, 'opacity': false, 'speedIn': , 'speedOut': , 'changeSpeed': , 'overlayShow': false, 'overlayOpacity': "", 'overlayColor': "", 'titleShow': false, 'titlePosition': '', 'enableEscapeButton': false, 'showCloseButton': false, 'showNavArrows': false, 'hideOnOverlayClick': false, 'hideOnContentClick': false, 'width': , 'height': , 'transitionIn': "", 'transitionOut': "", 'centerOnScroll': false }); })

Celebrations in Colorado WinesFeatured Winery

Wine Glossary

This glossary gives you the vocabulary to discuss and understand the many nuances of wine.


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z

 

A

Acidity
The tart taste or the liveliness and crispness noted in wine. All wines naturally contain acid, but it should always be in harmony with the fruit and other flavors. The presence of acid is necessary for wines to age and gives it a lively, crisp quality. Acid is tasted on the sides of the tongue and mouth. (citric, tartaric, malic and lactic).

Aerate
To allow a wine to “breathe” by exposing it to oxygen. Helps to mellow and develop its full flavors, especially red wines (decanting).

Aftertaste
Persistence of a sensation (flavor) when you swallow the wine that may linger in your mouth for some time.

Aggressive 
Usually applied to wines that are either high in acidity or have harsh tannins, or both.

Aging
Holding wine in barrels/casks, tanks, and bottles to advance them to a more desirable state.

American Viticultural Area 
Often abbreviated AVA. This is the set of US laws which regulate the use of place names on wine labels. Unlike similar laws in Europe, there are no restrictions on grape variety, yield or wine making practices. AVAs seem to be created more as a response to politics, then as a form of consumer protection. There are over 140 AVAs at this time.

Angular 
Wines that lack roundness, generosity, and depth. Wine from poor vintages or wines that are too acidic are often described as being angular.

Appellation 
Denotes the place where most of the grapes used in the wine were grown. An appellation of origin can be the name of a country, state, county or geographic region. Federal regulations require that at least 75 percent of the grapes must be grown in the named appellation of origin.

Aroma 
The smell or scent of the grape, as well as the smell of wine, especially young wines.

Astringent /Astringency 
Term noting the harsh, bitter, drying sensations in the mouth caused by high levels of tannins which often declines as wines ages.

Top

B

Balance
Harmony among the elements of the wine – acids, sugars, tannins and alcohol.

Barrel
The container/cask, preferably oak that is used for fermenting and aging wine.

Berrylike
An intense berry fruit character that can suggest blackberries, raspberries, black cherries, mulberries, or even strawberries and cranberries.

Big
One of the wine definitions used to described a “full-bodied” wine. A big wine has a powerful aroma and flavor.

Bitter
“Term for the sensation in the finish of a wine largely caused by tannins that is sensed on the back of the tongue.“

Blend
A wine made from more than one grape varietal to produce a harmonious effect.

Body
A tactile sensation and term describing the weight and fullness of wine in the mouth (light, medium, or full). The component in wine that gives it body is glycerin.

Bouquet
How a wine smells resulting from a wine’s aging process, or more specifically to indicate aromas associated with bottle aging.

Botrytis
A good mold that pierces the skin of grapes and causes dehydration, resulting in natural grape juice exceptionally high in sugar. Botrytis (noble rot) is largely responsible for the world’s finest dessert wines.

Brawny
A full-bodied wine with plenty of weight and flavor.

Breathe
Allowing the wine to come in contact with air, either forcibly or by resting.

Briery
Term to describe wine that is aggressive and rather spicy.

Brilliant
Clear with no haze or cloudiness to the color.

Brix
A scale used to measure the ripeness of a grape.

Browning
As red wines age, their color changes from ruby/purple to ruby with a brown edge. When a wine is browning it is usually fully mature and not likely to get better.

Bung
The plug used to seal a wine cask.

Bung Hole 
The hole in the wine cask to add or remove wine.

Top

C

Cellar
A storehouse or storage place for wine, and by extension, a winery.

Character
The features of a wine that distinguish it from any other wine.

Chewy
A term that describes a red wine with a thickness or a fleshy mouthy feel with an abundance of tannins.

Citric Acid
One of the three predominate acids in wine.

Closed
Term to denote that the wine is not showing its potential, takes time to develop.

Cloudy
A wine that contains floating particles, usually non filtered.

Cloying
Overly sweet, to the point of being faulty.

Complex
Having many different flavors and aromas. A good wine should be complex and tend to have a variety of subtle scents and flavors that hold one’s interest in the wine.

Concentrated
Concentrated or deep denotes that the wine has a depth and richness of fruit that gives it appeal and interest.

Cooked
Fault in wine that has been exposed to heat, especially in the presence of air.

Corkage
The fee paid to a restaurant for the privilege of being allowed to bring in your own wine. This fee pays for the rental of the glasses and the service you receive.

Corked
A flawed wine that has taken on the smell of cork as a result of an unclean or faulty cork. Smells musty or like wet cardboard. The cause is bacteria from the cork that has reacted with the bleaching process. Synthetic corks are free of this defect and this is a leading reason for their increasing use.

Corkscrew
Device used to remove the cork from the bottle.

Crisp
Used to describe a white wine that has a refreshing acid balance denoting a fresh, light character.

Crush
The English term for harvest.

Top

D

Decant
To transfer wine (usually red) from a bottle into a crystal or glass container (a decanter). Pouring wine from its original bottle into another container, allows the wine to “breathe” and the sediment to be left in the original bottle.

Deep
Expressing the fact that the wine is rich, full of extract, and mouth filling.

Delicate
Used to describe a wine with light texture and subtle flavor.

Dessert Wine
This refers to fortified wines such as Port or Sherry. In fine wine terms it refers to those wines that are destined to be enjoyed after a meal. All of the wines of this class are sweet but well balanced.

Diffuse
Wines that smell and taste unstructured and unfocused.

Dry
A wine that has little to no residual sugar. A taste sensation often attributed to tannins and causing puckering sensations in the mouth.

Dumb
Term to denote that the wine is not showing its potential, usually never develops.

Top

E

Earthy
May be used in both a negative and a positive sense. A more intense smell than woody or truffle scents.

Elegant
A well balanced wine that has subtle complexity, lighter-styled and graceful. Usually used to describe white wines.

Enology
The science of wine and winemaking.

Esters
Components in wine formed by the combination of acids and alcohol that contribute the fruity, perfume like smell to wine.

Extra Dry
Sparkling wine that is slightly sweet.

Extract
Indicates a lot of flavor, especially when the wine would indeed be shown in a laboratory to have a greater amount of dry extract (big, heavy or intense).

Exuberant
A wine that is gushing with fruit and intensely vigorous.

Top

F

Fat
Often infers that the wine is lacking in acidity in the US, while in other parts of the world indicates a full, well balanced wine, and is a compliment.

Fermentation
“The process of adding yeast to crushed grapes to turn their sugar into alcohol or wine.”

Finish
The final impression and textures a wine leaves in your mouth just as you swallow or spit, as opposed to the aftertaste which are the flavors you notice after you swallow which may linger in your mouth for some time. A well-balanced, full-bodied wine usually has a longer finish, while a well-balanced, light-bodied wine has a shorter finish.

Floral
Wines having a flowery scent or component, occasionally a red wine will have a floral scent.

Focused
The scents, aromas, and flavors are precise and clearly delineated.

Fortified Wine
Wines made sweet by interrupting the fermentation process with the addition of a neutral distilled spirit (eg. Port and Sherry).

Forward
The dominant component in a wine that gives your mouth its first impression.

Fresh
Lively and cleanly made.

Fruit
A complex alcohol that gives wine its thickness.

Full-Bodied
Wines rich in extract, alcohol, and glycerin are full-bodied wines. A wine which fills the mouth with flavors and alcohol.

Top

G

Glycerin
A complex alcohol that gives wine its thickness.

Green
A wine tasting term for wines made from under ripe grapes. The wine will have the smell of vegetation and be highly acidic.

Top

H

Hard
Wines with abrasive, astringent tannins or high acidity are said to be hard.

Harsh
A hard wine with excessive acidity will be “harsh”, rough or biting.

Hot
The burning sensation of a wine that is too high in alcohol or out of balance. Usually found in the nose and the back of the throat when swallowed.

Top

I

Ice Wine 
This is an intense desert wine that has been made from very ripe grapes that were frozen on the vine. The frozen water is removed during pressing, leaving a very sweet must. A modern technique called cryroextraction utilizes a freezer in place of mother nature.

Top

J

Jammy 
Intense, concentrated and very flavorful wine.

Top

K

Kabinett
A German term for a wine of quality; usually the driest of Germanyis best Rieslings.

Kosher
A wine made according to strict Jewish rules under rabbinical supervision.

Top

L

Late Harvest
By harvesting later, the grapes are riper, and sweeter. Some Late Harvest wines are almost dry, opting for increased alcohol and intensity rather than sweetness.

Legs
The drops of wine that creep down the side of the wine glass. A higher alcohol content may be indicated by thinner “tears/legs” flowing back into the wine after you swirl the glass.

Length/Long
Time that the flavors of a wine persist in the mouth after swallowed; a lingering aftertaste. A very desirable trait in any fine wine.

Light
A wine without much tannin in the balance. In the US a “light” wine must be less than 14% alcohol.

Lush
Descriptive – velvety, soft, richly fruity wines that are both concentrated and fat.

Top

M

Malic Acid
One of the three predominate acids in grapes.

Mature
Ready to drink.

Mildew
The same fungus that plagues home owners can be found in the vineyard, with the same undesirable results. There are two types in the vineyard, “downy” and “powdery”.

Moldy
Wines (usually red) that were affected by mold and used to make wine anyway will have this off taste and odor.

Mousy
A wine tasting term for the smell and taste of a particular bacterial spoilage.

Mouth-Feel
How a wine feels or the sensations it creates in the mouth.

Must
The crushed grapes and juice that will be fermented into wine (includes-seeds, stems, skins).

Musty
The off smell of a wine that has been in contact with old or poorly cleaned wooden casks.

Top

N

Noble Rot
A good mold that pierces the skin of grapes and causes dehydration, resulting in natural grape juice exceptionally high in sugar. Botrytis (noble rot) is largely responsible for the world’s finest dessert wines.

Nose
The smell or aroma of a wine as sensed through your nose. Best sensed when the wine is swirled in the glass.

Nutty
A wine tasting term for a wine that exhibits flavors reminds us of nuts, especially hazelnut. Sherry and Tawny Ports are both very nutty, and very oxidized (hence the brown color).

Top

O

Oak/Oaky
Denoting smells and flavors of vanilla and toast.

Oxidation /Oxidized
Wine exposed to air that has undergone a chemical change. The deteriorating wine will exhibit stale smells and colors can look brown.

Top

P

Peppery
A term used to describe a wine with the aroma of black or white pepper and a pungent flavor.

Perfume
Describes the fragrant, floral quality of some white wines.

Press
Used to press the juice out of the grapes.

Pruning
The trimming or alteration of the vine during the dormant period for the coming growing season.

Pulp
Surrounds the seed, or pip, which is also a source of tannin.

Top

R

Racking
The transfer of the young wine from one barrel, to a new barrel, leaving the sediment behind.

Residual Sugar
A measure of the amount of sugar remaining in the wine after fermentation stops. Indicates how sweet or dry a wine is.

Rich
Wines that are high in extract, flavor, and intensity of fruit.

Riddling
The practice of turning and inverting bottles of sparkling wines over a period of time, until the sediment has all collected in the neck of the bottle, and the sediment can be removed.

Ripe
Denotes the wine grapes have reached the optimum level of maturity.

Rough
A wine that is astringent and tannic out of balance.

Round
Well balanced or well developed. Very desirable in wines, shows in mature wines and some newer, softer wines.

Top

S

Sharp
A wine tasting term used when the acid in a wine is out of balance or strong.

Short
Wine of poor quality, the flavors do not linger.

Silky
Mouth feel that is evident in the very finest of red wines, velvety or lush.

Skin
The outer layer of the grape, usually called hulls or husks.

Smooth
Mouth feel associated with the acids.

Soft
Lack of apparent tannins in a wine.

Solid
The wine is showing no obvious flaws and is in balance.

Sommelier
A rather formal (French) name for a wine steward or wine waiter who assists individuals in their selection of wine to compliment their food selection.

Sound
A wine free of defects, the minimum expectation of a wine.

Sour
A wine that has too much acidity in the balance, beyond tart, and usually means the wine has a serious defect, such as it is turning into vinegar.

Spicy
Odors and flavors reminiscent of various aromatic spices (pepper, cinnamon).

Structure
Implies harmony of fruit, alcohol, acidity, and tannins.

Sugaring
The practice of adding sugar (grape sugar ideally) to the unfermented grapes (must).

Supple
For wine It literally means “compliant or yielding”, soft, velvety and very pleasing.

Sweet
A tasting sensation, that is perceived on the tip of the tongue.

Top

T

Table Wines
A US legal term that encompasses all wines that are between 7% and 14% alcohol.

Tannins
The compounds in wines that are accountable for the bitter, astringent tastes and the dry, puckery feeling in the mouth.

Tart
A wine that is noticeably acidic.

Tartaric Acid
The principal acid in grapes that promotes flavor and aging in wine.

Tears
The drops of wine that creep down the side of the wine glass. A higher alcohol content may be indicated by thinner “tears/legs” flowing back into the wine after you swirl the glass.

Texture
Term describing how the wine being tasted feels on the palate.

Thief
A glass or metal tube used to extract wine from a barrel.

Top

U

Ullage 
The empty space left in bottles and barrels as a wine evaporates. 

Top

V

Varietal Wine
Any wine that takes its name from the predominant grape variety. In the US there must be 75% of the named grape.

Vat
Tank or a container for fermenting, storing and blending wine.

Vineyard
A plantation of grapevines, especially one producing grapes for winemaking.

Viniculture 
This term is used for the entire scope of wine (seed to bottle).

Vinification
The process of turning grape juice into wine or winemaking.

Vintage
Refers to both the actual grape harvest as well as the year of the harvest.

Viticulture
The science of grape growing.

Vitis
That genus of plants to which all grapes belong.

Top

W

Weight
The thicker or richer a wine feels in the mouth, the more weight is described as having.

Wine
Fermented juice of grapes (nectar of the gods).

Woody
Denotes the taste of wood, usually oak, should not dominate the flavor of the wine.

Top

Y

Yeast
The microorganism that converts grape sugars into alcohol.

Yield
The productivity or the amount of fruit any given vine or vineyard produces.

Young
An immature wine that is usually bottled and sold within a year of its vintage.

Top

Z

Zymurgy 
The science and study of fermentation. cartier replica fake replica

Top