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Terms, both classical and contemporary, as they pertain to the grape


A ~

Aerate :
to let in air; from the French 'air'. Allowing air into a glass of wine, especially reds, causes oxidation and evaporation. Oxidation gives the wine a chance to clear its throat, so to speak, ridding itself of unpleasant compounds that have been bottled up. The evaporation aids the drinker; after pouring and swirling the liquid in a glass, the evaporating aromas give complexity to the taste of the wine.

Auctions :
a public sale where the price of an item or lot is reached by competative bidding, rather than negotiation, until no more 'bets' are placed, the item(s) going to the highest bidder. A buyer should know what they are looking for and have searched for it on the internet, in showrooms, at free pre-auction viewing and through auction house catalogues, available for purchase or subscription. If the auction of interest in is held by an auction house such as Christie's or Sotheby's, one must register by filling out a form through the bidding department or by signing up online. Instructions are available online or by phone. First-time bidders must provide their credit information to prove they can afford to pay; details can be procured from the specific auction house. Be prepared to give bank account number(s) and personal information.

B ~

Baco Noir / Baco Blanc :
a hybridized, hearty grape variety from France that is resistant to diseases like oidium and phylloxera, and can also withstand the cold - many varieties of the Baco lineage are planted around the Great Lakes in the United States. Baco Noir's strong flavour is thought by some to be a good substitute for Cabernet Sauvignon.

Barrel :
a bulbous, cylindrical container used globally and throughout history for fermenting and aging wine, sherry, port, congnac. Basalmic vinegar is often aged in oak barrels from 10 to 50 litres, though can be kept in ash, chestnut or cherry each affecting the flavour. [see Basalmic]

Black rot :
a common disease that can threaten entire crops, caused by the fungus Guignardia bidwellii, that can attack all parts of a grape vine above ground during hot, humid weather. Brown spots start on leaves, developing into black lesions, causing the leaf to wilt. Should the plight move to the fruit, affected grapes will first appear brown or light in colour, eventually shrivelling to small, hard raisins called 'mummies'.
Blending :
the practice of balancing or improving wine by mixing two or more grape varietals together, and is responsible for a wine's complexity. Cabernet Sauvignon is commonly blended with Merlot to increase tannins. Flavour can be enhanced by melding opposite flavours of the same grape variety, or to tone down the tannin level; Chardonnay together with a Riesling, for example, can soften or brighten sweetness. Sometimes the nose, or aroma of a wine will be enhanced through blending, as with a combination of Syrah and Viognier. Some blending may be employed to increase a wine's alcohol content, or appearance - white wine may be combined with a red to lighten the colour. Blending brings out flavour points, or mellows a new vintage. However, caution must be used, especially if one wants to age a wine - not all vintages will hold their flavour over time.
Blind tasting :
wine tasting done without visual access to the bottle, or even the glass. This can be done by putting the bottles being tasted in sacs, or wrapping them in foil. Opaque, black bottles and glasses are available for this purpose, with the aim of removing one of the senses, in order to intensify the others, when judging wine.
Brix :
a measurement of sugar in wine, equalling 1 gram of sucrose per 100 grams of solution, formally called "degrees brix", and symbolized as Bx.

C ~

Cellar rat :

Chocks :

Claret :
the English term for Bordeaux.
Clones :




Crop loads

D ~

Dry soil

E ~



F ~



G ~


Grey rot

H ~

Harvest dates

I ~


J ~

Japanese beetles

K ~

L ~

M ~

Mildew is a powdery, downey...

Monopoles are sites owned by a single producer.


N ~


O ~



P ~


pH: high-pH, low acidity (good) / higher-acitiy, lower-pH ("less flavourful, less interesting")


Premier cru

Q ~

R ~

Recognition threshold :

Swirling wine in its glass aerates the wine and releases its bouquet, letting your nasal cavity draw up the scents into your olfactory system, which is essentially the control panel for your sense of smell. Your olfactory interprets what you smell, immediately comparing it to other familiar smells. more sources : http://recipes.howstuffworks.com/food-facts/how-to-taste-wine2.htm


S ~


Sanctity of the vine






T ~


Terroir :
From the French "terre", meaning land. Everything grown in the same region, plant and animal, shares similar soil, weather conditions, pollen, water, and farming techniques all contributing to the unique flavour of the food. The same rgapes grown in another country will likely have a different 'sense' about it because of the terroir of that other location.
Thrasher :

U ~

V ~

Variety (grape)





W ~


Wine press

Wine snob

Wine thief

X ~

Y ~

Z ~


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