Twenty Common Wine Terms

Dec 17th 2018

Acidic: This is commonly found in young, unwooded white wines. It refers to the sour, tart taste.

Aeration: To release all the great flavors of a wine, it is extremely beneficial to allow air into the wine to release these flavours. It could be done by simply keeping the wine open, or by pouring it through an aeration device.

Appearance: What a wine looks like in a glass could tell you a lot about the state of the wine. When describing the wine’s appearance, common terms include cloudy, clear, bright, dark red, etc.

Body: The weight of a wine in a person’s mouth can either be light, medium or heavy. This is referred to the body of the wine.

Buttery: In contrast to an acidic wine, a buttery wine is often used to describe a wooded Chardonnay. The oak element croeates a silky, full, round flavour.

Chewy: This term is used to describe wine that is extremely high in tannins, making it difficult to swallow and savor.

Corked: When the cork of a wine is faulty, it is possible for the wine to be spoilt – the wine is then referred to as corked. A corked wine isn’t unsafe to consume, but not at all palatable.

Crisp: A crisp wine is due to the acidity and is a term used to describe a dry and sharp element to the wine with no signs of sweetness.

Cigar Box: This is very common with heavy red wines and refers to any smoky flavour that relates to cigars or tobacco.

Elegant: When a wine is elegant, it refers to the wine having no unpleasant sharpness of acidity, tannin or flavour.

Flabby: When a wine is low in acidity, especially wines that are expected to be acidic, it is referred to as flabby. (this term is not a favourable term.)

Grippy: When a red wine has high tannins and the tannic feeling lingers around a person’s gums and cheeks, the wine can be referred to as grippy.

Herbaceous: Any flavours or aromas picked up in a wine that is related to herbs and spices. Common flavours include, pepper, mint, fennel, and eucalyptus.

Lees: During the fermentation process, the dead yeast is referred to as the lees. Wine is often left on these dead yeast cells to add a different dimension and flavour profile to the wine.

Nose: When it comes to wine, this is used to describe the smell of a wine.

Oak: When any flavours or aromas are picked up in the wine that reflects the wooden barrels used in the wine production, these flavours can be referred to as “oak.

Plonk: A British and Australian term used for wine of extremely low quality.

Spicy: This term is used to describe many red wines that have dominant flavours that resemble spices, such as cinnamon, white or black pepper and, cardamom.

Tannins: During wine production, the skins, leaves, and twigs are often left in during the production to create a flavourful, heavier effect that also allows the wines to age well.

Vintage: This refers to the year that the grapes were harvested for the production of the wine. The vintage is almost always on the wine bottle when released.