Six Wine Terms and What They Really Mean

The wine world is mysterious and vast. There are the experts, the casual wine connoisseurs, the sangria sippers and the “I don’t know, I just drink it” people who make up the wonderful world of wine lovers. Regardless of what type of wine lover you are you have come across wine terms that you might not fully understand.

That’s okay, we are here to offer you insight into some of the common wine terms you might be hearing but can’t quite put a finger on what they actually mean.


When you hear the phrase, “That wine is aged.” It simply means the wine has been sitting in a barrel a long time. Why is age important? Well the phrase, “Wine gets better with age,” can be true. The aging of wine typically makes a harsh wine softer. Some wines do not age well, meaning they get worse as they sit around. As red wine ages it can either turns a brick-like color, white wine becomes darker. And the older the wine the more expensive it will be.


When you hear, “This wine has been corked” it simply means the wine has gone bad. And you can usually tell by the foul odor or really gross taste. Corked wine has been described as smelling like a wet dog, damp cloth or moldy newspaper. Gross, right? If you are ever at a restaurant and get a corked wine make sure to return it and get another. But corks have their importance, read more about it in our post here.


No this does not mean fat, a full-bodied wine describes red wine and is characterized by their mouth-coating density. Most of the flavor comes from the skins of grapes, some grapes have thicker and darker skins giving some red wine a deeper color than others.


No we aren’t talking about how hot Justin Timberlake looked in his last music video, “hot” is actually used to describe the alcohol content in wine. If wine has a high alcohol content it might be referred to as “hot.”


This one is hard to pronounce but a sommelier is basically an expert in wine or a wine steward. This person is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional normally working in fine restaurants. They know which wines you will prefer and know how to pair wine with food.


Give me anything vintage and I’ll love it forever, including wine. In the wine world “vintage” means the year that the grapes were picked. If a bottle of wine contains the vintage on its label that typically means 95% of the grapes in that wine were picked in that year. If there is no vintage it means the wine was made grapes that were picked in different years.

There are plenty of other wine terms out there that you still might not understand. And that’s okay. Bottom line, just drink the wine and soon enough you’ll find yourself using some of these wine terms to impress your friends.

If you haven’t yet take our quiz to match you with your perfect wine!



Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of passionate wine lovers. With our amazing sommeliers at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

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