The Real Alternative Wine Glossary: U

Ubiety -Uva

Ubiety – Whereness. An obscure alternative for terroir.

Ubiquitous – Lists of top ten or top twenty wines, glossaries…


Ugni-corn Wines –Far from mythical, these are thin white wines from grapes that feed many a pot still.

Ullage – Head space.

Umbria – A region named after the fact that it is in the shade of Tuscany’s reputation. (Umbriage)

Underrated Wines – Support your local sherry. And remember that the bite of the Alsatians is even better than their bark. And do I need to mention Riesling again?


Underwined Oak – Also known as “chips in everything”.

UnpredictabilityNatural wines are unpredictable. You said it, kiddo. And three cheers for that. Their sheer perversity is embodied in these lines by Gerard Manley Hopkins:

And all things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim…

The Unpronounceables

Pacherencs – Pasha Ranks – a Jamaican reggae star
Morellino – Moray Leno – an oleaginous talk show host
Chacoli – Cheque Holy – a payment which clears your bank account with miraculous haste
Bairrada – Buy Harder – a coded advert in the name
Rkatsiteli – Rat Cats Italy – an Italian hybrid of a cat and a rat.

Unthirlable – Young Vega Sicilia or Madiran from Alain Brumont aged in 400% new dark chocolate oak.

Uruguay – You go Uruguay, I’ll go my way (Groucho Marx). They say when Tannat is poured down the plug in Gascony it comes up the sinkhole in Uruguay. Anyhoo, in 1870, Tannat was introduced to the country by Don Pascual Harriague, a Basque, and a high proportion of wines there are still made from this grape.

Utiel Requena – Hilly region inland from Valencia that used to produce the rich dark doble pasta wines which makes you physically incapable of doing the pasadoble.

Utraquist – One who partakes of the wine as well as the bread at communion. “Zounds, Father, you are spoiling us with this cheeky Haut-Brion 1989!


Ab uva ad ovum – From the grape to the egg-shaped fermenter.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Umbilical Wine – a sub-category of natural wine that’s said to provoke deep mystical introspection by focusing the attention of the imbiber on the umbilicus

  2. Les Caves

    Ha, love it!

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