Aroma: The scent of a wine. Young wines have aroma. balanced wine, will posses these components in proportion to one another.
Bouquet: The complex aromas that develop with age.
Brut: A term for dry Champagne or sparkling wine.
Buttery: Descriptor for rich flavor and smoothness of texture. Often referred to oak-aged white wines; many Chardonnay, white Burgundies.
Cassis: A black currant flavor common in Cabernet Sauvignon.
Chalky: Describes an extremely dry finish.
Crisp: Describes clean acid on the finish of a white wine.
Earthy: This describes a mineral character that can add interest to the palate.
Finish: Final impression the wine leaves.
Fruity: Apple, black currant, cherry, citrus, pear, peach, raspberry, strawberry; describes a wine in which the fruit is dominant.
Full-Bodied: Full proportion of flavor and alcohol; big, fat.
Grassy: The aroma of hay or cut grass, not unpleasant unless exaggerated. Usually found in Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
Honeyed: Smell or taste reminiscent of honey, characteristic of late-harvest wines affected by “noble rot.”
Legs: The viscous rivulets that runs down the side of the glass after swirling or sipping.
Nose: The smell of the wine; a “good nose” is pleasant and inviting, an “off nose” is somewhat offensive.
Oak: Aroma and flavor derived from aging wine in Oak casks or barrels. Oak is characterized by; smokiness, vanilla, clove and other spices.
Oxidize: Wine that has spoiled, from over-exposure to air.
Pepper: A component in either the nose or the palate, that smells or tastes of bell or cracked pepper.
Smoky: Tobacco aroma or flavor that is associated with Oak aging.
Sommelier: French for wine steward; a manager in a restaurant who has charge of wines and their service.
Spicy: Wines that posses the distinct aroma or character of spice; clove, mint, cinnamon or pepper.
Sulphur: An antioxidant used in making most wines. Fermentation produces minimal amounts of sulfur.
Tannin: The skins, seeds and stems of grapes will naturally produce tannins. This is a predominant feature in red wine. Tannic wines produce a puckering or drying-out of your tongue. Tannin will mellow with age.
Vanilla: The aroma and/or taste of vanilla beans imparted by Oak aging.
Varietal: Refers to the distinguishing features of each grape variety.
Velvety: Smooth and rich texture.
Woody: Excessive aroma of wood, common in wines over-aged in casks or barrels.