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Wine companion - Wine terms
Category: Food and Drink > Wine
Date & country: 26/11/2007, UK
Words: 247


Fruit wine
A fermented alcoholic beverage made from non-grape fruit juice which may or may not include the addition of sugar or honey. Fruit wines are always called 'something' wines (e.g., plum wine), since the word wine alone is often legally defined as a beverage made only from grapes.

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

Globalization of wine
Refers to the increasingly international nature of the wine industry, including vineyard management practices, winemaking techniques, wine styles, and wine marketing.

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.

Grenache
A red wine grape of the Rhone Valley of France, and elsewhere (especially Spain). In the southern Rhone, Grenache replaces Syrah as the most important grape (Syrah being more important in the north).

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.

Hectare
A metric measure that equals 10,000 m² (2.471 acres).

Hock
Term for Rhine wines, usually used in England.

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

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

IGT
Abbreviation for 'Indicazione Geografica Tipica', the lowest-ranking of the three categories of Italian wine regulated by Italian law.

Jeroboam
A large bottle holding three litres, the equivalent of four regular wine bottles.

Jug wine
American term for inexpensive table wine.

Kosher wine
Wine that is produced under the supervision of a rabbi so as to be ritually pure or clean. Although commonly sweet, it need not be so.

Late harvest wine
Also known as late picked, wine made from grapes that have been left on the vine longer than usual. Usually an indicator for a very sweet or dessert wine.

Lees
Wine sediment that occurs during and after fermentation, and consists of dead yeast, grape seeds, and other solids. Wine is separated from the lees by racking.

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.

Maceration
The contact of grape skins with the must during fermentation, extracting phenolic compounds including tannins, anthocyanins, and aroma.

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

Magnum
A bottle holding 1.5 litres, the equivalent of two regular wine bottles.

Malolactic fermentation
Also known as malo or MLF, a secondary fermentation in wines by lactic acid bacteria during which tart tasting malic acid is converted to softer tasting lactic acid.

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

Master of Wine
A qualification (not an academic degree) conferred by The Institute of Masters of Wine, which is located in the United Kingdom.

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.

Methuselah
A large bottle holding six litres, the equivalent of eight regular wine bottles.

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.

Mis en bouteille au château
French for 'bottled at the winery', usually in Bordeaux.

Mud
See 'Lees'.

Mulled wine
Wine that is spiced, heated, and served as a punch.

Must
Unfermented grape juice, including pips, skins and stalks.

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

Nebuchadnezzar
A large bottle holding 15 litres, the equivalent of 20 regular wine bottles.

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.

Noble rot
Another name for the Botrytis cinerea mould that can pierce grape skins causing dehydration. The resulting grapes produce a highly prized sweet wine, generally dessert wine.

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.

pH
An acronym for 'potential hydrogen' a measure of acidity. The lower the pH, the higher the acidity.However pH is actually a shorthand for its mathematical approximation: in chemistry a small p is used in place of writing - log10 and the H here represents [H+], the concentration of hydrogen ions.

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.

Plonk
British English slang for an inexpensive bottle of wine. The term is thought to originate from the French word for white wine, 'blanc'.

Pomace
The skins, stalks, and seeds that remain after making wine. Also called marc.

Port
A sweet fortified wine, which is produced from grapes grown and processed in the Douro region of Portugal. This wine is fortified with the addition of distilled grape spirits in order to boost the alcohol content and stop fermentation thus preserving some of the natural grape sugars. Several imitations are made throughout the world.

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.

Proof
Refers to the alcohol content of a beverage. In the United States, proof represents twice the alcohol content as a percentage of volume. Thus, a 100 proof beverage is 50% alcohol by volume and a 150 proof beverage is 75% alcohol. In the Imperial system, proof, (or 100% proof), equals 57.06% ethanol by volume, or 48.24% by weight. Absolute or pure ethanol is 75.25 over proof, or 175.25 proof.

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

Punt
The indentation found in the base of a wine bottle. Punt depth is often thought to be related to wine quality, with better quality wines having a deeper punt.

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.

Racking
The process of drawing wine off the sediment, such as lees, after fermentation and moving it into another vessel.

Rehoboam
A large bottle holding 4.5 litres, the equivalent of six regular wine bottles.

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.

Residual sugar
Also known as RS, the level of sugar that remains unfermented in a wine. See also sweetness of wine.

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.

Riesling
Also known as White Riesling in countries outside of Germany. Riesling is a variety of grape used to make white wine. It is grown mainly in Germany, where the relatively cold climate enables it to produce grapes for some of the best white wines in the world. Riesling, however, is used for high quality wines also in Austria and can be found in countries like Australia, South Africa and Canada as well. Riesling is famous for its vivid acidity and fruitiness both in the nose and on the palate.

Rosé wines
Pink wines that are produced from the shortened contact of red wine juice with its skins, reducing the red colour of the wine. These wines can also be made by blending a small amount of red wine with white wine.

Ruby
A style of Port wine that is generally sweet.

Sack
An early English term for what is now called Sherry.

Salmanazar
A large bottle holding nine litres, the equivalent of 12 regular wine bottles.

Sangria
A tart punch made from red wine along with orange, lemon and apricot juice with added sugar.

Screwcap
An alternative to cork for sealing wine bottles, comprising a metal cap that screws onto threads on the neck of a bottle. Also called a 'Stelvin'.

Sec
French for dry, except in the case of Champagne, where it means sweet.

Sekt
German sparkling wine.

Semi-generic
Wines made in the United States but named after places that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau requires be modified by a US name of geographic origin. Examples would be New York Chablis, Napa Valley Burgundy or California Champagne.

Sherry
A fortified wine that has been subjected to controlled oxidation to produce a distinctive flavor.

Shiraz
Shiraz or Syrah is a variety of grape used to make red wine.

Solera system
A process used to systematically blend various vintages of Sherry.

Sommelier
A trained wine expert that often works in fine restaurants.

Sparkling wine
Effervescent wine containing significant levels of carbon dioxide.

Split
A wine bottle that holds approximately 6 oz (175-187 mL) or one-fourth the equivalent of a typical 750 mL bottle; a single-serving.

Spumante
Italian for 'sparkling'. Generally any sparkling wine from Italy, although producers of Franciacorta (wine) have recently started stating that Franciacorta is not a 'spumante'.

Spätlese
German for 'late harvest'.

Stelvin
A brand of screwcap.

Still wine
Wine that is not sparkling wine.

Stoving wine
A production method of artificially mellowing wine by exposing it to heat.

Sulfites
Compounds (typically: potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite) which are added to wine to prevent oxidation and microbial spoilage.

Sulphur dioxide
A substance used in winemaking as a preservative.

Sweetness of wine
Defined by the level of residual sugar in the final liquid after the fermentation has ceased. However, how sweet the wine will actually taste is also controlled by factors such as the acidity and alcohol levels, the amount of tannin present, and whether the wine is sparkling.

Table wine
Generally any wine that is not sparkling or fortified. In the US these wines must also be between 7% and 14% alcohol by volume.

Tannin
Polyphenolic compounds that give wine a bitter, dry, or puckery feeling in the mouth.

Tart
A tasting term describing a wine high in acidity. Often displayed by young, unripe wines.