Here is a glossary of a few important wine related words.
Hopefully We'll add more as time permits.

Acid- A natural compound found in all grapes that adds to the flavour and crispness of a wine while helping to preserve it. The four most prominant acids found in wines are tartaric, malic, lactic and citric acid.

Ageing- The lenghth of time a wine should age depends on the type grape and the type of wine being produced and can vary from a few weeks to many decades. Ageing in barrels provides a slow oxidation while simultaniously inparting the flavours of the wood on the wine. Bottle ageing allows the wines to soften and various components within the wine to harmonize. Eventually bottled wines will begin to deminish in quality if allowed to hang around too long.

Alcohol- Ethyl alcohol, a chemical compound formed by the action of natural or added yeast on the sugar content of grapes during fermentation.

Balance- A sense that the fruit, acid and other flavors are in the right proportion with no one element overpowering the others.

Baum- A system used to measure specific gravity. Indicating the sugar content of unfermented grape juice. A measure of 1 Baum roughly equivalent to 1% alcohol when the wine is fully fermented.

Body- How the wine feels to the mouth. Full-bodied, medium-bodied or medium-weight, or light-bodied. Alcohol makes a wine seem heavier, as does tannin.

Bottle Sickness / Bottle shock- A temporary condition that is usually the result of transporting a delicate wine, disrupting the expected taste. Given time to settle the wine will return to normal.

Clarification- Removing cloudiness by the use of filtration and or fining.

Cold Stabilization- A clarification technique where a wine's temperature is lowered to 32° F, causing the tartrates and other insoluble solids to seperate.

Corked- An unpleasant smell and taste of cork in the wine due to the use of a poor quality cork.

Crisp- A fresh, young, wine with good acidity.

Decanting- In order to separating the sediment from the wine before drinking, the wine is carefully poured from its bottle into another container.

Dosage- A small amount of wine (usually sweet) is added to the bottle of sparkling wines to add bubbles by means of secondary fermentation.

Dry- Having no perceptible taste of sugar.

Enology or Oenology- The science and study of winemaking.

Fermentation- Grape juice becomes wine my means of yeast converting grape sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

Filtering- Removing particles from wine after fermentation to improve a wines clarity and stability.

Fining- Clarifying wine with the assistance of powdered clay (bentonite), gelatin or egg whites. The sediment particles combine with the additives and settle to the bottom, where they can be easily removed.

Finish- The taste or flavours that linger in the mouth after the wine has been swallowed. A long finish is preferable.

Legs- The droplets that form and slip down the sides of the glass after the wine has been swirled.

Length- The amount of time the sensations of taste and aroma persist after swallowing.

Mature- Ready to drink.

Methode Champenoise- The method by which true Champagne gets its bubbles. Secondary fermentation that takes place naturally within the bottle.

Must- The unfermented juice of crushed or pressed grapes (It may include the pulp, skins and seeds) in the cask or vat before it is converted into wine.

Nose- The aroma. The bouquet.

pH- A chemical measurement of acidity or alkalinity. A high pH means a low acid content which increases the chance of unwanted bacterial growth. A Low pH provides wines with a tart and crisp taste. A level of 3.0 to 3.4 is preferred for white wines and 3.3 to 3.6 for reds.

Racking- Pumping wine from one container to another and leaving sediments behind, improving the wines clarity.

Tannin- Tannin provides a wine tart taste. It is a substance that naturally occurs in the stems, pips and skins of the grape.

Tartrates- Harmless crystals of potassium bitartrate that may form in the bottle or on the cork from the tartaric acid naturally present in wine.

Yeast- Micro-organisms that produce the enzymes which convert sugar to alcohol. Necessary for the fermentation of grape juice into wine.


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