Wine Glossary


Below is a listing of a wide variety of wine terms you will come across as you explore the world of wine.  We try to keep it light and occasionally cheeky.


Appellation refers to where the grapes used to make the wine were grown.  Some famous Appellations include, Bordeaux, Chianti and Napa Valley.
Most of the world’s wine producing regions have their owns laws and regulations for designating Appellations. Here in the U.S., we have the AVA system.  To be allowed by law to put an Appellation on your wine bottle, you must first meet the requirements for that Appellation, which include things like a minimum percentage of grapes from the Appellation that were used to make the wine, and other strict rules regarding things like vineyard management.


An American Viticultural Area is a designated wine grape growing region in the U.S.  The designation and enforcement of federal regulation is managed by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.  Some famous AVAs are Napa Valley (California), Willamette Valley (Oregon) and Columbia Valley (Washington).  The type and style of a wine is very much tied to where the grapes are grown (see terroir).  Appellations like the AVA system are meant to help indicate what type and style of wine you might expect, as many wines from the same AVA will be similar.  In order to be able to include the AVA name on your bottle of wine, 85% of the grapes used to make the wine must be grown inside the AVA.  


The flavor that is dominant or most noticeable as you swallow the wine and immediately thereafter.

Muse of Imbibement

What wine(s) I was drinking while composing an article.  This is like drinking a beer while BBQing.  It is simply a law of nature that must be followed.


Simply a fancy word for the type of grape the wine is made from. Well known varietals are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, etc.





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