A muselet (mew-zeh-LAY) is the wire cage or “hood” that holds a Champagne or sparkling wine cork firmly in place. It derives its name from the French “museler”, meaning “to muzzle”, in English.  Adolphe Jacquesson… Continue reading

Musque (moose-KAY)

The term musque refers to an especially aromatic version of a grape variety. (The word “musk” is an ancient term for perfume). The best example is sauvignon musque which is more floral and fruity than… Continue reading


The juice and liquidy pulp produced by crushing or pressing grapes before FERMENTATION.


A dank, old-attic smell in a wine, attributed to unclean storage containers and sometimes to grapes processed when moldy.

Metodo Tradizionale

The Champagne method (MÉTHODE CHAMPENOISE) for making SPARKLING WINE; also referred to as metodo classico. Most top Italian sparkling wines are made this way.


A process winemakers use to add oxygen to wine in a controlled fashion. Adding oxygen changes the chemistry of the wine and depending on the timing of the introduction can have several different effects. Microoxygenation… Continue reading


A viticultural problem caused by abnormal pollination, millerandage results in differently sized berries within one bunch. (The berries are affectionately known as hens, chicks, pumpkins, and peas). Getting the berries to ripen evenly can therefore… Continue reading


A vintage champagne.


A term commonly used in the Loire for very sweet, luscious white wines that can be almost syrupy.


Monastery; several Greek wine estates are located in former monasteries, and several Greek monasteries still produce wine. The word monastiri sometimes appears on the labels of TOPIKOS OENOS wines.


The French term for an EAU-DE-VIE made specifically by distilling the POMACE (grape skins, stems, and seeds) left over after pressing, not by distilling wine. Marc is generally a slightly more powerfully flavored spirit than… Continue reading


A vineyard owned entirely by one domaine or estate. The term is used in Burgundy (where monopoles are rare) and to a lesser extent in Champagne.