Get Started

9 Popular Wine Terms You Need To Know

Every time I visit a wine shop, I step into another realm - one with an intoxicating language all its own. A language I don't know. Is Bordeaux a place or a grape? I was always terribly confused, so I decided to learn wine-speak.

Funny, I got lucky on the first try. I typed in Exceptional Online Wines and up popped Lot 18's Tasting Room Bottle Shop - an international collective of winemakers that carries the best wines from around the globe. Their appealing wine descriptions made me so curious that I wanted to try everything. At about $15 each, it's a price I can toast to!

As I continually roam about the Bottle Shop (adding to my cart for delivery), I've picked up a few wine terms I think you should know:

Aroma:

A wine's aroma, or nose, is analogous to a single flower, as opposed to . . . a bouquet.

Bouquet:

In the wine world, a bouquet refers to a collection of aromas - just like a bouquet of flowers releasing a delectable array of mouthwatering smells. Curieuse features all the hallmarks of a Viognier, from delicate white floral aromas, to exquisite flavors of apricot and peach.

Flavors:

Odors perceived in the mouth - organized in three primary groups: Earth, Spice, and Fruit / Floral / Herbal.

Like Gandalf, the wise old wanderer, this Pinot Noir is unassuming, yet spirited and persuasive, with black raspberry, alpine strawberry and forest floor flavors that cast a spell over your palate.

Legs:

Go ahead, swirl your wine. That liquid streaming down the sides of your glass is known as legs - or tears.

Length:

The length of a particular wine depends on how quickly its texture, or flavors, leave your tongue, or . . . linger in the mouth after swallowing.

Pique-Nique is a full-bodied French Chardonnay with ripe tropical fruit and citrus flavors exuberantly displayed on the palate. It's a picnic in a bottle!

Mouthfeel:

The sensation of wine in the mouth - can be silky, smooth, velvety, rough.

Au Hāro is a rousing Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. Passion fruit and white peach aromatics linger on the palate, along with hints of lime and green herbs.Plonk:

Plonk:

Of Australian derivation, a slang word for inexpensive wine. Plonk rhymes with blanc and is now considered a playful term. Although Vin blanc is French for "white wine," plonk can also refer to a red blend like Maggie, a wine that's robust, dependable, and easy to love.

Vinotype:

Your culture, tradition, and life experience meld with your particular sensory sensitivities to prescribe your wine preferences. If you have a preference for sweet wines, you have a sweet vinotype.

Mythmaker is a refreshing Pinot Grigio that's classically styled, with citrus flavors on the palate and a saline minerality on the finish.

I spend a ton of time in the Tasting Room's Bottle Shop where I constantly research, taste, rate, and cultivate my palate. I've gained enough confidence in my knowledge of wines to take bold risks. If a bottle is a bummer, they'll either replace it, or give full credit toward my next purchase. So there's nothing to lose! Now that I know my vinotype, I'm no longer mystified by the world of wine. I think the Tasting Room's Bottle Shop deserves . . . a toast.

The Toast:

A word or phrase to celebrate an occasion, or to honor a guest.

Thai:

Chai Yo! - Cheers

Latin America:

Salud y amor y tiempo para disfrutarlo - Health and love and time to enjoy it

Ireland:

May you have warm words on a cold evening,

A full moon on a dark night,

And the road downhill all the way to your door