GENERAL WINE TERMS
Other glossaries available here
Fining agent of animal (usually pig) origin, used to remove bitter tastes or the taste of rot... a colorless water-soluble glutinous protein obtained from animal tissues such as bone and skin
Machine used to reproduce the effect of riddling in the production of sparkling wines. Bottles held in a cage are gradually moved to the upright position, shaking the sediment of dead yeast cells into the neck. The girasol achieves this in a few days, compared with several weeks for manual riddling.
Wine served hot, often with the addition of sugar and spices.
System for growing vines, in which the plant takes the form of a low bush without a supporting trellis. See bush vine.
Technique of joining fruit-bearing vines (usually Vitis vinifera) to rootstocks, usually of other Vitis species. Since the outbreak of phylloxera in the nineteenth century, most of the world's vineyards have been planted with vinifera vines grafted onto rootstock of vines native to America, which are resistant to phylloxera. Different rootstocks are chosen to suit soil type and to manipulate yield and vigor.
Spanish for 'great reserve'. Wine that has fulfilled certain ageing requirements and, in theory, comes from a good vintage.
Literally '(classified) great growth'. The meaning varies by region. Within Bordeaux, grand cru class refers to the top estates of Medoc, Graves and Sauternes, and the top wines of St Emilion. In Burgundy and Chablis the very top vineyard sites are referred to as grands crus (which is a higher classification than premier cru). Alsace also has vineyards classified as grands crus (fairly recently), and in Champagne this designation is used for the most highly rated vineyard sites (and by extension the wines made exclusively from them).
Fruit of the vine, and the raw material for wine production. There are many species of vine, but most wine grapes are from Vitis vinifera. Within this species there are many varieties.
Tasting term indicating a wine with smell or flavor reminiscent of fresh grapes or grape juice.
Destemming. The machine used to achieve this is a grappoir.
Machine used to destem.
Tasting term indicating a wine with the smell of freshly-cut grass, especially with whites such as Sauvignon Blanc.
Under ripe tasting term, particular in red wine. Not complimentary.
Undesirable form of botrytis.