Pyrazines (PEER-a-zeens)

More correctly known by their long name methoxypyrazines, pyrazines are the compounds in grapes that can cause a powerful green bell pepper aroma and flavor. Pyrazines are especially prevalent in sauvignon blanc and cabernet sauvignon.… Continue reading

Primae Classis

Literally, first class. A Latin designation used by the Hungarians since around 1700 to indicate a Tokay vineyard of first-class stature. The Tokay Aszú wines produced from grapes grown in such a vineyard would by… Continue reading

Prise de mousse

Literally, “capturing the sparkle,” a term for the secondary fermentation in Champagne. The secondary fermentation takes place inside each individual bottle. It is this secondary fermentation that creates Champagne’s bubbles.

Private Reserve

A term found on some NEW WORLD wine labels for which there is no legal definition. Sometimes a wine labeled private reserve is truly special and of high quality (such as Beaulieu Vineyards’ Georges de… Continue reading

Pro Mensa Caesaris Primus

Around 1700 two Tokay vineyards were given this designation, which means chosen for the royal table. These vineyards, Csarfas and Mézes Mály, ranked above those designated PRIMAE CLASSIS.

Produced and Bottled By

A term found on U.S. wine labels, indicating that not less than 75% of the wine was fermented at the address on the label, and that the wine was bottled at that address. See VINTED… Continue reading


The removal of living canes, shoots, leaves, and other vegetative growth. Vines are usually pruned in winter when the plant is dormant (and thus less susceptible to diseases that could infiltrate the vine via the… Continue reading


Used to describe a wine that is so high in TANNIN that it causes your mouth to pucker with dryness. Most often the wine will have been made from insufficiently ripe grapes.


The soft, fleshy part of the grape, which is infused with juice.

Pumping Over

A process during the FERMENTATION of red wine in which the juice is pumped from the bottom of the container to the top and then sprayed over the CAP of skins to break it up… Continue reading


Modern puncheons, commonly used for wines like sangiovese that don’t benefit from a lot of wood contact, come in two sizes: 79.25 gallons and 132.08 gallons (200 and 500 liters respectively).