Quick Wine Facts and Wine Glossary: From ‘Acid’ to ‘Zinfandel’
Quick Wine Facts
How many bottles of wine?
One bottle of wine = 750 ml or 1/5 of a gallon
One Barrel = 60 gallons = 25 cases or 300 750 ml bottles
One Ton of Grapes = approximately 700 bottles of wine
One Acre of Vineyards - Low yield for high quality wines = 2-4 tons
One Acre of Vineyards - High yield for less expensive wines = 10 tons
Note: A good question to ask in the tasting room is how many tons of wine does the winery get per acre.
Wine Bottle Sizes?
The biggest bottle of wine is the Maximus produced by Beringer Vineyards. It holds 173 bottles of Beringer's Napa Valley 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon. There is only one Maximus bottle at this time.
The most common size wine bottle is 750 ml. Here are the other common wine bottles that you will see in wineries and restaurants.
One-Half Bottle = 375 ml
Magnum = 1.5 liters or two bottles of wine
Jeroboam = 3 liters
Rehoboam = 4.5 litters
Temperature of wines
Room temperature is rarely wine drinking temperature. Most restaurants, bars and homes have an average of 71 - 74 degrees room temperature all year long!
Rich full body red wines should be between 58 and 64 degrees, no higher
Light red wines, usually outstanding in the summer, should be between 54 and 57
White and Rose wines should be between 46 and 54
Champagne, dessert and sweet wines should be between 43 and 47
One Acre of an established vineyard AVERAGES:
4-5 tons of grapes which is 10,000 pounds
13.51 barrels of wine at 7,552 oz./ea
797 gallons of wine at 128 oz./ea
3,958 bottles of wine at 25.6 oz./ea
15,940 glasses of wine at 6.4 oz./ea
One Barrel of wine contains:
740 pounds of grapes
59 gallons of wine
One Case of wine contains:
30 pounds of grapes (468 oz.)
307.2 ounces of wine
12 bottles of wine
48 glasses of wine
One Bottle of wine contains:
750 ml of liquid
2.4 pounds of grapes (39 oz.)
25.6 ounces of wine (4/5 quart)
4 glasses of wine
How About Grapes, Clusters and Vines?
1 grape cluster = 1 glass
75 grapes = 1 cluster
4 clusters = 1 bottle
40 clusters = 1 vine
1 vine = 10 bottles
1200 clusters = 1 barrel
30 vines = 1 barrel
400-500 vines = 1 acre
1 acre = 4-5 tons
4-5 tons = 266-332 cases
Import tariffs applied to wine have fallen along with China’s commitments under WTO accession.
The ICD (import custom duty) on bottled wine is 14%. Added to this are a further
10% CT (consumption tax) and VAT (Value Added Tax) of 17%. All are applied to the CIF
(Cost, Insurance & Freight) price, giving an effective total tariff of 48.2%.
ICD (0.14) + VAT (0.17) + CT (0.10) + ICD (0.14) x
Total Import Tax rate = ---------- = 48.20%
1 – CT (0.10)
Bulk wine attracts an import tariff of 20%.
International Organization for Standardization “ISO” Containers
An intermodal container or freight container (commonly known as: shipping container or box) is a reusable transport and storage unit for moving products between locations or countries; the terms container or box may be used on their own within the context of shipping. Containers manufactured to ISO specifications may be referred to as ISO containers and the term high-cube container is used for units that are taller than normal.
There are two common standard lengths used to ship wine, spirits and other select beverages, 20 ft and 40 ft standard containers. Container capacity is often expressed in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU, or sometimes teu). An equivalent unit is a measure of containerized cargo capacity equal to one standard 20 ft (length) × 8 ft (width) container. As this is an approximate measure, the height of the box is not considered; for example, the 9 ft 6 in (2.9 m) high cube and the 4-foot-3-inch (1.3 m) half height 20-foot (6.1 m) containers are also called one TEU. Similarly, 45 ft (13.72 m) containers are also commonly designated as two TEU’s, although they are 45 and not 40 feet (12.19 m) long. Two TEU’s are equivalent to one forty-foot equivalent unit (FEU).
Weight (Max Payload)
The maximum gross mass for a 20 ft (6.1 m) dry cargo container is 24,000 kg, and for a 40-ft (including the 2.87 m (9 ft 6 in) high cube container), it is 30,480 kg. Allowing for the tare mass of the container, the maximum payload mass is therefore reduced to approximately 22,000 kg for 20 ft (6.1 m), and 27,000 kg for 40 ft (12 m) containers.
*Over the road weight restrictions vary state to state so please confirm prior to loading.
20 ft container: 800 cases or 10 pallets (avg)
20 ft container: 34,000 lbs
40 ft container: 1200 cases or 20 pallets (avg)
40 ft container: 44,000 lbs
Each shipment is unique and depends on product weight, size and whether it is palletized or floor loaded. Averages based on common 750 ml bottles in 12 pack cases.
Wine Glossary: From ‘Acid’ to ‘Zinfandel’
We decided we would come up with 100 things people might want to know about the world of wine, giving each entry 20 words or less. Unfortunately, our editor told us we could only have 1,800 words of space. So here they are: 78 things that you might want to know, or at least some interesting little factlets, about wine.
Many of these are simply terms that you might hear in any polite conversation about wine; that’s why we haven’t included malolactic fermentation. We have included a few grape types, but not many. For instance, we have included Pinot Grigio but not Viognier. Personally, we far prefer Viognier, but Pinot Grigio has become the most popular imported wine in America and therefore has placed itself on the list. Finally, we have avoided almost all wine-tasting terms, which are a whole column in their own right. Ready? Here they are, in alphabetical order.
Acid. In the right proportion, gives many wines their balance and longevity. Wines without enough acids are often called “flabby.”
Alsace. French region bordering Germany best-known for distinctive whites such as peppery Gewürztraminer.
Appellation. Where the grapes came from. Often, the more specific, the better.
Appellation Controlee. French system that sets rules for winemaking in geographic areas. A world standard.
Australia. After a decade-long surge, the second-biggest exporter of wines into the U.S. by volume after Italy.
Beaujolais. French region producing delightful red wine from Gamay grapes; one of the world’s great wine bargains.
Bordeaux. French region best-known for classy reds made primarily from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Botrytis Cinerea. “Noble rot” fungus responsible for making some great dessert wines in Sauternes and elsewhere by shriveling grapes and concentrating juice.
Burgundy. French region best-known for reds made from Pinot Noir and whites made from Chardonnay.
Cabernet Sauvignon. Red-wine grape responsible for famous Bordeaux wines and many California “cult wines.”
California. Produces 90% of wines made in the U.S. and 70% of wines drunk in the U.S. Most important regions: Napa, Sonoma.
Cava. Spanish sparkling wine.
Chablis. French region (part of Burgundy) making special, seafood-friendly wines from Chardonnay. Used in U.S. to mean “cheap, generic white.”
Champagne. French region making the world’s best sparkling wine from Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes.
Chardonnay. Great white grape of Burgundy. No. 1 “varietal” wine in America.
Chenin Blanc. Fine grape for dry and sweet wines. Sometimes used in U.S. to mean “cheap white,” but sometimes a fine varietal.
Chile. Up-and-coming wine exporter best-known for value-priced Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Classification of 1855. Famous ranking of Bordeaux wine by “growth” — based on quality, price and politics — that’s still important today.
Corked. Wine that’s tainted by a bad cork. Tends to smell like wet cardboard or a wet dog.
Cult Wines. Symbol of ’90s bubble. Hard-to-find, excellent, very expensive and generally red California wines more often bought and sold than drunk.
Disgorge. Process in Champagne in which the sediment is popped out of the bottle before the final cork is inserted.
DOCG (Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita). Italian symbol of highest quality, though it can be hit-or-miss.
Dom Perignon. Monk important in early Champagne-making, though he didn’t really “invent” Champagne. Also the name of a fine, expensive Champagne.
Duboeuf, Georges. French winemaker and brilliant marketer who did much to popularize Beaujolais Nouveau around the world.
Finish. The lingering taste a wine leaves after you swallow it.
First Growth. Chateaux Lafite Rothschild, Latour, Margaux, Haut-Brion and Mouton Rothschild.
Fortified. Wines with brandy or other spirits added, such as Port.
French Paradox. “60 Minutes” report on this (1991) hinted that red wine keeps French healthy. Led to surge in U.S. red-wine consumption.
Gaja, Angelo. Great winemaker and trend-setter in the Piedmont region of Italy.
Gallo, E.&J. World’s biggest winemaker (until Constellation’s pending takeover of Australia’s Hardy). U.S. firm makes one of every four bottles sold domestically.
Gewurztraminer. Peppery white wine that’s a specialty of the Alsace region of France.
Gout de Terroir. “Taste of the earth,” the notion that grapes should pass on the natural aspects that are present in a place.
Ice Wine (Eiswein in Germany). Dessert wine made from frozen grapes. A specialty of Canada.
Labrusca (or Vitis Labrusca). Not Lambrusco, the inexpensive Italian red, but the kind of vine that produces native American grapes, such as Concord.
Loire. French region best-known for summery whites.
Magnum. A 1.5-liter bottle that’s twice as big as regular bottles. Bigger still: Nebuchadnezzar, the equivalent of 20 regular bottles.
Meritage. Name for red and white blends in the U.S. made from classic Bordeaux varieties. Rhymes with heritage.
Merlot. Bordeaux blending grape. First bottled as a U.S. varietal in 1972 by Louis Martini. Top red varietal in the U.S.
Mondavi, Robert. Visionary California winemaker greatly responsible for U.S. wine renaissance that started in late 1960s.
Mosel-Saar-Ruwer. German area best known for flowery Rieslings.
Muscat. Honey-like grape grown all over the world to make slightly sweet to very sweet wines.
Nebbiolo. Great grape of Barolo and Barbaresco in the Piedmont region of Italy.
New Zealand. Up-and-coming wine-producing country best known for its juicy Sauvignon Blancs. Most-talked-about winery: Cloudy Bay.
North Dakota. Last state in the U.S. to have a commercial winery, which opened last year.
Nose. How a wine smells.
Oak. Wood used in winemaking to add complexity and various flavors to wines often fermented and/or aged in oak barrels.
Parker, Robert M. Jr. Publisher of “The Wine Advocate.” Most powerful wine critic in the world. His 100-point scale widely replicated.
Paris Tasting of 1976. In a head-to-head blind tasting, French judges preferred American wines, a turning point for U.S. wines.
Phylloxera. Plant louse that kills vines. Devastated French vineyards in the 19th century, hit California hard recently.
Piedmont. Italian region best known for lusty reds including Barolo and Barbaresco.
Pinotage. Spicy, unusual red wine of South Africa.
Pinot Grigio. Italian wine — same grape as Pinot Gris — that recently became the most popular imported wine in the U.S.
Pinot Noir. Great red grape of Burgundy. Experts used to believe incorrectly that the U.S. couldn’t make fine Pinot. Specialty of Oregon.
Port (or Porto). Fortified wine from Portugal.
Qualitatswein Mit Pradikat. Symbol of high quality on a German label.
Reserve. In some countries, this means wine was aged longer. In U.S., it can mean that or nothing at all.
Rheingau. German region best-known for Riesling wines.
Rhone. French region best-known for its earthy reds. Most notable grape is Syrah.
Riedel. Stemware company that popularized the idea that there is a perfect glass for every wine. Rhymes with needle.
Riesling. Great white-wine grape at its best in Germany.
Rioja. Spanish district best-known for woody red wine.
Sangiovese. Great grape of Chianti.
Sauvignon Blanc. White grape that makes grassy dry wines all over the world. Also used in dessert wines. Same as Fume Blanc.
Sauternes. Great dessert wine from Bordeaux. Most famous and best: Chateau d’Yquem.
Sediment. Naturally occurring muddy stuff in the bottom of some bottles, especially old ones. It’s harmless.
Shiraz. Australia’s signature red-wine grape. Same as Syrah.
Stainless Steel. Wines said to be “all stainless steel” were fermented in temperature-controlled steel tanks and meant to be fresh, fruity, aromatic.
Sulfites. Naturally occurring substance also added to preserve and stabilize wines. Present in virtually all wines. Often incorrectly blamed for headaches.
Sur Lie. Allowing a white wine to sit on its dead yeast for a while, often giving it extra complexity and mouthfeel. Tannins. Naturally occurring substances that give red wines their backbone and often their longevity. Sometimes cause mouth to pucker.
Terroir. The total environment in which grapes grow — the soil, the climate, etc.
Turley, Helen. Great American winemaker responsible for many cult wines.
Tuscany. Region of Italy best known for Chianti and Brunello di Montalcino.
Varietal. Wine named for a grape type, like Chardonnay. In U.S., a wine must be at least 75% of a grape type to be called that.
Vinifera (or Vitis Vinifera). Species of vine that produces classic European wine grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and most of the wines produced today.
Vintage. Year grapes were harvested. In U.S., 95% of wine must be from that year’s grapes to be labeled that vintage.
Yeast. Naturally occurring substance that creates fermentation in grape juice to make wine. Sometimes commercial form is used.
Zinfandel. U.S. red grape (originally from Croatia). White Zinfandel, with juice allowed a little skin contact for color, outsells red 7 to 1.
This above article was adapted from the 250th Tastings column by Dorothy J. Gaiter and John Brecher published in January 2003.
California Wine Facts & Figures
Wine knowledge to amuse and peruse
California is the leading wine producing state—making more than 90 percent of
all U.S. wine—and also ranks first in wine consumption. Californians enjoy
nearly one in five (18 percent) of the bottles consumed in the United States. If
California were a nation, it would be the fourth leading wine-producing country
in the world behind France, Italy and Spain. With this great culture of wine,
there is significant interest in all aspects of the grape. As the voice for
California wine, Wine Institute offers the following fun wine facts:
Wine is fat free and contains no cholesterol. A 4-ounce glass of table wine has
about 80-100 calories.
Just how many grapes are in that bottle of wine? It takes about six to eight
clusters, or approximately 600 to 800 wine grapes (2.4 lbs), to make a bottle of
One barrel of wine contains 740 lbs of grapes, equivalent to 59 gallons or 24.6
cases of wine.
And how many bubbles in a bottle of bubbly?
It is theorized there are approximately 44 million bubbles in a bottle of
What's on top in 2005?
Chardonnay, with 95,000 acres, is the wine type variety with the most acreage
planted in California.
Cabernet Sauvignon was the second most planted winegrape in California with
76,800 total acres.
The red wine category for the second year in recent history edged out white wine
by volume in food stores in 2005. Red held a 41.7 percent market share; white, a
41.0 percent share; and blush accounted for 17.4 percent share of case volume,
according to ACNielsen.
Chardonnay remained the leading varietal wine, followed by Merlot, White
Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. Together these four varietals made up over
half (55 percent) of the wine sales in food stores.
Variety is the spice of life in the Golden State
Wine-type grapes are grown in 46 of California's 58 counties, covering 522,000
acres in 2005.
There are more than 107 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) in California
(distinct winegrape growing areas recognized by the U.S. government), a
testament to the variety of microclimates in the state.
California wines have benefited from the unique and varied mix of cultures that
found new homes in the Golden State. From Spanish missionaries who established
the state's first vineyards and wineries beginning in 1769, to the German,
Italian and other European immigrants who founded California's pioneer wineries,
and to the farmers, researchers and entrepreneurs who helped create the modern
California wine industry.
The highest vineyard in California is the Shadow Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon
vineyard located at an elevation of 4,400 feet above sea level in the mountains
of San Diego.
California's 2,000 bricks and mortar commercial wineries are predominantly
family-owned and operated.
There are more than 60,000 registered California wine labels.
Sustainable wine practices take root
The trend in sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices is growing quickly
in California. Vintners and growers who represent 40 percent of the annual wine
case production and one quarter (125,000 acres) of the state's wine acreage
currently participate in the Code of Sustainable Wine Growing Practices program.
California wine is good for the bottom line
California wines accounted for 63 percent of the total 703 million
gallons—both foreign and domestic—consumed in the U.S. in 2005, or roughly
two out of every three bottles sold in the country.
California winery shipments comprised roughly $16.5 billion of the $26 billion
estimated retail value of all wine sold in the U.S. in 2005.
Wine is California's most valuable finished agricultural product. The overall
economic impact of the wine industry on the economy of California exceeds $45.4
The expansion of exports of California wine over the last decade has
dramatically increased from $196 million in 1994 to $674 million in 2005.
Second only to Disneyland
Wineries and vineyards are the second most popular tourist destination in
California after Disneyland. A total of 14.8 million tourists visit the state's
wine regions each year.