Sweeter Than Wine Glossary

Sweeter Than Wine contains many German phrases and winemaking terms, and we’ve gotten

some questions about what some of it means. Hopefully, the following glossary will help clear up

any confusion.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W

A

Alicante Bouschet

A black, thick-skinned grape used to make red wine.

This variety became very popular during Prohibition, because it could be

shipped long distances for sale to home winemakers.

Allgemeine Landesbank Schlettstat

(German) The Universal Farmer’s Bank of Schlettstat

Alsace

A mountainous region on the border of Germany and

France, renowned for its wines and unique Franco-German culture. Ownership of

Alsace has changed repeatedly between Germany and France. Alsace belonged to

Germany 1870-1918 and briefly again during WWII. Since 1918, it has been part

of France with the exception of 1940-45.

B

Bahnhofplatz

(German) The square or plaza in front of a train

station.

Bitte

(German) Please. Can also mean, You’re welcome.

black rot

A fungal disease that attacks grapevines.

Bordeaux

A full-bodied red wine usually made from a mix of

Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc grapes.

Bordeaux mixture

A mixture of copper sulphate, lime, and water

sprayed on grapevines to prevent fungus diseases.

bratwurst

(German) Fried sausage

Brix scale

A device used to measure the percentage of sugar in

grape juice.

Burgundy

A medium-bodied red-wine made from Pinot Noir

grapes.

C

Cabernet Sauvignon

A grape variety used to make full-bodied red wines.

chaise longue

(French) A long reclining chair.

Charbono

A red wine grape originally from the Piedmont region

of France.

Claret

A term referring to a full-bodied red table wine

made from any of the following grape varieties: Barbera, Cabernet Sauvignon,

Gamay, Grignolino, Petit Sirah, Pinot Noir, or Zinfandel.

D

Das fängt ja gut an!

(German) This is a great way to start something!

Das kann ja doch nicht sein!

(German) You’re kidding me!

Du bist mein Herz, mein Leben

(German) You are my my heart, my life.

E

Elsaß

(German) Alsace

Es möge Gott dieses Haus und die Bewohner vor Unheil zu schützen.

(German) A prayer offered during a topping-out

ceremony: If it pleases God, protect this house and its inhabitants from

misfortune.

F

fermenters

Large vats made of wood, slate, or cement in which

the fermentation of the grape juice into wine occurs. This is the second step

of the winemaking process, after crushing but before aging.

Franz

German man’s name.

Frau

(German) Mrs.

free-run juice

Grape juice extracted by a very light pressing.

Considered to be the highest-quality juice for wine-making as it is unaffected

by the flavors from crushed seeds or stems.

G

Geh weg!

(German) Go away!

grappa

Brandy distilled from marc. See marc.

Grenache

A grape variety used for making blush (pink) wines.

Grüß Gott

Traditional Southern German greeting. Used like

"hello;" literal meaning: "I greet you in the name of God."

Gruyere

A firm cheese with small holes and a nutty flavor,

orginally from Switzerland but used widely in Alsatian cooking.

H

Haut Königsbourg

One of the mountains in the Vosges range of Alsace.

Heimat

(German) The town, state, or country sentimentally

considered the place of one’s origin. Literally, "home place."

Herr

(German) Mr.

Herz

(German) Heart

I

Ich bin wütend

(German) I’m livid [enraged].

Ich bin zu haus’

(German) I’m home.

Ich liebe Dich

(German) I love you.

J

Ja

(German) Yes

Johann

(German) John

Jürgen

(German) man’s name

K

Karsten

(German) man’s name.

Kugelhopf

A tall, turban-shaped yeast sweetbread, often baked

with almonds and raisins, and dusted with powdered sugar.

L

Landesbank

See Allegemeine Landesbank.

lass mich

(German) Allow me.

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