12 Wine Term Every Wine Enthusiast Who Drinks Should Know

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wine terms

We love drinking wines, but often we rarely talk about wines. A lot of people would feel intimidated talking about wines, instead of talking with wines. It might because wines are not self-evident. It is not the same with orange juice that when it looks orange, it will taste exactly like oranges.


Hence, people would likely to rely on specific wine descriptors to know and elucidate how these certain wines will taste. Still feeling inferior because you are clueless even you are already reading the wine details? Take it easy. Here is a list of terms wine terms that would help you next time when chatting about vino. 

1. Aeration

Aeration is the process of letting wines breathe in the open air to soften tannic young wines or fatigue older the ones. You may either open a bottle of wine or swirl the wine in a glass. A lot of professional claims that aerating bottled wine, especially red wines, could improve its quality and taste. However, it is not yet scientifically proven. 

2. Austere

A term used to describe relatively hard wines, have a high acidity level, and lack depth and roundness. This name is usually referred to young wines that need richness and body or young wines that require time to soften. 

3. Bottle Sickness

Also known as bottle shock, these words are used to refer to a temporary situation characterized by disjointed or muted fruit flavors. This situation happens when right after bottling or when fragile wines or other wines are wobbled during a trip. 

4. Browning

Browning refers to the color of a wine, which denotes maturity and has already faded. It is common for wines that are 20 to 30 years old. These wines tend to have an enjoyable brownish edge. On the other hand, browning is a bad sign in young white and red wines. 

5. Brut

This word means dry and is applied to driest sparkling wines and Champagne. Brut wines are drier, which means they have less than 1.5 percent residual sugar per liter than those called extra dry. It is more than extra brut, however less than extra dry. 

6. Corked

This term is used to call those wines that have been spoiled with tainted corks. Corked wines have moldy-newspaper, musty, and off-putting flavor; musty basement, wet newspaper, damp rags, and chlorine smell; and a dry aftertaste.

7. Decant

This term refers to the act of separating wine into different containers to disparate older wine from sediment, and aerate wine to oxidation. Most of the time, aromas and flavors of the wine will open more if there is a presence of oxygen. 

8. Earthy

Earthy is used to distinguish savory wines, rather than of fruit-forward. Black currant is the earthiest of all berries. Wild strawberry and sour cherry are other fruits used in earthy wines. Austria, Chile, New York, Northern and Central Italy, France, and Oregon are famous for producing earthy wines. 

9. Finish

Finish refers to the residual sensation or taste in your mouth after you swallow a glass of wine.  It can either be bitter, tart, sweet, smoky, or the combination of these all. For experts, a finish is a deciding characteristic between points of 80 to 90 rating. Paying attention to what you prefer among various finish on different wines is your skill.  

10. Noble Rot

Botrytis cinerea or Noble Rot is a type of gray fungus that provokes partial shriveling on ripe grapes to concentrate sugar content. Although most wine experts refer to it as an infection, Noble Rot produces many high-quality dessert wines in the world. 

11. Oxidized

Oxidized is the term used when a wine has been overexposed to oxygen. Loss of color and flavor, browning in pigment, and bitter characteristics are the effects of oxidation. Other Sokolin’s highest rated wine producers like Sherry production encourages this style of winemaking; however, it is a fault in wine.

12. Tannin

Some people misconstrue that tannin is what headaches from red wines are made out of, while others misinterpret it with dryness. Instead, tannin contributes to the body and taste of red wine and adds prickly drying sensation on one’s tongue and roof of one’s mouth. 


Red wines can have low, medium, or high tannins. For instance, Pinot Noir has a lower tannin, while Cabernet Sauvignon has higher tannin. Additionally, tannins are complex, astringent,  and herbaceous. As a matter of fact, women are more subtle to how bitter a high tannin wine is than men. 


It is best to have standard knowledge about wines, so you will not feel inferior when talking about it. Choosing the best wine comes down to one’s capacity of using the right terms, regardless it is off the menu or shelf.


Author’s bio:

Scarlett Wells is a full-time writer and wine expert. She is an active critique examining all levels of wine types so she can produce reviews and articles that will help guide every consumer in selecting the right kind of wine to drink. Aside from that, she wrote a lot of blogs maximizing the real usage of wines.

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