Produit de France
Produit de France
750mL see where it takes you
Vine to Wine
Wine Glossary

Oenophile? Brix? Cuvée? If the language of wine is all Greek to you, no worries! Allow us to translate.

Ageing: Allows flavors and aromas of the wine to develop and mature prior to bottling.

Appellation: Generally, the area where grapes are grown and made into wine. Can be as broad as a county or as narrow as a vineyard. For example: Bordeaux, Sonoma.

Aroma: Smells that are directly related to the odor of the fresh wine grape.

Balance: Harmony among wine's components--fruit, acidity, tannins, alcohol. Great wines have balance. Also known as "integration."

Body: Perceived weight of the wine, sensation of fullness. The density of a wine on the palate—either light, medium, or full.

Bouquet: Smells that result from the fermentation or aging process.

Brix: A measurement of the sugar content of grapes before they are harvested. A scale is used to translate sugar into alcohol content of the resulting wine.

Cuvée: A single style, blend or barrel of wine.

Dry, Dryness: The absence of fermentable sugar, not sweet.

Fermentation: Process of yeast cells converting grape sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Finish: The wine's aftertaste. Not only the flavors, but the length of time those flavors linger in the mouth.

Fruit-first: Wines that emphasize fruit before more complicated flavors. Used to describe softer, less acidic white and lower tannin red wines. Also called "fruit forward." See "tannin."

Hang time: Time the grape cluster is on the vine.

Lees: Natural sediment left by the wine following its first fermentation.

Malolactic fermentation: The conversion of tart malic acid into softer lactic acid. A secondary fermentation that may occur either during primary fermentation or after primary fermentation is completed. This process can be induced or occur naturally.

Mouthfeel: Tasting term for the texture of a wine; for example, its "smoothness."

Nose: Smell of wine, divided into two components: the aroma and the bouquet. Aroma comes from the characteristics of the grape. Bouquet is the complex fragrance developed by the winemaker's influence during fermentation and aging.

Oenology: The science of wine.

Oenophile: A lover of wine.

pH: A measurement of the concentration of acidity in the juice/wine.

sur lie aging: When wine is left to age with its natural sediment.

Tannin: Natural preservative found in varying degrees in skin, seeds and stems of grapes that manifests as a taste sensation. Can build structure and improve aging. Most prominent in reds, where it creates dry mouth-puckering sensation.

terroir: In French, literally "soil." The combination of a specific landscape, climate and soil that creates the character unique to a vineyard and its wines.

Titratable Acid (TA): Measurement of the total acidity present in grape juice or wine.

Varietal wines: Wines made from, and named after, a particular grape variety. In the US, to name the variety on the label, at least 85% of the blend must be composed of that grape.

vin de pays: French "country wines." Made from grapes grown in more than one vineyard. If d'oc appears on the bottle (like on Red Bicyclette) that means the wine is a country wine from the Languedoc region of France.

Vintage: The year in which the grapes were harvested.

Vintner: The winemaker.

Viticultural: Term for science of grape production for wine and the making of wine.

Viticultural area: A well-defined region with climate, soil, elevation and physical features which set it apart from surrounding areas.

Viticulturist: Person responsible for tending to the growth and maintenance of the grapevines.