type of wood, toasting level, duration and maturity…

Barrel

A wine barrel is a wooden keg of variable capacity from 25 to 200 liters.

Barricato

A "barricato" wine has the aroma and flavour of the wood in which it is aged. This allows wine to age slowly through a redox process facilitated by the wood fibers. Type: some types of wood for the…

Barricato wine

A "barricato" wine was aged in barriques at the end of the fermentation process. The aging in barriques gives wine a deep colour and softens its tannins. When the oenologist determines that the wine…

Baumé

See Brix.

Beaujolais nouveau

It is a simple, fresh, fruity and cheap red wine from the Beaujolais, a region of southern France. The annual appearance of Beaujolais nouveau is the first wine of the year and is celebrated…

Beerenauslese

German word meaning "grapes harvested individually". This classification of Prädikat is above Kabinett, Spätlese and Auslese, but below Eiswein and Trockenbeerenauslese. The B. wines are made with…

Bin number

Sometimes wineries assign a number of container (bin) or barrel (cask) to a certain batch of wine, then a label like "Bin 707 Cabernet", "Private Bin" or "Cask 23 Cabernet Sauvignon". Consumers who…

Bitter

1. Bitter is the taste of an unpleasant wine, in contrast with sweet. 2. Wine featured by Amarone

Blanc de blancs

"Blanc de blancs" is a French term for a white wine made entirely from white grapes. Used most of all for Champagne and sparkling wines.

Blanc de noirs

The French term (white of blacks) refers to a white wine made entirely from red grapes. The rosé wine is also made, in part, in this way, and many Californian rosé wines are marketed under the…

Blind tasting

In blind tasting, the taster ignores the type, the origin and the identity of a wine. The blind tastings are done so that the label does not influence the impression of the taster. It is also called…

Body

It is said that a wine has body (or that is bodied) when its structure has particular importance for the harmonic richness of alcohol and extractive matter. The wines may be described as…

Botrytis cinerea

Known also as noble rot, it is a parasitic fungus that can become an unwanted guest in vines attacking grapes clusters. It can cause two different types of infection: the gray rot, which causes the…

Bottled at the origin

It is said that a wine is bottled at the origin if it is bottled exactly in the area of origin. Effectively, for a wine "bottled at the origin", both the winery and the vineyard must find themselves…

Bottled by

"Bottled by" is an inscription that appears on the label of the cheapest bottles of wine and reports the name of the company that has bottled the wine.

Bouquet

For Bouquet we mean the agreeable smell essence that comes from wine.It depends on: 1. origin (primary bouquet) 2. fermentation conditions (secondary bouquet) 3. age and storage conditions of the…

Bouquet

French: "flower bunch"; the complex aroma and scent of the smell sensations of a wine; currently, some authors consider that the bouquet is given solely by post–fermentative tertiary aromas that a…

Bracchetto D’Acqui

Native of Provence, is now grown exclusively in Piedmont. A peculiar feature is its intense scent of roses. Being ideal for the production of sweet wines, because it has a high content of natural…

Brix

It is the system used in the United States to measure the sugar content of grapes and wine. Each degree of Brix is equivalent to a gram of sugar per 100 grams of must. The system is named after its…

Brunello

Together with Barolo it is the Italian red wine with greater longevity. Brunello di Montalcino is a variety of the Sangiovese Grosso red grape variety, grown in the province of Siena in Tuscany.…

Brut

It is a French word meaning "pure", for the Community legislation it is a wine whose residual sugar content is below the 15g/l. It is in the lower part of the ascending scale used to indicate…

Bubbles

Globules of carbon dioxide that rise in the surface of frizzante wines or sparkling wines. In general, the smaller and more persistent the bubbles are, the better the sparkling wine is.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (B.A.T.F.)

The body that regulates the wine industry in the United States. Instead of the Institut National des Appellations d»Origine (INAO) in France, the B.A.T.F. rules only and does not promote the wine…

Burnt

With this term, we define wines that have a burnt taste (for having stayed in badly vinified barrels or for the must cooked at too high temperature).

Buttery

The "buttery" adjective means that the wine calls for a pleasant feeling of melted butter. It is a property of wine that is finishing or just finished malolactic fermentation.

Cépage

French word for "vine".

Cabernet

Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon are two French vines from the Bordeaux region imported in Piedmont in 1820 by Count Manfredo of Sambury. After World War II it grows also in the regions of…

Cabernet Franc

Bottled in prevalence along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc comes from the Gironde department in France. In Italy it is grown mainly in Friuli, Veneto, Puglia and Southern–Eastern Sicily.…

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is certainly one of the most famous wines in the world for quality and longevity. The grape variety comes from Bordeaux and is probably the "Biturca" grape variety described by…

Cannonau

It is the most popular red grape in Sardinia and probably comes from the Iberian Peninsula: according to many scholars, in effect, Cannonau is nothing but a clone of Spanish "Grenache". Cannonau’s…

Cap

It is a term used in red wine making. The cap is the layer of solids that float on the surface of the fermenting mass.

Capsule

Aluminum, plastic, lead or tin foil cap that protects the cap of the bottles to avoid drying and to prevent air from penetrating into the bottle.

Caramel or caramelized

Caramel is sugar made melt to become yellow–brown. A caramelized wine has a clear aroma of caramel. Madeira, which is heated for several months to allow sugars to caramelize, is the classic…

Carbonic maceration

Another widespread technique of vinification is carbonic maceration. This consists in putting not destemmed entire bunches of grapes, for a varying time from some hours to several days, in a…

Carignan

It is the red grape of Spanish origin most widely grown in France. Probably, the Phoenicians were those who introduced this vine in Sardinia where, today, it is grown mainly in the area of Sulcis.…

Cases

A wine case contains 12 bottles (not 24) and in the US it is the unit of measurement of the total production of wineries. A winery of medium proportions produces, for example, about 150 thousand…

Cask number

See "bin number"

Cask number

See "bin number"

Cava

The noun "cava", introduced only in 1972, comes from Catalan and means "cellar". It is the official name of the natural sparkling wine produced, with the champenoise traditional method, in northern…

Cave

It comes from French and means a cellar intended for the storing of wine. More generally it can mean a warehouse for the sale of wine or a large cellar used for the production of wine. (Veronelli)

Cedary

A wine is "cedary" if its aromas and flavours are reminiscent of the fragrance (characteristic and aromatic) of the cedar tree. The adjective is often combined with Cabernet Sauvignon and Bordeaux.…

Cellared by

"Cellared by" is a term the American wineries have long abused. It means that the winery has bought the wine (not specified from where) and held for a certain period of time (not specified) the wine…

Centrifuge

The centrifuge is a rotating apparatus which allows to separate the substances in suspension in a liquid (wines, musts) through a centrifugal effect. In effect, rolling at high speed it allows to…

Champagne

Champagne is a French sparkling wine, grown in the Champagne region, known throughout the world and that has always been associated with the concepts of luxury and celebration. Champagne is one of…

Champenoise method

From the seventeenth century is the traditional method to make Champagne. Its invention is attributed to the monk Dom Perignon, effectively considered by many people the inventor of Champagne. In…

Character

Character is a term of oenology indicating a wine with personality and typicality. A Gewürztraminer, for example, has a very special character. No other wine smells or tastes so spicy,…

Characteristic

A wine is characteristic when it is recognized for its typical characteristics; it is also said that a wine is distinctive if its smell is able to denounce clearly the aroma of the grape or grapes…

Charbono

It is the Californian name of a today extinct French variety known under the name of Charbonneau, a synonym of Douce Noire (the Italian Dolcetto). Charbono gives very dark wines characterized by a…

Chardonnay

It deals with awhitefruit species of vine from Burgundy and well known throughout France, where grapes are used for the production of the famous Champagne. From France also spread in the Valle…

Charmat

The Charmat is a method, called also of large vessels, which is used to obtain sparkling wines characterized by fruity and sweet aromas. Then, it is a method of industry sparkling wine making that…

Château

From the French: castle, stately home. "Château" can be quoted on the label of a wine only under very strict conditions laid down by a French decree of 1949 (Veronelli). The equivalent Italian word…

Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is a white grape variety, native of Anjou in France. It is thought that Chenin Blanc was obtained, in the IX century, by Chenin Noir. From Chenin Blanc fresh, medium–bodied,…

Cigar box

It is a phrase used to describe a wine that has an aroma of cedar wood. The term can also be used for a wine that has a fragrance reminiscent of tobacco of cigar. This descriptor is often used for…

Cinsaut or Cinsault

It is a red grape variety, known for its high adaptability and productivity, cultivated in the South of France and in the former French colonies of Morocco and Algeria and in South Africa. Ideal for…

Claret

Claret is the noun with which the wines produced in Bordeaux are known in England. In France actually Claret indicates a lighter Bordeaux red wine.

Clarification

It is a process sometimes of sedimentation, sometimes of filtering or centrifugation, to which wine is subjected. The sedimentation is implemented through the addition of particular substances which…

Classic vines

the term includes nine varieties considered classic for their high quality and their ability to be grown in many different geographic and climatic conditions – The classic whites are Chardonnay,…

Classification

The classification of wines may be made or according to the grape or vine varieties used for the production, or according to the production area. The most famous and cultivated vines in the world…

Clean

A clean wine is a wine without contradictions, of easy and clear viewing (Veronelli).

Clearness

A wine is clear when it is free of suspended particles; clarity then refers to the level of cleanliness of a wine. The clarity can be determined objectively through empirical measurements performed…

Clone

In biology, they define clone a population of individuals from the same stock (Veronelli). In viticulture growers reproduce asexually the vines that show the best genetic qualities, by taking…

Clos

A French word designating a "vineyard surrounded by walls". The term is commonly incorporated in the names of many vineyards in France, as well as in some wineries of the United States. Especially…

Closed

A wine is called "closed" if it fails to express its potential, sometimes because it is too young and not yet developed. If, for example, sipping a Cabernet Sauvingnon we realize that we do not…

Cold stabilization

It is a way to clarify the wine by removing the unwanted tartrate crystals. The cold stabilization consists in cooling the wine until the freezing point, causing the precipitation of tartrates. It…

Collection wine

Some wineries show in their tasting rooms a range of their vintages to show guests how their wines have evolved and matured year after year. Usually collection wines are sold only at the winery that…

Colombard or Colombar

Colombart is a white grape variety traditionally grown to obtain an acidic and thin wine to distillate producing Cognac and Armagnac. It is one of the most widely planted grape in California as well…

Complex

A wine is defined as complex when it is multidimensional, or that shows a range of aromas and tastes that have achieved the balance between them.

Concentrated

"Concentrate" is a positive adjective wine, synonymous with "dense" for wines that have high concentration of aromas and flavours. A quality Cabernet Sauvignon, for example, should have a…

Cork taste

It is an unpleasant feeling of a wine, due to a cork of poor quality or defective (Veronelli). A wine with a taste of cork transmits dry, moldy and bad smell and flavour.

Correctness

See Varietal Character

Crémant

Champagne is not the only French region where sparkling wine is produced. To avoid confusion, many other French sparkling wine producers, who use the traditional champenoise method, label their…

Cru

"Cru" is a French term meaning "grown up". It refers to all that is grown in a specific vineyard or sometimes more generally in a specific geographical location. The term is now used to classify the…

Cuvée

French word derived from the Latin gloomy, a cup that identifies the content of a vat or tank of wine. However it is much more commonly used to indicate a particular combination or mixture of wine…

Cuvée Prestige

It is one of the most common terms (along with tête de cuvée) to indicate the product of highest quality vintage of a producer of Champagne. For example, the Cristal of Louis Roederer or La Grand…

Decantation

Decantation is an oenological process tended to separate wine from the deposits that have formed on the bottom and on the walls of a wine container; of particular importance, the decantation of a…

Decanter

English for Caraffa

Decrepit

A wine whose excessive aging has removed any kind of quality. There is no hope of saving them.

Deep

A wine is called deep if it has a high concentration of some of its components.

Delicate

A delicate wine is elegant and refined.

Delicate

The wines that have a flavour and a light and pleasant structure, so that they are relevant both at your nose and in your mouth.

Demi–sec

Translated from French, meaning "moderately sweet" or "medium sweet". It is one of the six ways to define a sparkling wine according to the Community law. Demi–sec sparkling wine has a residual…

Denomination

In the wine language, a designation is the area or the region where the grapes of a particular wine were grown. In the United States the official definition for a designation is American…

Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC)

The Denominazione di Origine Controllata is a trademark of Italian origin that is used to describe a product of quality by certifying its area of origin and harvest. These wines, before being placed…

Depth

A wine is called deep if it is multidimensional, to say, it presents a wide range of tastes and aromas.

Dessert wine

It is a sweet wine, more or less rich in sugars, perfect after meal; see the sheet about dessert wines: https://www.vinievino.com/dessert-6.html

Disease of the bottle

The disease of the bottle is given by a temporary oxidation which leads to a state of confused and weakened aroma of the wine, because of inadequate operations of transfer of the same; this can take…

DOC

Acronym for Denominazione di Origine Controllata.

DOCG

Acronym for Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita.

Dolcetto

It is among the most typical and grown Piedmontese native vines. It has been present since 1300 in the Langhe. The name of the grape variety comes from the particular sweetness of grape pulp,…

Domaine

’Domaine’ is a French noun, meaning ’estate’, used mainly to give a touch of distinction to the name of a winery. It is generally it used for the wine estates of Burgundy, while the term…

Dosage

In the production of sparkling wines with Champagne method, the dosage designates the addition of a particular sugary liquid, said syrup of dosage or sauce. Sometimes this term is also used to…

Doux

From French "sweet" is used to refer to a sparkling wine or Champagne that has a sweet taste (the opposite of Brut ie dry). Moreover, according to the Community legislation a sparkling wine to be…

Drain

Drain consists of removing part of the quantity of liquid must before fermentation in order to increase the percentage of aromas and phenolic compounds.

Dried fruit

A wine that smells of dried fruits: it can be a compliment or a complaint, depending on which type of wine. Those with a well–trained nose can actually distinguish the aroma of a particular type…

Dry

Dry is the opposite of sweet. It indicates a wine that has less than 0.5% of sugar content as the natural grape sugars are converted into alcohol during fermentation. The term is also used to refer…

Dry leaves

Descriptor that refers to a wine that smells and tastes like dry leaves. If you like this aroma and appreciate the complexity added to the wine, all this is fine and elegant, but if this element…

Earthy

It is a term used in the tasting of wines that have an aroma and flavour reminiscent of certain types of soil or vegetation. Earthy may also indicate a raw wine that has not an inviting smell of…

Eiswein

It is a category of wine (literally, it means "ice wine"). In Austrian language, it indicates a wine made only from frozen grapes. In German, a wine made from ripe grapes frozen on the vine. The…

Elegant

A wine acquires a level of elegance when all its components are in balance, achieving a perfect or near quality, grace, taste and finesse. A wine that lacks elegance can be too intense or tannic or…

Empty

A wine is called empty if, after a correct sensation, proves to be without quality: it is lacking in any sort of flavour, body and complexity.

En primeur

This is the French term for the sale of wine in the form of "futures" contracts, before it is bottled.

Encepagement

A French term that refers to the percentage of the various varieties cultivated in a specific estate. It is often used talking about grapes grown in Bordeaux.

Estufa

A Portuguese word which means "stove". The estufa is a venue with high temperature in which Madeira wines are kept in order to give them the typical flavour of "cooked". The custom began to mimic…

Ethanethiol

Ethanethiol is an organic compound derived from the combination of hydrogen sulphide with ethyl alcohol. If it is present a wine it gives to it a garlicky and disgusting taste (Veronelli).

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a noun used in tasting to define the aroma of a wine which, indeed, is reminiscent of that of eucalyptus tree.

Extra dry

Another step on the ladder of the level of sweetness associated with sparkling wines. In the Extra Dry the residual sugar content is between 12 grams/liter and 20 grams/liter. Starting from the…

Extract

Extract indicates the solid substances of a wine dissolved in the liquid, such as sugars, minerals and acids. In other words, it is all that remains in the bottle if you let the wine evaporate…

Fat

A wine is defined "fat" when it fills the mouth and is pleasantly oily, flexible and generous, almost always for wealth of glycerin (the quality is revealed before on the sides of the glass, "oily"…

Feminine

Someone may consider this term sexist, but nonetheless it is often used to indicate a quality wine. Female indicates a degree of fineness. A lighter style and character, with a clear lack of…

Fermentation

Fermentation is what turns an ordinary grape juice into wine. It is a natural process in which yeasts (single–cell organisms that are naturally present on the skins of grapes) convert grape sugars…

Fermentation in barrique

Most of the wines are fermented in stainless steel or wooden tanks, but some white wines of high quality are made as in Burgundy, where wine is fermented and aged in small oak barrels. It is a…

Fermentation with entire cluster

Very commonly practiced in Burgundy, the fermentation with entire cluster is a type of fermentation during which the entire clusters and the stalks ferment together. This can happen when the grapes…

Field blend

English term that indicates when a vineyard is planted with two or more grape varieties, which are then harvested and mixed to make a single wine.

Filtering

Filtering is an operation that, like clarification, aims to remove suspended matter from wine; filtration is completely mechanical, and consists of passing the turbid liquid through a porous wall…

Finesse

A term used to describe a wine that has complexity and elegance, but also a perfect balance, refinement and delicacy.

Fino

Together with Oloroso, Fino is one of two major styles of the Sherry of Jerez (Spain). In turn it includes the manzanilla, amontillado and the palma. Details on Sherry: Its alcoholic strength…

Flabby

Synonymous with flabby. The gray area between flat and strong it is known as "flabby". A flabby wine has a bit of acidity, but not enough to give it body and strength.

Flat

It is the opposite of strong. It has a negative connotation since it describes a wine that may lack liveliness, depth, flavour and body. A flat wine dish is the result of a low level of acidity.…

Fleshy

A fleshy wine gives to your mouth a pleasant sensation of intensity.

Flexible

A word that refers to the structure of a wine. The flexibility is essentially the opposite of hardness, but does not have negative connotation.

Flint

A wine may smell of flint, a pungent aroma found especially in dry white wines, and sometimes gives them a mineral taste. It is a quality sought for white wines in France.

Floral wine

The wines that have pleasant smells. Are distinguished: acacia, jasmine, geranium, rose, viola etc.

Foam

Foam that forms on the surface of a sparkling wine, its persistence is a positive sign.

Fortified wine

A wine is fortified itself has undergone an addition of alcohol. In effect an unfortified wine has an alcohol content ranging between 11% and 14%; with the addition of brandy or natural alcohol it…

Foxy

The origin of the English word "foxy" is rather ambiguous, although all agree that it is an adjective anything but positive. Indeed, foxy designates a particular and unpleasant taste typical of…

Free-run juice

It is the must obtained from the first pressing (Veronelli).

French oak

The French oak barrels are much more expensive than the ones in American oak. French oak, in effect, is considered the most precious wood in the world for a barrel because it improves the structure,…

Fresh

Fresh is the opposite of "fallen over". A fresh wine gives to the nose and especially to taste a feeling of liveliness with a pleasantly sour and refreshing fragrance. The term is normally applied…

Frizzante

A wine is called "frizzante" if it has undergone a partial second fermentation in stainless steel vats. The result is lighter than a real sparkling wine.

Fruity

A wine is fruity when to the nose and the mouth has a pleasant hint of ripe fruit (Veronelli). Raspberry, strawberry, blackberry, gooseberry, blackcurrant, blueberry, prune, pear, peach, pineapple,…

Futures

The futures refer to the wine purchased before it is bottled. The futures market of Bordeaux, called "en primeur" market, is the main example of futures in wine.

Gamay

It is a red grape native of Burgundy cultivated, in Italy, in the Aosta Valley, Friuli and Piedmont. From this grape a red ruby wine that is characterized at the palate for its freshness and its…

Garganega

The vine variety probably has its origins in Greece and is now grown in the Veneto region, mainly in the areas of Soave and Gambellara. We have information concerning the existence of the vine since…

Generic wine

A wine is defined generic if it is of modest quality and bottled in cardboard or in a bottle with screw cork.

Gewürztraminer

It is a vine cultivated, in Italy, mostly in Trentino Alto Adige. It is famous for the typical rosé colour of the skins of its grapes. From this vine, they produce one of the most aromatic, lively…

Graft

The graft, in botany, is a transaction consisting in inserting into a plant a part of another plant, of different species or variety, in order to obtain a new individual (Veronelli). Grafting is…

Gran Reserva

Spanish wines of high quality and excellent vintages are titled as Gran Reserva. These wines must, by law, spend a longer time in the winery to mature. For example, red wines labeled "Gran Reserva"…

Grand Cru

It is the highest classification possible for a vineyard or a village in certain wine regions of France, in particular Burgundy and Alsace. Sometimes it is referred to the Grand Cru classées, which…

Grand Vin

Name used in Bordeaux to distinguish the main wine produced from a château from the other wines of lesser quality.

Grape pips

The grape pip is the seed of the grape (Veronelli). Each grape has at least two and, together with the skins, are a vital source of tannins, especially for red wines.

Graves

The French word "graves", which means "gravel", takes its name from the gravelly soil, ideal for growing Semillon and Sauvignon blanc grapes, the two main varieties of wines from Graves. Moreover,…

Great

A wine is called "great" if it has a powerful aroma and is full of flavours. Full–bodied, robust, rich, meaty, spicy, powerful and strong: these are all qualities that can be attributed to a great…

Green

In oenology "green" has many meanings referring to young white wines. "Green" indicates a too acid, herbal wine, made with unripe grapes, or we mean a wine that has a greenish colour because of its…

Grenache

Grenache Noir is a red grape variety among the most widely cultivated in the world. However, it is mainly grown in southern France and in the Rhone Valley; in Italy it is one of the most cultivated…

Grignolino

Formerly called also Barbesino, is a Piedmontese grape grown mainly in the Asti area. From Grignolino a wine suitable to accompany vegetable pies, duck, white meat, fried food is made; the pairing…

Halbtrocken

It is a German word synonymous with "demi–sec" when referring to sparkling wine; if, instead, it refers to still wines, it has a sugar content of less than 15 g/l (Veronelli).

Half bottle

A half bottle is usually half of a standard bottle of 750ml, then containing 375ml of wine (3/8 liter). Actually half bottles can hold up to 500ml.

Hard

A wine is defined hard if it is disharmonious because of an excess of tannic and acidic substances. This is not necessarily a defect, but rather an indication that wine needs to stay longer in the…

Harmonious

A wine is harmonious when olfactory and taste sensations are mixed together and enhanced.

Harsh

A wine is defined harsh when its smoothness is interrupted by a light, very unpleasant, astringent scent (Veronelli). Actually, a wine is harsh when both the presence of tannins and of the acidity…

Harsh

A harsh wine is rather rasping on the tongue.

Harvest

Harvest is the period of time during which the grapes destined to become wine are harvested. Not only grapes must be ripe, but the winemaker must also consider the threat of possible bad weather,…

Heady

A heady wine is a wine that has a high concentration of alcohol and aromas. A well done late harvest wine can have a "strong, heady scent".

Hectare

One hectare is the European equivalent of the American Acre, but it is much larger (10,000 square meters, 2,471 acres).

Herbaceous

A wine that on the nose and/or mouth gives a sensation of freshly cut grass. If Sauvignon blanc under the nose smells like freshly cut grass, you can call it herbaceous. The Sauvignon blanc wines,…

Hospices de Beaune

One of the most ancient wine auctions for charity in the world (1851), it is for the benefit of the Hôtel Dieu hospital and is held during the famous celebration of the end of the harvest of the…

IGT

Acronym for Indicazione Geografica Tipica.

Immature

A wine is immature if it is not matured at the same time of other similar wines of the same vintage and thus requires to spend more time in casks or in bottles.

Imperial

Imperial is a bottle of wine that achieves 6 liters of wine or the equivalent of eight regular bottles.

INAO

Acronym for Institut National des Appellations d'Origine.

Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT)

IGT is the geographical name of an area used to describe the product that results. This name is reserved for wines that match the conditions and requirements set out, for each of them, in the…

Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO)

Created in 1935, the INAO has played, in France, a crucial role in the administration of the controlled designations. The INAO, effect, is the organization responsible for the management,…

Intake

A wine has "intake&uquot; if it causes a pleasant astringent sensation in the mouth. The adjective, used with positive meaning, designates wines that have a good solid structure due to the balance…

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Part of the complex system of reduction of chemical products in agriculture (which have almost always been used in the past in a blind way) up to a restricted minimum. Today, the modern winemaker is…

Intense

A wine is said intense when its characteristics, related to the aroma and flavour, are well marked (Veronelli). If the intensity is too strong however, the term has a pejorative valency, taking the…

Intense aromatic persistence

Intense aromatic persistence designates the time during which the aroma of the wine persists in the mouth with uniform intensity. It is a crucial factor in judging the quality of a wine.

IPM

Acronym for Integrated Pest Management.

Jeroboam

It is a bottle of big size with capacity of 3 liters for Champagne and of 4.5 liters for any other wine. The format name, effectively, reminds of the name of Jeroboam king of northern Palestine…

Jug

It is a rounded glass or crystal container with wide mouth, used to serve wine. The best type of jug to decant wine has a wide base, a medium neck and a reamed mouthpiece designed to pour wine gently.

Kabinett

The first and most basic classification of the German Prädikat, based on the level of sugar contained in the must. The Kabinett wines are generally drier, more delicate and less expensive than other…

Kir

It ia a very refreshing drink that consists of dry white wine mixed with a small amount of creme de cassis, a sweet liqueur made from black currants. To make a "kir royale", replace the wine with…

Kosher wine

Kosher wine is a wine produced under the supervision of a rabbi, in accordance with the religious rules of the Jews. They are, in general, weak in sugary alcohol and, in the United States, have the…

Lactic acid

It is an organic acid naturally contained in wines. It is formed by decarboxylation of malic acid after malolactic fermentation. On the palate, lactic acid is the most pleasant and sweetish acid.…

Lambrusco

It is a red grape vine variety, spread in the provinces of Modena and Mantua, its wils and then acclimatised origins. Although very sncient, Lambrusco wine has always struggled to be recognized and…

Late harvest

We talk about late harvest when the collection of grapes begins when grapes have already begun to wither on the vine. Late harvest is made in order to increase the sugar content of the grapes. The…

Lean

A wine is said lean if it is weak of taste because of the lack of taste in extracts. It happens more often to wines produced from grapes grown in cold environments or subjected to high humidity.…

Lees

It is called in this way the sediment which is attracted to the bottom of a fermentation tank after that wine has fermented, or, in the case of a sparkling wine, the sediment that remains in the…

Length, long

If, sipping a wine, its flavors evoke a positive response from all the various control points and the taste continues to linger pleasantly on the palate even after it has been swallowed, then it is…

Lifeless

A wine is defined lifeless if it is not interesting but it is boring, one–dimensional, flat and lacks of taste or character. Lifeless can also refer to the clarity of a wine, indicating that it…

Light

A wine is called light if its characteristics to the eye, the nose and the palate, while not being substantial, are harmonious and well balanced.

Lively

"Fresh and average acid wine, frank and generally light" (Veronelli) Opposite of tired or flabby. The term is used generally for young white wines or red wines of lightweight body.

Lively fresh

"Lively fresh" is a term generally used to refer to dry white wines and of light body, which are pleasantly acidic or lively. Other terms of taste that are often accompanied to the "lively fresh"…

Lush, redundant.

A wine is defined lush if it has plenty of fruit, body and voluptuousness. A wine to be lush must be full, rich, ripe and soft.

Maceration

Maceration is the most used among the winemaking techniques. When you implement maceration the must is left to ferment with the skins of grapes and the stalks. The purpose of maceration is to…

Maderira

Madeira is a fortified wine produced in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. Madeira is created as white wine but, after being warmed, at 38°C, for a period not less than 3 months in estufas, it…

Maderized

Maderized refers to the complex of transformations that bring wine to take on an amber colour, aroma and flavour that are characteristics, which reminds those of Madeira or Marsala (Veronelli).

Magnum

Magnum is a format of bottle containing 1.5 liters of wine, which is double that of a normal bottle. This format is preferable, given its size that allow the wine to age more slowly, for wines of…

Malbec

Malbec is a red grape grown mostly in the South–West of France. It is also cultivated in many parts of the New World, including Argentina and Chile. Small plants are also found in California for…

Malic acid

Malic acid, together with tartaric acid is an organic acid, naturally present in grapes and in many other fruits. In effect, when the grapes ripen, the malic acid level decreases, and, even after…

Malolactic fermentation (FML)

After the initial fermentation process, in which the juice is transformed into wine (fermentation), it can ferment again, whether it matures in tank, barrel or bottle. This depends on the level of…

Malvasia

With the noun Malvasia it is customary to refer to several varieties that may differ from each other for plant morphology, colour, flavour and biochemical composition of the fruit. Only in Italy…

Marc

Marc refers to the solids that remain after that grapes have been pressed: crushed skins, seeds, stalks, pulp and other solid residues. In the case of red wines, with the term marc we refer to all…

Marsanne

A native of the high Rhone, it is a white grape variety widely grown in France. In Italy, where it seems to have been introduced by the Napoleon’s troops, it is grown mainly in Tuscany and in the…

Marzemino

Grown in Trentino with origin in Austria. The winr was mentioned Citing by Mozart in his " oprera;Don Giovanni". Marzemino is also famous for being the wine of the Doges and emperors, as it was…

Masculine

The masculine adjective is used to describe a great, muscular wine that presents a safe and aggressive style.

Master of Wine (MW)

When you have memorized this glossary, it will be time for you to take the written test and take the examination of blind tasting to become a Master of Wine. In effect, it is the most famous and…

Mathusalem

Mathusalem is a bottle format with the capacity of 6 liters, the equivalent of 8 bottles of 0.75 liters. It is also known as the Imperial format.

Mature

A wine is defined mature if it has reached a harmonious and conscious perfection (Veronelli). Usually a wine reaches maturity when the various elements that make it up have reached equilibrium: so…

Mellow

Used with positive sense, when we say that a wine is mellow we mean it is a very dense, rich and full of body wine due to the high alcohol and tannins content.

Melon de Bourgogne

The grape variety is grown also in California, where for decades it has been erroneously confused with Pinot Blanc. It is a white grape variety used in France to make the Moscadet. The vine is…

Meritage

Meritage is a trademark that brings together more wineries for the American wines cut with Bordeaux grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merot and Cabernet Franc.

Merlot

Merlot is an extremely popular grape variety that originates from South–West France (Bordeaux). The vine owes its name from the predilection that the blackbird has for its berries. The Italian…

Metallic

It is said that a wine is metallic if it gives to the mouth a feeling of particular and cold nervousness (it can also be a positive qualification). Metallic, however, can also mean an unpleasant…

Microclimate

For microclimate we mean a local climate characterized by the presence of specific topographic and environmental elements (Veronelli). So in oenology, when we talk about microclimate we refer to an…

Mineral

The type of soil on which the vines grow the influences taste and the flavour of what will be wine. A wine is called "mineral" when it takes the flavour or the aroma from the minerals that make up…

Mise en bouteille

Readable on many labels of French wines, "mise en bouteille" simply means "bottled". It is normally followed by one of these wordings: "au château", "au domaine", "à la propriété", all…

Moelleux

It is a French word. With moelleux we identify a wine in which you combine in your mouth texture and sweetness (Veronelli). Usually a wine is moelleux if it has an average level of residual sugar.

Moscato

Moscato is one of the oldest vines. Native to the Middle East basin of the Mediterranean Sea, it is now grown in Australia, France, Greece and many Italian regions. Under the name of Moscato there…

Mouldy

If wine has a musty or of mould smell, it is called "mouldy". Various factors can provoke it: mouldy grapes, a bad quality cork or unclean casks of fermentation.

Mourvèdre

It is a variety of red grape from which red and rosé wines known for their high alcohol content are produced. It is a variety cultivated from Australia to California, from southern France to Spain.…

Mouth finish

The mouth finish of a wine consists of the taste and in the impression that persists in your mouth after you have swallowed a wine. As a general rule, the better a wine is, the longer and more…

Mouth sensation

It is a term used in tasting to define the way in which the wine is perceived once in the mouth by the tongue.

Müller–Thurgau

The vine is the result of the hybridization between Riesling and Sylvaner made in 1882 by the Swiss Hermann Maller. In Italy is grown mainly in the regions of Trentino Alto Adige, Lombardy and…

Muscadet

It is a French white wine, produced in the Loire Valley, in the southeast of Nantes. The Muscadet vine is the Melon de Bourgogne. Since the taste of Muscadet is scarce, many winemakers let the wine…

Muselet

It is a frame in galvanized iron wire used to anchor the shipment cap of sparkling wine bottles. It is fixed to the metal plate put on the cork and the neck of the bottle (Veronelli).

Must

The must or grape juice is the liquid product which is obtained from fresh grapes or pressed grapes by crushing and pressing or draining, having a total alcohol content (alcohol content that the…

Négociant

It is a French noun that means wine merchant. Actually a négociant is the one who, after having bought the wine from the cellars or small producers, sells it adding his name.

Nabuchodonosor

It is big size of 15 liters, equivalent to 20 bottles of 0.75 liters. It is used especially for bottles of Champagne.

Nauseating

An excessively sweet wine is considered nauseating. This adjective is mostly used to describe dessert wines like Moscato, which do not have enough acidity.

Nebbiolo

It is a very fine vine producing wines for aging of the highest quality especially for the completeness of all its characteristics; in effect is presents a good balance of colour, body, acidity,…

Nero d’Avola

Known also as "Calabrese", it is one of the most renowned Sicilian wines. The vine owes its name on the one hand to the typical colour of the berry which is precisely black and, on the other hand,…

Nevers

It is a kind of high quality oak from the region around the French city of Nevers. When it is employed either in barrels both for fermenting and/or maturing the wine, it imparts a characteristic…

New oak

Term that indicates barriques in their first year of use. The oenologists who want to give wooden flavours to the wine reject the barriques used for more than four years, because the interior is…

New World

It is a term used to characterize and compare the wines of the Old World (Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Mediterranean basin) to those of the New World (Australia, New Zealand, the USA, South…

Noble rot

See Botrytis cinerea.

Noble vines

A unique class of vines, which produce some of the wines of the highest quality in the vineyards around the world: eg: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc,…

Noble wine

Noble wines are the best of the best. Their aim is a perfect harmony between elegance, balance and complexity.

Non–vintage (NV)

If a wine or a Champagne is done with more than a vintage (to say that it is a cut of wines of different vintages), it is called "non–vintage", since the majority is not necessarily composed of a…

Nose

The complex of odorous sensations revealed by the wine during the tasting. With nose sometimes we mean the combination of aroma and bouquet and describes every smell that wine gives.

Not balanced

A wine is defined not balanced when presents an overabundance of a component or the lack of another (for example, too much alcohol and not enough tannins)

Not filtered

An oenologist can sometimes choose not to filter a wine if he considers that this operation will take away character or complexity to it. In effect, although filtering is one of the easiest and…

Not refined

As in the case of filtration and centrifugation, the refinery has detractors, who believe that wine can instead acquire clarity naturally.

Novello

Wine of the most recent harvest to be consumed preferably within six months from the date of marketing, obtained with the technique of carbonic maceration (Veronelli).

Oechsle

Like Brix and Baumé, Oechsle is a system used to measure the sugar content (or maturation) of grapes, based on the density of the must. The scale is used in Germany.

Oenology

Oenology is the science that studies wine and its production. Oenology covers every aspect of the winemaking process, from pressing, squeezing and fermentation, to bottling and aging of wine. The…

Office International de la Vigne et du Vin (OIV)

Founded in 1924 and headquartered in Paris, the OIV (literally: Ufficio Internazionale della Vite e del Vino) represents the interests of growers and the wine industry, coordinating research on all…

Oily

Partly synonymous with fat. A tasting term for a wine that is rich in glycerin, soft and passing, sweet, thick, full–bodied, of high alcohol content and concentrate fruit.

Old World

See New World.

Oloroso

Like Fino, Oloroso is a type of sherry. Its alcohol level varies between 18 and 21% and the range of types goes from "medium sweet" to the very sweet "cream sherry".

Organic wine

Organic wines are fermented from grapes grown without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. However, like all wines, organic wines contain sulfites, since a small amount is…

Orizontal tasting

Tasting in which the wines to be compared are of a single vintage (for example a series of Brunello di Montalcino 1990) vinified by different producers.

Oxidation

"Disease of wine and spirits, caused by the contact with oxygen in the air. (...) Can take place enzymatically and/or chemically" (Veronelli). When a wine is exposed to air it begins to oxidize due…

Oxygenation

Oxygenation is the process that allows the wine to "breathe", exposing it to air before it is drunk. As a general rule, only the red and white wines of high quality improve with oxygenation. To…

Pairing for opposition

It arises from the need to counter or at least reduce, in a pairing, the dominant features to enable a higher taste balance. If a food, for example, is mostly fat, you should combine it with a…

Pairing for similarity

It is essential when the taste of food is predominantly sweet. Pairing a dry sparkling wine with a stuffed cream pie is a gross error: food would lose its sense of pleasure and roundness and wine…

Palomino

It is a vine with white grape grown in Spain, especially in Andalusia. It is from the characteristics (low acidity and low sugar content) of this variety that the famous Sherry is obtained.…

Pasteurization

Pasteurization is the heat treatment of wine and other foods in suitable equipment called pasteurizers; it does not pursuit the complete destruction of germs (something that sets it apart from…

Peppery

A wine is defined peppery if it has and an aroma reminiscent of grains of ground black pepper.

Persistent

A persistent wine has the ability to stimulate the taste buds even after being swallowed.

Petite Syrah

It is among the most representative varieties of the American wine scene. As red grape, it produces a wine rich in tannins, which is characterized by its robustness and its tannic and peppery…

PH

In measuring the acidity of wine we often refer to PH. The PH values range from 0 (high acidity) and 14: if the value is equal to 7 we say that PH is neutral. The PH values of wine are usually…

Phenolic compounds

Substance whose molecule contains more than one phenological function; they play a vital role in colour, in organoleptic properties and in the processing of a wine. They are mainly phenolic acids,…

Photosynthesis

In very general terms, photosynthesis is responsible for the maturation of wine grapes. Photosynthesis is initiated by the green pigments of chlorophyll, which employ solar energy to help the…

Phylloxera

Phylloxera is a very small and pernicious parasite of the leaves and, even more, of the roots of the vine, that came to Europe from America in the end of the past century. Due to this aphid a new…

Pièce

It is a kind of barrel intended to receive the wine, whose capacity varies depending on the region: the Borgognona pièce can hold up to 228 liters, the pièce de Champagne up to 182 liters and…

Picco

A wine is defined "picco" if it lacks freshness and fineness due, almost always, to a lack of acidity (Veronelli).

Picolit

White grape, native of Friuli, which owes its name to the small size of grapes it produces. Although it has been considered for a long time a grape variety prized for the quality of the wine it…

Pinot Blanc

It was created in Germany by a genetic mutation of Pinot Noir; its spread in Italy, and especially in Tuscany, dates back to the 18th century. It is also cultivated in Friuli, Lombardy and Trentino…

Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris, like Pinot Blanc, is a mutation of pinot noir and has been for many years one of the most consumed wines of Italian production. Increasingly popular in Italy, Pinot Gris is of French…

Pinot Meunier

Variety of Pinot Noir, is a red grape variety grown mainly in the Champagne region of France and owes its name to the fact that its grains, rich in bloom, look as if they were coated with flour. It…

Pinot Noir

Pinot seems to derive from "pigna" ("cone") and, more specifically from "small cone" to mean the small size of the bunch and the typical characteristic of the berries arranged similar to the scales…

Pinotage

Pinotage is a grape variety grown in South Africa, which was born from the crossing, operated by Professor Perold in 1925, between Pinot Noir and Cinsault. The resulting wine has an intense colour,…

Porto o Port

Only the fortified wines of Oporto can officially use the name. Porto is made by arresting the fermentation of wine (made with up to 80 different varieties) when there is still a high level of…

Pouring

Pouring is an operation which has the aim to separate the wine from its deposit collected on the bottom of the barrel, the tub or the vat. Is carried out with the bellows and, more often, through…

Powdery

A wine, in tasting, is defined powdery if it smells of earthy notes and powder and has a bouquet reminiscent of wine cellars.

Powdery mildew

"1. conidia stage of the Oidium tuckeri fungus that attacks the leaves, the green branches, the flowers and the fruit of the vine; 2. Diseases caused by the fungus, which is manifested by powder…

Prädikat

Prädikat, to say "distinction", refers to a category of distinction of the wines of Germany and Austria based on the amount of sugar present in the grapes at harvest. In this way, the higher…

Pre–phylloxera

It is a term used for wines produced before the infestation of phylloxera in the vineyards.

Precocious

A wine is precocious if it is matured in a short time (Veronelli). Wines of this type tend to be very fruity, since the most complex and subtle tastes have not had time to emerge.

Premier cru

French phrase, used in Burgundy, second only to the Grand Cru.

Premium wine

It is an imprecise category to identify quality wines in the United States.

Preservable

A wine is preservable if it has good aging capacity (Veronelli). This depends on many factors: vine, grape variety, harvest, grape selection, the balance between tannins, alcohol and acidity.

Pressing

It is the process of crushing and/or pressing of the grapes so that they release their juice.

Primitivo

It is a red grape grown in Italy mainly in the province of Bari. The origin of the name is probably related to the early life history of its grapes. Primitivo gives rise to two Italian DOC:…

Private reserve

If the label of a bottle is marked "Private Reserve" it means that the wine contained therein comes from a limited production and, therefore, should be the best of the winery that produced it.

Prosecco

It is a white grape variety of uncertain origin; it is considered likely that it comes from Prosecco, in the province of Trieste. Today the cultivation of Prosecco takes place along the left bank of…

Pruning

Pruning is a partial severing of the branches to regulate the vegetative and productive growth of vines and to give it a definite shape (Veronelli).

Pungent

A wine is pungent if it has a strong aroma, due to a high level of acidity.

Pupitre

See Remuage.

PX

Abbreviation used very often for Pedro Ximènez, a Spanish white grape variety, which is traditionally dried in the sun to create wines of great sweetness. These wines are from time to time used to…

Raboso

It is a robust, harsh and frank wine, native of Veneto, grown mainly in the province of Treviso. It owes its name to the river Raboso flowing between Valdobbiadene and the Piave district or to the…

Raisin

A wine is defined raisin if it is produced with grapes left to dry on racks, on straw or on the plant (Veronelli). This gives the wine a distinctive aroma and flavour of raisins.

Redundant, luxuriant

A wine is called redundant if it is fruity, full–bodied, rich and soft.

Refinement

Period in which wine takes its distinctive features through slow natural mutations.

Refinement

Refining is a method of clarification of the traditional wine. In a nutshell, after fermentation a refining agent (a coagulant like clay powder, egg white mounted, powdered milk and gelatin) is…

Refractometer

It is a tool that, by calculating the weight of the must, measure the ripeness of the grapes and therefore their sugar content.

Region

It is a geographical area belonging to a territory or a state. In France, for example, Bordeaux is considered a wine region and the Graves, which are within the Bordeaux, a wine region. Each region…

Rehoboam

Bottle of Champagne of large format that contains the equivalent of six standard bottles or 4.5 liters. It is a size of bottle of the capacity of 4 liters and a half. A Rehoboam is larger than a…

Remuage

Remuage is a sparkling wine practice applied in the champenoise method. Specialized operators with skillful turns of hand, rotate the bottles pinching the bottom so as to push the impurities present…

Replacement

It is an operation that consists of extracting a fermenting must from the bottom of a vat, and then to pour it in the same vat from above, in order to aerate the mass and encourage the spread of…

Reserva

Spanish for "reserve". Under Spanish law, a reserva red wine must spend at least three years of aging in the winery, of which one in barrel, before being marketed.

Reserve

"Reserve" is a statement attributed to the non–sparkling wines that have been subjected to an aging period provided for that purpose by the disciplinary of production and, as a rule, not less than…

Residual sugar

The residual sugar indicates the amount of natural sugar that remains in the wine after fermentation. Normally during fermentation all the sugar is consumed by the yeasts and converted into alcohol,…

Ribolla

Ancient Friulian vine native of white grape, recently re–evaluated and included as part of the Colli Orientali del Friuli DOC. Already appreciated in the twelfth century, it is thought that it was…

Rich

Term used in tasting for the wines that have plenty of body, flavour and aroma. Moreover, a wine is rich if has a lot of alcohol and colour.

Riesling

It is a white grape variety native to the valleys of the Rhine where it was cultivated since Roman times. Its name reflects the German expression: "reissende tiere", ie wild animal, because of its…

Right Bank

This term is widely used in the wine world to indicate all the names of Bordeaux situated in the northern part of the Dordogne River. The two most important designations of the Right Bank are St.…

Robe

French word that literally means "chlotes". Talking about wine, robe refers to its colour.

Robust

A wine is defined robust if it is full–bodied, strong, rich in flavour and of high alcohol content.

Rosato, rosé

Term for pink wines. True rosés are made with red grapes and not blending white wines with red wines. A wine is defined rosé if his color, in effect, is pinkish (with shades ranging from pale to…

Round

A wine is defined round if it is at the same time full and soft.

Rustic

A wine is defined rustic if it lacks of elegance and finesse.

Sémillon

It is a white grape variety vinified usually with Sauvignon Blanc. Sémillon performs many aromas and flavours reminiscent of that of mature Chardonnay: lemon, grapefruit, apple, peach, pear are…

Salmanazar

It is a size of bottle of the capacity of 9 liters, the equivalent of 12 normal bottles (in practice, a carton of wine). It is largest than the Imperial, but smaller than a Nabuchodonosor.

Sangiovese di Romagna

Sangiovese is an autochthonous vine of Romagna; on the origins of its name various hypotheses were formulated, including the most established, according to which it derives from Monte Giove, the…

Sangiovese di Toscana

It is a red grape grown exclusively in Tuscany. Unlike Sangiovese di Romagna, it is the basis of many Tuscan red wines (Rosso di Montalcino, Chianti, Nobile di Montepulciano). There are two…

Sauternes

Sauternes is a AOC designation of French white wines among the most famous in the world. To obtain high–quality Sauternes each ripe grape of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc must be caught by hand…

Sauvignon Blanc

The name comes from the French word "sauvage", to say wild, an adjective due to its origins as a grape variety of the South–West of France. It is, thanks to its freshness and aroma, one of the…

Scented

A wine is defined scented if it is rich in scent.

Schioppettino

It is a native grape of Friuli and is cultivated mainly in the municipality of Prepotto. Its original name was black Ribolla. It owes its current name to its characteristic carbonation given by its…

Second wine

The term "second wines", different from the expression "super–seconds", indicate wines that are not good enough to be considered the first wines of an estate.

Secondary fermentation

There are two types of secondary fermentation: malolactic fermentation, in which malic acid is converted into lactic acid, and second fermentation. Secondary fermentation is a slow alcoholic…

Semi–dry

See demi–sec

Sercial

It is the lighter, for body, colour and residual sugar, of the Madeira types. It is marketed in the dry and extra dry versions.

Sharp

It is said that a wine is sharp when it is so rough and inharmonious to offend, with ruthless directness, your tongue and palate. The bitterness is caused by a high level of acidity.

Sherry

Sherry is a dry white wine, of high alcohol content, produced in Andalusia and, in particular, in Jerez. There are two types of Sherry, depending on the presence or absence of a layer of yeast…

Shiny

A shiny wine has a crystal clear transparency.

Shiraz

Shiraz is the name used in Australia and South Afica to define Syrah

Shoulder

The curve area between the body and the neck of a bottle of wine.

Slender

A wine is defined slender if its body is so light as to be almost watery. The term has a negative sense indicating a wine that has an obvious lack of substance, depth, body, colour and flavour.

Smokey

Term of tasting used to describe wines that have smell and taste of smoke (tobacco, smoked bacon). The wines aged in oak barrels (which are toasted inside) often take a smokey note.

Soft

A wine is called soft if it gives in the mouth a pleasant tactile sensation, like a caress on a smooth surface (Veronelli).

Solera

It is a Spanish method for cutting and aging of some wines in order to decrease the differences among various vintages and improve its quality. In practice, the barrels containing older wine are…

Sommelier

The sommelier is a professional able to make an organoleptic analysis of the wine in order to assess the type, quality, characteristics, the potential of conservation, especially in the light of the…

Sour

Adjective referring to an unpleasant wine due to excess of tannins and acidity.

Sparkling wine

Prosecco, Cartizze, Franciacorta, ... discover more and compare the various wines at the link https://www.vinievino.com/spumante-4.html .

Spätlese

Literally means "late harvest". It is one of the titles of Prädikat.

Spicy

A wine is defined spicy if it has an aroma, a bouquet or a taste that is reminiscent of spices, such as cinnamon, mint, pepper, cloves and nutmeg. Ex: Gewürztraminer, Syrah, Moscato and Zìnfandel.

Stabilization

Stabilization includes a series of operations that take place after fermentation and during maturation to protect the stability of wine. In this way, we have microbiological stabilization aimed at…

Stale

A wine is defined stale if it is flat, lifeless and smells of mould. A wine may become stale due to a defective plug, which allows air to enter the bottle, but also due to a too long aging.

Stinks

In oenology, the term refers to the nauseating or improper smells given out by a wine. The bad smells can be caused by various sources such as poorly cleaned barrels, sterilized bottles or corks of…

Strong

"a wine whose features declare themselves immediately" (Veronelli). The aim of the oenologist is to achieve the perfect balance in acidity, so that wine is neither flabby nor muscular, but nicely…

Structure

A wine has structure if it is full–bodied, balanced, warm and pleasant. Wines that lack of structure are often called thin or soft.

Sugaring

It is the process by which you add sugar to the must to increase the alcoholic strength and quality. Using grape, cane or beet sugar. The whole process is strictly regulated by law and is considered…

Sulfites

With sulfites we mean the free sulfur dioxide, sulphurous acid ion, sulfuric acid and other sulfur complexes. Sulfites are measured in parts per million or ""ppm". Very few wines have sulfites below…

Sulphur

Sulfur is a chemical element that is used in oenology for its burning properties to burn in the air to form sulfur dioxide which is useful also as an antioxidant and antiseptic. It has many uses in…

Super–seconds

It is a market term that refers to the wines classified in second position, behind those considered first. These wines can match the second, third, fourth or fifth cru in the official…

Supertuscans

Supertuscans are a group of tuscan table wines recognized around the world of wine for their quality.

Sur lie

French expression which means "on the lees" (see Lees). The wines are sometimes made to age with the lees to add complexity and flavour to the wine.

Sweetness

Quality of a wine that has still kept undecomposed sugar and therefore has a pleasant sweet taste. Most of the tasters can describe the sweetness in wines as levels of residual sugar above 5 grams…

Sylvaner or Silvaner

It is a white grape variety widely grown in Germany and Alsace, where it is used to make white wines, light, soft, dry, with high acidity, but with not too much flavour, aroma and ability to age.…

Syrah

It is a red grape that owes its fame to the great red wines produced in the Rhone valley capable of aging for decades. It gives clusters with dark, blackish grapes, with a thick skin, which turn…

Table wine

In the European Union countries every wine made without following the official designations’s rules is considered a table wine. So, great wines (such as Supertuscans) may be in the same category…

Tactile

A wine is defined tactile if it has a physical impact on the taster: for example, the wines with high levels of volatile acidity give a sharp stinging sensation through the nose. Sparkling wines…

Tafelwein

The German table wine. There are, in Germany, two types of table wine: the Deutscher Tafelwein and the Tafelwein aus Ländem EWG. "Deutscher" indicates that the wine is a native of Germany. The words…

Tannic

Tannic is a term used to describe wines, normally red, which have a high content of tannins. A tannic wine is at your mouth raw, strong and overbearing.

Tannin

The tannin is the element that softens with aging and is a crucial factor for the maturation of red wines. It comes from the seeds, the stems and the skins, as well as from the wood of the barrels…

Tartaric acid

It is a white crystalline organic acid and it is from the extraction of this acid that, during pressing, a juice that will be called wine is obtained. Like malic acid, tartaric acid exists naturally…

Tartrates

Tartrates are small white crystals that occasionally can be seen on the bottom of a cap. They consist of sediments formed by tartaric acid and even if they are completely tasteless and harmless, the…

Taste

The taste is the sense that allows the qualitative and quantitative definition of a substance according to the flavour. Sometimes it is synonymous with flavour (Veronelli).

Taste of yeasts

Term use in tasting to indicate a wine which has the aroma or taste of yeasts (similar to the smell of fresh bread). If a young table wine smells too much of yeasts, however, this normally indicates…

Tastevin

Tastevin is the silver cup used commercially and by sommelier for wine tasting.

Tasty

It is said of a tasty wine that is expressed especially at the examination of taste (Veronelli).

Tawny

In the Porto wines, the word "tawny" means that the wine has been aged in wood for several years, usually 7. Tawny can also refer to a wine of light brown colour.

TCA

Many bottles of wine are closed with cork stoppers. In the case in which a fungus in the cork itself develops, we will have the so–called cork taint in wine, due to the 2,4,6–trichloroanisole…

Tears

The tears of a wine are oily bends that form in a glass after it is rotated. Experts are not in accord about the cause and significance of the tears, there are two schools of thought: a. Someone…

Tempranillo

It is a red grape from which, along with Grenache, a very famous wine is produced: Rioja. The wines made from Tempranillo are of medium to medium–high body, of red garnet and moderate acidity. Its…

Teroldego

It is the prince of Trentino wines. It is a red grape variety grown in the plain of Campo Rotaliano and probably came from the province of Verona where it was known as Tirodola, from the plant…

Terroir

The term refers to a wine whose taste is particularly linked to the nature of the soil from which grapes come.

Tête de cuvée

French term to indicate the best wines or sparkling wines of a producer. It is the equivalent of Special Reserve.

Thin

A wine is thin if it has a limited depth. A thin wine is elegant and has a good aroma and a good flavour. For example, a Chardonnay can give a thin aroma of wood.

Tinto

Tinto (and its feminine form, Tinta) means "red" in both Spanish and Portuguese. The names of many red wines and grapes of these nations start with this descriptor, such as Tinta Amarela, Tinta…

Tipicality

A wine is called typical if it has a smell and taste as it should be for that type of grape used or for its area of origin. For example, a Merlot should offer fruity flavours, rich and lush, and if…

Tired

A tired wine presents a breakdown of its organoleptic characteristics, usually due to an error in treatment in the winery.

To cut

To cut is the art of mixing two or more varieties, or vines, or harvests, to create a single high quality wine. Usually it is the oenologist who decides what combination operate. For example, a…

To disgorge

Disgorgement is a rapid pouring of some wine to the mouth of the bottle, in a glass or other, to remove both impurities on the surface and fustiness (Veronelli).

To make open

If someone suggests you to leave your glass of still wine for a few minutes to make it open, it means that the wine needs to interact with air to reveal all its flavours and aromas. To give time to…

To stay on the skins

It is an oenological slang term to indicate the period of time that the must passes in contact with the skins of the grapes. It is during this contact, which can last from a few hours to a few days,…

To take the bottle

" To take the bottle" is an expression often used in tasting. It is a metaphor used to compliment the changes that wine has undergone.

To top up

To top up means to add liquid to a container to fill it to the top. In the case of wine, this is done to eliminate the spacing of air that could cause oxidation. Actually, the wine stored in a…

Toasted

Once built the oak barrels, the slats are heated so that they can start working. This heating process is called toasting. Moreover, depending on how the slats are heated, the wood will yield a…

Torchiato

See Wine from the press.

Total or titratable acidity

The sum of titratable acidities is determined through the addition to wine of a titrated saline solution to PH 7 (cit. Veronelli). Titratable acidity is measured in laboratory. It is important for…

Traminer

Of Asian origin, today it is famous mainly for its "half–brother", Gewurztraminer, it has great reputation in France, Germany, Austria and California. It is a variety grown mainly in Trentino Alto…

Trebbiano

It is a white grape variety belonging to the large family of Trebbiano, very common in central and northern Italy. Due to its high productivity and good resistance to disease, Trebbiano still…

Trocken

German word for "dry". The trocken wines can not have a residual sugar higher than 0.4%.

Trockenbeerenauslese

Trockenbeerenauslese is a wine made from withered or ultra–mature grapes that are collected manually. It is the highest title of Prädikat, above Eiswein and Beerenauslese. Like Beerenauslese,…

Turbid

A wine is defined turbid if it has sediment floating in it that affect its clarity.

Ullage

A loss caused by evaporation and wine treatments (Veronelli)

Unpleasant

An unpleasant wine is overly tannic, acid and too alcoholic and rough.

Varietal character

It is the quality that a wine that shows clearly and precisely the aromas and flavours that are typical of the variety of grapes from which it is produced. A wine made with Merlot, for example, will…

Variety

A wine is of "thoroughbred" variety if its features of body, elegance and character are in perfect harmony (Veronelli).

Vegetal

With vegetal we mean a wine that has a taste or aroma of herbs, such as dill, thyme or mint. It can also be used for a wine that has a defined herbaceous aroma. Sauvignon Blanc, for example, tends…

Veiled

A wine is veiled if its clarity is slightly altered (Veronelli).

Velvety

In a tasting, if we define a wine velvety, we make reference to its silky and soft structure. Often rich and full–bodied red wines are velvety.

Vendange Tardive

French term that means late harvest and is used very often in Alsace for classifying some fine wines.

Veraison

Veraison is a vegetative phase of the vine, characterized by the change of colour of the grape that from green gradually goes towards its characteristic colour (Veronelli).

Verdicchio

The name of the grape comes from the typical colour the berry, which keeps obvious shades of green even when fully ripe. It is the main white grape cultivated in the Marche region and the earliest…

Vermentino

It is an aromatic vine arrived in Italy in the 14th century. It is now the emblem, together with Cannonau, of the Sardinian wine production. Moreover, it is cultivated in Liguria, Tuscany and many…

Vernaccia

The name of this grape variety could come or from Vernazza, a locality in the Cinque Terre famous for the eponymous white wine or from the Latin "Vernaculum", to say, indigenous, of the place. Today…

Vertical tasting

A vertical tasting presents several vintages of a single wine by a single producer.

Vieilles vignes

French expression meaning "old vines". Such identification can be found on the label of some French wines. The vines must be at least 25 years old before a winemaker can use the term "Vieilles…

Vigne mère

French expression meaning ":mother vine" or ":clone vine" and is often used to indicate the vineyard mother. The term refers to the vineyard (normally the best selection) from which other…

Vigorous

A wine is defined vigorous if it is big, strong and full–bodied. The term is almost always used to indicate red wines that have a high alcohol content.

Vin de garde

French expression used to indicate that a wine is predisposed to aging and maturation rather than for immediate consumption.

Vin de pays

The French phrase literally means "wine of the village". The wines that quote on the label of the bottle this inscription, are considered "vin de table" (table wine) because they are classified…

Vin de table

French term for "table wine", often referred an ordinary wine. The vin de table represents almost a quarter of all the wine produced in France.

Vin ordinaire

See Vin de table

Vine variety

"Grown variety of vine" (Veronelli)

Vinegar

Vinegar is a product of the fermentation of low alcohol content spirits (wine, beer, cider, etc.) by acetic bacteria. It is commonly it used to season food (cit. Veronelli). We talk about wine…

Vinification

Vinification is the transformation into wine through total or partial alcoholic fermentation of fresh grapes, pressed or not, of grape must, concentrated grapes must, partially fermented grapes must…

Vintage

The Vintage is the year in which the grapes are harvested and turned into wine, often the year is also a synonym for the climate and its effects on the grapes at all times of the year cultivation,…

Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA)

A system of designation of origin developed by a union of winemakers, government legislators and research institutions, identifying the wines based on the origin of the grapes from which they are…

Viognier

White grape variety native to the Rhone Valley and from there spread to other areas of the South of France, very resistant to drought. The deep yellow grapes produce wines whose body ranges from…

Viscous

Term used in the tasting of a wine that evokes the flavour of jam. It refers in particular to the rich in sugar and acids wines cultivated in hot climates, such as California’s Zinfandels or…

Viticulture

"1. rational cultivation of the vine, 2. Discipline that deals with the cultivation of the vine" (Veronelli) The method and process of cultivation of grapes and care of the vineyard.

Vitis vinifera

Lat. European species of vine from which you get all the European wines of quality. With some exceptions, after the phylloxera epidemic that struck Europe in the nineteenth century, all the vines…

Volatile acidity

Set of fatty acids found in the free state and salified wines: formic acid, propionic acid and a few others, but with no doubt acetic acid plays the most important role in volatile acidity.

VQA

Acronym for Vintners Quality Alliance.

Warm

If a wine creates in your mouth a slight feeling of heat, then it is defined warm. Usually this feeling is due to the high alcohol levels, or the wealth of glycerin.

Wine

Wine is a fermented grape juice, which contains from 10% to 14% alcohol by volume. It is the only alcoholic beverage that can be made on its own: just throw the grapes into a container, press them…

Wine from the press

When grapes are harvested and pressed, the resulting must is called first juicing. The skins and pulps are then pressed again to pull out the remaining liquid, which is called "torchiato" or wine…

Wine–food pairing

The art of harmonizing and enhancing the best characteristics of the wines and food. It is based on rules that leave room for taste and for the experience of those who adopt them.

Winemaker

Who cultivates the vineyard, the name of the farmer who cultivates the raw material (eg. grapes) that is used to make wine. In France it is called "viticulteur" or "vigneron"; in Anglo–Saxon…

Woody

A wine is defined woody when it was kept too long in wooden barrels or was stored in defective barrels. A woody taste gives a feeling that is almost always unpleasant.

Yeasts

Yeast is a microorganism capable of giving rise to enzymes and cause fermentation of the grape juice by transforming the sugars into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide. Yeasts transform the must into…

Yield

Yield, measured in hectoliters per hectare, indicates the amount of wine that the harvested grapes are able to produce. Lower yields give wines of the highest quality.

Young

"1. it refers to a wine that is not yet mature, 2. of a wine that is fresh and fragrant 3. of a wine which, although mature, preserves verve and vivacity" (Veronelli)

Zinfandel

Although some witnesses link the genetic origins of the Zinfandel to the Primitivo of Southern Italy grape variety, the Californians have considered Zinfandel as their exclusive vine for more than a…