Find Wine Terms From N to R.

Wine terms can be confusing, but in this wine glossary you will find terms that will clear up your confusion and satisfy your curiosity. In this page see wine terms from N to R.


New World

Wines that are produced in non-European countries.


It usually applies to Champagne, and it is wine made from a blend of several vintages (see vintage).


The aroma of a wine, both from the grape and from the aging.



A term that describes the flavors and aromas that develop when the wine is exposed to oak. They are usually reminiscent of smoke, vanilla, and wood.


Describes a wine that is slightly sweet.

Old World

Wines that are produced in European countries.


The changes that occur when wine is exposed to air. A little exposure, such as when a wine bottle is opened and left to “breath” for a few minutes, is a good thing. But long exposure to air will spoil the flavor and color of the wine.



Compounds that occur naturally in plants. In wines, the phenols, such as tannins, derive from the skins, seeds, and stems of the grape.


A small aphid that destroys the roots of a grape vine. It is very destructive. Often the only solution to the problem is to replace all vines in a vineyard.


The residue of grape skins, seeds, and stems left over after the grapes have been pressed.


Extracting the juice from the grapes by applying pressure.


A term that describes a wine that is high in tannin.

Punch Down

The process of pushing down the mass of skins, seeds, and stems, called the cap, that are floating on top of the fermenting grape juice.



A process by which wine is clarified. During racking wine is pumped off its solids into a clean barrel. Racking can be done several times, after yeasts and other matters have settled.


Many wineries make a reserve wine in addition to its regular wines. Supposedly, but not necessarily, the wine is of higher quality; it will definitely be of higher price.


During the Champagne making process, the bottles are rotated and tilted a little bit each day. This is done so that the yeasts settle into the neck of the bottle, where they will be later disgorged.


A term that describes a young wine that is high in tannin; before it mellows by aging.

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