Understanding Wine

Cooked, Corked, and Other Problems

Good Grapes Make Good Wine

Grading and Tasting Wine

Home Winemaking

Selecting a Fine Wine

Serving Wine


Beer Vs. Wine

Wine Glossary: Words For The Perplexed

Acetic: vinegar-like taste or smell from exposure to air. Vinegar is acetic acid.

Acidity: wines contain acids, which vary in concentration.

Appellation: French system regulating authenticity; applies to region where the grapes were grown.

Astringent: high tannin content produces dry, puckering effect.

Balance: relative degree of fruity quality, acidity, tannins, alcohol and other characteristics.

Bouquet: complex of aromas, usually from aging.

Cooked: prunish flavor, usually from excessive heat.

Cooper: a maker of casks or barrels.

Corked: a kind of spoilage, smelling of cork, usually from cracked or seeping cork allowing introduction of air or fungi.

Dry: opposite of sweet.

Fruity: aroma or flavor of apples, grapes, currants, pears, etc.

Green: wine made from unripe grapes, producing tart flavor.

Honeyed: smell or taste reminiscent of honey, characteristic of wines affected by 'noble rot' (Botrytis cinerea).

Length: a lingering aftertaste.

Madeirized: oxidized with a brownish color and stale odor. After the island of Madeira where wine is intentionally produced in open air vats.

Noble: a classification of grapes that produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling

Nose: aroma. 'Off-nose' refers to odors indicating defect.

Nutty: nutlike aroma, such as found in sherry or aged whites.

Oakey: aroma from aging in oaken casks.

Oxidized: spoiled from over-exposure to air.

Sommelier: a specialist in selecting and serving wine.

Sparkling: wine containing carbonation, such as champagne.

Sulphur: an anti-oxidant introduced in some wines in small amounts. Fermentation creates minute amounts naturally.

Sweet: having residual sugar from fermentation, from grape sugar incompletely converted to alcohol.

Vintner: a winemaker.

Viticulture: the art and science of growing wine grapes.

Vitis vinifera: plant species encompassing most traditional European wine grapes.

Woody: having the aroma or taste of aging barrels.

Yeasty: smelling similar to bread. Yeasts are introduced to carry out fermentation and can be incompletely removed.

Ten Major Grape Varieties

(1) Cabernet Sauvignon: grows in a variety of climates, but most closely associated with Bordeaux, France. Produces wines usually high in tannin.

(2) Chardonnay: from Burgundy, France. Classic and popular.

(3) Chenin Blanc: from France's Loire valley. A white grape, grow in climates too warm for many vinifera types.

(4) Grenache: Spanish grape with raspberry-like flavor and fruity aroma.

(5) Merlot: produces deep colored, high alcohol wines with low tannin. Sometimes chocolaty.

(6) Nebbiolo: from Piedmont, Italy in the northwest, produces Barbaresco and Barolo. High in acidity and tannins.

(7) Pinot Noir: difficult to grow, low in tannin, prone to rot.

(8) Riesling: a traditional German grape from the Mosel region.

(9) Sangiovese: produces herby, spicy Italian wine from Tuscany, Italy.

(10) Syrah/Shiraz: from France's Rhone valley, but more recently Australia and New Zealand. Spicy, sometimes reminiscent of black pepper. Not to be confused with Petit Sirah, a California grape.
More Wine Websites and Resources

Review: The Home Winemaker's Inner Circle

The Greatest Selection of Wine Club Packages Anywhere!

Build Your Own Wine Cellar

Wine Cellar Software

More Hobbies
Wine Glossary - Copyright 2018 by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 1:22 PM Monday 15 October 2018