An insider's guide for wine lovers

Also called Wine Jargon, we will present you the most commonly used terms which describe the wines.


acid, acidity

An essential component of any drink, which keeps it invigorating and removes harmful bacteria.


A small amount of sulphur is added to most wines; Industrial wines can contain a wide range of chemical additives, including nutrients for yeast, acids, tannins, preservatives. Our advice is to go through the list of ingredients in wine.


Without it, the wine would be grape juice. Fermentation converts sugars into alcohol.


Designation of origin: at least one defined area in legal terms, for example the American Viticultural Areas, which can span millions of acres; maximum (such as French appellations, AOC or PDO), a set of regulations that determine not only where that wine comes from, but also how the vines are grown, what varieties and in what proportions, how the grapes are harvested and how they are made, and obsolete wines. The appellations in Italy are called DOC and DOCG, the Spanish ones, DO.


Generally used to indicate the precise proportions of different grape varieties in a wine; also used to denote the blending process of a new wine harvest, especially when it comes to elegant burgundy wines.


Adding sugar to the must before fermentation to increase the final alcohol level in the wine.


The estates in Bordeaux where wine is made generally bear this name (the French meaning being castles), no matter how modest.


Traditional British term for red burgundy; It generally refers to a wine with a relatively light body and an appropriate amount of tannin and acidity when young.


A family of calves derived, by clonal selection, from a single mother vine, given a specific trait, for example productivity, disease resistance or colour. See also mass selection.

cru classe

In view of the Paris Exposition of 1855, Bordeaux wine merchants established a ranking of the top 60 châteaux (or crus), at that time, in five groups, based on their selling prices and, believe it or not. , this system still works today, from "premier cru" (the best) to "cinquième cru".


From the French croître, to grow, therefore Premier Cru denotes a product of the highest quality - with special value in Burgundy, of even greater value when they talk about a Grand Cru. In Italy, cru is a special vineyard, with its own qualities that can be demonstrated; a Cru Beaujolais comes from one of the 10 upper communes.

cuve close

It means "sealed vat", being the French term for obtaining sparkling wine by the "tank" method.

Tasting a wine without knowing what it tastes like. It is called semi-blind when tasting a well-known list of wines, but you are not informed which wine is in the glass.

blind tasting

Tasting a wine without knowing what it tastes like. It is called semi-blind when tasting a well-known list of wines, but you are not informed which wine is in the glass.

horizontal tasting

Tasting of wines (usually related) from one and the same year of harvest.

vertical tasting

Tasting the same wine from different years of production.

carbon dioxide

The gas that is released during fermentation; it is found dissolved in sparkling wines.


The Burgundian equivalent of the Bordeaux château, a wine estate (usually small), mostly in Burgundy, consisting of several rows of vines in several different vineyards, each with a different appellation.


Microscopic and extremely varied mushrooms that have the property of converting sugars from grapes into alcohol. The yeast present in the atmosphere of a winery or vineyard may be responsible for what is called spontaneous or unprovoked fermentation which, according to some, produces wines full of personality, but the results are not predictable, while the yeast cultures, specially selected for various attributes, involves lower risks.


The process of converting grape sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide under the action of yeast.

field blend

A mixture of various varieties of grapes planted in the same vine

aging in glass

The quality of a wine to be evolved as a result of the time spent in the glass. There is no direct relationship with vintage; it is simply a matter of what happens to a wine as a result of its shelf life: the constituents have had time to interact and create more interesting compounds, and the tannins have precipitated and the wine tastes less harsh.

carbonic maceration

A vinification method designed to produce particularly fruity wines with a low tannin content by fermenting whole grapes in a sealed vat; used extensively in Beaujolais and Languedoc-Roussillon for rounding Carignan grape wines.

the traditional method

The classic way of making champagne, much imitated in other places.

mis (e) en bouteille au domaine / château

From French, "bottled at the chateau" [where the grapes were harvested].


It usually describes wines made from a single established grape variety.


Liquid in transition from grape juice to wine; may contain skins, seeds and fragments of grape seed.


Wine that does not come from the production of a single year, being therefore a mixture of more than one vintage (over 90% of the champagne sold is such a mixture) or, if we talk about cheap wines, those that do not specify the year of production , so the same label can be used regardless of the mixture and the age of the wine.

orange wine

Fermented white wine (like a red wine) in contact with grape skins, which makes it a deep colour, being relatively astringent.

petit chateau

One of the hundreds of smaller and less bright castles in Bordeaux.


Quantities of wine or grapes obtained per unit area of ​​a vineyard. In Europe, it is usually expressed in hectolitres (1 hectolitre - 100 litres) per hectare, while outside Europe productivity is measured rather in the form of tons of grapes per acre. In general, the lower the productivity, the more concentrated the wine, but the vines usually feel more at ease and are more balanced if they are not required to produce low yields, by applying wild cuts.

breathing in

There is an opinion that if you open a bottle and let it sit for a while, the wine has time to "breathe" before it is served.

selection massale (mass selection)

Mixture of plants of the same variety, but with different properties.


Trichloroanisol, usually the culprit of mold creation.


Grape varieties from a single vine species, usually Vitis vinifera.

still wine

All wine that is not sparkling.

natural wine

They come in trend with a minimum content of additives.

sparkling wine

Name applied to all sparkling wines except champagne.


Wine term that refers to the production from a single harvest year, unlike non-vintage wine, which can be obtained from a mixture of wines made in several different years. Thus, in the northern hemisphere, wine is the product of the growing season of that year, as the grape harvest (also called "vintage") usually takes place in September or October, while the growing season in the southern hemisphere, where the grapes are harvested around February and March, extending over the previous calendar year.

vitis vinifera

The European vine species from which almost all of the wine is produced nowadays. Like all other plants, it is found in many different varieties. Wines with a very specific taste are usually obtained from American grape varieties. Concord grapes, from which almost all the grape juice and jelly produced in America are obtained, are the most intensively cultivated on this continent.

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