A Vocabulary Guide in Wine

When you read a wine list at a restaurant, you will notice a completely different language being used throughout – that’s because most of these words aren’t in English. Depending on the origins of the wine, wines are classified and defined in different ways and languages. So it’s understandable if you are new to ordering wine that you feel overwhelmed and confused with the countless varieties available. Here is a brief guide to some of these descriptors to help you navigate around the world of wine.

Classifications by Region

European wines tend to be classified by region. This is because in Europe, particular wine regions have reputable market recognition in the wine industry. Some examples of these regions include Bordeaux, Rioja and Chianti.

Because of the popularity of wines from these particular European regions, the terminologies are also having increased prominence on non-Eurepean wine labels.

For wines originating from France, they operate under various appellation systems based on the complete natural environment in which in which a wine is produced, such as soil, features and climate. There classifications ranges from table wine, to country wine, and to a controlled destination of origin. An example of a controlled destination of origin is Champagne, which is a term that is restricted for sparkling white wines from the Champagne region in France.

Classifications by Type of Grape

For wines outside of Europe, the type of grape being used classifies the products. Examples of terminology that you will see include Pinot noir and Merlot.

Classifications by Trademark

Particularly for blended wines, some wineries form their own labels to classify their products. An example of one of these trademarked classifications is, Meritage. Meritage, a typically Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, can only be used as a commercial term via licensing agreements wit the Meritage Association.

Classification by Vintage

What makes a wine product eligible for a vintage-dated label is that 95 per cent of its volume must be from grapes harvested in that year. But if the wine is not labelled with a country of origin, this percentage requirement is lowered to 85 per cent.

Despite the abundance of terminology used in the wine market, These classifications and can tell a wine taster a lot about the wine before a consumer even pours it out from the bottle. But more often than not, it tells the story of how the wine was produced and refined and the place they came from.

You can buy best wines from wine region in Mornington Peninsula.