The language of wine contains a wealth of meanings that are not all too familiar, particularly the technical interpretations. The glossary describes and offers an explanation to the most common terms.


Beerenauslese is the name for a high Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) made from overripe grapes. The Austrian wine law states that the minimum must weight is 25° KMW (approx 125° oechsle).

Babo (person)
Founder of the Austrian viticultural school

Baron August Wilhelm von Babo was the founder and first director of the school of oenology in Klosterneuburg (1860), and inventor of the Klosterneuburg Must Weight Scale (KMW) as a measurement for must weight.

Roman god of wine

The second meaning refers to the varietal (German crossing).

back label

in contrast to the often eye-catching front label, the back label is normally used to visibly list the legally required declarations.


describes a wine with a powerful body, sufficient extract and ample acidity

bag in box
packaging form for wine

Anglicised term for a wine or other beverage packaged in an inert, plastic bag and a reinforced cardboard box.


A tasting description to denote harmony, usually referring to balanced alcohol, residual sugars or acidity levels.


Harmony of fruit, sweetness, alcohol, acidity and tannins.

subtle aromas

A tasting description for subtle aromas, that are soft and supple, reminicent of balsamic oil.

term for a 12 litre wine bottle

The Balthasar is a large format bottle capable of holding 12 litres of wine, or sixteen 75cl bottles.

banderole, control seal
the red-white-red bottle capsule

The most visible sign of Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) is the red-white-red flag on the top of the bottle capsule or screwcap closure. Traditionally, this signal for quality was a paper sticker, but nowadays, it is incorporated into the capsule or screwcap design.

measurement of pressure

The measurement of pressure (1 bar = 14.5psi) in a bottle of Champagne or sparking wine.

bar or room, where wine is poured
barrel size
capacity of an oak barrel

There are a wide range of barrel sizes used in Austria, and many traditional sizes that are hardly found any more. Producers tend to prefer the small oak barrel (225 litres) for high quality wines.

small oak barrel

The term for a small oak barrel, usually with a capacity of 225 litres, which affects the taste profile of the wine with differing grades of toasting and natural aeration. The term 'Barrique' also denotes larger barrels, such as the burgundian 300 litre. Wine matured in oak barrels are often recognisable by roasting aromas, as well as vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, coconut, leather and smoked bacon.

Base wine
base wine for Sekt and sparkling wines

The term for a wine that has fermented dry, and is the basis for the second fermentation in the production of sparkling wines.

form of clay

Bentonite is a montmorillonite clay used as a fining agent for wines.

wine fault

A tasting term depicting the aroma and taste of bitter almonds, (a wine fault caused by unsuccessful blue fining).

winegrowing region

Austrian wine-producing region, that include all vineyard areas in the federal states of Upper Austria, Salzburg, Carinthia, Tyrol and Vorarlberg.

biodynamic viticulture
a recognised form of organic viticulture

This refers to the specific form of organic viticulture following anthrosophist Rudolf Steiner's strict guidelines, with rigorous verification by a recognised body, for example, Demeter.


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