Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine

Noble Rot (Boytrytis)

A fungus that affects plants, specifically grapes — in fact the name botrys means “grapes”, and -itis means “disease” in Greek. The fungus removes...


Italian for new or young, it is a term used for Italian wines that are retailed soon after the harvest.

North Coast

A viticultural area in Northern California comprising all the grape growing areas of Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Solano, Lake and Marin Counties.


Blended from more than one vintage. This allows the vintner to keep a house style from year to year. Many Champagnes and sparkling wines are...


A type of French oak used for wine barrels. Similar to Alliers in that it comes from Central France. Both woods are tight-grained as opposed...


A wine merchant that buys grapes and vinifies them, or buys wines and combines them, then bottles the result under his own label and ships them....


Describes a wine without outstanding characteristics, it is neither good nor bad.


Pleasant and refreshing wine, without a “false” or “fake” taste.


The French word for a nervous. Usually, refers to a wine that is sharp and acidic. See also, nervous.


During ancient times, nectar was the drink of Greek gods. Today we speak about nectar for wines of exceptional quality. Nectar can also refer...


A giant wine bottle holding 15 litres. Equal to 20 standard bottles.


A grape from Italy, whose wines are fine and tannic. Barolo and Barbaresco are made of 100% Nebbiolo.


A town (and county), 50 miles north-east of San Francisco. The Napa Valley is United States’ most well-known wine growing region.


Table wines that have been exposed to air display this aroma which resembles that of certain sherry wines. Nutty-ness is considered a flaw by...


Describes a wine that has a balanced amount of alcohol and acidity.


French for new this indicates a young and immediately drinkable wine – e.g. “Beaujolais Nouveau”.


Nose is what you smell from the wine. It is similar to “aroma” and includes “bouquet”. Strictly applied, it refers to the detectable odour (grape...

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