5 wine terms that you will probably never use.

I always enjoy getting to the glossary of a wine book and skimming through to see if there are any terms I've never heard before. Lots of them are absolutely useful and help you learn more about wine and winemaking, but some, you will probably never need to use.

Here are 5 terms that you will probably never need to use, but are fun to learn. Let me know if you've used them before.



Austrian wine made from various grape varieties that all grow in the same vineyard, and are harvested and processed together. A rare bottling can be found by few producers. Riesling-Gewurztramminer blends.

Maillard Reactions

Louis-Camille Maillard

Louis-Camille Maillard

Named after the French scientist Louis-Camille Maillard, who studied the browning of foods in the early 1900s.  In wine, It's the chemical interactions between amino acids created during autolysis and residual sugar added by dosage, which are responsible for many of the mellow, complex post-disgorgement aromas adored by drinkers of mature Champagne. It's also in the same aromatic universe as wines that were raised in oak barrels. Maillard Reacations also play an important role in raisining of grapes and the "GDB", golden brown delicious flavor in seared meats.

The "Coates Law of Maturity"

Clive Coates, MW

Clive Coates, MW

Master of Wine Clive Coates claims that a wine remains at its peak for as long as it took to arrive at this point in its maturity. This "law" is infinitely variable according to both the wine and individual consumers as any specific wine will have different aging conditions. 


Ok, some of you may have heard of this, but when do you get to use it in a sentence, or even pronounce it?

A reorganization of the West Germany wine industry in the mid-20th century, affecting over half the total planted area. The vineyards were reparceled in order to make them easier to run. Some argue that it greatly affected many great vineyards and terroirs, relocating wildlife and vines.

Sur Souches

French expression meaning "on the stumps" or, in the context of a purchase of a future vintage of wine. Particularly used in the Bordeaux trade, where the prices of wines may fluctuate, apprehensive buyers would purchase a crop even before it was harvested. 1961 and 1969 are two major vintages that spelled disaster for this strategy. 1961 turned out to be an amazing vintage, but very small harvest. 1969 was expected to be great, and was a huge flop, one of the worst vintages of the century.


Good luck practicing these wine terms at your next wine tasting.