Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine

Aperitif

Drinks that are served before or after a meal

Anthocyanins

Pigments found in the grape skin which are responsible for the red-to-blue color of grapes.

ABC “Anything But Chardonnay” Movement

Public effort to move away from the well-known varietal, Chardonnay to lesser-known, but possibly more enjoyable, varietals which offer different...

Azienda Agricola

The Italian word for an estate making wine only from its own grapes.

Awkward

This is a term that describes a wine with poor structure or it’s balance is off.

Auslese

German word for “selection”. In the German wine law, Auslese refers to the fact that wines must be made from select grapes which are riper than...

Aurore

A French hybrid grape variety invented in the 19th century by French nurseryman Albert Seibel. Often used in the eastern U.S. for sparkling wines....

Ausbrunch

This is a famous Austrian wine style. It is a specialty from the town of Rust on Lake Neusiedl or Neusiedler See in German.

AVA

American Viticulture Area – a term used by the US Government to delineate specific wine growing regions within the United States.

Atmosphere

A unit used to measure the amount of pressure inside a bottle of Sparking Wine. 1 Atmosphere equals 14.7 pounds per square inch (the standard...

Asti/Moscato D’Asti

Sweet sparkling white wine made in the Piedmont region of Italy. Specifically in the provinces of Asti, Cuneo and Alessandria.

Assertive

A wine that is upfront and forward.

Assemblage

Blending wine components to create a final product for bottling and aging. Often used in sparkling wine production.

Aromatic

Term used to describe wines with a flowery, spicy or strong grape smell.

Argols

The name for raw cream of tartar crystals attached to inside walls or bottoms of wine tanks. They are usually found in big chunks and they are...

Aramon

A European wine grape best known for its use in producing the hybrid rootstock AXR-1. AXR-1 was the rootstock used in California’s coastal counties...

Approachable

A wine that is drinkable and ready to enjoy.

Appellation

The specific area from where the wine originates. It can refer to a large region, such as Bordeaux or Burgundy, or a smaller sub-region. An example...

Appearance

Contrary to what you might think this term refers to a wine’s clarity, not the wine’s colour or the way it looks.

AOC

Appellation d’origine controlee – The French Government body that regulates wine.

Antioxidants

These chemicals prevent fruit, must and wine from oxidizing. The most important of these chemicals is ascorbic acid.

Angelica

This amber coloured wine is traditionally used as sacramental wine for the Christian rite of communion. It is sweet and lacks a distinct flavour...

Ampelography

A resource book used for identifying vine varieties in the field.

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