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.

BA
Beerenauslese

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.

Bacchus
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.

backbone

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.

balance
harmonious

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

balanced
harmonious

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

balsamic
subtle aromas

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

Balthasar
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.

bar
measurement of pressure

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

bar
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.

Barrique
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.

bentonite
form of clay

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

benzaldehyde
wine fault

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

Bergland
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.

Bioveritas
Association of organic wine producers

The association of Austrian organic wine producers.

bitter
tannic, phenolic

Describes a bitter or astringent wine, often caused by the grape pips, stalks, or stress from sunshine with white wines.

bitter taste
undesired note

The Austrian diminutive form describing an unpleasant, bitter taste in wine.

black or bunch rot
infection of the grape

Black or bunch rot is a grape condition, when unripe grapes are infected with the destructive form of Botrytis Cinerea (as a result of hail, vineyard pests or bad weather).

blackcurrants

Denotes the essence or liquor of blackcurrants, and cassis is a popular description for the aroma of Cabernet Sauvignon wines.

blanc de blancs
base wine for Sekt and Champagne

The French description for 'white of whites‘, and usually refers to Champagne and sparkling base wine, that is only produced using white wine grapes.

blanc de noirs
base wine for Champagne

The French description for ‘white of blacks‘, and usually refers to Champagne and sparkling base wine, that is only produced using black grapes that are pressed gentley to produce a clear must.

Blauburger
Red wine variety, crossing of Blauer Portugieser x Blaufränkisch

Colour-rich new crossing from Blauer Portugieser x Blaufränkisch by Prof. Dr. Fritz Zweigelt from Klosterneuburg. The red varietal Blauburger is cultivated in all of Austria‘s wine growing regions, and although rather bland as a varietal, it has become an ideal blending wine.
 

Blauburgunder
Pinot Noir, red wine variety, natural crossing Schwarzriesling x Traminer, member of the Pinot varieties

The Pinot Noir is an ancient variety from the Pinot family of varieties, and is a natural crossing of Pinot Meunier x Traminer. This highly regarded, classic variety is recognisable by its pale, often light brown shade of colour, with an aroma reminiscent of rowan berries, almonds, marzipan and sweet chestnuts. This international variety is largely cultivated in the cooler vineyards in the Thermenregion (e.g. Burgundermacher wine producers).

Blauer Burgunder
Pinot Noir, red wine variety, natural crossing Schwarzriesling x Traminer, member of the Pinot varieties

The Pinot Noir is an ancient variety from the Pinot family of varieties, and is a natural crossing of Pinot Meunier x Traminer. This highly regarded, classic variety is recognisable by its pale, often light brown shade of colour, with an aroma reminiscent of rowan berries, almonds, marzipan and sweet chestnuts. This international variety is largely cultivated in the cooler vineyards in the Thermenregion (e.g. Burgundermacher wine producers).

Blauer Portugieser
Red wine variety, crossing Blaue Zimmettraube x Sylvaner

The Blauer Portugieser (synonym Vöslauer) was brought to Vöslau in the 18th Century. This uncomplicated red table wine with its soft tannins is still popular in the Weinviertel and the Thermenregion.
 

Blauer Wildbacher
Autochthonous red wine variety, natural seedling from Heunisch, base for Schilcher

The Blauer Wildbacher is at home in the Weststeiermark, yet today it is found planted in all three Styrian winegrowing regions. The wines that are rose-pink to onion-pink in colour are marketed as Schilcher. A main characteristic is the bouquet of blackcurrant and grassy notes, along with its racy, vibrant acidity. Ideal as a base wine for frizzante and sekt.
 

Blauer Zweigelt
Red wine variety, crossing Blaufränkisch x St. Laurent

Its creator, Prof. Dr. Fritz Zweigelt, successfully crossed Blaufränkisch x St. Laurent in 1922, and paved the way for Austrian red wine history. Up until his death in 1964, the variety was known as Rotburger. Nowadays there are classic and fruity respresentatives of the wine, with cherry and berry aromas, as well as very ripe, extract rich top wines, that display feminine, fruity charm. With plantings of 13 percent of the total Austrian winegrowing region, this is by far the most planted and popular Austrian red wine variety.
 

Blaufränkisch
Autochthonous red wine variety, crossing Blaue Zimmettraube x Weisser Heunisch

This indigenous variety is at home in Burgenland, particularly in Mittelburgenland (DAC designation).  The wines display juicy fruit, herbaceous charm over searing acidity and gripping tannins. The characteristic aromas are cherry, sour cherry, blackberry and cinnamon. The indigenous Blaufränkisch is robust and coarse with intense depth of fruit character when young, yet the wine softens as it matures. Opulent examples are aged in oak barrels or are in blends.
 

blend

The French term describing the process of assembling wines into the final blend.

blend
the blending of different wines to create an end product

Blending plays a central role in the vinification of red wines. The French term is cuvée, assemblage or mariage (marriage), and it is possible to blend varieties, vineyards, vintages or styles of wine.

blind

Not a clear wine, usually cloudy.

blind tasting
tasting of wines that are unknown

The wines are tasted with the name undisclosed, so that the taster does not know the name or origin of the wine. The most impartial method of tasting and rating wine.

Blue Fining
fining, cleaning process

A wine-making operation to eliminate any traces of heavy metals, such as copper or iron, from the wine.

Blütenmuskateller
White PIWI variety; a crossing of Severnyj x Muskat

The Blütenmuskateller is a Russian crossing from the year 1947, one of the fungus-resistant varieties. It was first added to the register of grape varieties in 2013.

body

Refers to a taste of weight, that is supported by alcohol, extract and sweetness.

Botrytis Cinerea
noble rot

The benevolent form of noble rot when fully ripened grapes are covered in fungal spores, and a prerequisite for nobly sweet dessert wines such as Beerenauslese, Ausbruch and Trockenbeerenauslese. If the grapes are unripe, this can lead to grey or bunch rot.
 

bottle
refers to a standard bottle size

The Austrian description for a 75cl bottle, with the term bouteille coming from the French meaning bottle.

bottle

Virtually all wine bottles are made of glass. See also bottle sizes. The most common bottle formats in Austria are the tall Rhine or flute bottle, the Bordeaux bottle and the Burgundy bottle.

bottle age

The period of time that passes as the wine matures in the bottle.

bottle fermentation
method of producing sparkling wines

The method of producing sparkling wine, also known as the Classic Method (méthode classique). The description méthode champenoise is not permitted outside of Champagne.

bottle shock
the condition of the wine after bottling

Immediately after bottling, the taste of the wine is often impaired, but the wines usually settle and recover after a few weeks.

bottle shock
the condition of the wine after bottling

Immediately after bottling, the taste of the wine is often impaired, but the wines usually settle and recover after a few weeks.

bottle sizes

EU legislation for wine permits the following bottle sizes: bottle (0.75l), half bottle (0.375l) Piccolo (0.2l), litre bottle (1.0l), double-litre bottle (2.0l), Magnum (1.5l), double Magnum or Jeroboam (3.0l), Rehoboam (4.5l), Methusalem or Impériale (6.0l), Salmanasar (9.0l), Bathasar (12.0l), Nebukadnezar (15.0l).

bottle stink
wine fault

The common term for slightly unpleasant aromatic components, such as the subtle smell of foul eggs, brettanomyces, Burgundy or Bordeaux stink, and so on, yet these are not always considered to be wine faults.

bottling
the wine is bottled

This term refers to the bottle. The wine is filled into the bottle, usually during a sterilisation process.

bouquet
the aromas of a wine

The description for the aromas acknowledged when smelling the wine, giving an overall impression of the aromas of the wine.

bouquet
aroma compounds

The description for the aromas acknowledged when smelling the wine, giving an overall impression of the aromas of the wine.

Bouvier
white wine variety in Austria

Austrian white wine variety usually produced for must, the partially fermented Sturm wine and young wines, as well as nobly sweet classed wines. The wines display a subtle bouquet, and are aromatic and soft.

brandy
alcoholic beverage based on wine

Alcoholic beverage produced by distilling the grape marc.

brandy wine
base wine used for the production of brandy

Wine that may only be used for distillation and for the production of brandy.

brandy-like
high in alcohol

The taste sensation of alcohol is dominant, often found in thin wines that have been chaptalized.

breathe
aeration

The process of the wine being allowed to breathe and the aromas develop, by opening the bottle and pouring out a glass, so that the air can circulate in the neck and shoulder of the bottle.

brettanomyces

Sometimes called Brett, this refers to the yeast genera found occasionally in grapes and occurs during the fermentation and maturation of red wine. Characteristics are aromas similar to a stable or sweaty horse. In small quantities, Brett can be pleasant, yet if too intensive, is regarded as being a wine fault.

bright

Describes a bright, reflective wine with an exceptionally clear colour.

brilliant

Refers to the bright and brilliant colour of wine.

brix scale
unit of measurement

Scale of measurement for the must weight, quite widespread in the United States, and identical with the Balling scale of measurement.

brut
dry

Taste description for a sparkling wine or Champagne with a maximum residual sugar content of 15 grams per litre.

bud
bud, or first shoot of a vine
bud
bud

Bud of a grapevine.


budding
the first buds

The initial opening of the buds and first leaves in Spring (usually in April).

bunch rot
form of grey rot

This is a wine fault if unripe grapes are infected. If the grapes have reached physiological ripeness, this is the prerequisite for nobly sweet wine, such as Beerenauslese, Ausbruch and Trockenbeerenauslese.

bung

The closure of the oak barrel, which is made of either wood, silicon or glass.

Burgenland
generic winegrowing region

generic winegrowing region in the eastern part of Austria.

Burgundy bottle
shape of the typical Burgundy wine bottle

This bottle form originates from Burgundy, where ist is the most common shape. It is popular in Austria for Pinot varieties.

burning sulphur

Years ago, oak barrels were conserved or sterilised by lighting sulphur inside the barrel and the SO2 emitted acted as a cleaning agent.

Buschenschank
Heuriger or Buschenschank wine tavern

Another term for the 'Heuriger‘, where wines from own produce are served along with one or more simple dishes.

bush vine cultivation
The old form of vine training, without a trellis and low to the ground.
buttery

Wine tasting term describing the butter-like or creamy texture of a wine, particularly after MLF.

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