Wine Dictionary J to L

A – C / D – F / G – I / J – L / M – O / P – R / S – U / V – X / Y Z


Jeroboam: An oversized bottle equal to six regular 750 ml bottles.

Jug Wine: American term for inexpensive, ordinary wines sold in half-gallon or gallon jug bottles.


Kabinett: A German term for a wine of quality; usually the driest of Germany’s best Rieslings.

Kosher Wine: A wine made according to strict Jewish rules under rabbinical supervision.


Labrusca: Grape types native to North America, such as Concord and Catawba.

Lactic Acid: A smooth (not sharp) acid created during malolactic fermentation. This acid is also found in milk.

Landwein: A German quality classification. Landwein is a slightly higher quality level within the Tafelwein, the lowest designation.

Late Harvest: A term used to describe dessert wines made from grapes left on the vines for an extra long period, often until Botrytis has set in.

Leafy: Describes the slightly herbaceous, vegetal quality reminiscent of leaves.

Lean: Describes wines made in an austere style. Not necessarily a critical term, but when used as a term of criticism, it indicates a wine is lacking in fruit.

Leather: The aroma of old leather club chairs, most frequently associated with older red wines.

Lees: Sediment – dead yeast cells, grape seeds, stems, pulp and tartrates (harmless tartaric acid crystals) – remaining in a barrel or tank during and after fermentation.

Leesy: Describes the rich aromas and smells that results from wine resting on its lees.

Left Bank: Refers to the wine regions to the immediate west of the Gironde river in Bordeaux.

Legs: The viscous droplets that form and ease down the sides of the glass when the wine is swirled.

Length: The amount of time that taste, flavor, or mouthfeel persists after swallowing a wine. Common descriptors are short, long, and lingering.

Lieu-Dit: A place name, or named vineyard, the smallest parcel that can be named in an appellation.

Limousin: A forest near Limoges, France, that produces oak for barrels.

Lingering: Describes the persistence of flavor in a wine after tasting.

Liqueur d’Expedition: See Dosage.

Liqueur de Tirage: A solution of wine, sugar, and yeast added to a bottle of still base wine to begin the traditional method of making Champagne or méthode traditionnelle.

Lively: Describes wines that are fresh and fruity, bright and vivacious.

Loire: A river in central France, as well as a wine region famous for Chenin Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Franc.

Luscious/Lush: Describes wines that are soft, viscous, fleshy and round; more often associated with sweet white wines than rich red wines.