glossary

You can browse our topics using the letters below, or search for a term.

Letter G:

Garagiste: A micro-négociant specializing in very limited-production wines, often known as "vins de garage," or garage wines, because their production size is such that they could be made in a garage. The movement began on Bordeaux's Right Bank in St.-Emilion with Châteaus Le Pin and Valandraud, but the term is now often applied to micro-négociants the world over.

Gelatin: The same active gel found in Jell-O, this animal product is used in the fining process to bind with excess tannins so that they may be removed during filtration.

Generic: Lower-quality blends with names like "Mountain White" that are frequently made from inexpensive varieties. New World wines using place names such as Chablis or Burgundy as generic terms have largely disappeared thanks to international trade agreements; understandably, wine producers in those places do not appreciate the use of their name on wines from other areas that may be made from different grape varieties or according to different standards.

Glycerin: Produced during fermentation, glycerin contributes to the wine’s body.

Goüt de Terroir: French for "the taste of terroir," meaning the unique characteristics imparted by a specific site.

Graceful: Describes a wine that is harmonious and pleasing in a subtle way.

Grafting: Uniting two plants so they grow as one. Most often used to join phylloxera-resistant rootstock with vitis vinifera buds that will bear fruit.

Gran Reserva: Gran Reserva, the highest level of Spain’s quality categories, is only made in the best vintages. This distinction requires reds to be aged at least five years with a minimum of two in oak.

Grand Cru: French, literally "great growth," or the top tier of vineyards and their wines in regions that use the term. For example, in Burgundy, these wines are one step above Premier Cru.

Grand Cru Classé: French term used to categorize vineyards by quality. In Bordeaux’s Médoc region, for example, five levels of Grand Cru Classé were established in 1855.

Grand Vin: The premier cuvée made by a winery. Grand vin, or "great wine," is an unregulated term frequently used in Bordeaux to indicate that a wine is the best of multiple wines made at a given winery.

Grapey: Characterized by simple flavors and aromas associated with fresh table grapes; distinct from the more complex fruit flavors (currant, black cherry, fig or apricot) found in fine wines.

Grassy: A signature descriptor for Sauvignon Blanc and a pleasant one unless overbearing and pungent.

Gray Rot: Gray rot sets in when the fruit fungus Botrytis cinerea, as a result of persistent wet, humid conditions, overruns a crop and destroys the fruit. Fruit afflicted with gray rot appears to be covered in a carpet of gray fur.

Green: Tasting of unripe fruit. Wines made from unripe grapes will often possess this quality. Generally not considered a positive attribute but may be pleasant in Riesling and Gewürztraminer.

Green Harvest: The trimming of unripe grapes to decrease crop yields, thereby improving the concentration of the remaining bunches.

Grip: A welcome firmness of texture, usually from tannin, which helps give definition to wines such as Cabernet and Port.

Grown, Produced And Bottled: Means the winery handled each aspect of wine growing.

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