Wine Terminologies: Do You Know Them All

Wine Terminologies: Do You Know Them All?

Wine Terminologies: Do You Know Them All

The Wine Fancy-Pants Industry wants you to think all wine labels are created equal, but they aren't. It can be not easy to keep track of all the different ones, especially for someone new to Wine. In fact, some of these words sound nearly identical!

Wine is a fickle mistress because it has hundreds of different styles and flavors, each with its peculiarities. Learning about Wine is no easy endeavor, and you need to take a lot of time, money, and education to become a true wine fan, but if you want to experience Wine to its fullest potential, you will have to learn the lingo.

Today we have the ultimate guide for you if you want to become a true "Bordeaux connoisseur." Here are some wine terms and what they mean.

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How to Decode Wine Labels Like a Pro

How to Decode Wine Labels Like a Pro

No matter what stage you're in on your wine journey, buying wine can be a daunting task especially in some places where there is a lack of training, and not all staff in grocery stores will know the specifics about the wines on the shelves. Despite labels, wines often reveal too much or too little information for serious wine enthusiasts to understand.

More research and effort are needed for those who want to learn how to read wine labels for themselves because, as we all know, wine isn't just wine in terms, there is a lot more to understand about wine labels. Nevertheless, below we'll go into the key things to look out for on wine labels and some differences between Old World and New World wines.

Here are some things to remember on how to decode wine labels like a pro:

Winery in Different Regions Does Things Differently

Winery in Different Regions Does Things Differently

The most important thing to understand before decoding wine labels is that each region has its own unique practices. For example, in California, every appellation has standards for labeling Wine. The same is evident in other countries, like France and Italy, where some winemakers preserve their wines by adding sulfur dioxide.

In other regions, some will highlight the grape variety, while others will draw attention to the region where the grapes were produced. Given that Wine is a regional product with deep roots in tradition, each location has unique wine-making practices, whether influenced by ancestors or even by personal tastes.

Know that Not All Wines are Vintage Wines

Know that Not All Wines are Vintage Wines

Champagne is an example of how not all wines are produced from grapes harvested in the same year. If a wine is vintage, the year may be printed on the back label or neck of the bottle. 

If you want to make sure how vintage your Wine is as a winery, you should be responsible for having to reprint new labels every year. As a consumer, you should always double-check whether a label has been reproduced.

Identify the Farm and its Producer

Identify the Farm and its Producer

When trying to decode a label, this should be one of the first tasks that need to be given priority. Wineries each have their own personalities and styles, and most of these variations are related to the farming practices they use.

For example, some regions focus on organic or biodynamic farming methods. In contrast, others use traditional methods like barrel aging or wild yeast fermentation, known as spontaneous fermentation. Also, knowing the producer also gives insight into what kind of grapes they use, whether native or imported varieties from other countries, such as Cabernet Sauvignon from France vs. Cabernet Franc from New York.

Familiarize Various Types of Grapes

Familiarize Various Types of Grapes

It would help if you enlightened yourself about grapes before purchasing a bottle of Wine. The grape's name is typically printed on the label of most wines, but you may also want to look for other cues, such as the Wine's color, to determine what grape it is.

You can determine the flavor of the grapes by knowing what kind is in your wire. This will help you select the Wine that best suits your tastes.

Remember that Wine Flavors Varies per Region

Remember that Wine Flavors Varies per Region

Wine regions are defined by their climate and soil conditions. Some regions have similar climates and soil conditions, producing similar wines.

For example, Burgundy in France produces red and white wines that are both light-bodied because the climate is much cooler than in other areas in France where grapes are grown. The same goes for Pinot Noir grapes grown in Oregon versus Burgundy — they taste very different!

Be Knowledgeable on the Label's Color

Be Knowledgeable on the Label's Color

The color of the label is one of the first things we look at when buying Wine. Wine labels come in all colors, and they can be a bit confusing. Here are some common colors on wine labels and what they mean:

Take note of the alcohol content

Take note of the alcohol content

Taking note of the alcohol content is knowing how strong or sweet, or dry it is. This will also tell you what foods pair well with your meal planning.

Check Out for Awards Associated with your Wine

Check Out for Awards Associated with your Wine

Most of the time, we check the awards of the Wine we have bought or are about to buy, that is because when we see that it has awards, we perceive that this is a bottle of good Wine.

Take note, though, that not all award winners are great wines. Some wineries compete because they want their name without necessarily having better quality products.

Checking websites like Wine Spectator's 100 Best Wines of the Year or Robert Parker's Wine Advocate's Top 100 Wines of the Year is the best way to do this. These lists only include wines that have been expertly reviewed and are regarded as the best in their respective categories.

The Basics of Wine labels

The Basics of Wine labels

Despite the differences, we always share something, particularly regarding the basics of wine labels. According to Michele Gargiulo, a certified Wine specialist and an Executive Bourbon Steward of Fearless Restaurant Group, it is important to decode labels on wine bottles because you do not want to waste your money buying something that could be the exact opposite of what you wanted to drink.

You could also save money by buying less well-known but sometimes higher-quality wines if you can decode the labels. Since appreciating learning at its core is important, we'll help you dig further below. Here are some things you should check while reading wine labels.

General Aesthetics

Let's face it, the wine label's creativity is one of the reasons we feel obliged to read it in its entirety. They serve as a means for wineries to advertise their products and brand, and most of them have a distinctive wine presentation approach. It might be straightforward, intricate, or humorous, but its main objective is to draw your attention and convince you to purchase it.

This one might not be an accepted or objective factor but rather more of subjective perception. The overall layout of a wine label may reveal a lot of a good deal about the wine's taste. Some people are persuaded that purchasing labels with color and creativity is inevitably healthy for their eyes, while some people don't like eye-catching labels.

Wine Importers

Wine importers offer a broad or limited view of a specific wine area or style. As the importer chooses particular wines based on their taste, portfolio, and other preferences, they reflect the niche between the producer and the region.

If you realize you like a certain bottle of wine, look for the importer on the back. Some importers may specialize in the old world, or even specific old world countries like France and Italy, while others may be focused on the new world, including places like Argentina and New Zealand.

You can then watch for wines from the same importer when looking for a new bottle to sample.

If someone enjoys one bottle of wine from an importer, there's a good chance they'll enjoy more from that same importer. Most importers have criteria, styles, and areas to pair with wine drinkers.

Special Designations

Wine with excellent qualities, such as sweetness level and color, are specifically mentioned on the label. Occasionally, wine is referred to as complex, multi-faceted, or reserved, indicating its high caliber. It’s much better if a wine can be selected with the unique designations listed on the label.

Estate Bottled

When a wine is referred to as "estate grown," it signifies that only grapes from vineyards under the winery's ownership or management were used to make it. Furthermore, it implies that the wine was produced entirely on the property, including fermentation, bottling, and aging.

The word "estate" can apply to the complete vineyard or winery and the land where grapes are produced for wine. Estate-bottled wine may be produced by a single grower or by several growers working together. Although this information is optional, some sophisticated wine customers are still finding it on labels.

Non-Vintage (NV)

Any wine mentioned on the label without a year is referred to as non-vintage wine. This indicates that it can have been produced using grapes gathered over a number of years or even grapes grown in one year and then bottled in another.

Since the grapes for these wines were blended from grapes gathered at various dates to manage flavor, neither the vintage nor the year can be identified on the label. NV wines are typically cheaper wines or those produced by well-known companies that prioritize consistency in flavor over wines unique to a particular vintage.

Mis En Bouteille

On a French wine label or cork, the words "mis en bouteille au château" or "mis en bouteille à la propriété" indicate that the wine has been created and bottled by the producer. This small word means that the wine was bottled at a specific estate.

When a wine producer uses this recognition on a bottle of wine, you can be sure that it was made, matured, and bottled at a single location—the wine producer's estate. This means the producer had complete control over the winemaking and bottling process, which translates automatically into premium quality.

Barrique Aged

Aging wine in barrels or barriques gives roasted and woody tastes to the wine. This is when the wine gains a variety of extra aromas through barrique aging, especially to denote the presence of nutty aromas.

Unfiltered

This describes wines that have not undergone the conventional procedures of eliminating yeast, bacteria, and sediment before bottling. Some winemakers do it to ensure their wine is vegan, while others do it because they believe it gives a unique product. For instance, traditional methods often involve using milk protein or egg whites as fining agents.

Sweetness

The amount of residual sugar in wine typically serves as a good indicator of a wine's sweetness or dryness. The most typical way to do this is to use degrees Brix, a scale from 0 to 100 based on how much sugar is in the solution.

A bottle of sweet wine has a degree Brix reading over 22%, whereas a dry wine has one below 10%. This scale was initially created for the production of honey and fruit juice. For instance, since grape juice contains more sugar than honey, it has a greater Brix degree.

The type of grape used and how much sugar was added during fermentation or aging might affect how sweet or dry the wine tastes. For instance, certain wines are created purposefully sweet because they are intended to be sipped with dessert or as an after-dinner beverage.

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What are Old World Wine Labels?

Old World wines are produced in sections of Eastern Europe and the majority of Western Europe. They are also referred to as European wines and include wines from France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and Austria.

Traditional techniques and procedures passed down through generations of winemakers are often used to develop Old World wines. This indicates that small, family-run vineyards produce a significant portion of these wines, frequently using century-old grapes.

What are New World Wine Labels?

New World wines are wines produced in a non-European country. New World wine countries are typically located in the Southern Hemisphere, although South Africa, which is in the Southern Hemisphere, is considered a New World wine region.

The most common New World wine regions include Australia, Argentina, Chile, and South Africa. These countries have climates that are similar to those of traditional Old World wine regions like France or Italy.

These wines were traditionally lighter-bodied and lower in alcohol than their European counterparts. However, this has changed greatly over the past 30 years.

The Do's and Don'ts of Wine Labels 

There are numerous kinds of wines widely available, and occasionally it might be challenging to decide which ones to choose. However, you can learn how to choose a good wine if you have a little knowledge about it rather than none.

 Many of the terminology used in wine is quite alluring and convey what you perceive to be true, while most of us are keen to believe these. We often come to regret it because it may be quite expensive.

Wine Labels you Should Be Cautious

Despite the plethora of information that may be found on a wine label, winemakers are free to remove some details. A wine bottle's label serves more purposes than only providing information about the wine's name, region of origin, and vintage.

Customers may be motivated to pick up and buy a bottle of wine by an eye-catching, memorable label, which will also help them remember it the next time they are shopping. However, no matter how appealing and memorable, a label that eats up expensive time on the bottling process does not benefit the bottom line.

Make sure to verify the following terms if it claimed to be accurate:

  • Handcrafted

Handmade can refer to either the wine itself or the bottle created by hand. In either case, this word needs to be taken seriously. If a vineyard wants to claim that its wine is handcrafted, it should be able to identify the precise location and duration of production.

However, some strongly insist that their products are handmade even though they are not. It's machine-made, so you must exercise extreme caution.

  • Reserve

The first is that the word is unregulated. It's used on bottles of wine from all over the world, but it doesn't mean anything in particular. In France and Spain, reserve indicates that a wine has been aged longer than usual in oak barrels, but this doesn't apply in the United States. Some of these wines are made with grapes grown outside the designated vineyard area, which would never be allowed in France or Spain.

This term may often suggest quality without elaborating on what makes a wine better than others in its price range. You can't tell how good or horrible a bottle might be if it says "reserve" on the label and you don't know anything about the winemaker, producer, or area where the grapes were cultivated and turned into wine.

  • Noble

This phrase is frequently used to describe grapes in wineries. This only serves to support the stereotype that wine-speak is pretentious. While grapes from a given vineyard may be good, most of them aren't they aren't noble because some of them aren't on the list of allowed grapes for a specific region.

As a general category, some grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon may be labeled "noble grapes." only for a specific place. Being a combination of wines from several regions is another way to lose your nobility. You will lose your noble designation if more than 10% of your wine is produced outside the area.

  • Bold

The term "bold" describes wines high in alcohol, usually 12 percent or higher, and also high in tannins. Wines that taste "bold" have a big mouthfeel, which means they feel thick and heavy on the tongue. They also have high levels of acidity and low levels of residual sugar.

These qualities are frequently desired in wine, especially reds, although sometimes they may be too much for the palate to take. Therefore, it could be best to be careful before buying when "bold" is on a label.

  • Passion

 Being passionate about running a winery is a personal choice, much like chasing a goal. Although admirable, that says more to the owner than the customer's preferences.

While you may appreciate the term "crafted with love" on a wine label, it does not necessarily imply that the wine will be of high quality, given the amount of work that went into making it. If anything, this might be used as a justification for substandard quality.

Good Wine Label Qualities to Look For 

Transparency is one of the essential components of the wine industry. People will trust you more if your label is more transparent, and as their trust in you grows, so are their purchases from you.

The average person looks at a product for less than three seconds before deciding whether or not to purchase it. Your wine label needs to stand out among all the other products on the shelf so that people can easily find it and make an educated decision about whether or not they want to purchase it.

  • Basics Labels are Clear

 The law has established some specifications for wine labels to guarantee consumers' health and safety. For instance, the product's name, place of origin, alcohol content, net weight, production date or manufacturing date, storage time, and other information must all be clearly stated.

We should have a clear wine label because it will allow us to identify the type of wine before making a purchase. If the label contains any ambiguous language, we risk misinterpreting whether the wine product is good or not.

  • Defined Terms

 How your target audience will interpret the text on your wine label is the most important factor to consider. When using terms that are not regulated, such as "reserve," "barrel selection," or "old vine," the label should specify what each term means and why it matters.

For instance, if you use the word "Reserve," you should specify how long the grapes have been aged in barrels. Another example is when a Californian vineyard may claim that its Reserve Pinot Noir spent two years maturing in oak barrels before being bottled. There are many other ways to define terms so that customers know what they mean and why they are important to them.

  • Technical Information

You probably only read the front of a wine label if you're like most people. It's simple to overlook the writing on the back of that tiny paper rectangle because of the amount of information it contains.

But understanding what all those numbers signify can help you make an informed choice if you want to find out more about your favorite bottle of wine or choose something new at the shop. Technicalities on wine labels are important because they enable consumers to make educated choices.

  • Green Certification

A green label or logo on a bottle means that the wine inside was produced with environmentally friendly practices. Green certification can come from various sources, including state or federal government agencies, private certifiers, and environmental groups.

In the last decade, many wineries have offered a wide range of eco-friendly products. These wines may be certified organic, biodynamic, or sustainable. Other labels may use phrases like "green farming" and "eco-friendly packaging" to describe their products without specific certification terms.

  • Misspellings

Correct spelling isn't just about making sure your label looks right—it's also about making sure it reads right. If someone struggles to read your name or brand, they will probably not buy your wine simply because they don't want to deal with that hassle after they get home from the store or restaurant.

While it may seem insignificant, getting these details right can significantly affect how consumers perceive your product. It can make a difference between someone buying your wine or walking away from it due to bad spelling

  • Consistency

One of the biggest mistakes made by wineries is creating numerous versions of their labels with various names and graphics in an effort to be original or stand out from competing brands on the shelf.

This may be effective in certain situations. However, it is much preferable for wine labels to be combined into a single creative image so that customers will not have trouble identifying wines from a specific vineyard or region if there are too many distinct versions floating about on store shelves.

Top Wine Tasting Terms

Wine tasting terms are a language all their own. They are designed to help you understand the wine and appreciate it more fully.

When you're learning about wines and tasting them for the first time, you'll want to get familiar with these terms. You don't need to use them all the time when you're just starting out, but they will come in handy as your knowledge grows.

Structure of Wine

A wine's overall character is mostly determined by its acidity, sweetness, body, alcohol content, and tannin content, which collectively make up its wine structure. This comprises the sweetness or tartness of the flavor as well as the diverse qualities that make them appropriate for various winemaking processes.

Acidity 

It is one of the main features that defines whether a wine is "dry" or "sweet." Acidity can be described as sharp or tart, but it's not an evaluation of how much sugar there is in a wine.

The taste of acidity depends on the type of acid present and how much there is. In most cases, you will find both malic and citric acids in wine, but they do not always occur in equal quantities. Citric acid tastes sour while malic acid tastes bitter. The level of each type of acid affects the overall taste sensation — higher levels of malic will give your mouth more "bite," while high citric levels will create a more rounded experience with less bite.

Aroma or Bouquet

The aroma of a wine is the sensation of how something tastes. These are produced as a result of the wine's various chemicals reacting with your mouth, throat, and nose.he way you smell affects the way you taste, such as you're tired or stressed, it will be harder to appreciate aromas in wine.

Balance

A wine is balanced when each of its constituent parts functions harmoniously. Well-balanced wines don't have any components that awkwardly stand out or dominate. Alcohol, acidity, tannin, sweetness, and fruit concentration or extract are the main elements in wine that must be in harmony.

The basic elements of a wine, such as the fruit, acidity, alcohol, and tannins, all which prefer to strike various sections of the mouth and tongue, must all be in harmony for the wine to be considered balanced. On the tip of the tongue, fruit tastes sweet, has a hint of alcohol, and has tannin and acidity on the sides. A wine is balanced if it fills your entire mouth, is harmonious, and contains no sharp flavors.

Body, Weight or Mouthfeel

 A wine’s body simply refers to how heavy or viscous it feels in your mouth. The wine’s body relates specifically to how it feels in your mouth, which is described as the “mouth feel”.

The amount of alcohol in a wine can be used to evaluate its body, or heaviness. The body will most likely feel fuller with a higher alcohol content. Alcohol is a significant part of a wine's body since it provides wine its viscosity.

Flavor

When you put wine in your tongue and start to enjoy it, flavor is what comes out as a result of the tasting process. Enzymes in your saliva break down the food or liquid you are tasting into smaller pieces. After that, receptor cells in your mouth and throat pick up on these particles.

The flavor of a wine is the outcome of the interaction between your senses and its chemical composition. Wine's flavors are influenced by a number of elements, such as bottle aging, the climate where the grapes were grown, the temperature of storage after fermentation and during aging, the condition of the vineyard, the method of winemaking, and how the wine is served, including whether it is decanted or served chilled.

Length or Finish

Length is a tasting term to describe how long the taste of a wine persists or lingers on your palate after you have swallowed. A wine's length may be described as long, moderate or short.

Wines with good length are usually characterized as having good balance and complexity, as well as being age-worthy. If you've ever had an inferior wine, you know what a "short" finish tastes like. The flavor fades quickly and leaves you longing for something else to drink. It's not pleasant!

Quality

Wine quality is the sensory profile of a wine, including its appearance, aroma, taste, and finish. The term "quality" is also often used in a more general sense for all aspects of wine, such as the overall image or reputation of producers.

The quality of a wine can have a significant effect on its price. Wines that exhibit certain characteristics are often perceived as being "better" than others. 

Wine Faults

The most common faults in wines are due to poor winemaking practices, but some are natural components of the grapes themselves. These faults result in undesirable tastes and odors that may be caused by oxidation, excessive tannins, microbial contamination or other reasons.

Acetic

This is a colorless liquid with a strong odor found in many foods, including wine. The metabolism of yeast and bacteria produces the substance during fermentation. It has also been used medically as an antiseptic and disinfectant since ancient times.

Brettanomyces

The yeast genus Brettanomyces is well known for being responsible for tertiary fermentation in Lambic and Flanders red ales and has long been connected to old stock ale from 19th-century Britain. Due to its potential for spoiling and the very foul flavors and aromas it can produce, Brettanomyces has historically been referred to as a "wild yeast" and is regarded as an essential component of terroir in a select few barrel-aged red wines.

Corked or Cork Taint

Wine corks are a stopper used to seal wine bottles. They are typically made from cork oak or bark using natural or synthetic materials.Common alternative wine closures include screw caps and glass stoppers.

Fizzy

Fizz is a style of sparkling wine. The name comes from the sound made when the wine is poured, when the bubbles make a fizzing noise.

Carbon dioxide is the cause of wine fizz. It is a natural byproduct of fermentation, and some styles of wine particularly those made in a reductive style can retain higher levels of carbon dioxide. The bubbles in the wine are a sign that the wine is alive and well.

Reduction

Aromas produced or maintained in the absence of oxygen are typically considered to be reduced. It refers to the existence of a collection of sulfur-containing chemicals that have a strong odor.

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Other Lingo

Aggressive

A wine's excessive acidity or tannin content is typically the cause of aggression. A wine's flavor or texture will be harsh if it has extremely high acidity or tough tannins. Biting and frequently unpleasant, the flavor

Aromatic

The grapes used to make aromatic wines are those that produce more fragrances naturally; some of these aromas may be more flowery or herbal, while others may be strongly citrus-flavored.

Bouquet

The aroma of vanilla is produced when wine is aged in new oak barrels, and is a classic illustration of a wine bouquet. The grape varietal is the most direct source of the wine's aroma. Both the maturing and fermentation stages of the winemaking process provide a wine's fragrance.

Balance

The various elements of a wine must all work together harmoniously for it to be considered balanced. No one element should protrude or awkwardly jut out. Alcohol, acidity, tannin, sweetness, and fruit concentration or extract are the main elements in wine that need to be in harmony.

Bottle Age 

In order for the color, flavor profile, aroma, and mouthfeel to be exactly as the winemaker intended, the chemical composition must first age in the bottle. The drink-by date comes to an end at this point in the window.

When wine ages in bottles, it begins to lose its energy and combine, forming chains that grow bigger and heavier. This lessens the tannins' surface area, giving them a smoother, rounder, and kinder flavor. When the mixed chemicals reach a certain size, they sediment out of suspension.

Brooding

When a wine is brooding, it's a sign that it's robust and extremely complex. Brooding wines have deep hues and flavors that are very concentrated.

Buttery

An oak-aged wine with buttery qualities is typically thick, flat, and less acidic. A buttery wine frequently has a texture similar to cream, which touches the middle of your tongue and almost tastes like oil, butter, margarine, or toasty wood, and has a smooth finish. For example, if a wine is referred to as buttery, it has been matured in oak and is rich with little acidity.

Chewy

A chewy wine is one that has a lot of body and weight on the palate. Chewy refers to a higher level of alcohol, ripeness, and fruit concentration in the wine. It can also be caused by a warm climate or high sugar levels in the grapes.

Cloying

A cloying wine is one that is extremely sweet or sugary with the same sensation. Something"cloying" is overly sweet. Even if you have a sweet tooth, don't swallow whole spoonfuls of honey - it will clog up your throat.

Corpulent

Corpulent literally means fat. While this is generally not used as a compliment when referring to a person, it is usually a compliment to a wine which is big and rich and has a round, full feel in the mouth. Usually used to describe very full-bodied wines.

Creosote

Creosote is a dark brown oil distilled from coal tar. It is also used to describe the build up of crusted, oily black material that forms in chimneys. It is used to describe a wine which has a tarry, smoky aroma resembling these things, usually rich red wines. This aroma can come from oak barrels used to age the wine if the oak was heavily charred prior to use.

Crisp

This  has a high level of acidity and no sugar or strong fruit flavors. The flavors of these wines are heavily influenced by acidity and dryness.

Delicate

A wine with a variety of flavors, but none of them are overpowering. The acidity and tannins will go unnoticed. It lacks the rough and harsh characteristics of wine. As a result, the fruits and alcohol can surface smoothly. White wine is known for its delicate wine.

Depth

Intensity and concentration are what give wine its depth. . Moreover, it describes a fine wine with "deep" layers of flavor.

A good example of depth is a powerful and concentrated cabernet sauvignon. Another example is Pedro Ximénez sweet sherry, which derives its sweetness from the grapes that were used to make it.

Ethereal

Being ethereal refers to a wine's exceedingly delicate and seemingly flawless quality. This term is used to describe wines that have a smooth, silky texture that almost doesn't feel like a liquid at all, but rather like the spirit of a wine gliding over your mouth. This term means that it possesses the rare and distinctive quality of being simultaneously intensely flavorful and complex and unexpectedly light.

Flabby

A wine that is flabby lacks acidity. It is typically used negatively to describe wines with high pH balance and low acidity.

The result of this is an imbalanced flavor in the wine. A wine's structure is provided by its acidity, which also activates your taste senses. Your mouth basically feels "blah" after tasting it.

Flat

Flat describes a wine that no longer fizzes when referring to sparkling wines. Regarding all other wines, the term is interchangeably used with flabby to describe a wine that lacks acidity, especially towards the end.

A wine can become spoiled by oxidation, which can eventually transform it into vinegar. The fruity scents first vanish, followed by flat flavors with a sharp or bitter edge, and a change in color.

Flinty

The term "flinty" is used to describe foods and drinks that have a harsh, austere, dry, crisp, or sharp texture, occasionally with a hint of smoke. This is often used with crisp white wines like Chablis, which has a flavor and aroma similar to flint struck by steel.

Fresh

The word "fresh" can be defined in two ways. The first is an indication that the wine has recently been unscrewed or uncorked because it tastes that way. A wine that has been left open for too long starts to oxidize, losing its luster and becoming bland in flavor and color.

The combination of a wine's acidity with its fruit and mouthfeel is described in the second definition. Usually, when a winemaker talks about freshness, they mean its impression.

Green or Stalky

When a wine is described as tasting "green," it typically refers to underripe characteristics, which suggests that some grapes may have been harvested just a little bit before full ripeness. The wine may have a faintly green vegetable aroma or flavor, like green bell pepper.

This is typical of wines from cooler vintages where the tannins have not had enough time to develop and soften completely. On the other hand,  stalky wines smell like hay or dry leaves.  When grapes are fermented with their stems on or during full-cluster fermentation, this scent is added to the wine.

Hard

Hard means firm in  a quality that usually results from high acidity or tannins. This tasting terms often describes young red wines, which contains natural stimulants and herbs that are thought to promote and heighten sexual desire.

This refers to a tannic wine, especially one that is so tannic that it is out of balance. For some wines, this is a result of youth, and these wines will "soften" with age.

Hollow

A wine variety that lacks the taste sensation between the attack and finish. This describes a wine that lacks depth, especially on the mid-palate. The tasters will say there is a hole or a void in this palate area.

If you’re wondering what the wine tastes like, if it's hollow,  it tastes like an ordinary bottle of water, where it has no color or smell. You can also call it ‘water’ because that’s what it tastes like when you drink it.

Hot

A wine that is considered to be hot basically has a high alcohol content. The impression of too much alcohol causes the hot feeling. The increased alcohol will warm the palate and end with a scorching and stinging sensation, giving the wine an imbalanced appearance.

Horizontal Tasting

Horizontal tasting is when there are sample wines from various wineries, all from the same vintage. Here, you can decide whether you want the wines to be a mix or all from the same variety.

This is also called “side-by-side tasting,”  where wines made from the same grape but from other locations will be presented. For example, a Pinot Noir tasting might include pours from New Zealand, Oregon, and Sonoma. They can come from vintages a year or two apart, whether there are many organizers who stick to wines from the same year.

Honeyed

A sweet or semi-sweet wine that has been infused with honey is known as a honeyed wine.  Honey is frequently added to wine to  bring more depth and complexity to a particular varietal or mix or to reduce the harshness associated with dry wines.

Several methods exist for adding honey to wine. The most popular technique includes transferring freshly pressed juice from one vineyard to a barrel that has already been loaded with crushed grapes. The amount of honey applied can be more precisely controlled with this method.

The second technique involves adding honey to the wine right away once it has finished fermenting and bottling. Up to two pounds of raw, unfiltered honey are often added to each gallon of finished wine to achieve this.

Juicy 

Juicy wines are sometimes referred to as "fruit-forward," and in some cases are described as a fresh-fruit explosion accented with some delicious acid. A viscous wine has higher amounts of alcohol, tannin, and glycerol, which implies that the wine has more mouthfeel and is more full-bodied on the palate. When a wine is juicy, it denotes that it has a lot of viscosity or substance. Glycerol-rich wines have been referred to as "juicy" because of their mouthfeel and texture.

Legs

Wine legs are little lines that appear in a wine glass after swirling the wine. They seem to detect a wine's alcohol content.

The wine legs are formed by alcohol evaporation, which leaves sugar and other dissolved solids behind. The more sugar there is in a wine, the denser it will be, and the longer and more pronounced the wine legs will be.

This is also called "layers" because the liquid can be seen forming distinct layers in a wine glass as it makes its way down from top to bottom. A good way to observe this phenomenon is to raise your glass up to the light and look at it from an angle.

Luscious

A luscious wine's flavor can be characterized as being rich, sweet, and smooth. It has a velvety texture on the tongue and lingers on it for a while after you've swallowed it. A rich wine has a high glycerine and sugar content.

This sumptuous wine might be both sweet and dry, acidic, or both, while its ' acidity enhances its lusciousness by making them more reviving and simple to sip alone or with food. Instead of rich red wines, these luscious wines are typically savored in white wines.

Monolithic

Monolithic wine lacks complexity in flavor. These wines are typically heavy, overpowering, and unpleasant to consume.

They tend to be made from one grape variety and one type of oak barrel aging. Monolithic wines aim to impress as much as possible with their power and size.

Minerally

One of the main ingredients in wine grows on vines anchored in the ground and sits near minerals and rocks, which can impact the wine's flavors as a whole and give it the quality of having flavors that are comparable to those of minerals. Some people believe that the minerals present in the aromas and flavors of many types of wine are key to its excellence.

Chalk, pencil lead, stones, granite, slate, gunflint, oyster shell, salt, and gravel are just a few examples of the items that can display these earthy aromas and tastes.

Nose

The nose in wine is the smell of the wine. The nose of a wine is one of the first things to consider when tasting or evaluating it. A good nose can make a huge difference in how you perceive wine and whether or not you like it.

The nose is often confused with "taste," but they are separate senses. You can taste something with your whole mouth, whereas you only smell through your nose. The aromas on your wine's nose are usually stronger than the flavors in your mouth, which means that there may be more noticeable scents than tastes when you're trying wine for the first time.

Opulent 

Opulence in wine refers to its richness of flavor and aroma. They have a lot of bodies, which means they are heavy and chewy in the mouth. These wines are high in alcohol and full-bodied but lacking complexity or finesse.

The word "opulent" can also be used to describe a wine's color. For example, a dark red wine with a rich hue and saturated color might be said to be opulent.

Pain grille

A wine with a smoky or toasted bread aroma is referred to as "Paine grille." This aroma may come from the wine itself or from the oak aging process because the insides of oak barrels are frequently toasted before use. This has nothing to do with cooking food on a grill, rather, it refers more precisely to a type of white wine that has undergone light age in oak barrels and has toast, nut, and spice notes.

Refined

The term "refined in wine" is a term used to describe the process of clarifying wine. It is often used in reference to white wines, but can be used for any type of wine.

Refining is done to remove any sediment or particles that may have been picked up during the production process, but it also removes some of the flavor and aroma from the wine. This can also be referred to as filtering.

The general idea behind refining wine is to remove any impurities that may affect the quality of the wine. These impurities can include yeast and tartrates, which are crystallized salts that occur naturally in some wines. If left unchecked, these impurities can cause cloudiness in the wine and negatively affect its flavor and appearance.

Reglisse

Reglisse is a French term that refers to the aroma and flavor of licorice root, which can often be found in red wines. It is most commonly used to describe the scent of black licorice or anise, but it can also be used to describe the smell of tonka beans and other aromatic herbs. Reglisse is the French term for licorice root (black licorice), the aroma and flavors of which can often be found in red wines.

Residual Sugar

Residual sugar is the natural grape sugar that is still present in a wine after the alcoholic fermentation process. The sweeter the wine, the more residual sugar there is - and this is due to the nature of the grape rather than the sugar in the wine. Sweetness relates to how much sugar is left in your mouth after tasting the wine and is not always a representation of residual sugar that is frequently present on it.

Restrained

Restrained is the character of the aromas and flavors of a beverage. A wine with restrained flavors has lovely, rich flavors that are not overly intense or overwhelming. It typically denotes a more sophisticated and understated drinking style.

The term can also describe a wine with complex aromas and subtle flavors that are balanced together so as not to overwhelm the senses. For example, if you were tasting a Pinot Noir from Burgundy with some strawberry aromas and cherry flavors, these are not too strong. You could say it was restrained because they weren't overpowering or masking each other's true flavors.

Silky

One of the primary wine texture qualities is silky. It is commonly referred to as "velvety," meaning that it has a smooth, velvety texture, is well-rounded, and has a rich mouthfeel. The main contributor to this texture is tannin.  Tannin can be bitter, robust, or silky.

Smoke

Smoke is a result of the oak aging process. This occurs when the wine comes in contact with oak barrels that have previously been used to age other alcoholic beverages such as whiskey or bourbon.

The chemicals in these other beverages leave behind a type of flavor inside the barrel which then transfers onto the wine when it is aged inside it. For example, some Syrah-based wines are said to smell like smoked bacon.

Torrefaction 

Torrefaction is the process by which coffee, cocoa and other beans are roasted. Wines exhibiting torrefaction show a roasted aroma or flavor, but not unlike roasted coffee beans. Wines with significant roasted qualities are sometimes described as exhibiting torrefaction.

Vanillin

Vanillin is the chemical compound that gives vanilla its distinctive flavor and aroma. It is also naturally present in some fruits, such as grapes. Vanillin can be produced synthetically or derived from natural sources such as wood pulp or vanilla beans.

The amount of vanillin in wine depends on the quality of the grapes used to make it and how they are handled during the fermentation process. Vanillin is more prevalent in white wines than reds because red wines contain more phenolic compounds that mask its flavor.

Unctuous

Unctuous wines are rich and velvety in texture, with a smooth, silky feel on the palate. They are usually full bodied wines with high tannin levels that give them an almost oily mouthfeel.

How To Say Wine In French?

Have you ever looked at a restaurant's wine menu only to worry about having to pronounce the wine's name when it's time to place your order? You were about to get that French-pronounceable wine, but you decided to order a Coke instead to spare yourself the shame of pronouncing Chenin Blanc incorrectly in front of your friends!

The French word for wine is “Le vin,” and  is spoken with a nasal French sound: un beau vin blanc (a good white wine). Here are four of the more popular French wine varieties, which are  mostly distinguished by region and type of grape made.

  • le (vin) rouge – red wine
  • le (vin) blanc – white wine
  • le (vin) rosé – rosé wine
  • le (vin de) champagne – champagne

25 Common French Wine Terms

  1. le raisin : grape 
  2. une grappe : a bunch
  3. ramasser : to pick up
  4. une serpette : a pruning knife
  5. un sécateur : pruning shears
  6. un égrappoir: destemmer
  7. un cuvage : a vat room
  8. un seau : a bucket
  9. un porteur / un jarlot : a porter, a carrier
  10. une benne : a dumpster
  11. une cuve : a vat
  12. un vigneron. une vigneronne : a winemaker
  13. le vignoble : vineyardune vigne : a vine
  14. un cep de vigne : a vine stock
  15. une feuille : a leaf
  16. un bourgeon : a bud
  17. une hotte : a pannier
  18. la vendange : the harvest
  19. le ban des vendanges : start date of harvest
  20. un vendangeur : a grape picker
  21. la main d’oeuvre : labor force
  22. une région viticole : a wine growing region
  23. une bouteille: a bottle
  24. le cul de la bouteille: the bottom of the bottle
  25. Le pinard: slang for wine

Wine Terminologies FAQ

Wine Terminologies FAQ

What Makes a Good Wine Label?

Making a good wine label is an art that can be achieved through the use of many aspects. The ability to display all pertinent information about a wine is the most important component of a good label. A good wine label should be able to clearly express every aspect of the wine, have visual content, and make accurate claims.

How Can I be More Knowledgeable about Wine?

There are many simple methods for learning wine terminology. However, you must determine which approach is most effective for you in order to properly understand each concept.

For instance, even if you have a friend who is an expert on wine, she might not be the best person to learn from. She might learn differently than you do, so if you don't learn from her well, you can come up with your own approach.

How are Wine Labels Made?

There are many levels of complexity when making wine labels. Making wine labels relies on the type of wine you're drinking or how you want your bottle to resemble. There are various options available if you want to make your own wine label.

Fortunately, making a wine label doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. All you need is some creativity, some time and some basic tools. Here are simple steps for making a wine label:

  • Brainstorm ideas.
  • Select a Label Size.
  • Sketch your label on a paper.
  • Use transfer paper to Print a Template onto the Labels.
  • Trace the Design with Permanent Markers.
  • Stick the label on your wine bottle.

What are common adjectives to describe wine?

The most frequently used adjectives that are being used while describing wine are "Fruity," "Acidic," "Oaky," "Tannic," and "Sweet." Many people find that by using these words, they can easily recognize their wine preferences.

Fruity

A fruity wine has a strong aroma and distinctive fruit flavors. Cherry, raspberry, strawberry, and cranberry are the four most popular fruits. Other fruits include citrus, like grapefruit or oranges, tropical fruits, like the mango, and herbaceous fruits, such those that are spicy or herbal.

Acidic

An acidic wine has a sharp acidity that is often tart. The acid comes from the grapes themselves as well as added acids such as malic or citric acid.

Oaky

Oaky refers to wines that have been aged in oak barrels that give it a unique flavor profile. Oak barrels impart vanilla and caramel flavors into the wine which is why oaky wines tend to be sweeter than non-oaky wines.

Tannin

Tannins are found in grape skins as well as oak barrels and give red wines a bitter taste. In wine tasting, tannin is often described as drying or astringent, causing the mouth to pucker or feel dry.

What are Batches of Wine Called?

"Bin" refers to a batch or group of wine bottles, but today it is more particularly used as a brand name to distinguish one wine from others made by the same winery. These frequently have a number on the wine labels, such as "Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon."

Conclusion

Wine is a drink with a rich history, a long tradition, and a rich culture. It is much more than just a drink you can consume to get wasted or to get wasted off of. Wines come in a wide variety of varieties from around the world, and some people even create their wine blends at home!

Every little detail matters. To appreciate wine better, you should start by learning the foundation. In terms of wine, what you already know is just enjoying the wine itself, but once you are knowledgeable about it, you will be able to appreciate what you are sipping even more. Drinking wine is more satisfying when you know where or who your wine ancestors are.

Have you learned a lot from this article? Leave some comments below!

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