During some of my recent travels, I came across a quiz that tested my knowledge of wine terminology. Working in the wine industry for many years, I thought “let’s give this a try!”
While I mostly came across terms I knew, but there were definitely a few that caught me off guard and thought it might be fun to write about some notable terms. See how many you recognize in my little examination of wine terms!
What does demi-sec mean on a bottle of French wine?
Demi-sec is a French term used to indicate the level of dryness in still, sparkling wine or champagne. Wines with a demi-sec label are slightly medium sweet to dry. They are typically very soft and subtle, usually having a light and fresh style.
What is the meaning of Trockenbeerenauslese?
The literal meaning of this tongue twister is “dried berries selection," but it is specifically a German language wine term for a medium to full bodied dessert wine. It is used to rate sweetness and quality in German wines, and typically describes a very sweet, complex wine.
While sweeter dessert wines can sometimes be pricier, they are definitely worth every dollar! For more on dessert wines, you can check out my blog on Canadian Icewine here.
What does the term brix stand for?
Brix is one form of measurement of a grape’s sugar content, indicating specifically the ripeness level at harvest.
Ultimately, this determines the important stuff – the potential alcohol content of a wine. Of course, different styles of winemaking techniques will affect the final alcohol content, which is why Brix is so compelling to us curious wine enthusiasts.
What about decant?
Decanting is the action of carefully and artfully pouring wine from a bottle into a secondary carafe or decanter, used to separate any sediment and aerate a wine in hopes to make the aromas and flavors more vibrant upon serving.
Some feel this extra boost of oxygen can open up and give extra life to a wine. Decanting is a fine art, and involves some knowledge of the wine you’re pouring, as every bottle requires a different amount of time to aerate before enjoying.
Whether you are a wine connoisseur or simply enjoy sharing a bottle with friends and family, make sure you take the time to appreciate the small joys in life – like learning a few new terms about your favourite beverage!
Are there any wine terms you find interesting? Let me know in the comments section below.
Giles Cadman is Chairman of The Cadman Capital Group, a group of cohesive, complementary companies, operating in the international trade, retail, leisure, and investment markets. Learn more about Giles.