An A-Z of lush wine terms to tickle your taste buds

Wine termsAs 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

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5 comments on “An A-Z of lush wine terms to tickle your taste buds
  1. Tania Grechanyk says:

    No doubt! Cheers! 🙂

  2. Tania Grechanyk says:

    Quite a few: ABC, drip dickey, fiasco(!), ice wine, mousse, nose(!), oenophile, tastevin, unctuous.. Well, I’m lost. All these lush wine terms are so vinously fragrant 🙂

  3. Tania Grechanyk says:

    Many thanks for the blog! I’ve learnt a thing or two about wine terms 🙂

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