The harmonious relationship of the components of wine (acid, fruit, tannin, alcohol, etc.) resulting in a well proportioned, or well balanced, wine.
A hollow cylindrical container, traditionally made of wood staves, used for fermenting and aging wine. Today these may be of cement, plastic, stainless steel, or oak. Oak barrels allow the wine to mature and breathe while adding natural tannin and flavors such as vanilla or toast. Sometimes called a cask.
The French name for a 225-liter Bordeaux-style barrel (Bordeaux hogshead). Will yield 24 cases of 12 bottles each.
Light sediment, chiefly mucilage, a gummy substance obtained from certain plants found in Port.
A type of clay used in wine clarification.
Wines produced by the principles of biodynamic agriculture, a method of organic farming.
One of the main taste sensations usually detected at the back of the tongue after swallowing. Phenolic substances are the main source of bitterness in wine and come from wood (oak) and the grape.
Meaning white from white this is a sparkling wine made from 85% or more of a white-skinned grape variety, usually Chardonnay.
Meaning white from black this is a white or slightly pink sparkling wine made from 85% or more of a dark-skinned grape variety, usually Pinot noir.
A wine-tasting term used to describe a wine that lacks any discernible character, though not necessarily having any particular wine faults.
Mixing of two or more grape varieties, vintages, or locations to increase quality, complexity, or maintain consistency.
Tasting and evaluating wine without knowing what it is.
A Spanish wine cellar. Also, refers to a seller of alcoholic beverage.
A term used to express the weight of a wine. Full-bodied describes a wine (generally one that is higher in alcohol) with a fullness of flavor in the mouth.
Another name for the botrytis cinerea mold that can pierce grape skins causing dehydration. The resulting grapes produce a highly-prized sweet wine, generally dessert wine.
A bottle is a small container with a neck that is narrower than the body and a mouth. Modern wine bottles are nearly always made of glass because it is nonporous, strong, and aesthetically pleasing.
Maturation and aging in a bottle impart mature, mellow characters that increase the complexity, quality, and overall harmony of wine.
A method of producing sparkling wine where secondary fermentation occurs in bottles. The wine is then transferred to a pressure tank where it is mixed, filtered, then bottled.
Also known as bottle-sickness, a temporary condition of wine characterized by muted or disjointed fruit flavors. It often occurs immediately after bottling or when wines (usually fragile wines) are shaken in travel. After several days the condition usually disappears.
The degree to which bottled wine of the same style and vintage can vary.
Describes the complex aromas a wine develops after time spent in the bottle. Generally not applied to young wines.
Wine packaged in a bag usually made of flexible plastic and protected by a box, usually made of cardboard. The bag is sealed by a simple plastic tap.
A liquor made from distilled wine. It is often the source of additional alcohol in fortified wine.
A wine spoilage yeast that produces taints in wine commonly described as barnyard or band-aids.
Describes a wine that has high clarity and very low levels of suspended solids.
Perfectly clear wine with no suspended particles. Brilliance can be an indicator of wine quality, except in premium red wine, where some crust or sediment can be expected to form after bottle maturation.
A measure of the sugar concentration in juice or wine.
Unsweetened or very dry. Brut is sometimes used as a generic term for sparkling wines, usually of dubious quality. Not to be confused with Brut de Brut.
A dry sparkling wine that leaves a full, creamy, round mouthfeel.
A term used to describe sparkling wine that is fermented to absolute dryness containing no residual sugar.
A method of producing sparkling wine in large stainless steel tanks as opposed to in the bottle. This process offers good quality, consistent wines.
A stopper used to seal a bottle or barrel. Commonly used term for corks.
Another name for Brandy, a liquor made from distilled wine. It is often the source of additional alcohol in fortified wines.
An old English unit of wine casks, equivalent to about 477 litres (126 US gallons/105 Imperial gallons).