B - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

Bacchus

White wine grape created in Germany in the 1930s. Often makes wines with powerful flavours.

Backwards

Said of a wine that is not fulfilling its aroma and flavour potential. These wines may improve with age.

Bag in box (BIB)

Also known as box wine. Wine supplied in plastic pouch, which is placed inside a cardboard box.

Balance

Describes the relationship between the wine's characteristics. A well-balanced wine has no single dominant characteristic.

Balthazar

A large wine bottle, equivalent to 16 normal bottles.

Ban de Vendange

The official start of the French grape harvest season.

Barolo

An Italian DOCG red wine known for its full body and concentrated flavours.

Barnyard

Said of wines with mousey or gamey flavours. In moderation, these can add interest to the wine but if they dominate the whole thing becomes undrinkable.

Barrel

A vessel used in making and transporting bulk wine. Though the term barrel is often used for any large container, specific sizes of barrels were used for measuring quantities. The correct generic word is cask.

Barrel aged

Wine which has been matured in an oak barrel.

Barrel fermented

Wine which is made in an oak barrel rather than a stainless steel fermentation tank.

Barrel tasting

Tasting wine direct from the barrel, before it is bottled.

Barrique

A 225 litre (49.5 Imperial gallon, 59.4 US gallon) oak barrel used to mature wine.

Batonnage

French word for a process of stirring up the lees. Some winemakers argue that this helps to develop flavours in the wine, but others suggest it promotes off flavours.

BDX

Bordeaux.

Bead

A column of tiny bubbles rising to the surface of a sparkling wine. Smaller, longer-lasting bubbles are held to be an indicator of high quality.

Beaujolais

French wine region known for using whole bunch maceration.

Beaujolais Nouveau

Young wine from Beaujolais, released in November each year.

Beefy

A beefy wine has strong, full flavours.

Beerenauslese 

German wine category indicating sweet wines from selected grapes, often affected by noble rot.

Bereich

German wine district.

Berry

A grape.

Berry scented

Wine with aromas of fruit such as blackberries, raspberries, elderberries, mulberries, cranberries and so on.

Bianco

Italian for white wine.

Big

Hearty wines with lots of fruit flavours.

Bin

A storage location in a wine cellar.

Biodynamic 

Method of growing grapes which combines aspects of organic growing practice with spritual and mystical considerations. 

Biologique

French for organic.

Bitter

Harsh flavour caused by tannins in wine.

Bitters

Alcoholic beverage flavoured with botanicals giving a bitter flavour. Some are designed to be drunk as an aperitif or digestif, while others are added to cocktails as flavourings.

Blanc, blanco

French and Spanish terms for white wine.

Blanc de blancs

Champagne made using white grapes.

Blanc de noirs

Champagne made using black grapes.

Blend

Wine made from mixture of grapes of different varieties or sources.

Blind tasting

Tasting wine without knowing its identity, to avoid bias.

Bloom

A natural, white, dusty coating on the surface of grapes which helps to protect the fruit.

Blush

Another word for bloom. Also used as an alternative term for rosé.

Bodega

Spanish word for winery.

Body

How heavy and thick the wine feels in the mouth. Light-bodied wines feel thin and insubstantial, full-bodied wines feel rich and thick.

Bold

Dark, intense red wines with high alcohol content.

Bordeaux

Wine region in south-west France, either side of the Garonne river, noted for its red wines.

Bordeaux hogshead

A cask with a capacity of 224 litres (49 Imperial gallons, 59 US gallons).

Bota

A cask used to store Sherry.

Botanicals

Plant matter added as flavouring, for example citrus peel, fruit, herbs and berries.

Botte/botti

Italian word for barrel - botte is singular, botti plural.

Botrytis

Botrytis cinerea, a fungus which can affect grapes, causing them to shrivel. Wines made from "botrytised" grapes have an intense colour and flavour. Also known as noble rot.

Bottle aged

Wine matured in the bottle rather than in a large cask.

Bottle stink

Mildly unpleasant aromas noticeable when a bottle is first opened, but rapidly disappear.

Bouquet

The wine's aromas.

Bowl

The main part of a wine glass, which holds the liquid.

Branco

Portuguese word for a white wine or white grape.

Brawny

A wine with strong, full flavours.

Breathing

Opening a wine and allowing it to sit for a period before drinking to allow some contact with the air. Allowing a wine to breathe can help it to develop aromas and flavours which are not apparent the moment the wine is opened.

Brett (Brettanomyces)

A naturally-occurring yeast which can induce musty or metallic flavours in wines.

Bricking

Lightening of colour of a red wine as it ages - a "brick red" tinge can be seen at the edge of the wine.

Bright

Description of a wine that's clear and looks good when you hold your glass up to a sunlit window. Can also be used to describe a wine that is high in acidity.

Brilliant

A wine that is very clear, with no sediment.

British wine

Wine made in Britain from grape concentrate, or grapes grown elsewhere.

Brix

A scale used for measuring sugar content in grape juice.

Broker

A middle-man between wine makers and wine buyers.

Brooding

Dark, rich and intense wine.

Browning

Change of colour from red to brown which occurs as a red wine ages.

Brut

Dry, a term usually used to describe dry sparkling wines.

Bud burst

The moment in spring when the vines begin to develop new shoots. Also known as "bud break".

Bung

A large cork used to seal an access hole in a wine barrel.

Burgundy

Red, white and occasionally rosé wines from the Burgundy region in eastern France.

Buttery

A rich and creamy wine might be described as buttery. Often indicates that the wine has been matured in oak.

Buyer's own brand (BOB)

Wine made to be sold under the retailer's own label.

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