Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine


A sickness that attacks grape vines caused by very small insects. It only destroys certain varieties of vine plant.


Portuguese term for sparkling wine made in the traditional Portuguese method.


The science of wine-making.


French term that refers to what a winemaker may do to his/her wines in the winemaking process between fermentation and bottling.

Effervescent / Effervescence

Wines which are carbonated and bubbly. Bubbles are typically seen collecting in the glass, and a tingle or spritz may be felt on the tongue when...


A microscopic butterfly which destroys the grape.

Extra Dry

A common Champagne term not to be taken literally. Most Champagnes labelled as extra dry are actually sweet. The term refers to the amount of...

Estate Bottled

A term used on wine labels to indicate that a wine is made 100% from grapes grown in vineyards owned by the winery or in vineyards which the...


A characteristic in the bouquet of Cabernet Sauvignon which develops in grapes grown in warm climates.


The alcohol in alcoholic beverages produced by the yeast fermentation of sugar. Its chemical compound is C2H5OH.


Aromatic flavour compounds which give fruits, juices and wines much of their fruitiness.

En Tirage

The French term for the period of time a sparkling wine has rested in the bottle in contact with the yeast sediment from the secondary fermentation.


A wine that is flavourless and uninteresting.

Egg White

Left over albumin obtained by discarding the yolks from eggs. Used in fining red wines after barrel-aging to remove excess (usually bitter) tannins.

Early Harvest

A wine made from grapes harvested early on in the season. This usually contributes to lower than average alcohol content or sweetness.


The act imparting colour on wine during the fermentation process using the skin of the grapes. It can also occur in the step known as “maceration”...


The German word for Ice Wine. This is a rare sweet wine made from late-harvested grapes that have frozen on the vine. Canada is also known for...


Undemanding but pleasant, doesn’t require good taste, just tastes good.


Refers to “odour kits” containing vials of representative flavour essence. Used occasionally by wineries to describe a late harvest, sweet red...

Ethyl Acetate

A chemical which contributes the smell associated with acetic acid content.


Covers situations where a “mother-earth” component is present. Earth is soil-dirt, but an earthy wine is not dirty (See Dirty). The term appears...


A great balance and grace in the wine. Similar to “breed”.

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