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GENERAL WINE TERMS

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Term Definition
Branco

Portugese term for white.

Brix

Scale used to measure the sugar content in grape juice (particularly in the New World). 1 Brix indicates 1% sugar.

Brut

Label term used mainly for Champagne and other sparkling wines to indicate 'very dry'

Bush Vine

Vine grown as a low bush, without a supporting trellis.

Butt

Barrel used for ageing Sherry, of 500-650 litre capacity.

Buttery

Tasting term used to indicate a rich taste or smell of butter, usually in white wine. Often an indicator that the wine has undergone malolactic fermentation.

Cantina

Italian term for winemaking cellar, winery.

Cantina Sociale

Italian term for co-operative winery.

Caratello

Italian term for small barrel, of about 50 litre capacity, used for ageing Vin Santo.

Carato

Italian term for barrel, barrique.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Gas generated during fermentation. Normally most is allowed to escape into the atmosphere. For sparkling wines the CO2 is trapped in the bottle and is responsible for the bubbles. Winemakers often use CO2 to protect juice and wine from oxygen at various stages in the winemaking process.

Carbonic Maceration

Special winemaking process in which whole, uncrushed grapes are placed in a sealed tank. Fermentation takes place within the berries, leading to extraction of fruit and colour but minimal tannin, resulting in a soft, early drinking style. Particularly used in Beaujolais and for many vins nouveaux and vins primeurs.

Cassis

French term for blackcurrant.

Cat Pee

Pungent, even aggressive, aroma found particularly in some Sauvignon Blanc wines.

Cave

French term for cellar, winery.

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