As anyone who knows me will verify, I’m rather partial to the occasional glass of dry white wine – preferably a zesty Sauvignon Blanc from Down Under.
As I’m also a word nerd, a glossary of wine terms seemed to be an obvious topic for a blog post! But, rather than just regurgitate all the common lingo, I thought I’d delve a little deeper by hunting down some of the more unusual wine terms.
So, pour yourself a glass of vino – or grab a mug of tea/coffee if it’s not yet wine o’clock – and dive in!
Alphabetical selection of lesser-known wine terms
ABC = acronym for “Anything but Chardonnay” or “Anything but Cabernet”
Bin = originally used to identify the location in a wine cellar, but now often used in brand marketing (e.g. Hardys Bin 53 Chardonnay)
Capsule = the plastic or foil protective sleeve that covers the top of the bottle
Drip dickey (trademarked name for a drip cloth or wine collar) = cover that fits around the neck of a wine bottle to absorb any drips that run down after pouring
Eiswein (German) = a dessert wine produced from grapes that become frozen while still on the vine
Fiasco = the straw-covered flask traditionally associated with Chianti
Goon = Australian term for inexpensive wine in a box or cask
Horizontal tasting = a tasting of a group of wines from the same vintage or same type, but from different wineries in a region (as opposed to vertical tasting of different vintages of the same wine type from the same winery)
Ice wine = see Eiswein
Jug wine = American term for inexpensive table or bulk wine
Kosher wine = produced under the supervision of a rabbi according to Jewish dietary laws
Lazy Ballerina = the trellis that a wine grapevine is grown on (mainly found in Australia)
Mousse = the sparkling effervescence of a wine
Nose = the aroma or bouquet of a wine
Oenophile = a wine aficionado or connoisseur
Punt = the indentation found in the base of a wine bottle (the better quality the wine, the deeper the punt)
Quaffing wine = simple, cheap, everyday drinking wine
Raisin = French word for a grape
Split = a wine bottle that holds approximately 175ml, i.e. a single serving
Tastevin = a small, very shallow cup used for wine tasting
Unctuous = used to describe lush, rich, and intense wines with layers of concentrated, soft, velvety fruit
Vinous = term used to denote anything relating to wine
Waiter’s friend (also called sommelier knife) = a popular type of corkscrew used in the hospitality industry
Xylem = the woody tissue of a vine
Yield = measure of the amount of grapes or wine produced per unit surface of vineyard
Zymology = the science of fermentation in wine
Over to you
Hopefully this collection of wine terms has not only whet your palette but also enlightened you along the way. I certainly expanded my wine-related vocabulary in the process of writing this post – my favourites being “ABC”, “drip dickey” and “unctuous”!
Which ones were new to you? Any others you’d care to add?
(image courtesy of Paul at Freedigitalphotos.net)