Acidity: One of the important components in wine , contributing to the balance and its influence on colour. It is felt at the sides of the tongue and moisturizes the mouth.
Alcohol: The alcohol in wine is ethyl alcohol. It’s amount in proportion to the volume of the bottle is indicated with the (%) sign.
Antochyanin: The pigment that gives the black and red grapes colour. An important phenolic compound.
Bacchus: Roman wine god.
Balance: The harmony between the acidity, alcohol, tannin, residual sugar and fruit flavours of the wine.
Barrique: The name of the 225 liter oak casks used in Bordeaux. It’s use has spread all over the world. Used in aging as well as fermentation.
Biodynamic Viticulture: A holistic trend based on Austrian thinker Rudolph Steiner’s ideas. The vineyard is seen as a living organism, and the movements of the moon and planets influential to the end result. Can be thought of as an extreme interpretation of organic viticulture.
Blind Tasting: Although most people think it’s called blind because it’s done in pitch-black, or with closed eyes, the blindness comes from the label being obscured.
Bodega: Spanish for winery.
Body: The weight of the wine on the palate.
Bordeaux Mixture: Mixture of lime, copper sulfate and water. It can be use for control of the fungal and bacterial diseases. Permitted in organic and biodynamic viticulture.
Bouchonné: The contamination in wine due to cork closure , caused by Trichloranizol (TCA). Can be detected by the smell of mould or wet cardboard. If you find such a smell in the wine you are drinking, it is best to inform the sommeliér. Is seen in around %5 of all wines.
Bouquet: The aromas that develop by maturation in the bottle. Secondary aromas are also accepted as bouquet at Bordeaux University.
Cantina: Italian for winery
Carbonic Maceration: Fermentation of uncrushed whole bunch grapes in an anaerobic environment. Usually not used for white grapes.
Cava: A sparkling wine made with traditional method in Spain, especially Penedes.
Champagne: A region in France and the name of the sparkling wines produced there. (Therefore every sparkling wine is not champagne.)
Claret: The term British people use to define Bordeaux wine. Clairet is used for the more light, between rose and red Bordeaux’s. Clairette is a grape variety from the south of France. People often confuse the three terms.
Clos: The term used in France(especially Burgundy) for describing vineyards surrounded with walls.
Complexity: A word used to describe a wine that has different layers of flavours.
Cote: French for slope
Crémant: The common name for sparkling wines made in France, outside of the Champagne region using the traditional method. Therefore they are much more affordable.
Cru: The French name for high quality vineyards.
Degustation: Wine tasting
Dionysius: Ancient Greek wine god
Drunken Goat: According to the legend, a goat escaped from Noah’s Arc and swam to land. There, he ate the grapes growing on the wild vines. When he arrived back at the ship he was jumping eratically, and bumping into the other animals. So that makes the first drunk in history not a human but a goat!
Dry: The word used to describe the lack of sweetness of a wine. Sec.
Eiswein: A sweet wine made of frozen grapes in Germany, Austria and Canada. For best results it is better to pick the grapes at -8 C
En primeur: A French term used in wine commerce. The tasting and sale of the wine before it is bottled. It’s common in Bordeaux where buyers try to get for cheaper the products of a good year before they rise in value. Some chateaus- like Ch. Latour- have left from this practice after 2011 vintage.
Fermentation: The process of transforming the sugar in the grape into ethyl alcohol and carbon dioxide by the action of the yeast.
Filtration: The process of quickly separating solid particles from wine. An alternative to natural settling.
Frank Gehry: A deconstructionist architecht whose hotel in the Marques de Riscal Vineyard in Rioja Elciego is considered one of the prime examples of post-modern architecture. Also the inspiration for the 2001 Gehry Selection.
Ginola: Provence born French ex-football player and wine lover. His Coste Brulade rosé 2007 won a silver at the IWC.
Il Cantante: A wine produced by Simply Red’s singer Mick Hucknall in Sicilia, meaning “the singer”
Kav: The Turkish of the French for cellar!
Koshu: A pink skinned grape that came to Japan from the Caucasus via the Silk Road. That shows citrus flavours, minerality and has high acidity.
Length: The duration of the flavours on the palate after taste of the wine.
Magnum: Clint Eastwood’s old gun. A bottle two times the size of a regular 750 cl. bottle. It’s preferred to the regular size bottle for long-term aging.
Malolactic fermentation: The process of the strong malic acid in wine transforming into the softer lactic acid. While the acidity of the wine softens, the complexity increases due to development of new flavours. According to the methodology of the winemaker, this process could be triggered or obstructed.
Mature: An aged wine ready to drink
Meursault: A region in Bourgogne- Cote de Beaune, France famous for its white wines. Also, the name of the character of Albert Camus’s novel “The Stranger”.
Michael Broadbent: He was educated as an architect, but is now the most experienced wine taster, wine writer and auctioneer in the world. An influential name in the wine world for 50 years. The first of the MW’s, founder of Christie’s wine division. 86 years old and still writing.
Microoxygenation: A technique that adds (giving) controlled oxygen while maturing the wine. An alternative to maturation in a cask because it softens the tannins and helps stabilization of the wine.
Motörhead: An Australian Shiraz made by Lemmy and friends. (For more information listen to Ace of Spades)
Negociant: If a wine merchant is French.
New World: The name used to describe the wine producing countries that are outside of Europe. Such as Chile, New Zealand and South Africa.
Noble Rot: Somewhere in the world, there lived a fungus that loved foggy fall mornings and sunny fall afternoons and was called by the name of Botyrtis Cinerea. This fungus would dry(sucks the water of) the grapes, make them more ugly but concentrated their sugar. In the end, these ugly grapes produce some of the most complex and long living wines in the world.
Nose: A part of the human body (!) Also a tasting term in wine. Defines the smells of the wine. The crucial attachment of the wine taster.
Old World: A general term used for wine producing European countries. Such as Spain, Italy and Germany.
Oxygen: The element which sustains humans but kills wine. Although a small quantity is crucial in the aging process of red wine.
Önoloji: The Turkish adaptation to the French word describing the science of wine.
Petrol: If you detect the aromas of petrol while drinking wine, don’t panic and expect an explosion. Somebody may be drinking a quality Riesling. Take your glass and sidle up.
Phenolic compounds: The natural elements found in the stems, skins and seeds of the grape but also occur in juice and pulp.
Primeur: A French term for young wines mostly produced by carbonic maceration and release to market immediately after the vintage.
Reserve: An unofficial term used to describe more quality wines aged in special oak casks or produced by specially picked grapes.
Sediment: Wine residue usually found in aged red wine. It can also be seen in non-filtered wines. Not a sign of bad wine.
Sekt: German sparkling wine.
Sepage: French word for grape variety.
Sister Moon: Not just the name of a song, but also a wine brand. (For more detailed information, look directly below)
Sting: It’s not enough that he created a masterpiece such as Fragile, but he has to go and create biodynamic wines in his vineyard Tenuta il Palagio in Toscana! Talented composer, singer, and wine-maker. Damn him!
Sulfur: A protective and preservative element used in the vineyard and in the wine-making process.
Sur Lie: The method of keeping white wines on their own sediment. This method adds complexity and body to the wine.
Tannin: Chemical compounds found in the skin, stem and seeds of the grape. It gives the wine structure, and the capacity to age. Also found in oak casks.
Terroir: A sum of the local topography,soil and climatic conditions (macro/meso/microclimate) that define a vineyard. Terroir is the most important concept in Old World.
Vertical Tasting: The tasting of the different vintages of the same wine. Usually from the same winery.
Vielles Vignes: An old vineyard, planted at least 20 years ago. Some say 30. “Old” is used in a positive way here.
Vineyard: Where grapes are grown.
Vinification: Wine making process.
Vintage: The year the grapes are harvested. (French: Millesime)
Viticulture: The science of growing vines. Producing a good wine starts at the vineyard not in the winery.
Wine: Fermented grape juice. If the grape saw what a delicious drink was produced from his body, he wouldn’t care about his sacrifice and drink it happily.
Yeast: The naturally found micro-organisms in grapes that turn sugar into alcohol. Could also be cultured as active dried wine yeast.