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WINE: Top 10 ways to talk like a winemaker

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STORY WRITTEN BY MARY ORLIN
morlin@bayareanewsgroup.com

As if regular wine terminology isn’t confusing enough, there’s a host of acronyms that wine industry folk throw around. If you don’t want any MOG in your GSM, here are the top 10 acronyms that will soon have you talking like a winemaker.

1 ABC
Each state has its own ABC agency, such as the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control, which regulates alcohol licenses for selling and serving alcoholic beverages. For some wine drinkers, though, ABC also stands for “anything but chardonnay.” Need we say more?

2 ABV
This is the wine’s alcohol percentage by volume, usually denoted in tiny print.

3 AVA
An American Viticultural Area is an official grape-growing region, defined by climate, geology and geography.

4 CdP
Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a red-wine blend originating in the Southern Rhône Valley. Many California winemakers create CdP blends. Grenache is typically the dominant grape, along with syrah, mourvedre, counoise and cinsaut.

5 CdR
Another Southern Rhône Valley blend, Côtes du Rhône, can be a red, white or rosé.

6 GSM
Yet another common Southern Rhône red blend of grenache, syrah, mourvedre, GSM has been adopted by many California winemakers.

7 MOG
You’ll hear this term — MOG, or material other than grapes — during harvest. It refers to leaves, bugs and other non-grape debris that makes its way from the vineyard into the picking bins and sorting tables. Winemakers do their best to clear out all MOG before pressing and fermenting grapes.

8 NV
No, this is not an abbreviation for Nevada wine. NV, or non-vintage wines, are blends of wines of multiple vintage years, something very common with sparkling wine and Champagne.

9 TCA
The chemical 2,4,6-Trichloroanisole taints natural cork and causes cork spoilage, or taint, in wine. If a wine is corked, you’re smelling the wet, moldy newspaper aroma of TCA.

10 TTB
The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau agency regulates wine made and sold in the U.S.

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