Wine Glossary - “an easy to use layman’s guide”
This glossary is a selection of wine related terms which are fun to know but no one should feel it a necessity to know these words in order to enjoy a nice glass of wine.
ABC: Abbreviated for “Anything But Chardonnay” The term was first used by Randall Graham and could also refer to Cabernet.
ABV: Alcohol by volume
appellation: The legal geographical designation for grapes
aroma: Refers to the fragrant perception of the grapes.
attack: A wine’s first impression
balance: A combination of tannins, fruit, alcohol and acids working together. If one aspect overrides the others,the wine is not balanced.
brix: Measurement to determine the sugar content. For example 21ºB is juice that has a brix measurement of 21 grams of sugar per 100 grams of juice. This measurement is used by growers as data to help determine when to harvest grapes. It is alo used by winemakers to determing the potential alcohol for juice and the amount of sugar converted to alcohol.
bouquet: Refers to the fragrant perception of the wine including those aromatics picked up as a result of fermenting, maturation and aging in addition to the aromatics from the grape.
brut: Refers to a very dry sparkling wine or champagne
calcium carbonate: CaCO3 A winemaker will add calcium carbonate to a juice or must if it is too acedic.
carboy: A vessel often made of glass or plastic that is used to age wine. Home winemakers often will use three, five and six gallon carboys for home winemaking.
chaptaliazation: Adding sugar to wine to increase the residual sugar. This will increase the potential alcohol of the wine.
cold soak: Allowing certain grape varieties to soak in cold temperatures for a number of days prior to fermentation. Winemakers will do this in order to extract more color, aromatics, flavors and tannins.
crush: A process where gentle pressure breaks the skin of a grape and releases the contents.
demijohn: A vessel used forfermenting and aging wine. Similiar to carboy.
destem: Removing the stems from grapes