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Wine Lingo Vocabulary

Here is a list of some of the common wine terms that are used throughout the Savvy Wino Web site:


Brix is used in the food industry for measuring the approximate amount of sugars in fruits, vegetables, juices, wine.

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognized red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley.

Cru is a French wine term which means "growth place". More specifically, cru is often used to indicate a specifically named growth place, rather than any vineyard. The term is also used to refer to the produce of such a growth place, i.e., the wine. The term cru is often used within classification of French wine.

Decanter is a vessel that is used to hold the decantation of a liquid (such as wine) which may contain sediment. Decanters are normally used as serving vessels for wine.

Harvesting of wine grapes is one of the most crucial steps in the process of winemaking. The time of harvest is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape as measured by sugar, acid and tannin levels with winemakers basing their decision to pick based on the style of wine they wish to produce.

Merlot is a red wine grape that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. Merlot-based wines usually have medium body with hints of berry, plum, and currant.

Micro-winery is a small wine producer that does not have its own vineyard, and instead sources its grape product from outside suppliers.

Oenophilia originally from Greek, is the love (philia) of wine (oinos). An oenophile is a lover of wine.

Pinot Noir red wine grapes are grown around the world, mostly in the cooler regions, but the grape is chiefly associated with the Burgundy region of France. It is widely considered to produce some of the finest wines in the world, but is a difficult variety to cultivate and transform into wine


Riesling is a white grape variety which originates in the Rhine region of Germany. Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying flowery, almost perfumed, aromas as well as high acidity. It is used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines.

Rosé (From French: rosé, ‘pinkish’) wine has some of the color typical of a red wine, but only enough to turn it pink. The pink color can range from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grapes and wine making techniques.

Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which originates from the Bordeaux region of France. This white wine is usually consumed young, as it does not particularly benefit from aging,

Sparkling Wine is a wine with significant levels of carbon dioxide in it making it fizzy, including but not limited to Champagne.

Sommelier or wine steward, is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional, commonly working in fine restaurants, who specializes in all aspects of wine service.

Tannins are found in wine, particularly red wine. Wine with high tannin content has been described, particularly by novice drinkers, as having the effect of making wine more difficult to drink than a wine with a lower level of tannins.

Tasting Flight is a term used by wine tasters to describe a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.

Tasting Note refers to a taster's written testimony about the aroma, taste identification, acidity, structure, texture, and balance of a wine.

Tasting Room is a part of a winery, typically located on the premises of the winery's production facilities, at which guests may sample the winery's products. Some wineries also have offsite tasting rooms located “downtown” giving people easier access to their wines.

Terroir was originally a French term in wine, coffee and tea used to denote the special characteristics that geography bestowed upon particular varieties.

Ullage refers to the unfilled space in a container of liquid.

Vineyard is a plantation of grape-bearing vines, grown mainly for winemaking, but also raisins, table grapes and non-alcoholic grape juice. The science, practice and study of vineyard production is known as viticulture.

Vintage, in wine-making, is the process of picking grapes and creating the finished product. A vintage wine is one made from grapes that were all, or primarily, grown and harvested in a single specified year.

Wine is an alcoholic beverage typically made of fermented grape juice.

Winery is a building or property that produces wine, or a business involved in the production of wine, such as a wine company. Some wine companies own many wineries.

Wine bar -a new spin on wine tasting. They seek to remove the association of wine with upscale clientèle and overwhelming wine lists and replace it with a more casual and relaxing atmosphere. Many of these bars are furnished with nooks and booths encased in rich colors and plush surroundings in hopes their guests will linger.

Wine Cellar is a storage room for wine in bottles or barrels. In an active wine cellar, important factors such as temperature and humidity are maintained by a climate control system. In contrast, passive wine cellars are not climate-controlled, and are usually built underground to reduce temperature swings.

Wine Tasting (often, in wine circles, simply tasting) is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine. Wine tasting (often, in wine circles, simply tasting) is the sensory examination and evaluation of wine.

Zinfandel is a variety of red grape planted in over 10 percent of California vineyards. The grapes typically produce a robust red wine, although a semi-sweet rosé (blush-style) wine called White Zinfandel has six times the sales of the red wine in the United States
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