The Definitions found on this page may not fit precisely into a definition of wine terms, but they make sense to me or rather they help me make sense of the wines I like, don’t like or just try.  I hope you will use them to help you build your own lexicon of terms so your wine tastes make sense to you.  I am not going to enter them in any particular order, but eventually they will wind up in alphabetical order.

Acidity — Part of the character of a wine naturally occuring because of the levels of tartaric and malic acids in grapes that impact a wine’s taste and smell as it ages.

AOC —  The acronym or abbreviation for “Appellation d’Origine Controlee” refers to specific French Laws relative to food and wine under the jurisdiction of  the INOC (Institute National des Appellations d’Origine) the controlling organization that specifies and limits the area of France where a particular Varietal must originate.

Aperitif — Refers to a wine consumed before a meal  in with the intention of stimulating a the appetite.

Appellation — An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown; other types of food often have appellations as well. Restrictions other than geographical boundaries, such as what grapes may be grown, maximum grape yields, alcohol level, and other quality factors, may also apply before an appellation name may legally appear on a wine bottle label. The rules that govern appellations are dependent on the country in which the wine was produced.

Auslese —  is a German language wine term for a late harvest wine and is a riper category than Spätlese in the Prädikatswein category of the Austrian and German wine classification.

Brix —  is the sugar content of an aqueous solution. One degree Brix is 1 gram of sucrose in 100 grams of solution and represents the strength of the solution as percentage by mass. If the solution contains dissolved solids other than pure sucrose, then the °Bx only approximates the dissolved solid content. The °Bx is traditionally used in the wine, sugar, carbonated beverage, fruit juice, and honey industries.

INOC —  The abbreviation or acronym for the “Institute National des Appellations d’Origine” the governing organization that controls where specific wines can be produced in Franc.

Rehoboam —A large bottle holding 4.5 litres, the equivalent of six regular wine bottles.

Reserva –Spanish aging designation. For red wines this means that a wine has been aged for at least 3 years following harvest with at least 12 months in oak. For Spanish white wines, the designation means that the wine has been aged for at least 18 months with at least 6 of those months in oak.

Sangria — is a typical beverage from Spain and Portugal. It normally consists of wine, chopped fruit, a sweetener, and a small amount of added brandy. Chopped fruit can include orange, lemon, lime, apple, peach, melon, berries, pineapple, grape, kiwifruit and mango. A sweetener such as honey, sugar, syrup, or orange juice is added

Spätlese  is a German wine term for a wine from fully ripe grapes, the lightest of the late harvest wines. Spätlese is a riper category than Kabinett in the Prädikatswein category of the German wine classification.

Sec/Secco/Seco –French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese terms for a dry wine. In Champagne production, “Sec” wines are actually medium-dry being sweeter than Brut and Extra Dry with 12-17 grams/liter of sugar added in the dosage.

Secondary aromas –The aromas in wine that are derived from the winemaking process which includes fermentation as well as potentially malolactic fermentation and oak aging. This is in contrast to the primary aromas which come from the grape variety itself and the tertiary aromas which come from aging process in the bottle.

Split — A wine bottle that holds approximately 6 oz (175-187 mL) or one-fourth the equivalent of a typical 750 mL bottle; a single-serving.

Tannin — A tannin (also known as vegetable tannin, natural organic tannins, or sometimes tannoid, i.e. a type of biomolecule, as opposed to modern synthetic tannin) is an astringent, bitter plant polyphenolic compound that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids.  (excerpted from Wikipedia)

Terroir — A French word describing  the distinctive growing conditions of a particular wine growing space.  It usually includes descriptions of a vineyard’s location, slope, prevailing weather conditions, soil makeup, etc. It is sometimes also referred to as a vineyard’s growing environment.

Varietal — A term used to describe a wine or group a wine made from only a singe type of grape.

Vin de garde  —  A wine that will improve greatly with age, even a significant number of years. 

8 Responses to Lexicon/Definitions

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    • rminto says:

      Thanks for the feed back. I am new to the blogging business and picking it up by the seat of my pants. While I don’t exactly understand the impact of your comment I am researching right now to understand what I have to do to make it easier to find on google. I’ll make it easier to get to as soon as I get “quality backlinks” figured out.


  2. Pamela says:

    Hello there! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this page to him.
    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you
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  3. Howdy exceptional blog! Does running a blog similar to this require a great deal of work?

    I have absolutely no understanding of coding however I was
    hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyways, if you have any
    suggestions or tips for new blog owners please share.
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    • rminto says:

      Thanks for the comment. Actually using WordPress, requires absolutely no coding and their templates make the process beyond simple. Check out WordPress.com and play around. Build your blog and keep working with it until you get it then take it live. I’ll be it doesn’t take you three hours.


  4. Jeff Nevitt says:

    @Robert- Great beginning to a fun and education blog. I joined NW in mid 2013 while I still lived in NJ after my wife sent me a Forbes article describing the crowd share model and how successful it has been. Similar to yourself, my wine tastes often exceed my my budget and I have found that many of the NW wines quality far exceed their cost to us angels. After becoming an Arch Angel in late 2013 I visited the winery in Kenwood and I have been a devout believer ever since. Anyone who doubts the passion that the staff and winemakers at NW have should take a trip to the winery or the new tasting room. The dedication and enthusiasm is amazing.

    We moved to Southern Cal in July, 2013 and I can now have many of the wines that NJ didn’t allow to be shipped and I have gotten a bit spoiled. I am kind of easing into retirement and hope to stop working soon..I found my new dream place last week. It’s a combination wine store and tasting room. The tasting room has “enomatic” machines which dispense the wine in 1 oz, 3 oz, or 5 oz. portions. You simply add money to a card with a chip that gets inserted into the machine and deducts as you select and drink wines. It is a great way to sample really expensive wine (which are pretty terrific) without having to shell out $100 for a bottle. Here’s a link to the local place called the Cave at Ventura Wine Company http://venturawineco.com/. Great place for a semi-retired guy to hang out 🙂

    Looking forward to your future postings.


    • rminto says:

      Thanks Jeff — I think it will be fun and I hope helpful to the sophisticated and the intimidated wine drinkers alike. I like the link to your favorite wine shop, and the neat enomatic machines. Maybe I’ll add a page for neat places to drink wine.


    • rminto says:

      Jeff — Check out the new page I just added “Fun Wine Places and Links”. Ventura is proudly displayed and linked to the site.


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