How To Sound Like A Wine Expert

Don’t know your Pinot from your Syrah? Not sure what aeration really means or what fermentation is all about? Whether you’re a curious newcomer or seasoned connoisseur, this glossary of wine terms will help you better understand and appreciate the wide world of wine.

Plus, it’ll give you the verbal skill to sound like you know what you’re talking about at the next wine-tasting party. 


Exposing wine to air so that it can “breathe” before drinking it. Wine releases scents and opens up flavors when oxygen is added, much like when wine is swirled in a glass.

Alcohol By Volume

ABV is a common abbreviation for the alcohol content of alcoholic beverages. While bottles can range in alcohol content from 5.5-20% ABV, the average wine glass contains about 11-13% alcohol.


The impression of thickness on the mouth brought on by the wine’s combination of alcohol, sugar, and dissolved solids. A light-bodied wine is comparable to nonfat milk, a medium-bodied wine to whole milk, and a full-bodied wine to creamer. Milk is an excellent comparison for wine body.


A region in the southwest of France, as well as any wine made there. Bordeaux wines come in both red and white varieties, but the red wine variety is the more well-known.


The French word for dry, which in the context of wine is the opposite of sweet. It’s used most frequently to describe sparkling or dry Champagne.


A wine-producing region in eastern France and any Burgundies made there. White wines made from Chardonnay grapes and dry red wines created from Pinot Noir grapes are the most well-known wines produced in the region.


Sparkling wine produced in the Champagne area of France. If you want the real deal, make careful to verify the wine label because only sparkling wines made in this region are allowed to use the uppercase “C” name Champagne.


A grape that is used to manufacture white wines, including Champagne. Moreover, this greenish-white grape is used to make wine.


A wine bottle with a cork top that contains cork taint, also known as deterioration, which imparts a musty odor and bland flavor.


Pouring wine into a decanter from a wine bottle is the typical example of this. This removes the wine from any sediment and enables it to aerate.

Dessert Wine

Any dessert-friendly wines, often poured in a tiny wine glass. Examples include port, moscato, late-harvest riesling, and ice wine, which is created from grapes that froze while still on the vine.


Opposed to sweetness. Also known as “brut” in French Avoid dry wine if you’re seeking for sweet wine.


The method used to make wine, which transforms grape juice into alcohol. When yeast is added to grapes, the grape sugars are transformed into ethanol and carbon dioxide, which gives wine its alcohol concentration.


A black grape variety that is native to France’s Bordeaux area. Also used to describe a red wine created from this grape that is dry, mellow, and low in tannin.


The tastes and sensations that wine (or any other food or drink) makes in the mouth. Examples include velvety, sharp, rough, and smooth.


This term defines the aroma of wine in a glass and is another name for aroma.


The study and science of wine and winemaking.


A straightforward wine enthusiast. Alternatively known as a vinophile if you want to keep things informal.

Organic Wine

Organic wine produced without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or other additives. The manufacture of organic wine must adhere to organic farming methods, as stated on the wine label.


Any black or white grape variety used to make Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio is referred to as pinot, which is literally translated as “pine” in French. includes any wine produced with these grapes as well.

Rosé Wine

Like reds and whites, rosé is a type of wine that can be produced from any red grape and grown in any wine location. It is sometimes referred to as blush wine. It ferments with grape skins for a shorter period of time than red wine, giving it its distinctive pink color.


A wine expert who recommends, chooses, and serves wine in restaurants. The most committed sommeliers pursue certification through courses and tests, which demonstrates their proficiency in wine knowledge, service, and tasting and evaluation.

Sparkling Wine

Any wine that contains enough carbon dioxide to be bubbly and frothy. A phrase that is frequently used in place of champagne (lowercase “c”), despite the fact that this usage adds to the ongoing misunderstanding of both wine terms.


Natural compounds found in wine that create an astringent, drying, and bitter flavor on the tongue. Typically, red wines are more tannic than white wines. High-tannin reds include Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo, and Cabernet Franc.

Wine Legs

Also known as wine tears, these streaks form on the sides of a wine glass after swirling. Although believed to indicate wine quality, that’s just a myth.


Fungus that consumes sugar and ferments grape juice into wine.

When it comes to broadening your wine vocabulary, familiarizing yourself with these wine terms is certainly a good start. After all, you must comprehend something in order to really appreciate it. There is also a ton to discover about the fascinating world of wine and its journey from grape to glass.