Wine: wīn
Alcoholic beverage made from fermented grape juice

One of the biggest challenges for a blossoming wine lover is getting past the vast vocabulary. There are so many wine terms out there and even the savviest of connoisseurs can get tripped up sometimes. That being said, I have decided to take it upon myself to put together a sort of cheat sheet for those of us who might need a little help every once in a while. Here are some common wine terms you may run into whilst on your journey through the vines.

Appellation: Identifies where the grapes for a wine were grown
Aroma: The smell of a wine. Usually used to describe younger wines while Bouquet is used for more aged wines
Body: Describes the weight and fullness of a wine in the mouth: Light, Medium or Full-Bodied
Cult Wine: Wine for which a buyer will pay large sums of money because of its desirability and rarity
Cuvée: A wine blended from several vats or batches; also used in Champagne to denote the juice from the first pressing of a batch of grapes
Dry: Wines with little to no residual sugar; The opposite of sweet, except in sparkling wines, when dry means sweet.
Flabby: Used when tasting wine to describe its lack of structure which is often marked by low acidity
Hard: Tasting term for wine containing too much tannin and is therefore unpleasant; Hard wines usually take a long time to mature
Legs: Tracks of liquid that cling to the side of a wine glass after swirling the wine; Often said to be related to the alcohol or glycerol content of a wine; Also called Tears
New World Wine: Wines produced outside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa; Wines grown in those areas are referred to as Old World Wines
Nose: Tasting term for the Aroma or Bouquet of a wine
Oenophile: A wine aficionado or connoisseur
Quaff: Word used to describe an intoxicating beverage that is consumed copiously and heartily; Can be used as an adjective (the act of drinking) or a noun (the drink itself)
Reserve: Term used to indicate that a wine is of higher quality than usual
Residual Sugar: The level of sugar that remains unfermented in a wine; Corresponds with the sweetness of the wine
Sommelier: Trained wine expert that usually works in fine restaurants
Split: A single-serving wine bottle that holds approximately 6 ounces, or one fourth of a typical 750mL bottle
Still Wine: Wine that is not sparkling
Tannin: Polyphenolic compounds that give wine a bitter, dry, or puckery feeling in the mouth
Varietal: Wines made from a single grape variety, such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage: The year in which a particular wine’s grapes were harvested; When the vintage year is indicated on the label it indicated that all the grapes used in that wine were harvested in that same year

If you want to learn even more wine terms I suggest looking on Wikipedia. Their glossary of wine terms is quite extensive. The list goes on and on! Good luck!

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