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Wine companion - Wine terms
Category: Food and Drink > Wine
Date & country: 26/11/2007, UK
Words: 151


Aftertaste
A tasting term for the taste left on the palate after wine has been swallowed.

Altar wine
The wine used by the Catholic Church in celebrations of the Eucharist.

Alternative wine closures
Various substitutes used in the wine industry for sealing wine bottles in place of traditional cork closures.

Angel's share
The portion of a wine in an aging barrel that is lost to evaporation.

Anthocyanin
Phenolic pigments that give red wine its colour.

Appellation
A geographical based term to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown.

Barrique
The French name for a 225 litre Bordeaux style barrel.

Baumé
A measure of the sugar concentration in the juice or wine.

Bentonite
A type of clay used in wine clarification.

Biodynamic wine
Wines produced by the principles of biodynamic agriculture.

Blatina
a red wine grape of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Blind tasting
Tasting and evaluating wine without knowing what it is.

Bodega
A Spanish wine cellar. Also refers to a seller of alcoholic beverage.

Body
The sense of weight imparted by a wine to the mouth of a taster. A wine may be light- or full-bodied.

Botrytis cinerea
See Noble rot.

Bottle variation
The degree to which bottled wine of the same style and vintage can vary.

Bouquet
A tasting term for the complex aromas of an aged wine. The term is generally not applied to young wines.

Brandy
See 'Burnt wine'.

Brettanomyces
A wine spoilage yeast that produces taints in wine commonly described as barnyard or band-aids.

Brix
A measurement of the dissolved sucrose level in a wine.

Brut
A extra dry.

Bung
A stopper used to seal a bottle or barrel. Commonly used term for corks.

California cult wines
Certain California wines for which consumers and others pay higher prices than those of Bordeaux's First Growths (Premiers Crus).

Capsule
The plastic or foil that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.

Carbonic maceration
A winemaking practice of fermenting whole grapes that have not been crushed.

Chaptalization
A winemaking process where sugar is added to the must to increase the alcohol content in the fermented wine. This is often done when grapes have not ripened adequately.

Claret
British name for Bordeaux wine. Is also a semi-generic term for a red wine in similar style to that of Bordeaux.

Clarification
A winemaking process involving the fining and filtration of wine to remove suspended solids and reduce turbidity.

Cold Duck
A mixture of red and white sparkling wine that has a high sugar content.

Cold stabilization
A winemaking process where wine is chilled to near freezing temperatures for several weeks to encourage the precipitation of tartrate crystals.

Cork
A wine bottle stopper made from the thick outer bark of the cork oak tree.

Cork taint
A type of wine fault describing undesirable aromas and flavours in wine often attributed to mould growth on chlorine bleached corks.

Corked
A tasting term for a wine that has cork taint.

Country wine
See 'Fruit wine'.

Crackling
Semi-sparkling wine; slightly effervescent. Also called frizzante.

Crémant
French sparkling wine not made in Champagne region.

Cult wines
Wines for which committed buyers will pay large sums of money because of their desirbility and rarity.

Cuve
A large vat used for fermentation.

Decanting
The process of pouring wine from its bottle into a decanter to separate the sediment from the wine.

Dégorgement
The disgorging or removal of sediment from bottles that results from secondary fermentation.

Demi-sec
Moderately sweet to medium sweet sparkling wines.

Diurnal temperature variation
The degree of temperature variation that occurs in a wine region from daytime to night.

Doux
The French word for sweet. Usually refers to the sweetest category of sparkling wines.

Drawing off
see Devatting.

Extra dry
A champagne or sparkling wine with a small amount of residual sugar (slightly sweet). Not as dry as Brut.

Farm winery
A United States winery license allowing farms to produce and sell wine on-site.

Fault
An unpleasant characateristic of wine resulting from a flaw with the winemaking process or storage conditions.

Fermentation
The conversion of grape sugars to alcohol by yeast.

Fiasco
The straw-covered flask historically associated with Chianti.

Fighting varietal
A term that originated in California during the mid 1980s to refer to any inexpensive cork-finished varietal wine in a 1.5 liter bottle.

Finish
A tasting term for the lingering aftertaste after a wine has been swallowed.

Flagon
A glass bottle that holds two litres of (usually inexpensive) table wine.

Flor
The yeast responsible for the character of dry Sherries.

Foxy
A tasting term for the musty odor and flavor of wines made from Vitis labrusca grapes native to North America.

Free run
Juice obtained from grapes that have not been pressed.

Frizzante
See 'crackling'.

Gewürztraminer
Gewürztraminer is a white wine grape variety from the wine producing region of Alsace in France.

Grape juice
The free-run or pressed juice from grapes. Unfermented grape juice is known as 'must.'

Green harvest
The harvesting of green (unripe) grapes in an attempt to increase the yield of quality grapes.

Hard
A tasting term for a wine that containins too much tannin and is therefore unpleasant. Hard wines often take a long time to mature.

Hogshead
A wine barrel that holds approximately 239 litres (63 gallons).

Ice wine
Wine made from frozen grapes. Called eiswein in German.

Jug wine
American term for inexpensive table wine.

Legs
The tracks of liquid that cling to the sides of a glass after the contents have been swirled. Often said to be related to the alcohol or glycerol content of a wine. Also called tears.

Lightstruck
A tasting term for a wine that has had long exposure to Ultraviolet light causing 'wet cardboard' type aroma and flavour. metric measure of volume equal to 33.8 fluid ounces (U.S.) or 35.2 fl oz (imperial).

Look
A tasting term for the casual sensory evaluation of a wine.

Madeirized
A wine showing oxidation. Sometimes used to describe white wine that has been kept long past its prime.

Marc
French for 'fruit skins'. See 'pomace'.

May wine
A light German wine flavored with sweet woodruff in addition to strawberries or other fruit.

Mead
A wine-like alcoholic beverage made of fermented honey and water rather than grape juice.

Merlot
Merlot is a variety of wine grape used to create a popular red wine.

Méthode Champenoise
Process whereby sparkling wines receive a second fermentation in the same bottle that will be sold to a retail buyer. Compare with Charmat or bulk fermented.

Microoxygenation
The controlled exposure of wine to small amounts of oxygen in the attempt to reduce the length of time required for maturation.

Midpalate
A tasting term for the feel and taste of a wine when held in the mouth.

Millerandage
A French term referring to a viticultural problem in which grape bunches contain berries of greatly differing size and levels of maturity. Caused by cool weather during flowering.

Mud
See 'Lees'.

Must weight
The level of fermentable sugars in the must and the resultant alcohol content if all the sugar was converted to ethanol.

Négociant
French for 'trader'. A wine merchant who assembles the produce of smaller growers and winemakers and sells the result under its own name.

New World wine
Wines produced outside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.

Nose
A tasting term for the aroma or bouquet of a wine.

Oak chips
Small pieces of oak wood used in place of oak barrels in fermenting and/or ageing wine.

Oenology
The science of wine and winemaking.

Oenophile
A wine aficionado or connoisseur.

Off-dry
A wine that has the barest hint of sweetness; a slightly sweet wine in which the residual sugar is barely perceptible.

Old vine
Wine produced from vines that are notably old.

Old World wine
Wines produced inside of the traditional wine growing areas of Europe and North Africa.

Phylloxera
A microscopic underground insect that kills grape vines by attacking their roots.

Pip
Grape seeds.

Pipe
A cask holding two hogsheads or 126 U.S. gallons of wine.

Plan Bordeaux
A proposal for enhancing the economic status of the wine industry in Bordeaux.

Porto
The legal name for a true Port wines sold in the United States since imitation ports may be labeled as a 'port' there .

Potassium sorbate
A wine stabilizer and preservative.

Puncheon
A wine barrel that holds approximately 84 U.S. gallons (318 litres) .

Qualitätswein
A designation of better quality German wines.

Qualitätswein mit Pradikat
A designation of best quality German wines that must conform to specific requirements of origin and composition.

Rémuage
See 'riddling'.

Reserva
Spanish and Portuguese term for a reserve wine.

Reserve
A term given to wine to indicate that it is of higher quality than usual.

Reverse osmosis
A process used to remove excess alcohol from wine made from intentionally overripe grapes.

Riddling
Also known as 'Rémuage' in degorgement. Part of the Méthode Champenoise process.