Wine Word of the Week: Ullage

By Kori ~ March 26th, 2009.

Wine Word of the WeekThis week’s Wine Word of the Week is ullage.

Official definition from Jancis Robinson’s The Oxford Companion to Wine:
Ullage, which derives from the French ouillage, has had a variety of meanings and uses in the English-speaking wine trade. It can mean the process of evaporation of wine held in wooden containers such as a barrel. The head space left in the container is also called the ullage, or ‘ullage space’, and the wine in that state is said to be ‘on ullage’. The word ullage is also used for any space in a stoppered wine bottle not occupied by wine. And ullage is also used as a verb so that a bottle or barrel not entirely full is said to be ‘ullaged’.

Layman’s terms from Kori:
Ullage is most commonly known as the space between the wine and the cork in a bottle of wine. Too much ullage increases the danger of oxidation.

Filed under: Wine Word of the Week

Reader's Comments

  1. Vivek Bellore | March 26th, 2009 at 11:37 am

    I think they call this the “angels share” in the whiskey world. Its why some bourbon makers use highly humidified storage areas while the juice is in the barrel.