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Wine 101


Introduction
Wine Making Process
Wine Storing
Decanting
Wine Tasting
Wine Serving
White Wine Grapes
Red Wine Grapes
Wine & Food Pairings
How To Read a Wine Label
Wine Glossary
Wine Recommendations
Glossary

Glossary

 

Acidity

 

The total measure of acid, a component of the wine that gives it zip and refinement. The most notable acids in wine are tartaric, malic and lactic.

 

Appelation

 

A contolled geographic wine name such as Châteauneuf du Pâpe.

 

Barrel Aging

 

The process of maturing wines in a barrel for months after fermentation.

 

Barrel Fermentation

 

Winemaking technique whereby alcoholic fermentation results in a barrel (usually oak).

 

Château

 

French term for the property where the wine is grown and usually made. The vineyards are not necessarily one contiguous plot.

 

Corked

 

The musty smelling wines that are tainted by the compound trichloroanisole (TCA), usually from the cork.

 

Domaine

 

French term for a wine producing property.

 

Domaine Bottled

 

French term for wine bottled by the same enterprise that grew the grapes.

 

Estate Bottled

 

Wine bottled on the estate in which it was grown.

 

Extraction

 

Process of getting color, tannins and flavors out of the grape skins.

 

Fermentation

 

A process whereby yeast acts on the sugars in ripe grapes to produce alcohol.

 

Grand Cru

 

French term to denote the very finest vineyards. White burgundys such as Montréchet might be labeled as such.

 

Malolactic Fermentation

 

This secondary fermentation process converts harsh malic acid into much softer lactic acid and is used in virtually all red wines and many white wines.

 

Must

 

The interim pulpy stage in winemaking between grape juice and wine.

 

Non-vintage

 

A term used to denote blending grapes from different years. This is widely used in making Champagne.

 

Oaked

 

The process of subjecting the grapes to oak at some stage to impart a distinct flavor characteristic.

 

Premier Cru

 

French term to denote some of the best vineyards, but not as good as Grand Cru.

 

Sediment

 

The pieces of debris at the bottom of a bottle aged wine that has not been filtered. One of the reasons for decanting a wine. The other is to look really cool.

 

Sommelier

 

In a fine restaurant the person who responsible for only the wine selection and is able to assist you with selecting a wine with dinner.

 

Tannins

 

The astringent phenolics from the grape skins, pips and stalks which contribute to the aging process.

 

Terroir

 

The physical characteristics of the land on which the grapes are grown.

 

Varietal

 

Wine sold under the name of the grape from which it was made.

 

Vintage

 

The year in which the grapes were harvested.

 

Viticulture

 

The science of growing grapes vines.