Key to Rick's Wine Journal Comments and Notes and related Wine Terms

Highly Recommended - Find it, buy it, drink it, and store more

Cellar Selection from Rick's or friends' cellar

Recommended wine to try and buy.
Selection from my wine cellar
$ $X - Published price, price paid or 'street' price or range of prices I have seen in the trade
$RP Release price set and charged by the producer upon release of  the wine.  
$MP Market price - price charged or quoted by retailers or brokers

Abruzzi:

(Ah-broot-zee): Wine region in east-central Italy, bordering the Adriatic Sea. Red wine is made from the Montepulciano grape; white is made from the Trebbiano grape. Both are rated DOC.

Acidity:

One of the main structural components of wine, acidity adds a refreshing quality and helps to preserve character. Present to some degree in all grapes in the form of tartaric, citric, malic or lactic acid.
Aggressive Trait of a wine that is highly acidic and heavily tannic, often indicating a wine that needs more time to mature and soften to be more approachable. A wine before its time.

Amarone:
amarone.wav

(Ah-ma-roe-nay): A special type of Valpolicella. Selected grapes are left to dry on racks after picking, resulting in a wine that is fuller and more concentrated.

Appellation -
AOC
An appellation is a geographical-based term used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown. The rules that govern appellations are dependent on the country in which the wine was produced. On French wine bottles look for the term Appellation d�origine contr�l�e (AOC), which translates as "controlled term of origin" is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications under the auspices of the government bureau Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO). In America appellation status is designate as an AVA - American Viticultural Areas by the US Dept of Agriculture. The Italian system is Denominazione di origine controllata - (DOCG).

Astringency:

An element found mainly in red wine, characterized by a mouth-drying sensation attributable to tannin level.
AU Australia - major emerging wine producing country
Auslese
Auslese - meaning "select harvest" - term from the German Pradikats (QmP) system referring to wine made from selected very ripe bunches or grapes, typically semi-sweet or sweet, sometimes with some noble rot character. Sometimes Auslese is also made into a powerful dry wine. Auslese is the Pr�dikat which covers the widest range of wine styles, and can be a dessert wine.
   
AVA

American Viticultural Areas (AVA)denoting a wine grape growing area recognized and formally designated by the US as a "delimited grape growing area" that has a distinctive set of common properties including but not limited to climate, micro-climate, soil type, altitude, and other factors the taken together contribute to and make up the character of grapes grown in that AVA. AVA's are defined by the United States Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). The TTB defines these areas at the request of wineries and other petitioners. There were 187 AVAs as of April, 2007 Prior to the installation of the AVA system, wine appellations of origin in the United States were designated based on state and county boundaries. All of these appellations were grandfathered into federal law and may appear on wine labels as designated places of origin, but these appellations are distinct from AVAs.

BB Designated by Wine Spectator to be a Best Buy - good value, invariably less than stellor wines.

Barbaresco:

(Bar-ba-ress-co): Full bodied red wine from the district of Piedmont, Italy; produced from the Nebbiolo grape. Similar to Barolo, except it is lighter and is apt to mature sooner.

Barbara:

(Bar-bear-ah): Red wine grape widely used in northern Italy, especially Piedmont.

Barolo:

(Ba-roll-lo): From the district of Piedmont, northern Italy; the finest and richest wine produced from the Nebbiolo grape. Under DOC law, Barolo must be aged at least three years prior to release, with at least two years in cask; if aged four years, it is allowed to be called Riserva.

Barossa Major wine growing region or appellation in the central south of Australia. Wines from there are made from Syrah, also referred to as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and or merlot varietals.
Beerenauslese
Beerenauslese - meaning "select berry harvest" -  term from the German Pradikats (QmP) system referring to wine made from individually selected overripe grapes often affected by noble rot, making rich sweet dessert wine.

Blanc
de Blancs:

(Blawn duh blawn): White wine produced exclusively from white grapes, significant in the French champagne region.

Blanc de Noirs:

(Blawn duh Nwar): A white wine made from black grapes. Applies principally to French champagne made from the juice of black grapes (Pinot Noir varietal) removed from the skins and fermented separately so it does not extract any color from the skins.

Blind tasting

Tasting without knowledge of what kind of wine is in the glass. In serious blind tasting's, the subjects of the test are attempting not only to place the varietal, but to achieve the more difficult task of naming the appellation, vintage, winemaker, the type of oak, even the source vineyard or other characteristics. 

Body:

A wine's structure, complexity and weight on the palate, typically described as light, medium or full.

Bordeaux Premier French wine growing region in the southeast of France along the Gironde River estuary centered around the city of Bordeaux. The Bordeaux region consists of 300,000 acres and over 9000 producers. The Left Bank to the south of the Gironde produces wines predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot and small amounts of Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc, or Malbec. Famous notable appellations are St. Estephe, St.Julien, Pauillac, Medoc, Graves and Marqaux.  The Right Bank, to the north and west of the Gironde produces wines primarily of Merlot. Famous and notable appellations are St.-Emilion and Pomerol. Primary varietals: Red (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc) and White (Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc).
Botrytis Cinerea:

Also referred to as "noble rot," this beneficial mold draws moisture out of grapes, concentrating sugars and flavors. Affected grapes are often used to make opulent dessert wines.

Bouquet:

As a wine matures, its aromas tend to develop more complexity and are referred to as bouquet. Also used to refer to the smell of a wine that has been aged in oak.

Breadth The complexity of a wine as indicated by the array of aromas, flavors and structure or body and  that a wine possesses and reveals - orthagonal to depth of the wine.
Brunello
di Montalcino:

(Brew-nel-lo dee Mawn-tal-chee-no): Red wine from Tuscany, Italy. Named for the Brunello grape, a clone or sub-variety of Sangiovese, the wine has a dark, rich color and enough tannin to assure development in the bottle for decades.

Brut:

The driest style of Champagne or sparkling wine.

Burgundy The world famous wine growing region in central France most known for red wines grown from the Pinot Noir varietal and exquisite white wines from Chardonnay such as Montrachet, Meursault and Pouilly-Fuisse', and true Chablis
BYOB Colloquial acronym for 'Bring Your Own Bottle'. Many restaurants rely largely on their beverage revenues for profits and resist BYOB. "Wine friendly'' restaurants allow or even encourage customers to bring their own wines. It is reasonable and customary to charge a 'corkage fee' in such circumstances. 
CA California - Leading growing region in US
CDP Chateauneuf Du Pape - Town and Appellation in the Southern Rhone Valley in France - See WL.
Cabernet Franc A Varietal Grape used in red wines - primarily as a blending grape to add a bit of spiciness and structure when blended with Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in wines produced in the Bordeuax region of France. Cabernet Franc is also grown in the Napa Valley region of California where it is bottled stand-alone as a varietal wine or used in blending Bordeaux style wines also referred to as a Meritage wine (since Bordeaux refers to wines from that wine region as well as a 'style'  or blending combination of wine).
Cabernet Sauvignon
Cab
Cabernet Sauvignon Varietal Grape - The undisputed king of red wines, Cabernet is a remarkably steady and consistent performer. It grows well in many regions, and is capable of rendering wines of uncommon depth, richness, concentration and longevity. Cabernet has an affinity for oak and usually spends 15 to 30 months in new or used French or American barrels, a process that, when properly executed imparts a woody, toasty cedar or vanilla flavor to the wine while slowly oxidizing it and softening the tannins. Microclimates are a major factor in the weight and intensity of the Cabernets. Winemakers also influence the style as they can extract high levels of tannin and heavily oak their wines.
Calvados Famed apple brandy from the orchards of Normandy in northwest France
Carignane It's origin is a Spanish varietal of grape from Cari�ena, Aragon. It was later transplanted to Sardinia, where it is still made into varietal wine, Carignano, and elsewhere in Italy, France, Algeria, and much of the New World. Italian immigrants to the US starting in the late 1890s brought the vine to California, and through the early and mid-20th century, Carignane was one of the most widely planted grape varietal in California.California, production has diminished from a high of 27000 acres to about 3500 today, the grape is not often used to make varietal wines, but a few producers such as Ravenswood, Cline and Mayo Family Winery make notable varietals from old vines.
Chablis A wine grape varietal. Authentic Chablis is made in France from pure Chardonnay. However, many wineries market a "Chablis" which can be any semi-dry blend of white wines.
Champagne The famous wine growing region in France. Only sparkling wine that comes from the Champagne region of Northeastern France can boast this name. Champagne can be made from Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and  Pinot Meunier grape varietals. Similar wines that come from anywhere else in the world are known as "Sparkling Wines." See our Champagne Wine Experience 2006.
Charbono It is a grape variety with origins in the Savoie region of France where it is also known as Corbeau, Douce Noire, or Charbonneau. It is the second most commonly grown variety in Argentina, where it is known as Bonarda, which is not the same as the Bonarda Piemontese varietal, and is probably not related to Dolcetto of the Piedmont. Some believe that this variety is actually the Dolcetto Nero grape of Italy, or the minor French variety Charbonneau, because an Italian synonym for Dolcetto is "Dolce Nero" which translates to "sweet black," as does the French name "Douce Noire" for Charbono.
Chateauneuf Du Pape
chateauneuf du pape
Town and Appellation in the Southern Rhone Valley in South Central France between the cities of Orange and Avignon known for hearty big bold red wines marketed under the same name. The rules of the appellation there allow up to thirteen different specified varietal  grapes but the most popular and common are Syrah, Grenach, Cinsault, and Mouvedre. See my Rhone Wine Experience.
Chardonnay A wine grape varietal. The "king of white wines." Chardonnay is the single most popular wine in the world (if you judge by sales). It makes consistently excellent, rich and complex whites. This is an amazingly versatile grape that grows well in a variety of locations throughout the world. In Burgundy, it is used for the exquisite whites, such as Montrachet, Meursault and Pouilly-Fuisse', and true Chablis; in Champagne it turns into Blanc de Blancs. Chardonnay has reached superb maturity in many California regions as well. Among the many other countries that have caught Chardonnay fever, Australia is especially strong.
Chewy Characteristic of a wine that full-bodied and heavily tannic.

Chianti:
chianti.wav

(Key-ahn-tee): Famous red wine from the region of Tuscany, Italy. Chianti is unique to a specific, delimited part of Tuscany, extending between the cities of Florence and Siena.

Cinsault A wine grape varietal used as a blending grape in the complex wines from Chateauneuf du Pape.
Corkage Fee A Corkage Fee is charged by a restaurant for serving a customer's BYOB wine. A corkage fee will reflect the restaurant's policy and willingness to accommodate such practices. Naturally restaurants rely on beverage revenues to support their business so it is reasonable and customary to charge for the handling of BYOB wines. My strong and emotionally charged opinion is that proper protocol dictates that restaurants should honor and accommodate collectors who bring special bottles from their cellars - aged, hard to find, or notable wines, or vertical or horizontal selections for special dinners. It is reasonable for them to discourage BYOB customers who simply reduce their cost of dinner by buying 'retail' and offsetting the restaurant margins on the wine. Reasonable corkage fees should range from $10 to $25 for a moderate to upscale restaurant. Reasonable margins on wine would render this practice unnecessary except where the wine-list does not offer sufficient breadth or depth or selections for one's preference or taste. Naturally we frequent restaurants proportionately to their reasonableness and liberalness of their corkage policy. Many restaurants allow BYOB with a very modest or no fee. This should be taken into account and factored into the tip and or patronage loyalty. Usually restaurants are reasonable in these matters. Those that are not should be avoided as there are many alternatives in the marketplace. See http://www.foodandwine.com/articles/corkage-for-dummies
Cotes du Rhone A wine region and appellation along the Rhone River valley in the central south of France also associated with a style of wine. (Also Cotes du Rhone-Village). Blended wines , not only of the14 grape allowed grape varieties, Grenache being chief among them, but blended from village to village as well. Of varying quality, they are best when made by the traditional barrel fermented techniques and not the newer carbonic maceration technique (which is how Beaujolais is made, and why everything made this way tastes like Beaujolais).
Cuvee: A wine that consists of a blend or a combination of multiple varietals of grapes.
CS Cellar Selection - Designated by Wine Spectator to be classic - worth collecting and cellaring.
FR French wine or France - major wine producer
IT Italian Wine or Italy - leading wine producing country
Br Bordeaux - major French wine producing region around the city of Bordeaux along the Gironde estuary - cabernet sauvignon blends on the left bank - merlot blends on right bank
Bu Burgundy - major French wine producing region - pinot noir reds and chardonnay whites.
Rh Rhone - major French wine producing region along the Rhone river - upper Rhone and southern Rhone
DE German wine or region

Decant:

Refers to the careful transfer of wine from the bottle to another container in order to aerate or to separate the wine from its sediment.

Depth:

The complexity of the wine as indicated by the intensity of array of flavors, fullness and body of the wine, orthagonal to breadth of a wine.  

DOC - DOCG

Denominazione di origine controllata is an Italian quality assurance label for food products and especially wines (an appellation). It is modelled after the French AOC. It was instituted in 1963 and overhauled in 1992 for compliance with the equivalent EU law on Protected Designation of Origin, which came into effect that year. There are three levels of labels:

  • DOC Denominazione di Origine Controllata
  • DOCG Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita
  • DO Denominazione di Origine

See IGT. There are just under 50 DOCGs, nearly 450 DOCs, and countless IGTs.

Dolcetto:

(Dole-chet-toe):  A red grape varietal grown in the region of Piedmont, northern Italy. Fragrant and fruity, it is usually the quickest to mature of the red Piedmont wines.

Dry:

A descriptor used for a wine that lacks perceptible sweetness.

   
Eiswein
(ice wine)
Eiswein (ice wine) - German term from the German Pradikats (QmP) system referring to wine made from grapes that have been naturally frozen on the vine, making a very concentrated wine. Must reach at least the same level of sugar content in the must as a Beerenauslese. The most classic Eiswein style is to use only grapes that are not affected by noble rot. Until the 1980s, the Eiswein designation was used in conjunction with another Pr�dikat (which indicated the ripeness level of the grapes before they had frozen), but is now considered a Pr�dikat of its own.

Estate-Bottled:

Refers to a wine of which the contents originated from the 'estate' or from the property of the producer. Wine that is bottled by the owner(s) of the vineyard or vineyards in which the grapes were grown.

Fermentation:

A natural biological process systemic to winemaking during which active yeasts transform the sugar in grape juice into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

fill level The level of a wine's volume in its bottle also known as ullage. When new and properly bottled, a bottle will have a high fill level, the volume will be just below the bottom of the cork. This is optimal as it reduces the amount of surface area in which the wine comes in contact with air. A bottle of wine with a lower than optimal fill level has more wine in contact with air and will deteriorate more rapidly than the normal aging process through oxidation. A lower fill level is measured by its level in the neck of the bottle of in relation to the shoulder of the bottle. Fill levels reduce over time owing to several factors - primarily normal evaporation over time or in extreme cases, a faulty cork may allow for leakage, or extreme temperatures can cause the wine's expansion, which can loosen the cork and cause leakage. A proper wine cellar will have temperature and humidity control to minimize the loss of wine due to evaporation and expansion. It's a good idea to check the fill level of older wines.

High fill or Normal fill - Level of young wines. Exceptionally good in wines over 10 years old.
Into neck - Perfectly good for any age of wine. Outstandingly good for a wine of 10 years in bottle.
Mid neck fill - Indicates exceptional storage for any wine. In bottles over 10 years of age, indicates especially good storage conditions. For those over 40 years of age, may indicate a recorked/reconditioned bottle.
Base neck fill - The fill is at about the bottom of the neck. Indicates excellent storage for any wine. For wines over 25 years of age, indicates exceptional storage conditions. Many producers fill bottles at base neck or lower.
Top shoulder - Fill just down below base neck. A standard fill for wines over 10 years of age. Normal level for any claret 15 years old or older. For wines over 25 years of age, indicates excellent storage conditions.
Upper or high shoulder - A fill just above the midpoint (as measured by volume) of the shoulder of the bottle. Acceptable for any wine over 20 years old. For wines less than this age, may indicate problems with storage conditions. Common for wines over 40 years of age. Exceptional for pre-1940 wines.
Mid shoulder - Not unusual for wines over 40 years of age, but may suggest poor storage condition or early signs of cork failure. Can be at significant risk of being undrinkable and estimates for the value of the wine usually take this into account.
Lower shoulder - Some risk. Low estimates on wine value, usually no reserve at auction.
Low shoulder - This can often be an indicator of poor storage conditions and/or an undrinkable wine. Not normally recommended for consumption. Risky and usually only accepted for sale if wine or label exceptionally rare or interesting. Always offered without reserve and low estimate.
Below low shoulder - Rarely seen. Not acceptable for sale unless a rare sort of bottle. Wine will usually be undrinkable.

 See also ullage.

Finish:

The sensation a wine leaves in the mouth after swallowing or spitting (same as aftertaste).

Fortified Wine:

A wine to which a spirit has been added, either to raise the level of alcohol or to halt fermentation in order to maintain a natural sweetness.

IGT IGT (Indicazione Geografica Tipica) - created by Italian authorities, under the Goria Law 1992 to classify wines otherwise referred to or known as the "SuperTuscans" made famous by the likes of Sassicaia and Tignanello - composed of Sangiovese varietal and sometimes blended with Merlot of other perhaps Cabernet Sauvignon or other varietals. This was created because Sangiovese fell outside of the DOCG classification. 
Feature Featured Wine Producer or Wine - Mentioned so often to merit a dedicated page on Rick's WineSite.
first growth

In 1855 at the 1855 Exposition Universelle de Paris a classification ranking was assigned to the top wine producers in the Bordeaux wine growing region in five categories according to prestige, quality, reputation and consistency. The resulting Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855 listed the top ranked wines named the Grand Crus Class�s (Great Classified Growths), ranked and placed in one of five divisions with the top being the 'first growths', followed by subsequent lesser rankings were 2nd, third, fourth, and fifth growth wines.

The best of the best wines assigned the highest rank of Premier Cru were the top four from Ch�teau Latour, Ch�teau Lafite Rothschild, Ch�teau Margaux and Ch�teau Haut-Brion. Chateau Mouton Rothschild was added in 1973. All but one of the top 61 great classified wines came from the M�doc region. The exception was the premier cru Ch�teau Haut-Brion, produced in the appellation AOC of Graves.

flight A selection of wines for a comparison tasting. Could be a medley of disparate wines or similar wines such as a horizontal or vertical or other.
Fortified Wine Wine that has had alcohol added (usually brandy) to it to prevent fermentation by killing the yeast and leaving the residual sugar. 
Full-bodied

A 'big' wine that is high in alcohol content and robust with flavor. Also referred to as 'forward', (as opposed to 'backward' which would also be described as more subdued or subtle).

Gewurztraminer A wine grape varietal. also associated with a particular style and the French Alsace wine growing region or appellation in the old world sense. Gewurztraminer can yield magnificent wines, as is best demonstrated in Alsace, France, where it is made in to a variety of styles from dry to off-dry to sweet. The grape needs a cool climate that allows it to get ripe. It's a temperamental grape to grow and vinify, as its potent spiciness can be overbearing when unchecked. At its best, it produces a floral and refreshing wine with crisp acidity that pairs well with spicy dishes. When left for late harvest, it's uncommonly rich and complex, a tremendous dessert wine.
Gigondas

A French wine Appellation d'Origine Contr�l�e (AOC) in the southern Rh�ne wine region of France. A neighbor to and considered a poor man's version (more economical version) of Ch�teauneuf-du-Pape Gigondas produces primarily red wines that are syrah, mouvedre or grenache... spicy peppery wines that are generally of good value. See my Rhone Wine Experience.

halbtrocken  German wine term meaning  'half-dry' wine measuring sweetness of wine as measured in acidity by grams of sugar per liter with 12 being low and 18 being high - half-dry or halbtrocken wine has medium sugar content - medium acidity.
Heady: A wine description indicating a wine with higher alcohol content.
Hearty:  A robust flavorful and full bodied wine - typically and more characteristically a red wine.
horizontal Horizontal in the context of wine is a term referring to a flight, selection or collection of wines from the same vintage across a series of different producers, region or AVA's, or varietals.
Kabinett

The different Pr�dikat designations used are as followed, in order of increasing sugar levels in the must:

Term from the German Pradikats (QmP) system referring to fully ripened light wines from the main harvest, typically semi-sweet with crisp acidity, but can be dry if designated so.

Late-Harvest Wine:

A wine made from extra-ripe grapes picked late in the season, which when allowed to ripen further increase in sugar resulting in a sweet character in the finished product.

Lean: A wine minimalistic or lacking flavor and depth.
Left Bank The area of the Bordeaux wine growing region in the southeast of France to the south of the Gironde River that produces wines predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot and small amounts of Petit Verdot or Cabernet Franc, or Malbec. Famous notable appellations are St. Estephe, St.Julien, Pauillac, Medoc, Graves and Marqaux
Link Links to wine related websites are posted on Rick's WineSite Links Library
Label Label has been scanned or photographed for reference and is posted on Rick's Winesite Label Library. Click on L or picture link to view the label.
Malbec A Varietal Grape used in red wines - primarily as a blending grape to add a bit of firmness or 'structure' and dark color when blended with Merlot and or Cabernet Sauvignon in wines produced in the Bordeuax region of France. Petit Verdot is also grown in small quantities the Napa Valley region of California where it is occasionally bottled stand-alone as a varietal wine but it is used primarily in blending Bordeaux style wines also referred to as a Meritage wine (since Bordeaux refers to wines from that wine region as well as a 'style'  or blending combination of wine).  Malbec is also becoming popular as a varietal wine based on varietal wine grape grown in South America wine regions in Chile and Argentina.
Maitre de Chai Master of the celler. The one that tends to the wine while it is aging, typically in oak barrels to add the distinction oak flavor, or to soften or tailor and shape the wine.  
McLaren Vale Major wine growing region or appellation in the central south of Australia. Wines from there are made from Syrah, also referred to as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and or merlot varietals.

Malolactic Fermentation:

An optional secondary fermentation process in winemaking during which malic acid is naturally converted into subtler lactic acid. This process typically results in softer red wines and more complex white wines.

Meritage
meritage.wav
A wine that is a blend in the Bordeaux style meaning wines predominantly of Cabernet Sauvignon blended with Merlot and small amounts of Petit Verdot or Cabernet Franc, or Malbec. referred to as a Meritage wine (since Bordeaux refers to wines from that wine region as well as a 'style'  or blending combination of wine).
M�doc The wine growing area in the Bordeaux wine region to the north west and north of the city of Bordeaux on the Left Bank or to the south of the Gironde River. the Medoc contains famous appellations of St Estephe, St Julian, Paulliac to name a few.
Merlot A wine grape varietal. - Merlot is the red-wine success of the 1990s: its popularity has soared along with its acreage, and it seems wine lovers can't drink enough of it. It dominates Bordeaux, except for the Medoc and Graves. Though it is mainly used for the Bordeaux blend, it can stand alone. In St.-Emilion and Pomerol, especially, it produces noteworthy wines, culminating in Chateau Petrus. In Italy it's everywhere, though most of the Merlot is lighter in style. Several styles have emerged. One is a Cabernet-style Merlot, which includes a high percentage (up to 25 percent) of Cabernet, similar currant and cherry flavors and firm tannins. A second style is less reliant on Cabernet, softer, more supple, medium-weight, less tannic and features more herb, cherry and chocolate flavors. A third style is a very light and simple wine; this type's sales are fueling Merlot's overall growth. Like Cabernet, Merlot can benefit from some blending, as Cabernet can give it backbone, color and tannic strength. It also marries well with oak. Merlot's aging potential is fair to good, but may become softer with age.
Montepulciano Popular Italian red wine varietal. also associated with a particular style and wine growing region or appellation in the old world sense.. The most ancient document concerning the wine of Montepulciano dates back to 789: the minor clerck Arnipert gave the church of St. Silvester or St. Salvador in Montepulciano on Amiata Mount a strip of land where vineyard was grown in the castle of Policiano. The wine of Montepulciano became very important in 1685, when Francesco Redi ends lines dedicated to the wine in his dithyramb "Bacchus in Tuscany" with: "Montepulciano is the king of all wines". Very dark, almost inky garnet in color, with black fruit aromas and an odd but appetizing whiff of coffee. Full and ripe black-fruit flavors are backed by bright acidity, with good fruit and pleasant spice continuing in a long finish.

Montepulciano di Abruzzo:

(Mawn-tay-pool-chon-no dee Ah-broot-zo): Red wine produced in the Abruzzi region of southern Italy.

Montrachet A wine grape varietal. also associated with a particular style and French wine growing region or appellation in the old world sense. Exquisite white Burgundy (France). Powerful bouquet of apples, minerals and spices. Immensely satisfying aroma. Very elegant yet full of flavors. Not somber or reserved, yet not as "fat" and viscous as Meursault. Steely tones combine with richness to make this wine extremely tasty.
Mouvedre A wine grape varietal used as a blending grape in the complex wines from Chateauneuf du Pape.
Napa Valley Napa Valley is the most famous and most popular wine growing region in America, in Northern California's Wine growing region which also includes Sonoma, Mendocino, and Lake counties. Located north of the San Pablo and San Francisco Bays adjacent to Sonoma Valley to the west, Napa Valley consists of 9000 acres of vineyards and over 300 wine producers. The most popular grape and red wine varietals are the Bordeaux varietals Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot and Chardonnary and Sauvignon Blanc for the whites. Napa Valley is a American Viticultural Areas (AVA) and consists of fifteen AVA's plus several sub-appellations. The City of Napa is also the main town in the valley at the south end at the entrance to the valley from the populous San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose bay area region. For a bottle of wine to be labeled Napa Valley, it must contain 75% product grown in the Napa Valley AVA's.

The primary Napa Valley AVA's are:  
Nebbiolo
nebbiolo.wav

A wine grape varietal. most associated with a wine growing region in Northern Italy. The great grape of Northern Italy, which excels there in Barolo and Barbaresco, strong, ageeable wines. Mainly unsuccessful elsewhere, Nebbiolo also now has a small foothold in California. So far the wines are lighter and less complicated than their Italian counterparts.

new world New world refers to the emerging wine growing regions and countries with short histories of producing wines - most notably Southern Hemisphere countries Australia, Chile, Argentina, South Africa as well as the United States and Canada. New world styles tend to have more predominant, intense, ripe fruit sometimes called 'fruit forward' as opposed to the old world more earthy, leathery, with more subdued fruits. These styles are oriented to consumer's shifting as well as tastes of new younger wine drinkers. As the trend shifts towards more new world styles, many old world producers are shifting their styles accordingly. New world producers name a wine after the varietal or type of grape whereas 'old world' producers, name a wine after the appellation or growing area where the grapes were grown.
Nose: Refers to the intensity (depth) and complexity (breadth) of the aroma of the wine.
Oak Flavors and aromas infused in the wine from storage in oak barrels often depicting senses of vanilla or toast. Newer oak barrels will have greater effect than older barrels. Various sources and types of oak will affect the wine with different sensations. One producer, Del Dotto Wines in Napa actually bottles the exact vintage wine from multiple oak barrels to reveal the differences imparted by different oak varieties. This is offered in their Connoisseur Series. The cost of oak barrels adds to the expense of producing wine hence the revealing the percentage of wine stored in 'new' oak or the age of the barrels. 
old world Old world refers to the traditional wine growing countries with long ancient histories of producing wines - most notably European countries France, Italy, Germany and Portugal. Old world styles tended to be more earthy, leathery, with more subdued fruits as compared to the 'new world' modern more fruit oriented style. As the trend shifts towards more new world styles, many old world producers are shifting their styles accordingly. 'Old world' producers, tend to name their wine after the appellation or growing area where the grapes were grown reflecting their history and heritage, whereas.new world producers name a wine after the varietal or type of grape.
OTBN For those that have a special bottle of wine or champagne hidden away being saved for a special occasion that for whatever reason hasn't happened.  Every year since 2000, on the last Saturday night in February, Open That Bottle Night (OTBN) has been celebrated - the time to uncork and enjoy that cherished but here-to-for elusive bottle. OTBN was conceived by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher, wine columnists for Wall St. Journal (wine@wsj.com).
Pauillac A French wine Appellation d'Origine Contr�l�e (AOC) on the Left Bank in Bordeaux wine region. The commune consists of only 3000 acres (12 km�) of vineyards in the Haut-M�doc between the villages of Saint-Julien to the south and Saint-Est�phe to the north, but is home to three of Bordeaux 's five first growth wines: Ch�teau Lafite Rothschild, Ch�teau Latour, and Ch�teau Mouton Rothschild.
Petit Verdot A Varietal Grape used in red wines - primarily as a blending grape to add a bit of firmness or 'structure' and dark color when blended with Merlot and or Cabernet Sauvignon in wines produced in the Bordeuax region of France. Petit Verdot is also grown in small quantities the Napa Valley region of California where it is occasionally bottled stand-alone as a varietal wine but it is used primarily in blending Bordeaux style wines also referred to as a Meritage wine (since Bordeaux refers to wines from that wine region as well as a 'style'  or blending combination of wine).
Pinot Grigio / Pinot Gris A wine grape varietal most commonly found in Italian white wines. Known as Pinot Grigio in Italy, where it is mainly found in the northeast, producing quite a lot of undistinguished dry white wine and Collio's excellent whites. As Pinot Gris, it used to be grown in France's Burgundy and the Loire, though it has been supplanted, but it comes into its own in Alsace--where it's known as Tokay. Southern Germany plants it as Rul�nder. When good, this varietal is soft, gently perfumed and has more color than most whites.
Pinot Noir A wine grape varietal used primarily in red wines most notably from the French Burgundy wine region in north central France but also in white sparkling wines from the Champagne region that produces world famous wines of the same name. Pinot Noir is grown in the cooler milder climate of the Sonoma Coast and the Central Coast near Santa Barbara, California and in Oregon which is perhaps best suited for the grapes and is in the same latitude as the famous Burgundy region in France.Pinot Noir has been referred to as the heartbreak grape due to its delicate or tempermental natureand difficulty to grow - made famous in a book of that name - The Heartbreak Grape
Port Fortified wine from the Douro Region of Portugal - true Port comes only from this region, however many versions of Port style wine come from around the world. More than 80 varieties are grapes are authorized for use in Port - the most widely used and highly regarded are Touriga, Nacional, Touriga Francesca, Tinta Roriz (aka Tempranillo) Tinta Barroca and Tinta Cao. See Vintage Port, Tawny and Ruby Port.
Pradikatwein
QmP
The Pr�dikatswein (formerly QmP) category is the classification system for most high-quality German wines, with the exception of some top-quality dry wines. The different Pr�dikat designations differ in terms of the required must weight, the sugar content of the grape juice, and the level required is dependent on grape variety and wine-growing region.
Pomerol An wine growing area or appellation in the French wine area of Bordeaux to the east of the town of Bordeaux along with adjacent St Emilion. The region on the Right Bank of the Gironde River. The primary grape varieties used are Merlot and Cabernet Franc blended with relatively small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon - essentially opposite of the Left Bank which uses primarily Cabernet Sauvignon blended with lesser amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
Rhone The Rhone River valley flowing north to south in the center of southern France ending at Marseille is home to two major wine growing regions - the northern and southern Rhone River valley regions. Major notable appellation in the southern area around the cities or Orange and Avignon are Chateauneuf du Pape centered in the city of the same name, Cotes du Rhone, and lesser known appellations of Gigondas and Vayqueras. The rules of the appellation there allow up to thirteen different specified varietal  grapes but the most popular and common are Syrah, Grenach, Cinsault, and Mouvedre.

Residual Sugar:

The percentage of sugar remaining in a wine after fermentation.

Rich: A full-bodied, deep and complex wine.
Riesling A wine grape varietal most commonly found in German white wines. Undoubtedly the best German wines are made from Riesling. This white grape is capable of developing intense flavors at lower ripeness levels, making it an ideal cultivar for Germany's northern climate. Under the right weather conditions, Riesling will ripen late into autumn, rendering late-harvest styles. When combined with an attack of Edelf�ule, these late-harvest grapes produce some of the most stunning and longest-lived wines around. Rieslings are distinguished their floral perfume, but after that they vary widely. In Germany's Mosel-Saar-Ruwer area, the wines are delicate and subtle, with very low alcohol, while in the Pfalz they become spicy, exuberant and full-bodied. In Alsace the result is bone-dry. Because Riesling is one of the grapes susceptible to Botrytis cinerea, it also produces luscious late-harvest dessert wines. Riesling was Australia's most-planted white until Chardonnay surpassed it. In California this grape is known occasionally as White Riesling. It has been declining in acreage the past few years and quality rarely rises above the good category. As a dessert wine, though, it can be exceptional. Grows best in cool areas that allow the grapes to ripen slowly, so it is also found in Canada--where it is being used to produce eiswein--and Oregon and Washington state.
'Right Bank' The area of Bordeaux wine growing region to the north and west of the Gironde river that produces wines primarily of Merlot. Famous and notable appellations are St.-Emilion and Pomerol. The primary grape varieties used are Merlot and Cabernet Franc blended with relatively small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon - essentially opposite of the Left Bank which uses primarily Cabernet Sauvignon blended with lesser amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Also produces some  whites from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
RC Humble ratings and reviews from tech colleague and fellow wine geek Rick Conover from Atlanta, GA.
RM My humble rating of a wine based on the 100 point scale. Not to quantify so much as to set a relative expectation of how enjoyable I find the wine.
RP eRobertParker.com
RP or RMP Robert Parker's rating. He is the master, a legend that can make or break a wine's marketability with a simple number. He has the a gift of an extraordinarily sophisticated and sensitive palate, combined with a library in his mind of taste associations. He'll pick apart and categorize a wine and detail its vast and most subtle nuances. He uses the 100 point scale described herein. He publishes his ratings in a newsletter - The Wine Advocate. He is also the author of several books
Ratings

See Wine Rating Page

An overview of Wine Ratings and Reviewers are here- Popular rating are typically a two digit number in parenthesis are from Robert Parker or Wine Spectator or as indicated. These are based on a 100 point scale - 
95-100 Classic - a great wine
90-94 - Outstanding - a wine of superior character and style
80-89 Good to Very Good, a wine with special qualities
70-79 Average, a drinkable wine that may have minor flaws
60-69 Below Average, drinkable but not recommended 
50-59 Poor, undrinkable, not recommended - (use it to remove tar and bugs from your car's surface - or to clean tools perhaps.) 

Ros�:

A pink wine made from red grapes. The juice is allowed only minimal contact with the skins to impart a controlled degree of color, aroma and flavor.

Round: A smooth more balanced wine that has the feeling of rolling on your tongue.
Ruby Port Ruby Port is the most basic (and usually least expensive) type of Port wine - aged for two or three years before release in oak or stainless steel which preserves its fruit forward appeal. Ruby Ports are often blended with wines from other vintages to achieve a consistent style.
Sangiovese A wine grape varietal most commonly found in Italian Chianti and Tuscan wines.
ST Steven Tanzer of The International Wine Celler
Saint-�milion

An wine growing area or appellation in the French wine area of Bordeaux to the east of the town of Bordeaux along with adjacent Pomerol appellation. The region on the right bank of the Gironde River. The primary grape varieties used are Merlot and Cabernet Franc blended with relatively small amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon - essentially opposite of the Left Bank which uses primarily Cabernet Sauvignon blended with lesser amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

Saint-�stephe

A wine growing area or appellation in the French wine area of Bordeaux to the west of the town of Bordeaux along with adjacent Pauillac appellation, the region on the left bank of the Gironde River. The primary grape varieties used are primarily Cabernet Sauvignon blended with lesser amounts of Merlot and lesser amounts of Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.

Saint Julian

A wine growing area or appellation in the French wine area of Bordeaux to the west of the town of Bordeaux along with adjacent Pauillac appellation, the region on the left bank of the Gironde River. The primary grape varieties used are primarily Cabernet Sauvignon blended with lesser amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, and Malbec.

Soave:

(So-ah-vay): Famous white wine of Italy, produced in the region of Veneto to the east of the city of Verona.

Soft:

Characteristics of a wine that possesses and reveals less minerals and acid tastes.

Sonoma

Sonoma is the southwestern county of Northern California's Wine growing region, which also includes Napa, Mendocino, and Lake counties. Sonoma Valley runs adjacent to and to the west of Napa Valley. The town of Sonoma anchors the south end of the Sonoma Valley at the entrance from the populous San Francisco Bay area to the south. The Sonoma Coast is the wine growing area along Pacific Ocean known for it Pinot Noir varietal based wines.  Sonoma has 13 approved American Viticultural Areas and over 250 wineries. Sonoma County has almost 60,000 acres of vineyards with over 1100 growers' grape production exceeding that of neighboring Napa County by about 30 percent. The most common varieties planted are Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir, with lesser amounts of Merlot and Zinfandel. Sonoma County is home to more than 250 wineries with eleven distinct and two shared American Viticultural Areas, including the Sonoma Valley AVA, Russian River Valley AVA, Alexander Valley AVA, Bennett Valley AVA and Dry Creek Valley AVA, which is known for the production of zinfandels.

Sp�tlese
spatlese.wav
Sp�tlese - meaning "late harvest" (spat is German for late) - term from the German Pradikats (QmP) system referring to typically semi-sweet, often (but not always) sweeter and fruitier than Kabinett. Sp�tlese can be a relatively full-bodied dry wine if designated so. While Sp�tlese means late harvest the wine is not as sweet as a dessert wine.
Spicy:

Characteristic of a hearty wine often found in red zinfandels and other more complex wines, also pinot noirs, revealing a full and sometimes peppery or cinnamon other full forward taste. These wines are typically good wines with hearty foods - bar-b-que, pasta, etc.

Splash mark A painted mark on a bottle of port (usually white on the black bottle) indicating the top of the bottle as it laid on its side aging in the cellar to show which (opposite) side of the bottle holds the sentiment that collected during aging.
SS Spectator Selection - Designed by Wine Spectator to be a classic.

Tannin:

A substance imparted into red wine from grape skins, seeds and stems, as well as through wood contact. Tannins create a drying or textural sensation in the mouth, and can add structure to wine. Also a key factor in enabling a wine to sustain prolonged aging in bottle.

Terroir:

A French term that encompasses the soil, climate and site in which a vineyard is located. Experts believe terroir has a strong influence on the character of the finished wine.

Trockenbeerenauslese
TBA
Trockenbeerenauslese (TBA) - term from the German Pradikats (QmP) system meaning "select dry berry harvest" or "dry berry selection" referring to wine made from selected overripe shrivelled grapes often affected by noble rot. Makes a dense, full-bodied, very concentrated, extremely rich sweet wines. Very rare and expensive, and long-lived.
trocken German wine term for dry wine measuring sweetness of wine as measured in acidity by grams of sugar per liter with 2 being low and 9 being high - dry or trocken wine has low sugar content - high acidity.
Tawny Port Tawny Port is a Port wine that is aged longer in wood sometimes as long as ten to forty years. Tawny ports tend to be paler and have a mellow, nutty, slightly woody dried fruit character.
ullage

Ullage is the word used to describe the air space above the wine and under the cork or screw cap also known as the fill level. The word comes ultimately from the Latin oculus, 'eye',  which was used in a figurative sense by the Romans for the bung hole of a barrel. This was taken into French in the medieval period as oeil, from which a verb ouiller was created, to fill a barrel up to the bung hole. (When wine ferments in the barrel, there's a slow loss of liquid due to evaporation through the wood. It's very important to keep the barrels full, as otherwise unwanted bacteria and yeasts can get in and cause nasty side fermentations.)

The neck in the wine bottle is the straight part from the rounded shoulder to the very top. The shoulder refers to the rounded transition zone of the bottle between the straight neck and the straight sides on the bottle.

Vacqueryas

 A French wine Appellation d'Origine Contr�l�e (AOC) in the southern Rh�ne wine region of France. A neighbor to and considered a poor man's version (more economical version) of Ch�teauneuf-du-Pape Vacqueryas produces primarily red wines that are syrah, mouvedre or grenache... spicy peppery wines that are generally of good value. See my Rhone Wine Experience.

Valpolicella:

(Val-po-lee-chel-la): Famous red wine region of Veneto, northern Italy. Valpolicella wine is made primarily from three grape varietals - Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara.

varietals Term referring to types or varieties of grapes used predominantly in a wine. New world producers name a wine after the varietal or type of grape whereas 'old world' producers, such as the French and Italians name a wine after the appellation or growing area where the grapes were grown. Common popular varietals for red wine are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Zinfandel and for white wines Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Riesling or Pinot Grigio. There are somewhere around 2,000 indigenous and international varietals growing - no  wonder it gets confusing and overwhelming.

Veneto:

(Vain-nay-toe): Region in northeastern Italy, including the major cities of Venice, Verona, Vicenza and Pauda (Padova).

Verdicchio A wine grape varietal but in the old world vernacular, also a growing region.  Verdicchio is cultivated and produced in the area of Italy known as "The Marches," situated just in the center of Italy, between the Apennines and the Adriatic Sea. Although the Marches are not a large region (less than 10.000 Km2 roughly), visitors can admire an outstanding range of landscapes: from the sea to the hills, from the valleys crossed by several rivers to the tops of the highest mountains. Thanks to this variety, this region differs considerably from all the other Italian regions. Verdicchio is a very clear and intense wine, of a pale yellow with greenish tones, with a rich and delicate bouquet, full-bodied and savory, with the typical slightly bitter aftertaste.

Vermentino:

(Vair-men-teen-o): White wine grape planted exclusively in Sardinia.

vertical Vertical in the context of wine is a term referring to a selection of collection of wines across a series of different vintages, not necessarily continuous, typically from the same producer, same region or AVA, or varietal.
Vintage Port The most prestigious highest quality of Port wine made from the best grapes of a single vintage, only in years that individual Port houses (producers) have "declared" vintage worthy. Vintage Port is usually aged two years before bottling and are usually aged many years to mellow, mature, and attain their full potential.

Vino Santo:

A special type of wine produced in many parts of Italy, especially Tuscany. Often not put in the bottle until its fifth year, it improves with more aging. The wine is lusciously sweet and is produced in limited quantities.

Vintage The year the grapes wine in a bottle were grown and harvested. Bottles that contain multiple vintages, grapes from multiple harvests are considered 'NV' or non-vintage wines. This is more common in ports or champagnes. Ports are designated by a 'declared' vintage where that year's production is deemed worthy of being call Vintage Port for that year and bottled and labeled individually for such.
WA Wine Advocate - aka RMP - Robert M Parker - see.
WAV WAV sound file attached with audio pronounciation of name/word
WE Wine Enthusiast about Apaltagua  Wine Enthusiast Magazine
WL Reference to my Wine Library - a selection of wine and travel books.
WS Wine Spectator about Apaltagua Wine Spectator Magazine
Wine Spectator Magazine Rating based on the 100 point scale - see below. Unlike Mr. Parker in the Wine Advocate, Spectator has as many as two dozen different raters in their various writers and editors. Typically, they'll reveal themselves  and their ratings with their initials at the end of a rating ie. JL for James Laube their California writer. 
W&S Wine & Spirits Magazine
(WS) CS Cellar Selection - Wine Spectator Rating of distinction - A wine they believe will will improve most from additional bottle age and show the greatest potential as a collectible.
(WS) SS Spectator Selection - From Wine Spectator Magazine - Their highest recommendation. Although they are not the highest scoring wines, they are the wines they think would make the most outstanding purchases. More expensive wines must be especially good to earn this distinction. 
Zinfandel A wine grape varietal The origins of this tremendously versatile and popular grape are not known for certain, although it is thought to have come from Southern Italy as a cousin of Primitivo. It is the most widely planted red grape in California (though Australia has also played around with the grape). Much of it is vinified into white Zinfandel, a blush-colored, slightly sweet wine. Real Zinfandel, the red wine, is the quintessential California wine. It has been used for blending with other grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon and Petite Sirah. It has been made in a claret style, with berry and cherry flavors, mild tannins and pretty oak shadings. It has been made into a full-bodied, ultra-ripe, intensely flavored and firmly tannic wine designed to age. And it has been made into late-harvest and Port-style wines that feature very ripe, raisiny flavors, alcohol above 15 percent and chewy tannins. Styles aimed more for the mainstream and less for extremes, emphasizing the grape's zesty, spicy pepper, raspberry, cherry, wild berry and plum flavors, and its complex range of tar, earth and leather flavors.
   

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WAVE files of pronounciations - more complete list at wav files page.

-A-

-C-

-D-

amarone.wav cabernes.wav demisec.wav
amontill.wav cahors.wav dlangued.wav
anjou.wav cassis.wav dluberon.wav
apremont.wav cdbeaune.wav dmontalc.wav
auslese.wav cdnuits.wav dolcetto.wav
astispum.wav chambert.wav dpomerol.wav
auxerroi.wav chardonn.wav dprovenc.wav
  chateauneuf du pape drhone.wav

-B-

cheninbl.wav dsoave.wav
  chianti.wav dventoux.wav
bandol.wav condrieu.wav  
barbares.wav cordgavi.wav

-E-

batard.wav cornas.wav echezeau.wav
beaujola.wav corton.wav eiswein.wav
beerenau.wav cotechal.wav est.wav
bergerac.wav cremanta.wav  
bordeaux.wav crotie.wav

-F-

bourgogn.wav crozeshe.wav fixin.wav
brouilly.wav cstdenis.wav fleurie.wav
brunello.wav cvougeot.wav fume.wav
brut.wav    
     
     

-G-

-H - L -

-M-N-O-

gattinar.wav haute.wav macon.wav
gewurztr.wav hermitag.wav margaux.wav
gigondas.wav jerez.wav medoc.wav
grandcru.wav kabinett.wav meritage.wav
graves.wav limozin.wav meursaul.wav
grigio.wav   merlot.wav
    meursaul.wav
    minervoi.wav
    muscadet.wav
    musigny.wav
    nebbiolo.wav
    oloroso.wav
     

- P- R -

-S-

- T - Z -

pauillac.wav sancerre.wav tokay.wav
piemonte.wav semilion.wav trebbian.wav
pinot.wav semillon.wav trokenbe.wav
pouilly.wav shiraz.wav valpolic.wav
puligny.wav soave.wav verdicch.wav
riesling.wav spatlese.wav vernacci.wav
rioja.wav sylvaner.wav vindepay.wav
rully.wav syrah.wav vinhover.wav
     

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