H

Halbtrocken
German for half-dry.
Hard
A wine that in unbalanced because of the high levels of tannin.
Harmonious
A well balanced wine.
Harsh
Common description for astringent (tannic) wines or for the ones that have unbalanced acidity.
Harvest
The process of picking the grapes (manually or by machine) from the vines and transporting them to the winery. The time of harvest is determined primarily by the ripeness of the grape and it is one of the most crucial steps in the business of making wine.
Haut
“High” in French (both for altitude and quality).
Headspace
The unfilled air space at the top of a barrel or bottle of wine and, with time, this space tends to grow. It also refers to the practice of topping off a barrel with extra wine to prevent oxidation.
Heavy
A negative tasting descriptor for a wine that is unbalanced and tastes weighty in the mouth (mainly because of its very high alcohol content).
Hectare
A metric measure that equals 10,000 m² (2.471 acres).
Hectoliter
A metric measure equal to 100 liters or 26.4 gallons.
Hedonistic
Very rich wines that deliver an immense sum of pleasure.
Herbaceous
An aroma or flavor similar to green; often an indication of under ripe grapes or fruit grown in a cool climate.
Herbal
A wine that has aromas and flavors that suggest herbs.
Hogshead
A large cask that holds approximately 60 gallons of wine.
Hollow
A description for wines that don’t have enough depth.
Honeyed
Common tasting description for wines that were infected by Botrytis Cinerea (noble rot).
Hot
Wines that are unbalanced by high alcohol content creating the feel of a burning sensation in the mouth.
Hybrid
Two grapes that are genetically crossed.
Hydrogen sulfide
A very serious fault in the wine. The smell reminiscent of rotten eggs that is caused by the interaction of hydrogen and sulfur dioxide.
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