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Wine Dictionary Terms: A Wine Glossary to Learn Wine Terminology: Wine Terms - V


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Varietal
term used to describe wines made totally or predominantly from a single variety of grape.

Verdot
Also Petit Verdot, this is one of the family of fine red varietal wine grapes of Bordeaux, France. It has good color and a flavor reminiscent of Cabernet; however, none of the finest chateaux use more than a small percentage of it in their blends.

Vermouth
A fortified wine, red or white, which has been flavored by the addition of various herbs and barks (originally wormwood). Vermouth is used primarily as an aperitif.

Vignoble
Common French word for winegrowing area.

Vin Santo
This is supposed to mean "wine for the saints," but it certainly seems to be one of the great sins of this world. It is a sweet dessert wine, made from dried Malvasia and Trebbiano grapes in Tuscany. The dried grapes are pressed, then the juice is allowed to ferment at its own rate for as much as several years. As can be imagined, the alcohol ends up relatively high, the wine flavor becomes a rich blend of the varietal flavors and maderization, the wine is sweet, and it will seemingly keep forever. Or, at least, until the saints and sinners find it. Originally made only in Tuscany, this type of wine is now made in small amounts and from different varieties all over Italy.

Vinho verde
A specific type of Portuguese wine which is noted for its youth, freshness and newness in the taste. These wines are always best if consumed young without 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
Winemaking, including all the operations and processes involved.

Vintage
The "year" or season of winegrowing. Vintage wine is defined as wine which is produced at least 95% from grapes harvested in a single, stated year. Note that this is not necessarily the year in which the grapes were grown or the wine was bottled, but the year in which the grapes were HARVESTED.

Viognier
Grape variety used for white wine blends in the Rhone Valley of France. It has a distinctive (though difficult to describe) character. Expect to see this variety used more and more in California.

Viticulture
The science, art and study of grape growing.

Volnay
One of the communes of the Cote de Beaune in Burgundy. The wines are red, as any white wine produced there is sold as Meursault. The town of Meursault, of course, is just nearby, with similar topography.

Vosne-Romanee
A famous commune in Burgundy's Cote de Nuits. It claims no less than five Grands Crus (great growths). These have the highest classification of Burgundy, and include Romanee-Conti, La Tache, Les Richebourg, La Romanee and La Romanee Saint-Vivant.