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WINE GLOSSARY & PRONUNCIATION GUIDE

= denotes a wine grape

= denotes a type of wine

= denotes a wine region

= denotes a miscellaneous term

Acidity - Acid is present in all grapes. It gives liveliness and shape to a wine's flavor and accounts for
the crispness and longevity of its aftertaste. It also helps preserve the wine. When there is too much acid,
a wine no longer tastes ""crisp," instead, " it tastes sour."

Acrid - Excess sulfur which causes a bitter taste or pungent smell.

Albariño (Ahl-ba-REE-n'yo) - Spanish white-wine grape from Galicia.

Aleatico (Ah-lay-AH-tee-co) - Red grape used for an Italian red wine, also found in California.

Alicante Bouschet (Ah-lee-KAHNT Boo-SHAY) - Red-wine grape of Southern France and


California's Central Valley, usually used in hearty jug wines.

Aligoté (Ah-lee-go-tay) - Burgundian white-wine grape, considered unimpressive but may turn up in
modest white Burgundy of good value.

Alsace (Al-zahss) - Northeastern French province on the Rhine, known for rich dry white wines made
from grapes of German heritage, primarily Riesling and Gewurztraminer.

Alto Adige (AHL-toe AH-dee-jay) - Northeastern Italian wine region, near Bolzano.

Amarone (Ah-ma-ROE-nay) - Powerful, hearty red wine from northeastern Italy.

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Amontillado (Ah-MOHN-tee-YAH-doe) - A dry, rather full-bodied style of Sherry.

Appellation Contrôlée (Ah-pel-ah-syohN cohn-troh-LAY) - Legally defined wine-growing region under


French law. The official designation indicating that prescribed standards have been met in production.
Sometimes the term is used to apply to a wine itself, as in "an appellation.”

Assemblage (ah-sem-BLAHJ) - Champenois artistry, the hopefully harmonious balance of different


varietal wines (chardonnay, Pino Meunier, Pinot Noir), from different villages and vintages. The result is
the cuvee (kew-VAY), or blend, and is concocted fresh each year.

Auslese (OWS-lay-zeh) - Designated quality level for German wine made from grape bunches "picked
out" (literally) for their sweetness.

Bandol (Bahn-dole) - Southwestern French wine region, once rare but gaining increasing attention for
its rustic reds, particularly those of Domaine Tempier.

Banyuls (Bahn-YOOLZ) - Natural French dessert wine from the Pyrenees.

Barbaresco (Bar-ba-RES-coe) - Excellent red table wine made from the Nebbiolo grape in the
Piemonte of Northwestern Italy.

Barbera (Bar-BARE-ah) - Grape used to make hearty red wines in the Piemonte of Northwestern Italy,
also California.

Bardolino (Bar-d0-LEE-noe) - Light, simple red wine from the Veneto in Northeastern Italy.

Barolo (Ba-ROE-loe) - Outstanding, full-bodied and complex Nebbiolo-based red wine from the
Piemonte of Northwestern Italy.

Barsac (BAR-zock) - Sub-region of Sauternes in Bordeaux, France, making sweet wines similar to
Sauternes but generally less expensive.

Beaujolais (Boe-zho-lay) - Light, fruity red wine from the region of the same name in Southern
Burgundy, France.

Beaumes-de-Venise (BOME da Veh-NEES) - Southern Rhone (France) region best known for its
delicious white dessert wine made from Muscat grapes.

Beaune (Bone) - Small city in Burgundy, center of its wine region.

Beerenauslese (BARE-ehn-OWS-lay-zeh) - Quality rating for very sweet German dessert wines,

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made, literally, from "individual grapes picked out" for their sweetness.

Bereich (Beh-RYE'KH) - German wine region, a rather broad area usually incorporating a number of
neighboring villages and vineyards.

Bordeaux (Bore-DOH) - Major wine region of Southwestern France, along the Dordogne and
Garonne rivers from the city of Bordeaux downstream to the Atlantic; source of some of the world's
greatest table wines made from Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and other
minor grapes. Bordeaux from specific delimited sub-regions, from Medoc and Haut-Medoc down to such
specific villages as Pauillac and Margaux, are considered most desirable; wines from the "right bank" of
the river, St.-Emilion and Pomerol, often contain higher proportions of Merlot.

Botrytis (Boe-TRY-tis) - "Noble rot," a kind of mold that may appear on late-harvested grapes, causing
them to shrink and dry so the natural sugars become highly concentrated.

Bourgogne (Boor-GON-yeh) - French for "Burgundy."

Brunello di Montalcino (Broo-NELL-oh dee Mon-tahl-CHEE-noe) - Excellent red Italian wine from
Tuscany, a neighbor of Chianti.

Brut (Broot) - Very dry (unsweet), in specific reference to Champagne.

Cabernet Franc (Cab-air-nay FrahN) - French red wine grape, often used in a Bordeaux blend, also in
the Loire and California. Probably best blended, but increasingly trendy as a varietal, in which blueberry
aromas are often descriptive.

Cabernet Sauvignon (Cab-air-nay So-veen-yawN) - One of the noblest red wine grapes, used in
Bordeaux, also as either a 100 percent varietal or in red blends in the U.S., Australia, Chile, Argentina,
South Africa and wherever wine grapes grow.

Cahors (Cah-ORE) - Southwestern French wine region, not far from Bordeaux, best known for inky-
dark red wines made from the Malbec grape.

Carignan (Cah-reen-yawN) - Red grape from Southern France, once lightly regarded, but coming into
its own with the emergence of quality wines from Languedoc. Red-fruit character, sometimes peppery like
Syrah.

Cava (CAH-bah) - Spanish sparkling wine.

Chablis (Shah-blee) - Excellent white wine made from Chardonnay grapes in the region of the same
name in northern Burgundy. Long used as a generic term for "white wine" by makers of cheap American
jug wines, a practice that is dying out theses days.

Chambourcin (Sham-boor-saN) - One of the more palatable red French-American hybrid wine

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grapes, widely used for making table wines in Eastern U.S. regions where vitis vinifera grapes don't
thrive.

Champagne (Sham-pain) - Sparkling wine, specifically the type made in the French region of the same
name using a traditional process in which the wine gains its sparkle by a secondary fermentation in the
bottle, and made only from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and/or Pinot Meunier grapes. Some U.S. wineries still
appropriate the name for their sparkling wines, a practice illegal in Europe; but as with Chablis, above,
and Burgundy, this practice is dying out.

Chancellor (CHAN-suh-ler) - Another French-hybrid grape used to make hearty red wines in the
Eastern U.S.

Charbono (Shar-BOE-noe) - Italian-style grape used to make a simple, robust red wine in California.

Chardonnay (Shar-doe-nay) - One of the world's most well-known white wine grapes. Originated in
Burgundy, where many argue that it still reaches its pinnacle, but widely planted in the U.S., Australia and
all over the world. In modern times, "Chardonnay" has become almost synonymous in the mass market
with a generic "glass of white wine." Apple and green-apple aromas are the classic descriptor, although
tropical fruit and pineapple show up commonly, especially in American and Australian Chardonnays, and
when aged in oak -- as New World Chardonnays often are -- it may add the vanilla, spice and tropical fruit
flavors typical of oak.

Chasselas (Shah-s'lah) - White wine grape best known in dry Swiss whites.

Chateau (Shot-toe) - Roughly equivalent to "vineyard" or "winery" in French wines.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Shot-toe-noof duh Pop) - An excellent, complex red dry wine from the Rhone
region of Southern France, made from a blend of up to 13 specified grapes and boasting a heritage that
reaches back to the Fourteenth Century.

Chelois (Shel-wah) - French-hybrid grape used in Eastern U.S. wines, makes a rather light and fruity
red.

Chenin Blanc (Shay-naN BlaN) - Noble French grape, most common in the Loire, making very fine
white wines both dry and slightly sweet. Also found in California and elsewhere. Variable in the glass,
although pleasant honeydew, persian and cantaloupe melon
flavors and light muskiness are common.

Chianti (Ki-AHN-tee) - The classic dry red wine of Tuscany, made from Sangiovese and other grapes
near Florence in North Central Italy. Once dismissed as "pizza wine" and served in wicker-wrapped
fiaschi bottles, it's now more respected as a serious table wine, and has given rise in turn to pricey "Super
Tuscan" wines incorporating Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon and other non-traditional blends. Chianti
Classico is made from grapes grown in the central part of the region and considered more desirable;
Chianti Classico Riserva spends additional time aging in oak barrels.

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Cinsaut (SaN-so) - dark red French grape, sometimes spelled "Cinsault." Most common in
Languedoc, also a parent (with Pinot Noir) in the South African grape crossing called "Pinotage."

Claret (CLARE-it) - Old synonym, particularly British, for red Bordeaux.

Classico (CLAH-see-koe) - Legally delimited central part of an Italian wine region, generally producing
wines considered the region's best. See "Chianti."

Clos (CLOW) - Originally, a walled vineyard. Often used in French wine names, and with some
California imitators.

Collioure (Cole-YOOR) - Dry red wine from Banyuls in Southwestern France. Dr. Parcé is the most
widely sought label.

Concord (CAHN-curd) - American native grape (vitis labrusca) used in making old-fashioned country-
style red wines with the "Welch's Grape Jelly" aroma and flavor that wine tasters call "foxy."

Corbières (Cor-b'yare) - A Languedoc region producing particularly appealing red wines based on
Syrah, Carignane and other varietals.

Cornas (Cor-nahs) - Northern Rhone wine region, making a fine, ageworthy wine from Syrah.

Cosecha (Coh-SAY-cha) - Spanish for "vintage."

Côte Rôtie (Coat Row-tee) - Exceptionally fine, ageworthy red wine from the Northern Rhone, primarily
Syrah-based and named for the "roasted slopes" on which the vineyards grow.

Coteaux du Languedoc (Coat-toe duh Lahn-geh-dawk) - Increasingly desirable dry red table wine
from Southern France, variously using Grenache, Syrah, Cinsaut, etc., individually or in blends.

Côtes-du-Rhône (Coat duh Rone) - Generic appellation for basic Rhone Valley wines, red and white.
Often represent good value, although some drop to jug-wine status.

Côtes-du-Ventoux (Coat duh VaN-too) - Neighbor of Cotes-du-Rhone, sometimes offering


exceptional quality-price ratio. Look for La Vieille Ferme, replaced in the mid-'90s by Perrin Reserve.

Crianza (Cree-AHN-zah) - Spanish term for "aged in oak."

Cru Classé (Croo Clah-say) - Literally "classed growth," French legalese for a vineyard historically
identified as being of exceptional quality.

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Cuvée (Coo-vay) - Literally "vat," typically means the blend of different grapes that make up a specific
wine.

Denominación de Origen (Day-nom-ee-nah-SYON day Oh-ree-HEN) - "Denomination of origin," the


Spanish equivalent of the French "Appellation Controlée," a legally designated description of a wine
based on its origin and content.

Denominazione di Origine Controllata (Day-nom-ee-nah-tzee-OH-nay dee Oh-ree-GEE-nay Con-troh-


LAH-tah) - Usually abbreviated DOC , the Italian equivalent of "Appellation Controlée." Certain wines,
including Chianti, add "Garantita" (Gah-rahn-TEE-tah) to the phrase as an additional assurance of quality.

Dolcetto (Dohl-CHET-toe) - Tasty red-wine grape of the Piemonte in Northwestern Italy, making a
delightful wine that's usually light and fruity, but not sweet as the name (literally "little sweet one") might
suggest.

Domaine (Doh-mayn) - "Estate" in French; in Burgundy, a domaine may incorporate numerous


separate vineyards.

Edelfäule (Ay-del-foy-leh) - "Noble rot" in German; see "botrytis."

Einzellage (EYE'N-tzel-lah-geh) - Single vineyard, in German.

Eiswein (ICE-wine) - Just as it sounds in English, wine made from late-harvested grapes allowed to
freeze on the vine, concentrating the sugars. Originated in Germany, also becoming a star attraction of
the Ontario, Canada, wine region.

Erzeugerabfüllung (AIR-tsoy-gur-AHB-few-loong) - "Estate bottled" under German wine law.

Faugères (Fow-ZHER) - Languedoc region and the red wine made there.

Fendant (FaN-daN) - Swiss dry white wine made from the Chasselas grape.

Fino (Fee-noe) - Sherry in a dry, light-bodied style.

French Colombard (Cole-um-bar) - Productive white-wine grape used primarily in California's Central
Valley to make cheap, neutral jug wines.

Frizzante (Free-DZAHN-tay) - Slightly sparkling, in Italian wine. Similar to the French "Pétillant."

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Fumé Blanc (Foo-may BlahN) - U.S. synonym for Sauvignon Blanc, invented by Robert Mondavi
during the 1970s as a marketing ploy and widely imitated. Originally denoted a dry style, but any past
distinction between Fumé and Sauvignon is lost.

Furmint (FOOR-mint) - Hungarian white-wine grape, used to make the renowned dessert wine Tokay
(see "Tokay").

Gamay (Gam-may) - Red-wine grape of Beaujolais, a light, fresh and fruity red wine from the region of
the same name in Southern Burgundy, France. Source of some confusion, as the grape grown in
California as "Gamay Beaujolais" is actually a clone of Pinot Noir, while the California grape known as
"Napa Gamay" is probably Valdiguié.

Garnacha (Gahr-NAH-cha) - Spanish for "Grenache," a red-wine grape.

Gattinara (Gaht-tee-NAH-rah) - Excellent red wine made from the Nebbiolo grape in Northwestern
Italy's Piemonte region.

Gewürztraminer (Geh-VERTZ-trah-mee-nur) - White wine grape best-known in Alsace, Germany, the


U.S. West Coast and New York. Highly aromatic, makes wines (often off-dry to sweet, though less so in
Alsace) with much concentration and "spice" (the literal translation of the German "Gewurz").

Grand Cru, Grand Cru Classé (GrahN Crew Clah-say) - "Great growth" or "great classed growth." In
France, legal terms for specific vineyards identified as historically producers of exceptional wine.

Graves (Grahv) - Sub-region of Bordeaux, named for its gravelly soil, known for both red wines and
Bordeaux's most classic dry, racy whites made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.

Grenache (Gray-NAHSH) - Red-wine grape commonplace in Languedoc and the Rhone, also
California and, as Garnacha, in Spain. Typically makes hearty, peppery wines.

Grosslage (GROSS-lah-geh) - Literally "large vineyard," a German wine-law designation for a group of
individual vineyards whose fruit may be assembled into a wine sold under the Grosslage name.

Gruner Veltliner (GREW-ner Felt-LEE-ner) - Excellent Austrian grape, producing light but crisp and
racy dry white wines.

Halbtrocken (HALP-trock-en) - "Half-dry" in German; wines intentionally made with less than the
typical amount of residual sugar. See also "Trocken."

Haut-Médoc (Oh May-dawk) - Major subdivision of the Médoc region of Bordeaux, and source of
many of its greatest red wines.

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Hermitage (Air-mee-tahj) - One of the top wines of the Rhone, usually red (made from Syrah grapes)
but also white, allegedly created by a Crusader who returned from the Holy Land bearing Syrah vines and
declaring that his days of war were behind him and that this vineyard would be his hermitage. Also,
pronounced in English ("HER-muh-taj") the long-time name of Grange Hermitage, one of Australia's most
noteworthy reds; but the "Hermitage" was dropped around 1990 to satisfy European import criteria.

Jurançon (ZHOO-rahn-sone) - Delicious dry, aromatic wine from the yrenees region of Southwestern
France.

Kabinett (Kah-bee-NET) - Lightest and least sweet quality level for German wines.

Languedoc (Lahn-geh-dawk) - Southern French region, long lightly regarded as the source of simple
table wines, more recently gaining recognition for wines of interest and value.

Loire (Lwahr) - Northeastern French wine region along the river of the same name, known for its
scenic beauty and impressive chateaux as well as a wide variety of delicious wines.

Mâcon (Mah-coN) - Large region of Burgundy generally known for its good, modest table wines.

Madeira (Mah-DER-ah) - Portuguese island in the Atlantic off the North African coast, producing an
unusual fortified wine of the same name. Very popular in the U.S. during Revolutionary War times, the
Madeira trade was an important part of the young nation's economy.

Madiran (Mah-dee-raN) - Small but important Languedoc appellation producing particularly robust,
ageworthy red wines.

Magnum - a large wine bottle with the capacity of two ordinary bottles. Wines age more slowly in large
bottles and fine wines from especially great vintages are often at their best when served from magnums.

Malbec (Mahl-bek) - Red-wine grape used as a nominal element of the Bordeaux blend, where its
intense color and extract add to the wine's body; also used as primary grape in the inky red wines of
Cahors and in some Argentine reds.

Malvasia (Mahl-va-SEE-ah) - Italian white-wine grape, often blended with other grapes (including the
traditional Chianti), occasionally seen as a 100 percent varietal.

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Manzanilla (Mahn-za-NEE-yah) - A dry style of Sherry, similar to Fino, made in a particular seaside
village where the environment allegedly adds a saltwater tang to the wine.

Marechal Foch (Mah-reh-shal Fosh) - French-hybrid grape used to make red wines in the Eastern
U.S.

Margaux (Mahr-goe) - One of the top sub-regions of the Medoc in Bordeaux, centered on the first-
growth property that shares its name.

Marsanne (Mahr-sahn) - Excellent white-wine grape of the Rhone, increasingly planted in California.

Mataro (Mah-TAH-roe) - Spanish name for Mourvèdre (see Mourvèdre).

Mavrodaphne (Mahv-roe-DAHF-nee) - Greek red-wine grape usually used in a sweet, strongly


fortified dessert wine that can represent very good value.

Médoc (May-dawk) - The peninsula between the Gironde River and the sea, center of the Bordeaux
vineyard area. See "Haut-Médoc."

Merlot (Mare-low) - Very good red-wine grape, a key player in the Bordeaux blend, more recently
grown as a varietal in its own right, especially in California and, increasingly, Washington State. Because
it makes a smooth and mellow red wine, it has become an "entry" wine for new red-wine drinkers,
especially those inspired by recent publicity about red wine's purported benefits for cardiovascular health.
Accordingly, in recent years, for many people, "a glass of Merlot" has become all but synonymous with "a
glass of red wine." Black-cherry and herbal flavors are typical.

Minervois (Mee-nehr-vwah) - Languedoc wine region, source of inexpensive, fruity red wine.

Mise en bouteille (Meez ahn Boo-tay) - Literally, "put in bottle" in French. " Mise en bouteille au
Château " has legal significance, meaning "estate bottled," wine made by, and from grapes grown on the
property of, the winery.

Mosel, Moselle (Mo-ZELL) - Beautiful German river valley, tributary of the Rhine, source of some of
the nation's best white wines made from Riesling grapes. Also in Luxembourg, where a small amount of
wine is produced.

Mourvèdre (Moor-VED'rr) - Red grape commonplace in Southern France, Languedoc and the Rhone,
also Spain (where it is known as Mataro) and, increasingly, California. Rich in color and extract, it often
imparts earthy aromas to the wine; one common descriptor is "tree bark."

Müller-Thurgau (MEW-lehr Toor-gow) - Relatively modern grape, perhaps a Riesling-Sylvaner cross,


widely planted in Germany. Originally thought to be a cross between Riesling and Silvaner, and
sometimes designated "Riesling x Silvander on a wine label. It tends to make a simpler, lighter wine than

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Riesling. Also a mainstay of England's small vineyard industry.

Muscadet (Moos-cah-day) - A light, dry Loire white wine made from a grape of the same name
(alternatively named Melon ("May-lawN"), sometimes showing a light musky or cantaloupe quality.

Muscat (Moos-caht) - Aromatic, ancient grape, considered by some to be an ancient ancestor of most
other vitis vinifera grapes; makes wines, often sweet and always fruity, with a characteristic grapefruity
and musky (as the name implies) aroma.

Nebbiolo (Nay-BYOH-low) - Noble grape of Northwestern Italy's Piedmonte region, source of such
powerful and ageworthy red wines as Barolo, Barbaresco and Gattinara. Typical aroma and flavor
descriptors include "violets" and "tar" and intense black fruit.

Nouveau (Noo-voe) - Literally "new" in French, most often seen in "Nouveau Beaujolais," the first wine
of the new Beaujolais vintage, first sold by tradition on the third Thursday of November and best
consumed before the end of that year.

Oloroso (Oh-loe-roe-soe) - Spanish, literally "fragrant." One of the two broad categories of Sherry, the
other being Fino (above). Olorosos are typically dark and full-bodied, in contrast with the light Fino; most
are made sweet, but dry Oloroso (like the Emilio Lustau Don Nuño) can be a revelation.

Optima (OP-tee-mah) - Modern German grape, a Sylvaner, Riesling, Müller-Thurgau cross. Primarily
a blending grape but turns up occasionally as a varietal.

Orvieto (Orv-YEH-toe) - Dry white wine from the ancient town of the same name in Umbria, Italy,
between Rome and Florence.

Passito (Pah-SEE-toe) - Italian wine-making process in which harvested grapes are placed in a dry
room (traditionally on straw mats) to dry into raisins before being pressed. The procedure concentrates
the sugars in the grape juice, and is usually used to make sweet wines, although one of the finest --
Amarone (see Amarone) -- is usually dry.

Pauillac (Pow-yahk) - Village of the Haut-Medoc in Bordeaux, central to perhaps the world's greatest
vineyard region.

Penedès (Pay-nay-DEHS) - Good Spanish wine district near Barcelona. Dominated by the Torres
winery.

Perequita (Pay-reh-KEE-tah) - Portuguese grape, produces hearty, robust dry reds.

Pétillant (Peh-tee-yahN) - Like the Italian "frizzante," slightly sparkling, perhaps sensed merely as a

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prickling on the tongue without actual bubbles being visible.

Petit Verdot (Peh-tee Vehr-doe) - Red wine grape, fine quality but a minor player in the Bordeaux
blend.

Petite Sirah (Peh-teet See-rah) - California red grape, probably the same as the Durif of the Rhone.
Makes an inky-dark red wine that can last forever, but typically one-dimensional in flavor, with the warm,
plummy notes typical of grapes grown in a warm climate.

Phylloxera (fil-LOX-er-rah) - Plant louse that can devastate vineyards; virtually wiped out the French
wine industry during the 1860s and 1870s (after being accidentally exported on vines from the U.S.), and
remains a problem today in Northern California, where many vineyards are now being replanted on louse-
resistant roots.

Piemonte (Pee-eh-MAWN-tay) - Also "Piedmont," literally "the foot of the mountains," Northwestern
Italian wine region in the Alpine foothills, producer of some of the world's greatest red wines.

Pinot Blanc (Pee-noe BlahN) - White wine grape, making a dry, full white wine that some liken to
Chardonnay, but typically medium in body and sometimes showing melon scents.

Pinot Gris (Pee-noe Gree) and Pinot Grigio (Gree-joe) - French and Italian names, respectively, for
the same grape, typically making a dry and very crisp and acidic white wine, often with a light musky
aroma, well-suited to accompany seafood. Common in Alsace, Northeastern Italy, and increasingly
Oregon, where it
takes the French name.

Pinot Meunier (Pee-noe Mehr-n'yay) - Relatively uncommon as a varietal, but frequently used in the
Champagne blend.

Pinot Noir (Pee-noe Nwahr) - Classic red grape, widely accepted as one of the world's best.
Burgundy is its home, and it has proven difficult to grow and vinify well elsewhere, but California and
Oregon increasingly hit the mark, and wine makers in many other parts of the world are still trying. At its
peak, it makes wines of incredible complexity. Cherries and "earthy" qualities are typical. Known for its
"velvety" texture.

Pinotage (Pee-noe-tahj) - A cross between Pinot Noir x Cinsaut of the Rhone, grown commercially
only in South Africa, where it makes a fruity, dark red wine with an odd earthy character often described
as "paintbox."

Pomerol (Paw-mehr-ahl) - Noteworthy village on the right bank of the Dordogne, opposite the Haut-
Médoc, known for its Merlot-based red wines, particularly the cultish Chateau Pétrus.

Pouilly-Fuissé (Poo-yee Fwee-SAY) - White Burgundy, Chardonnay-based, made in the region of the
same name. Especially popular in the U.S.

Pouilly-Fumé (Poo-yee Foo-MAY) - Loire white made from Sauvignon Blanc, dry and very lean and
tart; like Sancerre (see below), an excellent seafood wine.

Priorato (Pree-oh-RAH-toe) - Wine region of Northeastern Spain, near Barcelona, gaining an

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increasing reputation for very hearty, dark red wines.

Provence (Pro-vahNs) - Wine region of Southern France along the Mediterranean coast, south of the
Rhone region and east of Languedoc.

Qualitätswein mit Prädikat (Kval-ee-TEHTS-vine mit PREH-dee-kaht) - Often abbreviated "QmP" for
obvious reasons, this is the highest quality rating for German wines.

Recioto (Ray-CHO-toe) - Wine from the Veneto region of Northeastern Italy, made from especially ripe
grapes. The juice is further concentrated by the "passito" process in which freshly harvested grapes are
allowed to dry into raisins before they're pressed and fermented. Usually sweet, although the well-known
style Amarone is dry. See also "Ripasso."

Reserva (Ray-zair-vah) - Spanish legal term for wines aged before sale; for reds, at least three years,
including at least one year in wooden barrels. The Italian "Riserva" is similar, but note that the English
"Reserve" has no legal significance and may mean anything the winery (or its advertising agency) wishes.

Rheingau (RINE-gow) - German wine region along the Rhine ("Rhein" in German) where steep
vineyards face directly south along an east-west stretch of the river and thus are considered some of the
most favored of the region. The neighboring Rheinhessen (Rine-HESS'n) and Rheinpfalz (Rine-PFALTZ,
sometimes abbreviated to "Pfalz") regions are also well regarded.

Rhône (Rone) - Great French wine region along the river of the same name. Best known for hearty
red wines based on Syrah, Grenache and others, with a wine history certainly going back to the 14th
Century, and at least by local legend, to the Romans.

Ribera del Duero (Ree-BEHR-ah dell Doo-AY-roe) - Challenging Rioja (below) for the title of Spain's
greatest red wine, these Tempranillo-based reds -- particularly the fabled Vega Sicilia -- can last and
improve for decades.

Riesling (REESE-ling) - The classic German grape of the Rhine and Mosel, certainly ranks with
Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir among the most noble wine grapes. Germany's great
Rieslings are usually made slightly sweet, with strong, steely acidity for balance, a style of wine so variant
from the French, Italian and U.S. tradition that it requires a real paradigm shift for many of us to enjoy; but
objectively, the greatest German Rieslings stand comparison to the best the world has to offer. Alsatian
Riesling is also excellent, though usually made in a different style, equally aromatic but typically stronger
and usually dry or nearly so.

Rioja (Ree-OH-hah) - Perhaps the best red wines of Spain, grown in arid, mountainous Northern Spain
and named for the Rio Oja river there. The wines are made from Tempranillo and other grapes, are often
aged in oak, and trace some heritage to Bordeaux, from where many wine makers emigrated after the
phylloxera scourge of the mid-19th Century.

Ripasso (Ree-PAH-soe) - Unusual wine-making practice of Valpolicella, in which wine made during the
recent vintage is reserved, then placed atop the pressed grapeskins and lees in the vats just used for

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Amarone and allowed to ferment further in contact with those skins, thus acquiring additional body,
extract and flavor.

Riserva (Ree-SEHR-vah) - Under Italian wine law, a wine aged for a designated period before bottling;
regulations vary from one region to another in terms of the exact period and whether wood aging is
required, but are always specific. (See also "Reserva," above.)

Rosé (Roe-zay) - Pink wine, traditionally made not by blending red and white juice (although some
inexpensive wines do this), but by using red grapes and removing the skins from the fermenter before
they have had time to impart much color. Also sometimes labeled "Vin Gris" ("VaN Gree," literally "gray
wine") and, among popular, low-cost American pink wines, "blush." Although the blush fad included many
forgettable wines, a good, dry, crisp rosé or vin gris can be a refreshing treat on a hot summer day.

Rosso di Montalcino (ROE-soe dee Mon-tahl-CHEE-noe) - "Little brother" to Brunello (see Brunello), a
good dry Italian red from Tuscany, requiring no aging in wood and permitted to be sold with less aging;
often particularly good value.

Roussanne (Roo-sahn) - White Rhone grape, often grown with and blended with Marsanne, but
somewhat supplanting the latter for economic reasons -- it is considered more productive and easier to
grow.

Saint-Chinian (SahN Shee-nee-ahN) - Another once little-known and lightly regarded region of the
Languedoc gaining new attention in recent times as the wines of this region become more well-known.

Saint-Emilion (San'Tay-meel-yon) - Bordeaux region on the right bank of the Dordogne, upriver from
Pomerol, and like the latter, best known for its red wines made with Merlot and sometimes Cabernet
Franc dominating the blend.

Saint-Estephe (San'Tes-teff) - Northern portion of the Haut-Médoc in Bordeaux, producing wines


considered somewhat less "refined" than Pauillac to the south (there are no first growths in Saint-
Estephe), but still generally excellent, and perhaps more affordable.

Sancerre (SahN-sehr) - Loire village known for deliciously dry and tartly acidic white wines made from
Sauvignon Blanc, a classic match with oysters.

Sangiovese (Sahn-joe-VAY-zeh) - The predominant red-wine grape of Tuscany in Central Italy,


primary player in the Chianti blend; also sometimes used as a varietal there and in California. Makes a
hearty, dry red with flavors of black cherries, often with a characteristic orange glint in the color.

Sauternes (So-TAIRN) - Great French dessert wine from the Bordeaux district of the same name,
made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes harvested late and usually affected by
botrytis, (see Botrytis). The most famous (and expensive) rendition is Chateau d'Yquemm although there
are many other excellent examples.

Sauvignon Blanc (So-veen-yawn BlahN) - Noble white grape, native to the Loire and Bordeaux
(where it is usually blended with Semillon); also widely planted in the Western U.S., South America,
Australia and New Zealand and elsewhere. The wine comes in many styles, depending largely on canopy

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management or leaf pruning (shaded grapes make a "green," "grassy" style while grapes exposed to
sunlight make a characteristically citric style) and whether the wine maker chooses to age the wine in
oak.

Savennières (Sah-ven-YARE) - Small Loire region making white wines of exceptionally high quality
from Chenin Blanc. One of the few white wines that doesn't merely benefit from a few years of age but
actually needs time to come into its own.

Scheurebe (SHOY-ray-beh) - Modern German grape, a Riesling x Sylvaner cross, still rather
uncommon but seen increasingly in sweeter, late-harvest wines from the Rhine. The better examples
resemble Riesling, with a raisiny fruitiness.

Sémillon (Say-mee-yoN) - White wine grape, native to Bordeaux and used there primarily in a blend
with Sauvignon Blanc; increasingly seen as a varietal in the U.S. and Australia, where it makes a soft,
medium-bodied, sometimes pleasantly musky white wine.

Seyval Blanc (Say-vahl BlahN) - French-hybrid grape so widely used to make white wines in the
Eastern U.S. that it's sometimes jokingly called "Indiana (or fill in your state of preference) Chardonnay." It
makes a dry, crisp white wine that's often aged in oak to enhance its otherwise rather neutral "vinous"
flavor.

Shiraz (Shee-rahz) - Australian synonym for Syrah, now also turning up on occasion in South Africa.

Sommelier (Soh-mell-yay) - The wine waiter in a restaurant.

Spätlese (SHPAYT-lay-zuh) - Literally "late-picked," the ripeness level of German QmP wines between
Kabinett and Auslese (see also, Kabinett and Auslese).

Spumante (Spoo-MAHN-tay) - Literally "foaming," Italian for sparkling wine, usually seen in
combination with its source, as in "Asti Spumante."

Sylvaner (Sill-VAH-ner) - German grape (sometimes spelled Silvaner there), considered secondary to
Riesling in quality but planted widely as a blending grape. Vinified as a varietal, it makes a light, fruity
quaffing wine.

Syrah (See-rah) - The classic Rhone red grape allegedly brought back from Shiraz in Persia by the
14th-Century crusader Gaspard de Sterimberg. Blended in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and standing alone in
Hermitage, Cote-Rotie and other Rhone reds, it makes tannic, ageworthy wines easily identified by a very
characteristic floral black-pepper fragrance.

Tempranillo (Temp-rah-NEEL-yo) - Excellent Spanish red-wine grape. Black fruit is the usual
descriptor, although most Tempranillo-based wines show spicy oak as an integral component, and are
also characterized by the hearty, robust and acidic structure that the grape imparts.

Terroir (Tehr-wahr) - Literally "soil" in French, a term widely used by wine hobbyists (sometimes as
gout de terroir) in reference to the flavors and aromas that soil and geography impart to a wine.

Tinto (TEEN-toe) - Spanish term for red wine.

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Tocai Friulano (Toh-KYE Fr'yoo-LAH-noe) - Italian white-wine grape grown in the far Northeast, no
kin to Hungarian Tokay, but capable of producing a delightfully distinctive and aromatic white wine with a
unique floral scent; also occasionally seen in California.

Tokay (Toe-KAY) - Respected Hungarian dessert wine, reaches its pinnacle in Tokay Aszù ("Ah-zhu"),
the sweetest style, affected by botrytis.

Torrontés (Tohr-ROHN-tayss) - White grape from Galicia in Spain, gaining recent there and in
Argentina for producing racy and aromatic white wines of real character.

Trebbiano (Treb-YAH-no) - Widespread but rather forgettable Italian white grape, producing a neutral
dry white wine.

Trentino-Alto Adige (Tren-TEE-noe Ahl-toe AH-dee-jay) - Mountainous wine region of the Italian
North, reaching the Alpine foothills above Trentino and Bolzano. Best known for excellent dry whites.

Trocken (TROCK-en) - German for "dry." Usually seen on the label of modern efforts to produce
traditional German quality wines in a new style without residual sugar, more closely approximating the
French and Italian style of dry table wines.(see also Halbtrocken).

Trockenbeerenauslese (TROCK-en-BEHR-en-OWS-lay-zeh) - Tongue-twisting name for the sweetest


and most expensive quality level of German wine, literally "dried individual grapes picked out," hand-
selected and botrytis-affected.

Tuscany (TUSS-can-ee) - Wine region of Central Italy, surrounding Florence, ancient home of
Chianti, Brunello and Vino Nobile, also increasingly known for modern, pricey "high-tech Tuscans" made
using creative blends of the local grapes, Cabernet and others.

Valpolicella (Vahl-poe-lee-CHELL-ah) - Lightweight but refreshing red wine from the Veneto of
Northeastern Italy. As Recioto della Valpolicella, a thoroughly different wine, powerful and robust, may be
sweet or dry (Amarone).

Valtellina (Vahl-tell-LEE-nah) - Northern Italian wine region in Lombardy, on the Swiss border, making
excellent red wines from Nebbiolo and other grapes.

Varietal (Vah-RYE-uh-tal) - Wine named for the specific grape from which it is made, such as Cabernet
Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.

Vendange (VawN-dawN) - French for vintage. "Vendange Tardive" [Tahr-Deev] is "late harvest" or
"delayed harvest".

Vendimia (Vehn-DEE-mee-ah) - Spanish for "vintage."

Veneto (VAY-nah-toe) - Wine region of Northeastern Italy, around Venice and Verona.

Veraison (Vay-ray-zoN) - First appearance of color in ripening grapes.

Verdicchio (Vehr-DEEK-yo) - Italian white-wine grape from the Adriatic coast of Central Italy; at its

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best, tart and suffused with an appealing bitter-almond quality.

Vernaccia di San Gimignano (Vehr-NAHCH-ya dee Sahn Jee-mee-NYAH-noe) - Dry white wine of
ancient heritage from the picturesque Tuscan village of San Gimignano. The town is known for its many
towers; the wine, at its best, is crisp and dry and pleasantly bitter in the finish.

Vidal Blanc (Vee-dahl BlahN) - French-hybrid white-wine grape widely used in Eastern U.S. wines,
sometimes crisp and dry but with a sometimes unfortunate pine resin or turpentine quality.

Vignoles (Vee-NYOLE) - Also Ravat 51, a French-hybrid white-wine grape seen in the Eastern U.S.
One of the most successful French hybrids, in my opinion; I've seen it vinified as a luscious sweet wine
and also, with lightly toasted oak, as a full-bodied dry white of real quality.

Villard Blanc (Vee-yar BlahN) - Yet another white French-hybrid grown in the Eastern U.S. Usually
rather neutral in quality.

Vin Gris (VaN Gree) - Pink wine (see Rosé).

Vin de Pays (VaN deh Pie-ee) - Literally, "wine of the country," a category of French wines considered
lower in status than Appellation Controllée, but because it's considered less "desirable," may offer
particularly good value if well-chosen.

Vinho Verde (VEEN-yoh VEHR-day) - Literally "green wine," a reference to youth rather than color; a
refreshing, light and often slightly sparkling Portuguese white wine. Always look for the youngest
available, preferably no more than a year old.

Vino Nobile di Montepulciano (Vee-noe NOH-bee-lay dee Mohn-tay-pool-CHAH-noe) - Excellent


Tuscan red wine made from a blend of Sangiovese and other red grapes; neighboring to Chianti but
distinctly different.

Vintage (VIN-tij) - For wines so designated, the year in which the grapes were grown.

Viognier (Vee-ohn-yay) - Long a seldom-seen grape used only in the rather rare French Condrieu
and Chateau-Grillet, this white grape is gaining considerable attention as a varietal in California and
Southern France. It makes a light, lean wine with a very characteristic floral scent, not meant for aging but
best consumed early.

Vitis Vinifera (Vee-tis Vi-NIFF-eh-ra) - Grape species including virtually all of the most desirable wine
grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, etc.

Vouvray (Voov-ray) - Outstanding Loire white, based on Chenin Blanc; table wines may range from dry
through slightly sweet, and it also makes spectacular dessert wines.

Wein (Vine) - German for "wine."

White Riesling (Reese-ling) - Sometimes seen in the U.S. (and required in Oregon) for Riesling.

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"Johannisberg Riesling" is also often used as a California marketing term to heighten the grape's German
heritage.

White Zinfandel (Zin-fahn-DELL) - "Blush" wine, usually California, usually simple and often slightly
sweet, made by removing red Zinfandel grapes from the juice before they impart significant color. See
Zinfandel, below.

Zinfandel (Zin-fahn-DELL) - Declared the American wine grape because it reaches its highest level in
California, it's now been shown to be the same as the Southern Italian Primitivo, and it's thought that both
may go back to an earlier Balkan progenitor. At its best, it makes an exuberantly fruity, ripe and big red
wine full of mixed blackberry and raspberry scents (known botanically as "bramble fruit").

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