Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine

Hedonistic

Hedonistic wines can be criticized because in one sense they provide so much ecstasy that they can be called obvious, but in essence, they are...

Hydrometry

Rate of humidity in the air. At optimum conservation of a wine the level of hydrometry in the cellar should be about 70%.

Hydrometer

Instrument for measuring the sugar content of the must.

Hybrid

In viticulture, a cross between two different species or varieties of grapes, with the purpose of creating a new grape variety with especially...

Honeyed

Any fruit or wine, sweet or dry that has a taste or aroma of honey.

Hock

British term for German wines produced in the Rhine region. The term originates from the town of Hochheim in the Rhine Valley.

Hermitage

Considered one of the best wines produced in the Rhone, usually red and made from Syrah grapes. It is said that a white was also produced by...

Hectoliter

A metric measure equal to 100 litres or 26.4 gallons.

Hectare

A metric measure equal to 10,000 square meters or 2.47 acres.

Heady

Used to describe the smell of a wine with high alcohol content.

Haut Medoc

A major sub-region of the Medoc region of Bordeaux which produces many great red wines.

Harmonious

Well balanced, with no component obtrusive or lacking.

Half Bottle

Holds 375 millilitres or 3/8 litre.

Halbtrocken

German for ‘half dry’, a characteristic of wines intentionally made with less than the typical amount of residual sugar.

Hollow

A wine lacking the sense of fruit. It is the missing middle between “attack” and “finish”. Hollowness is caused by too many grapes on insufficiently...

Horizontal Tasting

A structured tasting of wines from the same style, grape, or vintage, but from different regions, producers or countries.

Hot

A hot wine as a high alcohol content and gives a prickly or burning sensation on the palate. It is accepted in fortified wines, but not considered...

Herbaceous

Adjective used to describe wines with the taste and aroma of herbs, (usually undefined). Herbaceous is considered to be a varietal characteristic...

Hearty

Most often applied to describe the full, warm qualities found in red wines with a high alcohol component. Examples are found in the sturdier...

Hazy

Refers to wines with floating particles when viewed against the light. Occurs most often in unfiltered or unrefined wines, but no need to worry...

Haut

A French word meaning “high.” It applies to the quality of a wine as well as the altitude of the vineyard.

Harsh

Very astringent wines, usually with high alcohol component, often have this rough, rustic taste characteristic. Harsh wines may become more tolerable...

Hard

High acidity and tannin content leading to a sensation of dryness in the mouth and a degree of puckery-ness. Hardness is useful for detecting...

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