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In Good Taste

How to Sound Like a Wine Expert

How to Sound Like a Wine Expert

Wine Glossary

The great thing about wine is that you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy a bottle — or several. Even if your knowledge starts and ends with “refrigerate white, keep red at room temp,” or you don’t know tannins from en Tirage, you can still find your way to a satisfying sip. But just because you’re not a sommelier (we’re getting to it) doesn’t mean you should be terrified of terroir. Getting comfy with the terms used in growing, making, and describing wine will make your next journey into the wine world taste even sweeter (or more acidic, aromatic, tart…you get the idea). Plus, you'll sound super smart.

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A

Abboccato
In terms of sweetness, this type of wine is Goldilocks' dream: not too dry, not too sweet. It's juuuust right.

Acescence
This vinegary anomaly occurs when wine is exposed to bacteria or oxygen, turning alcohol into acetic acid. While winemakers can prevent it by monitoring sulphites, hygiene, and oxidization, some use it to give their bottles more flavor. (See: acescent, acetic, acetic bacteria.)

Acetaldehyde
Also known by its chemical name, CH3CHO, this temperamental compound, resulting from the activity of yeast and acetic acid bacteria (AAB), is behind your favorite wines' aldehyde content. You know those grassy, nutty, apple-y flavors you love? That's acetaldehyde.

Acidification
We love ripe grapes, but when things get a little too ripe, the resulting wines can end up low-acid and high-pH. In this process, winemakers add tartaric and malic acid to give their wines a much-needed tart kick.

Acidity
A good wine is as complex as a Dostoevsky novel. Wine-tasting is all about balance, so "acidity" compares that fresh tartness to sweetness, bitterness, and so on. Most wine grapes boast tartaric, malic, and/or citrus acids.

Aeration
Think of this as popping the cork and introducing your wine to the outside world: specifically, some much-needed oxygen. Since they're packed with tannins, reds benefit from aerating and decanting, which helps create a balanced taste.

Aging
Like cheese, stocks, and teenagers, some wines need extra time to mature. When you "age" a wine, you're leaving it in the bottle so it can find its flavor and become its best self. However, around 90% of wines produced are not meant to be aged, but to be enjoyed relatively quickly.

Alcohol By Volume (Abv)
Usually a percent, alcohol by volume (aka alc/vol or ABV) gauges the amount of ethanol in 100 units of a liquid.

Amabile
A little sweet but not too showy about it.

Amino Acids
These essential compounds of nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, etc. are called the "building blocks of proteins" because they come together to (you guessed it) build proteins. Red wine, in particular, is an amino-acid superstar, with 300–1300 mg/L.

Appellation
A specific geo-political location with rules about where and how its wine is made— from planting to harvesting to bottling.

Aroma
This is the smell that makes a grape special. Some varietal examples include the lychee aromas in Gewürztraminer and the black currant aromas in Cabernet Sauvignon.

Astringent
That pucker-up sensation that leaves your mouth and tongue feeling dry after a satisfying sip. Caused by tannins attaching themselves to salivary proteins and taking them on a joy ride.

AVA (American Viticultural Area)
By law, these U.S. regions are devoted specifically to grape-growing. (See: Santa Maria, Mississippi Delta.)


B

Balance
Think of this like a group project where no one's doing all (or none) of the work. In a "balanced" wine, alcohol content, acidity, tannins, sweetness, and fruitiness come together perfectly to get the job done.

Balthazar
This monster-sized bottle holds 12 liters of wine (that's the same as 16 standard-sized bottles!).

Barrel
Also known as a cask, this oblong, hollow container stores wine in its adorably rotund belly. Usually made of French common oak, a 60-gallon barrel stores the same amount as 300 bottles.

Bâtonnage
As a part of the process, winemakers filter out dead yeast, grape seeds, and other sediments known as "lees." In this process, those lees are added back into the wine to enhance taste, texture, and aroma.

Baume
Checking the sugar level and ripeness of grape juice as a way of gauging alcohol content, this measurement system is often used by French and Australian winemakers. (See also Oechsle and Brix.)

Beerenauslese (Ba)
Beerenauslese (BA, for short) are a type of late-harvest wines made with rotting or decaying grapes. Don't worry, though—we're talking the sought-after "noble rot" (or Botrytis cinerea), which gives wines a uniquely flavorful sweetness.

Biologique
The makers of this kind of bottle stick to strict standards when it comes to artificial chemical fertilizers, pesticides, etc. so you can be sure your wine is certified organic.

Bitter
A beginner-level wine-tasting note, usually resulting from tannins. Young red wines have the most tannins, so they're generally the most bitter.

Body
This quality considers grape variety, alcohol content, sweetness, richness, and more to characterize a wine's heaviness. (See Body-ody-ody-ody-ody...)

Bouquet
Though it's a little old-fashioned now, we use this term to compliment the more nose-based notes of a wine: aroma, smell, odor, etc. Usually, it relates to wines that have been aged to showcase "secondary" scents and qualities.

Breathing
A little fresh air works wonders on people, and wine is no different. Temporary exposure to air (oxidization) lets wine "breathe," bringing out its best aromas. Short on time? Try swirling the wine in your glass for a similar effect.

Brettanomyces
Brettanomyces (or Brett) is an unwelcome yeast that can spoil a good red wine. Winemakers use sulfur dioxide to keep it from ruining the party. (Sorry to the Bretts of the world.)

Brix (Symbol °bx)
This measurement method analyzes grapes' sugar content to estimate alcohol level. For example, one grape of sugar equals half a gram of alcohol. Brut French for "dry," we use this term to indicate a mouthwateringly dry sparkling wine.

Bung
A barrel's best friend. This stopper is used to plug up the "bunghole," keeping stored wine inside until it's time to come out. The bung is also removed to allow filling, topping, and tasting.


C

Cantina
Not just a word from the title of our favorite Star Wars tune, "cantina" shares an etymology with "canteen" and comes from the Italian for cellar or vault. It's used today to indicate a cellar-type space for wine storage (in Italy) or a type of bar (in Latin America and Spain).

Carbonic Maceration
This winemaking technique removes oxygen to add in fruity flavors and soften the tannins in light- and medium-bodied red wines. Common resulting flavors are bubble gum, banana, and raspberry.

Cépage
This French term refers to a wine made from one variety of grape.

Chaptalization
Named after French chemist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal, this process uses added sugar to bring up alcohol level post-fermentation. Though it's used all over the world, the specifics depend on the region and the wine.

Citric Acid
This balancing acid is popular in whites and rosés but uncommon in reds. It can do everything from enhance flavor and freshness to reduce cloudiness to add acidity (though that one's less of a surprise).

Clarification
In this process, matter that can't be dissolved is taken out of wine—like panning for gold, if the gold wasn't the good part.

Closed
Muted; not super aromatic or interesting. This isn't usually a compliment.

Cork Taint
An unfortunate contaminant, caused by 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA), that makes bottled wine taste bland—and smell like Grandma's basement.

Corked
This term refers to wine affected by cork taint.

Côtes
This French term refers to wine grown on a hill (usually on the south or southwest side for sun-related reasons).

Cru
French for "growth," this term lets us know that a vineyard or region is super high-quality. You'll often see it following appellation-related adjectives, like "premier" and "grand."

Crush
Most winemakers agree that "crush" is part of the process, but some think of it as the whole shebang while others think of it as the parts where they harvest and—you guessed it—crush the grapes into wine.

Cuvée
From the French "cuve" (vat or tank), this is a fancy word for a tank of wine.


D

Decant
This may sound super sophisticated, but it really just means pouring your wine from one container to another — and doing it slooooowly. In order to keep bottom-of-the-bottle sediment where it is, we move our vino to an easy-pour, glass decanter (get it?).

Diacetyl
If you like your wine like you like your ice cream (creamy) or your popcorn (buttery), you have a compound called diacetyl to thank.

Dosage
This sparkling wine-specific term refers to a part of the process when winemakers add base wine, sugar, preservatives, and alcohol to a batch before the final corking.

Dry Wine
Don't worry — this word doesn't refer to a bottle lacking liquid. Wine-tasters use "dry" to indicate lack of sugar or sweetness, which can be very satisfying.


E

Earthy
High praise for a wine, this compliment has a couple different meanings. Either a sophisticated sip filled with forest-floor or mushroom flavor, or a unique drying sensation caused by a taste called "geosmin."

Eiswein
When you sound it out, this word sounds like "ice wine"—and that's exactly what it is. Winemakers freeze their harvest before picking, resulting in a super-concentrated grape juice.

Élevage
French for "bring up" or "raise," this points to all the nitty-gritty, expert-level processes winemakers go through to make their wine the best it can be. These processes include fermenting, storing, bottling, and more.

Élevé En Fûts De Chêne
A très élégant way of saying "raised in oak barrels."

En Tirage
No, not the HBO show. An aging process in which winemakers don't remove the yeast and other sediment (lees) from sparkling wine for a long time (sometimes years!) to enhance its flavor. Known as "gout de champagne" by the French, the resulting taste is impossible to replicate.

Esters
During the fermentation process, yeasts gobble up grapes' natural sugars, creating carbon dioxide, alcohol content, and these organic acids, known as esters.


F

Fermentation
Another beginner-level winemaking term. This is that miraculous process in which grape juice transforms into alcohol—with a bunch of science-y stuff involving yeasts, sugars, and carbon dioxide, of course!

Fining
We all love a fine wine, but "fining" wine is a little different. In this process, winemakers filter out undesirable components before bringing their batches up from the cellar. Note that some—especially "natural wine" makers—skip this step.

Fortified Wine
Somewhere between a typical bottle and a cocktail, this type of wine pairs up with a distilled alcohol like brandy for a flavor combo all its own. (See: port, sherry, Marsala, vermouth.)

Frizzante
Like a tastefully subtle diamond, this type of wine is only semi-sparkling (in contrast to "spumante," which has quite a bit of fizz to it).


G

Garrigue
The family of wild, aromatic herbs that blanket the rolling hills of the Mediterranean coast, including thyme, juniper, rosemary, and lavender.

Glycerol
Also known as glycerin, this type of alcohol comes from fermented glucose. It gives wine a "fuller" texture and softens things up on the palate.

Grape Must
A total "must" in winemaking, this super-fresh fruit juice hangs on to its natural skins, seeds, and stems (known as "pomace"). From the Latin for "young wine," this is the very first step winemakers take on their journey to a finished bottle.


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I

Imperial
This super-sized bottle has room for six liters or eight standard bottles.

In Good Taste
Your go-to wine destination for tasting the world, one eight-bottle tasting flight at a time.


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M

Malolactic Fermentation (Mlf)
Also known as malo or MLF, this process turns bitter malic acid into lactic acid (think: milk), making a wine's flavor notes soft, ripe, and creamy.

Methode Champenoise / Traditionelle
Translating to "the traditional method," this is the process behind sparkling wine in France, Cava in Spain, Espumante in Portugal, Franciacorta in Italy, and Champagne in Champagne.

Minerality
Move over, spice, herb, and fruity flavors—this unique quality of wine comes from its terroir (soil, climate, rocky terrain).

Mouthfeel
There's more to a wine than its taste. This sensory term refers to the physical experience of drinking (i.e., how a wine feels in your mouth) as a part of its total flavor.


N

Natural Wine
Not as strict as organic or biologique, this movement sticks to traditional winemaking processes to cut out pesticides, herbicides, and other additives.

Nebuchadnezzar
Part of an age-old tradition of giving Godzilla-sized wine bottles biblical names, this is the King Kong of storage, capable of packing 520 ounces or 20 standard-sized bottles.

Noble Rot
Unlike its harmful sibling "grey rot," the sought-after, moisture-loving fungus known as Botrytis cinerea cozies up to ripe grapes and shrivels them, resulting in a unique, golden sweetness.

Nose
This one's easy to remember. A wine's nose indicates its aroma and other scents.


O

Oak Aging
Oak imparts additional tastes, colors, and textures to wine, so "oak aging" refers to the process of fermenting batches in oak barrels or adding oak chips during aging for a spicy or vanilla flavor.

Off-dry
Unlike your average "dry" wine, which is totally free from sugary flavor, off-dry (aka semi-dry) bottles are just a little bit sweet.

Orange Wine
If it's not made from oranges or the color of a Cheeto, what is orange wine? Also known as skin-contact white wine, skin-fermented white wine, and amber wine, this out-of-the-ordinary treat borrows its flavor and color from an unusual process in which it's aged with its skin on.

Organic Wine
When a wine's labelled "organic," its makers have carefully followed their region's organic farming laws, often cutting out fertilizers, fungicides, and other chemicals.

Oxidation / Oxidized
Opening up a new bottle isn't just fun—it's also an important part of the chemical process, allowing wine to interact with air (oxidization), which changes ethanol into grassy, nutty acetaldehyde. Porous corks make this process happen gradually.


P

Ph
Remember this one from high school science? In wine terms, pH measures ripeness in comparison to acidity, using the formula pH = -log10[H+].

Phenols
The compound behind red wine's, well, redness, phenols are naturally occurring in plants' and animals' defense mechanisms.

Phylloxera
One of the many enemies of healthy, high-quality wine, this teeny-tiny aphids' favorite food is roots—specifically, roots of grape plants. They can hitch rides into vineyards on employees' shoes or even gate-crash from nearby farms.


Q


R

Reduction
Oxidization isn't always the way to go. Some of our favorite wines (Syrah, for example) benefit from this alternative process, defined by an absence—rather than the addition—of oxygen.

Region
This term doesn't just refer to location — it also indicates year, varietal, style, and even specific laws under which the wine was made.

Reserve
This adjective, used to describe better-than-average wine and/or wine that's been aged, comes from winemakers setting apart a small portion of their best wine (i.e., reserving it).

Residual Sugar (Rs)
Any sugar still remaining after fermentation.


S

Salmanazar
A hulking bottle that can pour nine liters (or about 72 glasses) of wine, these bad boys are typically associated with Champagne.

Sans Soufre
While this preservative gets a bad wrap, it's not necessarily a no-no when it comes to ingredient lists. That being said, this is the French way of saying ixnay on the sulfur.

Secco
Unlike its sister sekt (German for sparkling wine), secco is only semi-sparkling. This cheerful wine is mixed with its own carbon dioxide for a delightful bubbliness.

Sommelier
Basically the best job ever. A sommelier—sa-muhl-yay—is a steward (essentially an expert) in all things wine. In the U.S., we use "master sommelier" to refer to someone who's progressed past the fourth level of their certification exam, per the Court of Master Sommeliers.

Standard Bottle
A standard-sized bottle holds 750 ml of wine.

Stave
You've heard of barrel, bung, and bunghole, but staves are what make them all up: These skinny, curved strips of wood compose the shape of the barrel. (Also of note is the term "Thin Stave," which is a stave cut specifically to aid in oxidization.)

Sulfites
Also known as sulfur dioxide or SO2, these compounds help preserve wine pre- or post-fermentation. While a few are fine (winemakers don't even have to mention them until their wines have over 10 ppm), the U.S. limit is 350 ppm.

Sulfur Compounds
We all know sulfur smells like rotten eggs, and too many sulfur compounds in a wine can lend it odors of garlic, cabbage, or those hardboiled Easter eggs you took too long to find. Get the balance right, though, and your wine might take on tropical or mineral characters.

Superiore
An Italian descriptor, added to labels to indicate a region with high-quality production standards.

Sur Lie
French for "on the lees," this white wine aging technique involves keeping wine in contact with its yeast particles and sediment (lees) to enhance flavor and mouthfeel. (See: Bâttonage.)

Sweet Wine
Scientifically speaking, a wine with over 30 grams of residual sugar per liter is "sweet" (as opposed to "dry" or "off-dry").


T

Table Wine
In the U.S., we use this term to indicate your regular, run-of-the-mill bottle: not fortified, sparkling, or pricey—just plain, old wine.

Tannins
Arising from skins, seeds, stems, and storage, these organic compounds are responsible for the "drying" feeling that comes with drinking a tart wine.

Tartaric Acid
Responsible for imparting flavor and helping wine age, this is the majority of acid in grapes.

Tasting Wheel
A helpful chart for wine novices and those looking to deepen their appreciation. Tasting wheels break up flavors and aromas by category, to help describe notes with more clarity.

 

Terroir
Pronounced "tear-woh," this French term refers to the climate, soils, terrain, and traditions specific to a vineyard.

Typicity / Typicality
When it comes to wine, being "typical" isn't always a bad thing. This term compares a bottle to the standards and signatures of its style, region, or grape.


U

Ullage
Like most liquids, over time, wine evaporates—and there's an actual word for the elbow room it leaves behind. That word? Ullage.


V

Vanillin
An important part of vanilla beans, this aromatic compound also pops up in oak barrels.

Varietal
Varietals are made from and labelled with a single type of grape, like cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, or merlot.

Vinification
Another, more scientific name for the process of winemaking, from vine to bottle. (Fun fact: You call a winemaker a "vintner.")

Vinous
A fun adjective that has to do with the more alcoholic bits of a wine's flavor, especially as they relate to richness and warmth.

Vintage
"Thanks, it's vintage." In the wine world, this is the term used to indicate when a wine was made. You can find a vintage (the year the grapes came off the wine) on the label.

Volatile Acidity (Va)
An indicator of how vinegary a wine's flavor or aroma is as a result of its acids.


W

Wine Flight
We're not sure who coined the term "flight" as it relates to wine. But we know from experience that pairing up a group of like bottles for exploration, education, and enjoyment is like spreading our wings and hitting the sky. (We're partial to by-the-glass flights ourselves.)

WSET
The world's premiere wine educator, the London-based Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) has been offering classes and tests on wine and other alcohols for over 50 years.


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Y

Yield
This term gauges the size of a vineyard against the amount of grapes or wine it puts out. Types of measurement include mass of grapes per vineyard surface and volume of wine per vineyard surface.


Z

Big Reds

Our Favorites

Big. Bold. Unapologetic. The rich, unmistakable flavors of the Cabernet Sauvignon, Barbera, and Bordeaux Rouge in our Big Reds collection are perfect for the unwavering palate that demands something more.

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Vine Voyage Top 3

Our Favorites

The Vine Voyage bundle will remind you why France and Italy are two of the most well-known, wine-producing countries in the world. Take your senses to the European countryside with Montepulciano, Rosé of Sangiovese, and Nerello Cappuccio.

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Light Reds

Our Favorites

Like the infectious laugh of a best friend, these wines will warm your soul and lighten your mood. Our Light Reds bundle with a Grenache, Coteaux Borguignons AOC, and Pinot Noir are sure to be your new wine besties!

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International Whites

Our Favorites

Experience a world-class wine tour for your tastebuds from the comfort of home. This bundle features incredible selections from France and Italy that will have you ready to grab your passport and hop a plane.

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California Wine Mixer Top 3

Our Favorites

Californian wine is a state of mind. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé, and Red Wine from our California Wine Mixer bundle can transport your state of mind (and palate) all the way to The Golden State.

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Rosé of Sangiovese

Andiamo

Sangiovese can be found in both the Chianti and Montalcino regions of Tuscany (it all sounds so romantic, right?) and is known for producing classic medium-bodied wines. Rosé wine is actually made from red grapes, and this is where the Rosé of Sangiovese comes to play. Crisp, fruit-forward, and easy-to-drink, it's everything you want in your bottle of Rosé and more.

$19.99

Sauvignon Blanc

La Pluma

We couldn't have rosé and Pinot Grigio at the La Pluma party without inviting its ring leader, Sauvignon Blanc. If Pinot Grigio is the dry, acidic friend of the group and rosé is the always highly affable one, Sauvignon Blanc exists between the two to create true Zen. An interesting and addictive blend of grapefruits and herbs set this white wine apart and makes it incredibly difficult to resist, especially when the temperature is high and your desire for refreshment is higher. La Pluma Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect poolside or beach companion; just be sure to bring a few bottles because your friends will definitely want to partake, and we don't blame them!

Barbera

Wild Child

The perfect pizza wine. Barbera is a simple wine that’s not only easy for winemakers to make, but easier to drink. It’s low in alcohol and an Italian red wine we implore you try chilled because it’s truly *chef’s kiss*. Classic Barberas are fruity, medium bodied and offer the perfect hint of tartness. It’s also the best of both worlds in terms of light and heavy red wines. Let’s say you’re having a friend over who always prefers a cab, but you’re more of a Pinot Noir kinda gal. Order a pizza and open the Barbera for a perfect middle ground kind of evening. After all, the combo of good red wine and pizza is the great equalizer.

Montepulciano

Andiamo

Big, bold, and full of flavor—exactly what you’d expect an Italian wine to be! This classic Italian grape produces some of Italy’s most straightforward red wines and is often used as a blending grape. Not here, though. We let Montepulciano do the heavy lifting as a heavy red wine and shine on its own. If you enjoy the smell of leather bound books, nibbling on dried fruit, and complementary notes of bitter, dark chocolate and sweet plums, you will love this Italian wine. No need to pair it with any certain dish—Montepulciano tastes great with all the Italian classics.

$20.99

Cabernet Sauvignon

Unprecedented

If Pinot Noir is the light and juicy queen of reds, Cabernet Sauvignon is her bolder, heavier, meatier sister. Often referred to as just “cab,” it’s the wine of France’s Bordeaux and California’s Napa Valley. There’s nothing subtle about Cabernet Sauvignon—high in alcohol, full-bodied and robust, you can usually find this red served with a ribeye, New York Strip, or filet mignon (re: carnivores love cab). Classic cabs usually offer tasting notes of chocolate, coffee, and darker fruits like prunes and plums. The Unprecedented Cabernet Sauvignon is as classic as they come, and we highly recommend letting the bottle sit and mellow until your next red meat and potatoes dinner!

Rosé

La Pluma

While it's the unofficial official wine of summer and warm weather situations, La Pluma's Rosé is one you can drink year-round, no matter the occasion. All rosé wine is derived from red grapes, and the result exceeds expectations in terms of highly-sippable, easy-drinking wine. This La Pluma Rosé is as light as its feathery namesake and is best served extremely chilled for an extremely chill afternoon of nothing but vibes. And maybe a few snacks.

Pinot Grigio

La Pluma

If you’re looking for more zest in your life, a bottle of Pinot Grigio can provide that. We included a classic Pinot Grigio in the La Pluma collection because we’re all about light and easy here, which is exactly what this grape from Italy is. It has that dry sense of humor that seems so effortless with a punchy acidity to keep you on your toes, all while offering notes of lemon, limes, green apples, and honeysuckle. Long story short; when it’s been a heavy day and your soul is seeking light things only, you’ll be happy to have this bottle on hand.

$19.99

Pinot Noir

Unprecedented

We couldn’t create the In Good Taste Unprecedented collection without the Golden Retriever of wines: Pinot Noir. Pinot is likable, it’s easy, and its natural state of being is simply charming. It’s an incredibly easy red wine to love, which is why so many people do. The grape itself is from the Burgundy region of France, but has made its way to California, Oregon, Australia, Italy, Argentina, and Germany since. Our Pinot Noir has no surprise twists—it’s a classic light red with just the right amount of sweetness to keep you coming back for another glass (or two).

$25.99

Coteaux Bourguignons

Passport

The Burgundy region of France is home to their best Pinot Noirs, but we took the grapes into our own hands to create something extra special with our Coteaux Bourguignons. It’s a blend of Pinot Noir and Gamay, which results in a French red that’s light in body but full in flavor. The ripest blueberries and freshest herbs can be easily detected in this French burgundy blend. May we suggest pairing it with some creamy brie and freshly baked bread? It’s a oui-ning combo.

$25.99

Nerello Cappuccio

Wild Child

This is not your average Italian red. Nerello Cappuccio is a dark-skinned grape variety from Sicily, the Mount Etna region to be exact (yes, the volcano). Although its color is vibrant, you might be surprised to know that it’s a much softer red than it looks to be. Our Nerello Cappuccio is cherry-forward, with other tasting notes of vanilla, light coffee (like your favorite breakfast blend), and minerals. The delicate tannins in this Sicilian wine will surprise and delight you and tastes exceptionally good paired with margherita pizza or arancini balls (drool).

Chardonnay

Unprecedented

Ah, Chardonnay. This full-bodied and diverse wine is polarizing in its very nature: from an oak barrel-aged buttery, oaky, rich white wine, to a stainless steel-aged, mineral-driven neutral wine. Our classic Unprecedented California Chardonnay is the former, and will surely become a new favorite. Its buttery vanilla nature pairs extremely well with like-minded buttery, creamy foods such as brie cheese, lobster, crab cakes, crème brûlée, squash, corn, and mushrooms.

Verdicchio

Andiamo

A little sweet. A little tart. A little salty? You truly get it all with this white Italian wine. If you're into that biting acidity, Verdicchio will probably be high on your list of most-loved wines from our Andiamo collection. Citrus fruits like mandarin, lemon, and grapefruit are at the forefront, but what really sets this Italian wine apart is its distinct notes of almond. While our Verdicchio can start out tasting a bit tart, the more you sip, the smoother it becomes. In fact, we suggest approaching it as an aperitif (Italian for an alcoholic drink sipped before a meal to stimulate the appetite) to experience its full effect.

$23.99

Red Wine

Unprecedented

We’d love to introduce you to our old friend: Unprecedented Red Wine. She’s a 2019 blend that has been with us through it all and grown to be one of our more popular wines. She’s a mix of all the best Italian grapes: Barbera, Sangiovese, and Tempranillo with a splash of Mourvèdre and a few others. They’re all hanging out, having one big, juicy, delicious party! Tasting notes include a touch of spice, a hint of leather, and some of the best juicy fruits, including blackberries. She truly gets along with just about everybody!

Côtes du Rhône White

Passport

This was one of our first French wines to join the Passport collection and one sip will explain why. Some background on the Rhône Valley in France: While this region is known for its dark, juicy reds, a very small amount of special white wines are made in the Rhône Valley. Our Côtes du Rhône is packed with French-perfected, floral flavor and Old-World charm. Its natural tang paired with the weighty Marsanne grape and aromatic Roussanne grape results in a crisp, savory sip that’ll transport you to a sunbathing chair by the Rhône itself.

$23.99

Bordeaux Rouge

Passport

When you picture medieval folk sitting around a feast with goblets of wine, chances are they were drinking Bordeaux. This wine has been made in France since forever and is arguably the most classic French wine out there. Bordeaux is known for its full body, smoky notes, and rich, oaky taste. If you love cabs, chances are you will adore Bordeaux. For our Passport wines, we had to include this classic French red for you to sip and enjoy to your heart’s content. Best savored over a rich meal like lamb ragu, ratatouille, or BBQ.

$21.99

Ventoux Rosé

Passport

You probably know that the Tour de France is held on Ventoux Mountain in France, but did you know that the same area is known for its high-altitude rosé? This is the kind of quintessential French rosé that you don’t need to spin your wheels over—it’s simply delicious, crisp, and perfect for warm weather. Despite its delicate, pale pink color, each sip is lush with flavor, from tropical passionfruit and zesty citrus to refreshing melon. This has the potential to be your new summer go-to, so we’d suggest stocking up.

$21.99

Tempranillo

Wild Child

Say “¡Hola!” to Spain’s main grape: Tempranillo. This red grape put Rioja wine on the map and is un vino tinto classico. It’s best compared to a classic cab, but with a bit more unique magic that’s hard to put your finger on, which is why it’s a part of our Wild Child line. This medium- to full-bodied wine with its relatively higher tannins usually offers complex notes of cherry, fig, cedar, tobacco, and dill. This is the type of red wine you want to buy and pour for a Latin-infused meal; think carne asada, tacos al carbon, or just perfectly cooked steak fajita meat.

Grenache

La Pluma

We knew the only red in the La Pluma collection had to be exceptionally good and exceptionally light. That’s why including a Grenache was a no-brainer. If smooth, fruit-forward, light-bodied reds appeal to your tastebuds, this could be your new favorite. The grape itself is tricky; depending on the climate of where its grown, Grenache wines could be light, dense, or somewhere in the middle. La Pluma’s version has all the airiness and flavor notes we wanted in our Grenache, which is how we know you’ll love it. Get the most of this red by pairing it with roasted meats, spice-heavy vegetables, and Mexican-inspired dishes with lots of cumin.

$27.99

Barbera

Andiamo

We really try not to play favorites at In Good Taste, but there is just something about an Italian Barbera that hits different in the best way. Barberas are the perfect wine for pizza night; they're low in alcohol, and medium-bodied but taste super light, and their berry and plum flavors pair incredibly well with savory tomato sauce and cheese! Another fun thing about Barberas? They actually taste great when chilled, which is not something we're in the habit of suggesting for our red wines. Our Italian Barbera lies somewhere between the body of a cab and a pinot and is the ideal choice for a "ladies who lunch" kind of afternoon.

$21.99

Dolcetto

Andiamo

The Dolcetto grape is an easy, laid-back, relaxed Italian wine experience. Its literal translation may throw you, though—Dolcetto means “little sweet one” in Italian, but this wine is anything but. Packed with black fruit flavors like plum, blackberries, and black raspberries, this wine has the tasty necessities that make it a true Italian drinking wine. With moderate tannins and relatively low acidity, our Dolcetto is the perfect choice for just about any occasion. This lighter red Italian wine tastes even better when paired with poultry dishes like duck or chicken and really shines with a lighter pasta.

Vermentino

Wild Child

We couldn't not have a weird white in the mix, right?! The Vermentino grape is native along the coast of Italy on the island of Sardinia (yeah, like the fish). Because of its origin, this grape offers a salty, crisp flavor that's incredibly easy to drink and enjoy. We say it's "weird" only because it's not widely known by name, but chances are you've probably had it before if you've ever ordered white wine in an Italian restaurant. If you love peaches and lemons and get a kick out of anything that reminds you of the sea, our Vermentino is the perfect Italian white to experience on a sunny day outside.

$23.99

Viognier

Unprecedented

For the Chardonnay lovers who are looking to dig a bit deeper in the world of bold whites, a Viognier (pronounced vee-own-yay) could be your next big adventure. Viogniers tend to have more range; while they can be creamy with hints of vanilla like their Chardonnay counterpart, they also offer lighter, fruitier flavors like tangerine, mango, and honeysuckle. It’s still a more full-bodied white wine, but unlike Chardonnay, it’s softer on acidity and more perfumed. Spend an afternoon with a glass of Viognier amongst the flowers and it’ll all make sense.

$24.99

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