Wine Glossary

In Vino Veritas

It’s nice to taste the wine but it’s better to use the right word and to make sure we all means the same when using wine vocabulary. Please read here the Wine glossary.

Acidity

Essential element in wine, noticeable on the palate as a mouth-watering sensation rather than a flavour. It has to be pleasant, doesn’t have to give you the lemon face.

Alcohol

Another essential element it has to be from 11% (at least) up to 14% (sometimes more in New world wines). % designed the Alcohol per volume (ABV). the higher the alcohol, the greater the sensation of sweetness.

Amphora

Ancient fermentation and aging vessel, back in vogue among natural wine makers.

Appellation

Official designated grape-growing and winemaking region. Known in France as Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC), in Italy as Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita (DOCG), in Spain as Denominación de Origen Calificada DOC, in USA as American viticultural Area (AVA).

Barrel

Barrique in France or Botte in Italy, butt, pipe or tun. Gently roasted over a flame by expert barrel makers, with specific wood (oak from Jura, France, or American oak), this vessel can import caramel aromas and spicy notes to wine, it helps smooth the tannins present inside the wine depends on its size, age, kind of wood and degree of toast.

Biodynamic

The term “Biodynamic” (now a copyrighted term) refers to an agricultural movement that gained ground in the 1920s and was defined by Dr. Rudolf Steiner, a professor and philosopher from Austria. The goal of Biodynamics© is to get a vineyard, a farmyard or a backyard to be largely self-sustaining, utilizing waste products from one zone as fuel for another area. Biodynamic© farming techniques utilize the vineyard’s natural resources to cultivate the highest quality grapes possible without the use of pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, synthetic fertilizers, growth stimulants or GMOs. A vineyard that is certified Biodynamic© meets and typically exceeds the standards and regulations for organic certified farming. DEMETER is the most famous label.

Body

Even if a wine can be Feminine this is not about the shape. Body is to express the texture of the wine, it’s correlative with the alcohol level, but not only, it considers as well the tannins level and the flavors. Body is classified from Light to Medium to Full.

Botrytis

A fungus that, as a noble rot, shrivels white grapes, concentrating their sugars used to produce Sauterne in Bordeaux area, Vendanges Tardives with Riesling and Gewurztraminer grapes in Alsace; and as Grey rot, turns red grapes mouldy and mushy.

Brut

Means “dry” at the opposite of “half-dry” (sweeter) in reference to sparkling wines, although they are drier styles: Brut nature or brut Zero.
Sugar quantity authorised:
Brut Nature, non dosé ou brut Zero: 0-3g/l
Extra-Brut: 0-6g/l
Brut: Extra-sec: 12-17g/l
Sec: 17-32g/l
Demi-sec: 32-50g/l
Doux (sweet): 50g/l

Carbonic Maceration

A whole-grape fermentation executed in a sealed, airtight tank. In this oxygen-free environment, each grape begins to ferment inside its own skin; the resulting wine is relatively light in colour and low in tannins. Used to make fruit-punchy Beaujolais Nouveau.

Classico

A classic subregion within a traditional Italian grape-growing appellation. for example Chianti Classico has a higher quality than just Chianti.

Clone

Viticultural term for a cultivar, strain or vine selection of a specific grape variety.

Cooperage

The art of Barrel-making. wine makers consider the forest, the type of oak, and the cooper when choosing barrels.

Copita

Glass used in Spain for sipping Sherry.

Crush

The Act of Crushing grapes; also, the term for the busy winemaking period directly following harvest.

D.O.

Denominacion de Origen, official Spanish winegrowing appellation.

D.O.(C.)(G.)

Denominazione di Origine (Controllata) (e Garantita), the three quality levels for Italian appellations.

Decanting

The practice of pouring wine from bottle to a Decanter (or Carafe), either to aerate a young wine or to remove the sediment from an old wine. Large Decanter for young wine and thin Decanter for old wine or burgundy wines.

Dry

According to the International Riesling Foundation’s Riesling Taste Profile, a wine in which sugar level is lower than, or equal to, the acidity level.

Elevage

The aging and finishing of wine, in oak barrels, steel tanks, bottles or some other vessel.

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