Basic Wine Terms and Definitions
Basic Wine Definitions
- Acidity -
- Describes a sour or tart taste in the mouth when the total acidity of the wine is high. Acidity contributes to the keeping ability of fine wine.
- Aftertaste -
- The "shadow taste" remaining in your mouth just after swallowing a sip of wine.
- Appearance -
- A term used in sensory evaluation of wine to describe whether a wine is crystal clear (brilliant), cloudy, or contains sediment. It has nothing to do with the color of a wine.
- Aroma -
- The portion of the smell of a wine derived specifically from the grape variety, such as Cabernet-Sauvignon or Chardonnay, as opposed to that portion of the smell derived from other sources.
- Balance -
- A subjective term used in wine evaluation. A wine in which the tastes of acid, sugar, tannin, alcohol and flavor are in harmony is said to be "in balance."
- Beaujolais -
- Well known wine region in east-central France. The town of Beaujeu is the regional hub, but most of the wine producing region is east of town.
- Body -
- A tasting term referring to viscosity, thickness, consistency, or texture. A wine with body often has higher alcohol or sugar content than others.
- Bouquet -
- It is the odor which derives from the fermentation process, from the aging in wood and bottle process, and other changes independent of the grape variety used.
- Cabernet Sauvignon -
- The king of red wine grapes, the classic variety of the Bordeaux region of France and of many other regions around the world.
- Chianti -
- Medium to full bodied red table wine of Tuscany in Italy. Chiantis are blends, but the primary grape variety used is Sangiovese.
- Finish -
- The last impression left in the mouth by the taste of a wine.
- Legs -
- The viscous droplets of wine that form and ease down the sides of the glass when swirled.
- Mouthfeel -
- How a wine feels in the mouth and against the tongue.
- Magnum -
- Oversize bottle, with twice the capacity of a standard 750 ml. wine bottle. The word "magnum" is used for a 1.5 liter bottle of great wine.
- Oaky -
- Tasting term to describe the smell or taste of excessive oak flavor in a wine.
- Port -
- Any of the fortified, rich, sweet, alcoholic and full bodied wines shipped from the Oporto region in the north of Portugal.