V - Jargon Buster

Varietal wine: A wine produced primarily from a single grape variety and so labelled. For example, Merlot is a varietal.

Vermouth: A fortified wine, red or white, which has been flavoured by addition of various herbs and barks Vermouth, is used primarily as an aperitif.

Vigneron: Common French word for winegrower or winemaker.

Vignoble: Common French word for winegrowing area.

Vigour: A measure of quality of the growth shown by a grape vine, as opposed to capacity, which measures quantity of the growth and development of a vine.

Vin: French word for wine (vino in Spanish or Italian); widely used in other languages as well.

Viña: Spanish word for vineyard.

Vinegar: Literally, "sour or bitter wine."

Vinho Verde: (pronounced veen-yo ver-dee) A specific type of Portuguese wine that is noted for its youth, freshness and newness in the taste. These wines are always best if consumed young without bottle aging.

Vinifera: Scientific name of the primary species of Vitis (vines) used for winemaking. Vitis vinifera produces nearly all the world's wines (certainly all the world's best wines).

Vinification: The act of winemaking, including all the operations and processes involved. Somehow if you're talking to people, "vinification" seems so much more important than "winemaking." Knowing when to use this word is certain to add a special pizzazz to your image and get you a notch ahead of the crowd.

Vin Jaune: Wines from the Jura region of eastern France.

Vintage: In short, the "year" or season of winegrowing. Note that the vintage time of wines from countries in the southern hemisphere is between late March to late April, this is why wines from Chile can be on display on shelves in the same year as harvested, if aging is not required. While wine from the northern hemisphere, harvested between late August to early October, will not be seen until early the following year.

Viognier: A grape variety used for white wine blends in the Rhone Valley of France. It has a distinctive, though difficult to describe, character.

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