A shallow, silver tasting cup used by a SOMMELIER who often hung it around his or her neck. The cup was designed with dimpled sides that would reflect candlelight in dark cellars and thereby allow… Continue reading


The French term for a wine steward, which has also been appropriated by the English language. In American slang, the word sommelier is sometimes contracted to “somm.”


French for DRY. In wine, however, the opposite is usually true. Champagne that is labeled sec, for example, is medium sweet to sweet.

Sélection de Grains Nobles

In Alsace, the term for wines made from very late picked berries that have been affected by BOTRYTIS CINEREA.


The RIDDLING (rotating and tilting) of Champagne bottles to concentrate yeast sediments in their necks. Riddling is done by hand in A-shape frames called pupitres or by a computerized machine called a gyropalette.

Rosé Champagne

A pink Champagne. The rosé color, which actually ranges from translucent pink to coppery salmon, is obtained either by blending a bit of still red wine into the Champagne blend before the SECONDARY FERMENTATION or… 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.


Pét-Nat is a contraction of the French term pétillant-naturel (natural sparkling). Pét-Nat wines are sparklers made in the “ancestral” method whereby the wine is bottled before primary fermentation is finished, without the addition of secondary… Continue reading


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


An individual or firm that buys grapes and/or ready-made wine from growers and/or cooperatives. The négociant then blends, bottles, labels, and sells the wine under its own brand or name. The first négociant houses were… Continue reading


The smell of a wine, including both the AROMA from the grape and the BOUQUET from AGING.

Oeil de Perdrix

Literally “partridge eye,” oeil de perdrix is the term used to describe the color of a pale rosé.