Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine

Brettanomyces (AKA “Brett” or “Dekerra”)

The yeast genus, “Brettanomyces” which does not form spores which can responsible for the complex and aged characteristics of some red wines...


A large wine barrel, usually just over 100 gallons in capacity. Normal barrel sizes have approximately 50 or 60 gallon capacities, depending...

Bush Vines

Bush vines are a type of vine found in some areas of South Africa and Australia that are not cultivated on wire frames. They have a short trunk...


Describes wines that have an overdone, smoky, toasty or singed edge. Also used to describe overripe grapes.


One of the world’s most famous wine growing regions. It is located in eastern France south-west of Paris.


The hole in the side of a wine barrel through which the barrel is filled and emptied. In barrel manufacturing, coopers always use at least one...


The primary closure for barrels, hammered into place with a wooden hammer. Bungs are normally made of hardwood. When bungs are to be removed...


Wine by the barrel.

Bud Break

The action of new vine buds swelling, opening and beginning new vine growth in spring.


French term for ‘Dry’. Refers to dry Champagne or Sparkling Wine. The authorities in the Champagne region of France use this term to denote added...


Used to describe fresh, ripe, zesty, lively young wines with vivid, focused flavours.


Very clear appearance with no visible particles or suspensions. Complete transparency in white wines. May be a sign of flavour deficiency in...

Boutique Winery

Small winemakers producing wines in small quantities with great care and generally high prices.

Bottle Stink

A stale, somewhat stinky odour that sometimes exists when a cork is first withdrawn from the bottle. This condition usually dissipates quickly.

Bottle Sickness (Bottle Shock)

This is a temporary condition wherein fruit flavours become disjointed. It can occur immediately after bottling or when wines (usually fragile...

Bottle Ready

Describes a wine that has aged enough to be ready for bottling.

Bottle Maturation

Maturing the wine in the bottle as opposed to a tank or a barrel.

Bottle Fermentation

A method used in the production of sparkling wine and Champagne, when the second fermentation takes place in the bottle.


Located in France north of Paris, this is one of the world’s most famous wine regions. Wines from this area are referred to as Bordeaux wines....


The Spanish word for winery. Literally meaning: “the room where barrels are stored.”


Also known as rosé, this wine is made from red grapes. It comes out pink or salmon in colour because the grape skins were removed from the fermenting...


A wine which is strong in flavour with high alcohol content. Usually, it lacks aromatic interest and development on the palate.


The grape flower, or blossom. The term also refers to the time of grape flowering in the spring.

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