Meaning bottled by. Will be on the label followed by relevant information concerning the bottler.
Abbreviation of alcohol by volume, most often listed on a wine label.
An organic acid that is a main ingredient in vinegar and is one reason for the spoilage of wine.
A Vinegar Producing Bacteria. This bacteria can be killed by the use of proper sanitation and Potassium
This compound gives wine it’s crisp taste. The four major acids are tartaric, malic, lactic and citric and are
found in all grapes. These help to preserve, create the flavor and help to prolong the aftertaste.
A blend of tartaric, malic and citric acids. All of which are important in the wine making process.
Determining the acid level of a wine. Standards in the U.S. put acid ranges for white .65-.80%, red .60-
.75%, rose .60-.65%, dessert grape .60-.70%, sherry .50-.65% and most other fruits .55-.65% tartaric acid.
Extending beyond these ranges will result in your wine becoming to bitter or to flabby.
These are natural acids, mostly tannic and tartaric. These add a pleasing tartness to wine.
A device made either of glass or plastic that facilitates the escape of gas from a vessel yet hinders air and
bacteria from passing through to the wine. A solution of water, sometimes containing potassium
metabisulfite resides in the middle of the airlock.
As yeasts eat the sugar in the juice, alcohol is one of the by products given off. The alcohol remains in the
juice which will now become wine.
Abbreviation for “Amtliche Prüfungsnummer”, the official testing number displayed on a German wine
label that shows that the wine was tasted and passed government quality control standards.
This is the puckery taste given to wines due to the tannins.
The abbreviation for the “Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau”, a U.S. government agency which
is primarily responsible for the regulation of wines, sold and produced inside the U.S.
A cleaner and sterilizer used to wash bottles and equipment. Rinse with water afterwards. Never add to
wine or beer.
A scaled graduation for a hydrometer or a saccharometer, used to read the specific gravity of liquids or
the sugar content. Balling is the same as Brix.
A substance made by simmering bananas (usually very ripe) with a small amount of water then added to a
must for the addition of body into the wine.
A product used to cleaning wooden barrels.
Typically made of wood and used for the aging of wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages. The wood
gives off some flavor to the contents.
A fining agent made of clay and used primarily for clearing white wines of sediment remaining in
BetterBottle (registered Trademark) is a non-glass carboy that is strong, scuff resistant, easy to handle,
basically unbreakable and virtually impermeable to oxygen.
The mixing of two or more wines together to improve the quality and/or enhance a wines taste. If one
wine was slightly higher in ph it could be blended with one of a lower ph to create a better tasting wine.
Mixing a bad wine with a good wine will not make for a better wine.
Tasting and evaluating or judging a wine without knowing what kind of wine it is.
An acronym for "Buyer's Own Brand" which would refer to a private label owned by the restaurant or
retailer that sells that wine.
A Spanish wine cellar, and also refers to a seller of an alcoholic beverage.
The depth or substance of a wine. The lighter wines typically lack body. Some wine makers will add
raisins or bananas (banana soup) to their musts to increase a wines body.
A bottle is a small container with it’s neck narrower than the body. Most wine bottles are nearly always
made of glass because it is nonporous, strong, and aesthetically pleasing. They come in varrying shapes
and sizes with bordeaux, burgundy and german being the most popular shapes. 375ml, 750ml and 1.5 liter
being the most popular sizes.
Used for the cleaning of bottles and carboys. There are various lengths and shapes available. Typically the
wine maker need only one bottle and one carboy brush.
Either a hand, bench or floor corker is used in the process of inserting corks into your wine bottles. Bench
and floor corkers are easier than a hand corker. Typically the cork is squeezed then pushed into the bottle.
A pleasure to have if you intend on bottling a lot of wine.
Used to allow the drying of wine bottles after they have been washed and sanitized. Wine, beer or
champagne is filled in these bottles shortly after sanitization unless they are to be stored for future filling.
A device attached to a spigot allowing a spray of water into a bottle or carboy to hasten the rinsing
The process by which a liquid, usually wine or beer is racked into a bottle then topped off with either a
cork, plug or screw cap.
The interaction between air and wine after a wine has been opened. Breathing may take place while the
wine is decanting.
The period of time where wine is contained within a large vessel, usually a carboy or barrel and allowed
to age and mature. This process allows minimal air to wine space. Often the period where oak is added to
glass carboys to give the wine an (aged in) barrel flavor. Typical ageing for fruit and white wines are 6
months or longer and reds one to two years or more.
A rubber stopper with a hole drilled in it for the insertion of an airlock to allow any gas to escape yet
prevent bacteria from entering the carboy.
Calcium carbonate is a chemical compound with the chemical formula CaCO3. It is a common substance
found in rock in all parts of the world, and is the main component of shells of marine organisms, snails,
pearls, and eggshells. It is used to lower acidity in wine.
Potassium Metabisulfite in tablet form. Typically one camden tablet is used per 1 gallon of must or wort
to kill and inhibit the growth of unwanted bacteria. Ten camden tablets equal one level teaspoon of
Cane pruning is when one or two canes from a vine's previous year's growth are cut back to six to fifteen
buds which will be the coming growing seasons grape producers.
Italian term for winery.
The plastic or foil that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.
Whole and uncrushed grapes are fermented in a sealed vat containing a layer of carbon dioxide. This
results in fruity, soft and distinct red wines. These wines have little tannin and are immediately drinkable.
Formally water containers these glass jugs range in common sizes of 1, 3, 5, and 6 gallons. Here you may
finish fermentation, or clear and bulk age wine. An airlock is placed at the mouth to facilitate the
remaining gasses to escape the wine.
French term for grape variety. When it appears on a wine label it will usually refer to the varietals used to
make the wine.
A piece of stemware having a long stem with a tall, narrow bowl on top.
Generally a winery in Bordeaux, although the term is sometimes used for wineries in other parts of the
world, such as the Barossa Valley.
A French term for a wine that falls between the range of a light red wine and a dark rosé
British name for Bordeaux wine. Is also a semi-generic term for a red wine in similar style to a Bordeaux.
An Italian term for the historical or "classic" center of a wine region--sometimes located in the heart of a
Coates Law of Maturity
A principle relating to the aging ability of wine that states that a wine will remain at its peak (or optimal)
drinking quality for as long as it took to reach the point of maturity. For example, if a wine is drinking at
its peak at 1 year of age, it will continue drinking at its peak for another year.
A mass produce wine aimed for the wide market of wine drinkers made according to a set formula, year
after year. These wines tend to emphasis broad appeal and easy drinkability rather than a terroir or
A method of vine training. Unlike, cane pruning where the trunk itself is the only permanent, inflexible
piece of the vine, vines where cordon training is used have one or two woody arms extending from the top
of the trunk. These are then spur pruned.
A wine bottle stopper that is made from the bark of a tree better known as a cork oak. Typically the best
corks come from Spain.
A vessel, usually a 5 or 6 gallon bucket with lid and an airlock containing potassium metabisulfite in a jar
for the purpose of sanitizing corks and other wine making parts.
See Bottle Corker.
A tool, comprising a pointed metallic helix attached to a handle, for drawing (removing) corks from
French term for the hillside or slopes of one contiguous hill region.
French term for the hillside or slopes of a hill region that is not contiguous.
A quality level intermediate between table wine and quality wine, which in France is known as vin de
pays and in Italy as Indicazione Geografica Tipica (IGT) . Also a synonym for Fruit wine.
French sparkling wine not made in Champagne region.
1) A device used to remove juice from fresh picked grapes or other fruits. 2) A crusher can also be a
device for the crushing of camden tablets to aide in the disolving in a liquid.
The French term for the period of time during alcoholic fermentation when the wine is in contact with the
solid matter such as skin, pips, stalks, in order to extract colour, flavour and tannin. See maceration.
French term, meaning vat or tank. On wine labels it is used to denote wine of a specific blend or batch.
French term, along with cuvier that refers to the building or room where fermentation takes place.
Essentially, the room, building, grange, barn, garage or shed, or other building, used for "making wine."
When the grapes are first picked, they arrive at the cuverie.
Refers to a process in which the must of a white wine is allowed to settle before racking off the wine, this
process reduces the need for filtration or fining.
The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a decanter to separate the sediment from the wine.
A technique done to facilitate the removal of built up gas released by the yeast during fermentation.
Degassing may be done via negative pressure in the bottle or carboy, or inserting a paddle into the wine
with quick and brief spins. Usually attached to a drill.
A glass container that typically holds larger quantities of wine such as 5 to 10 gallons (19 -38 litres).
Varies by region. In the UK, a very sweet, low alcohol wine. In the US by law, any wine containing over
The abbreviation for Denominazione di Origine Controllata, or "controlled place name." This is Italy's
designation for wine whose name, origin of grapes, grape varieties and other important factors are
regulated by law. It is also the abbreviation for Portugal's highest wine category, which has the same
meaning in that country.
German for ice wine, a dessert wine made from frozen grapes. See “Ice Wine”
Élevé en fûts de chêne
French phrase that may appear on wine labels to denote that the wine has been aged in oak barrels.
A U.S. winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on premisis, sometimes known as a farm
Abbreviation for flavor pack. Wine kits typically include these to sweeten and enhance the flavor of a
fully fermentated wine.
A chemical such as Potassium Sorbate or Potassium Metabisulfite that kills or prevents yeasts from
Used for the removal of sediment in wine or beer.
The highest category of wine quality, representing only a very small percentage of worldwide production
Used to assist in the clearing of wines after fermentation is complete. Products such as bentonite, drifine
isinglass, gelatin, silica gel and sparkeloid are all examples of these agents. These products work better
when wine has already been degassed.
A glass bottle that holds two litres of (usually an inexpensive) table wine.
Wine to which alcohol has been added, generally to increase the concentration to a high enough level to
Italian term for a semi-sparkling wine.
A device used to chop up fruit and drop into a basket containing a mesh bag for the holding of the fruit.
Then, usually a fly wheel is turned pressing the juice out of the basket allowing it to flow into a container.
A fermented alcoholic beverage made from non-grape fruit juice which may or may not include the
addition of sugar or honey. Fruit wines are always called "something" wines (e.g., plum wine), since the
word wine alone is often legally defined as a beverage made only from grapes.
Fruit Wine Base
Typically sold in a can, these allow the winemaker to make fruit wines anytime throughout the year.
Typically will produce 3 or 5 gallons and is available at most winemaking shops.
French term for a famous brand of wine, most commonly associated with the large Champagne houses.
See Specific Gravity
The area between the wine and the bung in a carboy or demijohn. Excess headspace contains oxygen that
could make conditions feasible for bacteria.
An instrument used to measure the amount of sugar in a liquid such as wine and is expressed as specific
gravity. The hydrometer will allow the winemaker to determine the final alcoholic content in a wine. A
must have for every winemaker.
Wine made from frozen grapes. Written, and trademarked as a single word – Icewine - in Canada. Called
Eiswein in German.
Used for the fining or clearing of white wines.
What is fermented beginning as a must and end resulting as alcohol.
A shorter way to refer to Potassium Metabisulfite.
Wine that is produced under the supervision of a rabbi so as to be ritually pure or clean.
Late harvest wine
Also known as late picked, wine made from grapes that have been left on the vine longer than usual.
Usually an indicator for a very sweet or dessert wine.
This would be the sediment of dead yeast cells and other minute particles found at the bottom of a casket,
carboy or primary container.
French term for the dead yeast and sediment of wine also known as lees.
Litre (US - Liter)
A metric measure of volume equal to 33.8 fluid ounces (U.S.) or 35.2 fl oz (imperial).
Maceration is the winemaking process where the phenolic materials of the grape tannins, coloring agents
(anthocyanins) and flavor compounds are leached from the grape skins, seeds and stems into the must.
A bottle holding 1.5 litres, the equivalent of two regular wine bottles.
A secondary fermentation done to wine via a special inoculation of yeast for the precipitation of
converting malic acid to lactic acid resulting in a smoother taste.
A wine-like alcoholic beverage made of fermented honey and water rather than grape juice.
Originally created in California, these blended wines can be summed up as the "American Bordeaux".
The term is a blend of the words "merit" and "heritage" and pronounced the same. The Red blend is made
from at least 2 of the 5 Bordeaux grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit
Verdot, and Malbec. The White Meritage is a blend at least 2 of Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Vert, and
See Malo-Lactic Fermentation
Wine that is spiced, heated, and served as a punch.
Grape juice that has not been converted into wine. Your must resides in the primary container.
A fungal virus brought on by Botrytis Cinerea that results in dehydrated and shrivelled grapes that are
high in concentrated sugar. Noble Rot grapes are an essential component of many Austrian and German
A synthetic cork made for the sealing of bottled wines. Normacorcs do not allow wine to breath but do
not contain bacteria within them as some corks may.
This would refer to the aroma or bouquet of a wine.
Oak, Oak Chips and Oak Spirals
An additive sometimes used to give wine an oaky taste without the ageing in oak barrels.
A wine aficionado or connoisseur.
The study of aspects of wine and winemaking.
The Pearson square ration formulation procedure is designed for simple rations in the blending of wines.
A liquid or powder that is added to crushed fruit to increase juice extraction. Also used during
fermentation to eliminate pectin hazes. Typically adding 18 to 21 drops per 5 gallons of must. Usually
lasts up to one year if kept refrigerated. The common dry powder ratio is ½ teaspoon per gallon.
pH is a measure of a solutions (wine) acidity. A wine with a pH of 3 is 10 times more acidic than a wine
with a pH of 4. The thing to remember about pH is that the higher the pH, the lower the acidity, and the
lower the pH, the higher the acidity. So basically a wine with a pH of 4.0 is less acidic that one with a pH
of 3.6. Although total acid and pH are related, they represent different ways of measuring acidity of wine.
The pH can be measured with a pH meter, an instrument that determines pH quickly and easily. It
represents the active acidity of the wine. If the pH of a wine is too high, say 4.0 or above, the wine
becomes unstable with respect to microorganisms. Low pH inhibits microorganism growth. Tartaric acid
is sometimes added to fermenting grape juice in California to insure that an acceptable final pH can be
realized, since some acid is lost during fermentation thus reducing the total acidity and raising the pH.
Test kits may be purchased from any wine making supply store.
A sweet fortified wine, which is produced from grapes grown and processed in the Douro region of
Portugal. This wine is fortified with the addition of distilled grape spirits in order to boost the alcohol
content and stop fermentation thus preserving some of the natural grape sugars.
Potassium bicarbonate reduces the acid level of wine by neutralization and precipitation. It neutralizes
acid by converting one to the hydrogen ions of tartaric acid to water and then combining with the
remaining tartrate ion to form relatively insoluble potassium bitartrate (KHT).
Potassium metabisulfite, also referred to as K-Meta, (K2S2O5), is a white crystalline powder with a
pungent sulfur odour. The main use for the chemical is as a yeast and bacteria killer. Typically added to
juice to kill bad bacteria commonly found on grapes and other fruits. It dissapates quickly if exposed to
air usually within 24 hours. It is a sulfite and is chemically very similar to sodium metabisulfite, with
which it is sometimes used interchangeably. Potassium metabisulfite is generally preferred out of the two
as it does not contribute sodium to the diet.
A wine stabilizer used with Potassium Metabisulfite or Campden Tablets. Sorbate works better with
sulfites present than without, and it works better than sulfites alone. It interupts the reproduction cycle of
yeasts thus making them unable to reproduce and their population slowly diminishes through attrition.
Potassium sorbate is added in the amount of 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of wine. Also referred to as Sorbistat
Potentional Alcohol Scale
Containing a listing of numbers, usually, from 0 thru 20 on a hydrometer. Knowing a musts starting and
ending specific gravity point you can determine how much alcohol has been made. If you take a reading
of 12% on the scale before the wine's fermentation starts and then take another reading at the end of
fermentation of 0%, your wine has 12% alcohol because it moved 12 point across the scale.
French term for a "First growth". Used mostly in conjunction with the wines of Burgundy and
Champagne where the term is regulated.
A subjective term to describe a higher quality classification of wine above every day drinking table wines.
While premium wines maybe very expensive there is no set price point that distinguishes when a wine
becomes a "premium wine". Premium wines generally have more aging potential than every day quaffing
The bucket or original container used for the fermentation of juice. Typically covered with either cheese
cloth or a loose fitting lid as oxygen is needed for the yeasts to survive the fermentation process.
Initial fermentation period.
The pushing down of the fruit during the primary fermentation. This process aides in the incorporation of
oxygen to the yeasts and slows the rate of oxidation to the fruit.
The indentation found in the base of a wine bottle. Punt depth is often thought to be related to wine
quality, with better quality wines having a deeper punt. The punt also allows for the perfect displacement
for the cork when filling the bottle.
A simple and everyday drinking wine.
Rack or Racking
The reference to the transferring of wine from one carboy to another. Usually done at the completion of
fermentation and fining of the wine.
A tube used to transfer wine from one container to another often times a carboy.
A term describing the reductive oxidative way that wine ages. As one part gains oxygen and becomes
oxidized, another part loses oxygen and becomes reduced. Early in its life, a wine will exhibit oxidative
aromas and traits due to the relatively recent influence and exposure of oxygen when the wine was barrel
aged and/or bottled. As the ages and is shut off from a supply of oxygen in the bottle, a mature wine will
develop reductive characteristics.
A term given to wine to indicate that it is of higher quality than usual.
The process of using gravity to facilitate the compacting of solids in champagne at the neck of the bottle.
Bottles are placed at a forty-five degree angle, necks-down, in specially built "A-frame" racks, called
pupitres. A worker grabs the bottom of each bottle, giving it a small shake, an abrupt back and forth twist,
and while slightly increasing the tilt, drops it back in the rack. This process recurs every one to three days
over several weeks. The shaking and twist is intended to dislodge particles that have clung to the glass
bottle and prevent the sediments from caking in one spot; the tilt and drop encourage the particles,
assisted by gravity, to move ever more downward; the time in between riddlings allows the particles to
settle out of solution again.
A tart punch made from red wine along with orange, lemon and apricot juice with added sugar.
To make an item or area devoid of bacteria. A common sterilizer would be Potassium Metabisulfite mixed
Usually a carboy used for the final stages of the primary fermentation. As fermentation slows so does the
supply of oxygen protecting the must from bacteria. The must finishes it’s fermentation in the secondary.
See Malo Lactic Fermentation.
The remaining lees (dead yeast cells) and pieces of grape skins that accumulate on the bottom of a carboy
or bucket after fermentation.
A fortified wine that has been subjected to controlled oxidation to produce a distinctive flavor.
To transfer wine from one container to another usually by a poly urethane tube with the aide of gravity.
A wine made from lemon juice and sugar.
Refers to a yeast slurry by which taking the lees from one fermentation and adding to the must of another.
Often used with fruits or musts of high acidity.
Used to kill bacteria.
Used in the sanitation of wine making equipment. Sodium Metabisulfite and Potassium Metabisulfite are
the two main ingredients in Camden tablets.
A wine given a secondary fermentation to allow for an effervescents thus containing significant levels of
carbon dioxide. This would be typical of making champagne not from the champagne reigon of France.
A substance made from clay used to clear red and rose’ wines. Added to wines after fermentation is
The concentration of sugar in water. As the amount of sugar increases, the specific gravity goes up. Pure
water has a specific gravity of 1.000 By using a hydrometer and knowing the starting and ending s.g.
point, the amount of alcohol can be determined.
Italian for "sparkling".
An ingredient used for the raising of a musts specific gravity or for back-sweetening a wine.
A nutrient/energizer for yeast.
TA Test Kit
A kit designed to test the acidity in wines. This test should be done on all wines prior to fermentation.
Generally any wine that is not sparkling or fortified. In the US these wines must also be between 7% and
14% alcohol by volume. The term table wine is also used to describe a wine that is considered a good,
Derived from grape skins (among other products) stems and pips. It imparts a kind of astringency to the
wine and will aid in a wines longevity.
The most important fixed acid in wine. In it’s purest form it is known as cream of tartar.
Often called white diamonds it is the tartrate (a natural part of a wine) that falls to the bottom of a vessel
during cold stabilization.
Potassium bitartrate or just tartrate is the half salt of tartaric acid which is a major ingredient in wine.
Tartrate is usually removed from most wines.
A container used to take a wines gravity reading, check ph, sulfite levels etc.
Used to measure acidity in wine via a titration kit.
A kit using Sodium hydroxide (as a base) added to a wine sample, until a change in color occurs due to
the presence of an indicator phenolphthalein.
The space between the wine and the top of a wine bottle. As a wine ages, the space of ullage will increase
as the wine gradually evaporates and seeps through the cork. The winemaking term of "ullage" refers to
the practice of topping off a barrel with extra wine to prevent oxidation.
Wines made from a single grape variety.
French term similar to Vin primeur denoting a very young wine meant to be consumed within the same
vintage year it was produced. Example: Beaujolais nouveau.
An instrument used for the measuring of alcohol content in your wines.
This is the process of picking grapes and creating the finished product. A vintage wine is one made from
grapes that were all, or primarily, grown and harvested in a single year. Typically wines are given this
year of harvest.
A popular type of corkscrew used most often in the hospitality industry.
Used on top of a cork to seal a bottle of wine.
An alcoholic beverage made from the fermentation of grape or fruit juice.
The descriptive label or signage attached to the side of a wine bottle. Usually containing the year of
harvest, type, size, bottling company and other various items sometimes including warnings of sulfites
within and potentional hazards to pregnant women.
Wine Making Talk
A fantastic wine forum devoted to the assistance in the making of home made wine and beer with a right
amount of social interaction and comradery. For more information visit www.winemakingtalk.com
The sensory evaluation of wine, encompassing more than taste, but also mouthfeel, aroma, and colour.
A device used for the removal of small amounts of wine from your carboy. Similar to a turkey baster.
A micro-organism present on the skins of grapes that reacts with the sugars inside and results in the
production of ethyl alcohol during a process called alcoholic fermentation.
It is a mixture of nutrients used to create a more solid and rapid fermentation in musts.
The process of adding yeast to 4 ounces of water at no greater than 100 degrees F thus allowing the yeast
to become active. Typically left alone to hydrate 15 minutes then blended into your juice to begin
A source of nitrogen which allows yeast to reproduce more readily. Nitrogen also helps yeasts to produce
higher levels of enzymes thus allowing the wine to clear quicker and increase a yeasts tolerance to
A liquid mixture of nutrients and sugars that yeast is introduced to prior to your fermentation of juice.
This allows your yeast to grow and become stronger.
Currently there are no terms beginning with the letter “Z”