In any social event, it’s always a good idea to know the basics of wine. It’s especially important when around wine enthusiasts. To help improve your knowledge, here are four modern wine terms every wine lover should know in 2018.

Natural Wine

What is “natural wine?” Natural wine is unfiltered, unprocessed, and unordinary according to the Washingtonian. As the wine world grows and a higher premium is placed on access to unusual finds, more natural wines are making their way onto Washington lists. Natural wine is farmed organically and made (or rather transformed) without adding or removing anything in the cellar. No additives or processing aids are used, and ‘intervention’ in the naturally occurring fermentation process is kept to a minimum.

Skin-Contact Wines

Skin-contact wines refer to the process of grape skins steeping in juice or fermenting must to impart color and flavor to the wine.The period of skin contact can vary quite a bit.  Wines can spend two years on the skins, or two weeks (as red wines typically do, before pressing). This alters the character of the wine. The term ‘orange wine’ has been coined for skin contact whites, because they often take on an orange color.

Gamay Wines

Gamay wines are lean, bright, and acidic reds, typically in favor as food-friendly wines. “Back in the day, everybody was drinking 15-percent-alcohol Zinfandel, and modern wine lists have gone full-throttle in the other direction,” says Primrose’s Sebastian Zutant. “People are looking for stuff that’s more palatable and clean.” And that is just what a Gamay wine provides you with.


Industry types tend to hate buttery California Chardonnays—but consumers love them. The solution? A wine like Marsanne, which mimics Chardonnay flavors closely but still fits into a menu of offbeat, indie bottles. Marsanne is a white wine grape, also commonly called “Marzanne.”