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Wine Dictionary

ac - appellation contrôlée -- (see aoc, below)
aoc - appellation d'origine contrôlée (see Classifications) --the highest regional source classification for French wines.

barrique -- a 225-litre barrel (equal to 300 bottles)
brut -- very dry (especially for sparkling wines)
brut nature -- totally dry (no residual sugar - see Fermenting)

cave -- a cellar
caveau -- a wine-tasting cellar (for dégustation)
clairet -- a light-red or deep rosé wine
clos -- a walled enclosure, or a walled vineyard
cru -- a particular growth, used as a classification (see Cru Classé)
cuve -- vat
cuvée -- a specific vat of wine selected for its quality

demi-sec -- fairly sweet or medium-sweet

feuillette -- a 112-liter, half-sized cask
flûte -- a narrow Champagne glass; also a narrow bottle used for Alcace wine
foudre -- a large oak cask used for ageing wine (mostly in Provence and Alsace)
frais -- fresh, cool
frappé -- chilled
fût -- an oak cask

dégustation -- tasting

glacé -- iced

millésime -- vintage
mise en bouteille -- where it's bottled (see Labels)
moelleux -- sweet
mousseux -- sparkling
moût -- must: the fresh grape juice before fermentation

négociant-eleveur -- a wine merchant who buys first-year wine from the grower and brings it up in his own cellars.

pétillant -- lightly sparkling
phylloxera -- an aphid that destroyed most European vineyards in the mid-19th century.
pourriture noble -- (Botrytis cinera) Literally, "noble rot", a fungus that attacks ripe grapes in certain areas, resulting in higher sugar content and finer sweet wines.
propriétaire-récoltant -- owner-manager

rancio -- a wine from the Catalan vineyards of France and Spain, aged in the sun to become oxidized.
récolt -- vintage

sec -- dry
soutirage -- drawing-off, clarifying, racking (the wine)

tonneau -- a large, 900-liter cask
transvaser -- to decant; se transvaser: to siphon

VDQS (see Classifications) -- Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure
vendange -- [noun] the picking, harvesting of grapes
vendanger -- [verb] to pick, harvest the grapes
vendangeur -- wine picker, harvester; vintager
vignoble -- vineyard
vin doux naturel (VDN) -- a sweet dessert wine made in Provence from Muscat grapes.
Vin de Pays (see Classifications) -- a regional classification
Vin de Table (see Classifications) -- the lowest regional classification
vinicole -- wine-growing, vinicultural, wine industry
vinification -- vinification: turning grapes into wine.

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