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Bunch of grapes

Qualitätswein: Light and simple Austrian wines derived from less-ripened grapes grown in a specific wine region.

Quarter-bottle, split, or piccolo: Champagne bottle varying in capacity from 0.187-liter to 0.2-liter.

Racking: The process of moving wine from barrel to barrel, while leaving sediment behind, for the purpose of clarifying it. (fr. soutirage)

"We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne."

Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D.),
Roman Emperor from 161 to 180.

"When wines were good they pleased my sense, cheered my spirits, improved my moral and intellectual powers, besides enabling me to confer the same benefits on other people."

George E.B. Saintsbury (1845-1933),
English writer and critic.

Rancio: Wine from the Catalan vineyards of France and Spain, fortified and oxidized through prolonged periods of aging in wood and heating in sunlight. Such methods give it a tawny brown color and rich, nutty, or sweet aroma — typical of Madeira and old Sherries. (see also Maderized)

Récolte: Harvest, crop; also: vintage.

Rehoboam: Champagne or wine bottle with a 4.5-liter capacity.

Reserva: A Spanish term for a red wine that has spent at least three years maturing in barrels and bottles before release (at least two years for rosé or white wines).

Reserve: A largely American term indicating a wine of higher quality; it has no legal meaning.

Rhône: A river in southwest France surrounded by villages producing wines mostly from Syrah; the name of the wine-producing valley in France.

Riddling: The process of rotating Champagne bottles in order to shift sediment toward the cork. (fr. rémuage)

Riesling: Along with Chardonnay, one of the top white grapes in the world; most popular in Germany, Alsace and Austria.

Rioja: A well-known region in Spain known for traditional red wines made from the Tempranillo grape.

Rosé: French for "pink," and used to describe a category of refreshing wines that are pink in color but are made from red grapes.

Salmanazar: Champagne or wine bottle with a 9-liter capacity.

Sancerre: An area in the Loire Valley known mostly for wines made from Sauvignon Blanc.

Sangiovese: A red grape native to Tuscany; the base grape for Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Morellino di Scansano and others.

Sauternes: A sweet Bordeaux white wine made from botrytized Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc.


Sauvignon Blanc: A white grape planted throughout the world; increasingly the signature wine of New Zealand.

Sec: French term for dry. (see Dry)

Sémillon: A plump white grape popular in Bordeaux and Australia; the base for Sauternes.

Sherry: A fortified wine from a denominated region in southwest Spain; styles include fino, Manzanilla, oloroso and amontillado.

Shiraz: The Australian name for Syrah; also used in South Africa and sparingly in the U.S.

Silky: A term used to describe a wine with an especially smooth mouthfeel.

Solera: The Spanish system of blending wines of different ages to create a harmonious end product; a stack of barrels holding wines of various ages.

Sommelier: Technically a wine steward, but one potentially with a great degree of wine knowledge as well as a diploma of sorts in wine studies.

Soutirage: Clarifying wine by drawing it off from its sediments. (see Racking)

Spicy: A term used to describe certain aromas and flavors that may be sharp, woody or sweet.

Split: A quarter-bottle of wine; a single-serving bottle equal to 175 milliliters.

Standard bottle: Champagne or wine bottle with 0.75-liter or 750ml capacity (still sometimes referred to as a "fifth", the old U.S. value of 0.2 gal. or about 0.757 liter).

Steely: A term used to describe an extremely crisp, acidic wine that was not aged in barrels.

Stemmy: A term used to describe harsh, green characteristics in a wine.

Sulfites: An antioxidant and anti-microbial used to preserve wines.

Super Tuscan: A red wine from Tuscany that is not made in accordance with established DOC rules; often a blended wine of superior quality containing Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot.

Supple: A term used to describe smooth, balanced wines.

Syrah: A red grape planted extensively in the Rhône Valley of France, Australia and elsewhere; a spicy, full and tannic wine that usually requires aging before it can be enjoyed.

Table wine: A term used to describe wines of between 10 and 14 percent alcohol; in Europe, table wines are those that are made outside of regulated regions or by unapproved methods.

Tannins: Phenolic compounds that exist in most plants; in grapes, tannins are found primarily in the skins and pits; tannins are astringent and provide structure to a wine; over time tannins die off, making wines less harsh.

Tastevin: The silver tasting cup used by the Sommelier to taste the wine before pouring for the customer.

Tempranillo: The most popular red grape in Spain; common in Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

"The juice of the grape is the liquid quintessence of concentrated sunbeams."

Thomas Love Peacock (1785-1866),
English satirist and author.

"Wine is light, held together by water."

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642),
Tuscan astronomer,
philosopher, and physicist.

"What I like to drink most is wine that belongs to others."

Diogenes of Sinope
(ca. 410-320 B.C.),
Greek philosopher, moralist.

"Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words."

Titus Maccius Plautus,
comic playwright of the
Roman Republic, 2nd century B.C.

Terroir: A French term for the combination of soil, climate and all other geographic factors that influence the ultimate character of a wine.

Texture: The overall feeling of a wine when it's in the mouth.

Tokay: A dessert wine made in Hungary from dried Furmint grapes.

Tonneau: A barrel or cask with a capacity of 900 liters.

Trocken: German for "dry."

Troisième cru: A French term meaning third growth, a Médoc category specified in the Classification of 1855.

Ullage: The space in any wine storage container that develops as wine ages and evaporates.

Varietal: A wine made from just one grape type and named after that grape; the opposite of a blend.

Vat cuvée: a specific vat of wine selected for its quality.

Vendange: n.f. French term for grape harvest. vendanger to harvest the grapes of (a vineyard, etc.). vendangeur n.m.,f. -euse: grape picker, harvester.

Veneto: A large wine-producing region in northern Italy.

Vigneron, -onne: Cultivator of grape vines, winemaker.

Vignoble: French term for vineyard. (Italian: vigna or vigneto; Portuguese: vinha; Spanish: viña or viñedo)

Vin Délimités de Qualité Supérieure (VDQS): Literally translated as wines of superior quality, these wines are produced in AOC regions but fall slightly below AOC quality standards. The category will be eliminated in 2011.

Vin de pays: An official category of French wines above the level of vin de table (but lower than AOC), comprising about one quarter of the wine produced in France. Wines bearing this designation should demonstrate a certain degree of regional character.

Vin de table: French for table wine. (see Table wine)

Vin doux naturel (VDN): Sweet dessert wines primarily from southern France, made in a process similar to Port, i.e.: fortified to 18-21% alcohol by volume. White versions are typically made from the Muscat grape, reds from Grenache.

Vinicole: adj. Related to the growing of grapes, viniculture, wine industry, or wine tourism.

Viniculture: The cultivation of the vine, esp. for making wine; viticulture. [1913 Webster] The craft and science of growing grapes and making wine. [WordNet 2.0]

Vinification: The process of turning grapes into wine.

Vin Santo: Sweet wine from Tuscany made from late-harvest Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes.

Vins de primeur (or nouveaux wines): French wines which are permitted by AOC regulations to be sold in the same year that they are harvested. The most widely exported nouveau wine is Beaujolais nouveau.

Vintage: A particular year in the wine business; a specific harvest.

Viognier: A fragrant, powerful white grape grown in the Rhône Valley of France and elsewhere.

Viticulture: The science and business of growing wine grapes. (see Viniculture)

Vitis aestivalis: A native American species of vine found in Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri.

Vitis labrusca: A popular native American species of vine found growing in the northeastern United States and Canada.

Vitis riparia: A native American species of vine known for being resistant to phylloxera.

Vitis rotundifolia: A native American vine species found growing around the Gulf of Mexico.

Vitis vinifera: The native European species of vine that is used to produce most of the world's wine.

Wine press: (see Press)

Wine thief: A long tube used for taking samples of wine from barrels.

Yeast: Organisms that issue enzymes which trigger the fermentation process; yeasts can be natural or commercial.

Yield: The amount of grapes harvested in a particular year.

Zinfandel: A popular grape in California of disputed origin; scientists say it is related to grapes in Croatia and southern Italy.

Editing, translation, and portions written by Ian C. Mills.
Sources:, Ireland's Virtual Wine Warehouse. BellaOnline, The Voice of Women, Paula S.W. Laurita, Wine Editor. La Vigne et le Vin, cépages, régions viticoles, lexique du vin, accords mets/vins, vins biologiques, emplois., a web site by Ryan Snyder. Musings on the Vine, A Collection of Thoughts, Suggestions and Opinions about Wine. Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wiktionary, the Free Dictionary. The ARTFL Project, American and French Research on the Treasury of the French Language. Ultralingua Web, The Language Site (French-English translation). The DICT Development Group Collaborative International Dictionary of English — derived from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, version published 1913 by the C. & G. Merriam Co., Springfield, Mass.; and from WordNet, a semantic network created by the Cognitive Science Department of Princeton University under the direction of Prof. George Miller, © Princeton University. Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, Robert Andrews, Columbia University Press (1993)., "The World's Best Quotes", a web site hosted by Dan Mingori. All rights reserved.


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