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Wine Terminology

Glossary terms


Winemaking term for the process of separating a wine from its sediment,

 by moving the liquid from one container to another. Also used for aerating wine.


Tasting term used to describe the rather pungent smell of intentionally oxidised wines,

such as wood-aged fortified wines and older vins doux naturels.


Italian term for sweet heady wines made from grapes that have been concentrated by air drying.

The most commonly found is the red Recioto della Valpolicella but white recioto is also made in some regions, as are sparkling versions.


Label term used in Italy to indicate a wine of superior quality

 which has normally also fulfilled a minimum ageing requirement.

RM (Recoltant-manipulant)

Champagne label term, indicating that the grapes were grown and the wine produced by the same company.

The number following the letters identifies the company.


Bottle of 9 litres capacity equivalent to 12 normal (75cl) bottles,

  mainly used for Champagne.

Sec (Fr.)

Dry. Still wines labelled sec should taste completely dry,

but sec Champagne is relatively sweet (sweeter than brut).

Semi-seco (Sp.)

Medium dry

(in fact medium sweet).

Spumante (It.)

Fully sparkling.

See also 'frizzante'.


Tasting term indicating a woody,

 slightly raw taste.

Decanter Events Pictures

Decanter Events picture galleries: still photos by Decanter's professional wine photographers of Decanter Events. Decanter runs more than 6 wine events a year, including our three yearly Fine Wine Encounters, now in their 14th year. Other events inlude our series of hugely popular 'Taste of...' events, and regular trade and consumer tastings

Decanter Events Pictures