The Meaning of Popular Wine Phrases and Expressions

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again! Wine is more than just a drinking activity, it’s an entire culture. This becomes even more apparent when looking at the multitude of wine phrases, wine terms, and wine expressions that have been expressed over the centuries.

Popular Wine Quotes:

wine phrases


As wine ages, it develops more and become more valuable. The same can be said about friendships.

“Wine is the only artwork you can drink” – Luis Fernando Oliverri


As we stated before, the process of making wine as well as the wine itself is a true artform. It takes skill, knowledge, and technique.

“He who knows how to taste, does not drink wine but savours secrets.” – Salvador Dali


A true wine enthusiast knows that to truly enjoy the wine, you have to take note of the aroma and flavors. “Truly” drinking wine is a talent that takes time and experience to perfect.

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.” – Plautus


Any celebration is a good time for a glass of wine and catching up with friends.

“Wine offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than possibly any other purely sensory thing which may be purchased.” – Ernest Hemingway


Wine is one of the only things that entices all of your senses and provides such a unique experience solely from the simple act of drinking.

wine expressions


It does no one any good to stay in the bottle. Wine is meant to be drank and enjoyed.

Popular Wine Expressions:

Who doesn’t like to kick back, and relax with a nice, hearty wine? We all know that it tastes good, however, in order to keep up with wine connoisseurs, it is nice to know the basic drinking expressions:

Pop and Pour:

The wine does not need to be decanted, it is ready to pour straight from the bottle.

Lay it Down:

No, I don’t mean literally, that would be a waste of good wine! This expression means to let the wine age.

Let it Breathe:

Allow it to decant, the fruit flavors will soften and it will open up.

Blow Off:

When a newly opened bottle releases odd smells like sulfur, and other gaseous odors it is or needs to ‘blow off’. This can also mean that the wine seems high in alcohol.

Butter Bomb:

Over-oaked Chardonnay

Come of Age:

A specific wine region that suddenly comes on trend. For use as a sarcastic retort: As it was no good until (re)discovered by critics, and hipsters.

Wine is Hot:

High in alcohol- so much so that you can smell the alcoholic fumes.

Wine is Dead:

Little flavor or the flavor quickly dissipates.

Bottle Shock:

After a bottle of wine travels a distance (bottled in Europe, shipped to the U.S) or is bottled quickly and then reopened, it can go a period of time without giving off aroma or flavor.

Entry Level:

A winemakers ‘tease’. A winemaker will make an affordable bottle, getting a customer hooked and hoping they’ll move up a tier level.

Flying Winemaker:

A winemaker that travels to other regions, making wine and doing consultations.

Horizontal Tasting:

Tasting different bottles of the same variety of wine, vintage, and region.

Vertical Tasting:

Tasting bottles from different years, but made by the same winery.

International Variety:

Grapes picked from every continent where grapes are grown.

Late Harvest:

Extra ripe grapes are used, they are typically picked later in the season. This usually produces a sweeter wine.

Cult Wine:

A wine with a following. Enthusiasts flock to buy a certain wine, raising the prices and making it harder to find.

You don’t have to be super sophisticated or even educated, to appreciate the history, making of, and enjoyment of wine. Now that you know popular drinking phrases and expressions, you are ready to become part of the exclusive group of serious wine enthusiasts. Cheers!

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