Glossary of Wine Terms

Published in: News

“Where there is no wine there is no love.”
Euripides (c. 480 – 406 BCE) 


Either you are a sommelier, a wine steward in French, or just a simple wine lover, here are all the terms and the correct pronunciations you need to impress who’s drinking with you.

Aglianico del Taburno
Red wine from the province of Benevento brought in Italy by the ancient Greeks and still very much appreciated.

White grape used to produce dry white wines in the Burgundy region of France.

Sweet, gentle, pleasant. In music, it indicates notes to be played melodiously. At the table, we are talking about a dry white wine DOC  from Veneto.

Full-bodied Italian red wine (DOCG) from the province of Verona. Very good and very expensive wine. Literally it means "the Great Bitter".

It is a kind of brandy distilled from wine usually made from a blend of grapes. It is produced in Gascony, a region in France.

White wine produced in Piedmont, in Italy.

German term to indicate a category of wine made from carefully selected ripe grapes which need to be hand picked.

The champagne producers have created a series of bottles of different capacities for holding the precious sparkling wine invented by the Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Pérignon.  Baltahazar is the second largest bottle, larger than a Salmanazar, but smaller than a Nabuchodonosor.  A Baltahazar contains the equivalent of 16 standard bottles: 12.3 litres.

Italian wine made with the Nebbiolo grape. Barbaresco is produced in the Piedmont region.

Italian red wine. Produced mainly in Piedmont, for decades Barbera has been the classic red table wine.

Red DOCG wine produced in Piedmont. Made from the Nebbiolo grape, it is one of Italy's greatest wines

The Baumé scale is a system invented  by French pharmacist Antoine Baumé in 1768 to measure density of various liquids. It is very important for winemakers because it give them an estimate of finished alcohol levels in the grapes. 

Beaujolais Nouveau
Red wine produced in the Beaujolais region of France. It is the most popular vin de primeur, sold in the same year in which it was harvested, fermented for just a few weeks before being released for sale on the third Thursday of November.

German word which means "handpicked grapes".  It is used when speaking about a late harvest of very ripe grapes. The wines, produced from these ripe and sweet grapes, become excellent dessert wines.

Blanc de Blancs
French definition to indicate a white table wine, sometimes sparkling, made entirely from white grapes.

Blanc de noirs
French definition to define a still or sparkling white wine that is made from red or black grapes. Also many rosé wines are produced with red grapes. In California, for example, rosés are labeled "blanc de noirs".

Literally “small bubbles”, the word is used in place of “spumante”, the sparkling, fizzy wine. Do not use this term if you are trying to impress with your wine expertise.

Red wine from the area of Pavia. It can be dry or “amabile” (literally lovable, which means semi sweet).

French word to define the aromas of a wine: from the grapes, to the reactions of fermentation and aging of the wine.

Wine made in the Burgundy region in France. Here they produce red and white wines starting by their Pinot  Noir and Chardonnay vineyards.

Small town in Veneto famous for its red and white Italian DOC wine. Taste the sweet passito wine.

Brunello di Montalcino
Red DOCG wine produced in Tuscany.  One of Italy's best-known and most expensive wines.

French word to indicate a very dry wine. Literally it means “rough”, but also “untreated”, “pur” .

Cabernet Franc
Red wine grape variety usually blended with Cabernet Sauvignon and others red grapes.

Cabernet Sauvignon
One of the world's most famous red wine grape varieties. Originally from France, it is grown in almost every wine producing area.

French term to indicate blackcurrants, from which they produce a liqueur called crème de cassis.

Wine testing term to indicate the smell of cedar wood in a mature wine aged in French or American oak.

French term which translate “grape variety”.

Sparkling wine produced from grapes grown in the Champagne region of France.

Chardonnay is a white grape variety, from Bourgogne (France), which is now grown all over the world.

To be continued...

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