The process of maturing wines so that they can improve. Those wines that benefit from aging become less harsh, less tannic, smoother, and more complex.
A device made of glass or plastic and designed to prevent wine contamination and to release carbon dioxide gas during fermentation.
Blanc des Châteaux
Chablis style wine
Also refereed as bottle sickness. A reaction that occurs in wine immediately after corking, resulting from the large amount of oxygen it absorbed during bottling. Usually dissipates within a few weeks.
A plug that’s used for sealing a wine barrel or carboy. It’s inserted into the bung hole, through which wine can be added or withdrawn.
Named for A.F.W. Brix, a nineteenth-century German inventor, the Brix scale is a system used in the United States to measure the sugar content of grapes and wine.
Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot style wine
Taste of honey, butterscotch, butter, soy sauce, chocolate, molasses
A large narrow-necked bottle of glass, plastic or earthenware often used with a fermentation lock as a secondary fermentation vessel.
Castel del Papa
Châteauneuf-du-pape style wine
A thin, loosely woven cloth of cotton, used originally for making and wrapping cheese.
Flavourless and odorless clarification/fining agent used in combination with Kieselsol that is effective in clearing and polishing the wine’s appearance
The process of making wine clear by removing particles of yeast and grape matter (pulp, skins, stems, and seeds).
Grape juice that’s concentrated into a very sweet syrup, usually in the range of 60° to 70° BRIX.
Taste of mushroom, dusty, musty (mildew), moldy cork
The natural process that turns grape juice into wine, fermentation is actually a chain reaction of chemical responses. During this process, technically called the primary fermentation, the sugars in the grape juice are converted by the enzymes in yeasts into alcohol (55 to 60 percent) and carbon dioxide (40 to 45 percent).
A vessel used to ferment grape juice.
A step used by some winemakers to clarify wine just prior to bottling. The purpose of filtering is to remove yeast cells and other microorganisms that would keep it from being crystal clear.
Taste of orange blossom, rose, violet, geranium
Taste of grapefruit, lemon; berry – blackberry, raspberry, strawberry, black currant (cassis); tree fruit – cherry, apricot, peach, apple; tropical fruit – pineapple, melon, banana; dried fruit – strawberry jam, raisins, prune, fig
Barolo style wine
Taste of cut green grass, stemmy, bell pepper, eucalyptus, mint; canned-cooked – green beans, asparagus, green olive, black olive, artichoke; dried – haw-straw, tea, tobacco
Literally meaning ‘’water measurer’’, a hydrometer is an instrument comprised of a vertical scale inside a sealed glass tube weighted at one end. It’s used to measure the ratio (called specific gravity) of the density of a liquid (such as grape must or wine) to that of pure water.
Chianti style wine
Flavourless and odorless clarification/fining agent used in combination with Chitosan that is effective in clearing and polishing the wine’s appearance.
A biochemical reaction where bacteria converts malic acid into lactic acid and carbon dioxide – no alcohol is produced. Because lactic acid is milder than malic acid, wines that undergo this process become softer and smoother.
The juice of freshly crusaded grapes that will be fermented into wine. Must can include pulp, skins, and seeds.
Taste of walnut, hazelnut, almond
The killing of bacteria by heating wine or other liquid to moderately high temperatures for a short period of time and then rapidly cooling it to 40°F/4°C or lower.
A white powder or salt containing approximately 57 percent sulfur dioxide. When stirred into wine or must, it reacts with natural acids to release sulfur dioxide, which protects wines form unwanted bacteria and oxidation.
A wine stabilizer and preservative.
The process of siphoning off the clear juice from the sediment that has fallen to the bottom of the container either naturally or with the help of fining agents.
Rio Grande Rojo
Rioja style wine
The grainy, bitter-tasting deposit sometimes found in wine bottles, most often with older wines. Sediment is not a bad sign but in fact may indicate a superior wine. It’s the natural separation of bitartrates, tannins, and colors pigments that occurs as wines age.
The ratio of the density of a substance (such as must or wine) to the density of pure water, measured by an instrument called a hydrometer.
Taste of cloves, black pepper, licorice, anise
A process that clears a wine of tartrates and small protein particles that might cause it to be cloudy or contain small crystals.
Sulfites, the salts of sulfurous acid, have been used to preserve food and drink for eons. All but a tiny fraction of wines made today contain sulfites, small amounts of which are a natural by-product of fermentation.
Sulphur/Sulfur dioxide (SO2)
A colorless, water-soluble, non-flammable gas used viticulturally in small, controlled amounts through a process called sulfiting. After the grapes are crushed, sulfur dioxide is used to inhibit the growth of bacteria, mold, and wild yeasts in must. It’s also used to prevent spoilage or oxidation in the finished wine.
Any of a group of astringent substances found in the seeds, skins, and stems of grapes, as well as in oak barrels, particularly new ones. Tannins are part of a grouping called phenolic compounds. They are important in the production of good red wines because they provide flavor, structure, and texture and, because their antioxidant traits contribute to long and graceful aging.
Thompson Seedless style wine
Valle dei Tempi
Valpolicella style wine
A long glass or metal tube used for withdrawing samples of wine from barrels or carboys.
Taste of vanilla, cedar, oak, smoky, burnt toast, charred, coffee
A living, microscopic, single-cell organism. During fermentation, yeast converts food (in the form of sugar or starch) into alcohol and carbon dioxide. In the production of wine, the conversion of yeast to alcohol is necessary for the final product, and carbon dioxide is what makes sparkling wines effervescent.
A combination of different vitamins, minerals, and amino acids added to juice or must to give it a ‘’boost’’ and ensure a complete fermentation.
Most of the previous the definitions were taken from the following book which was used as a reference:
Herbst, Ron, and Tyler Herbst, Sharon. (2003) The New Wine Lover’s Companion: Comprehensive Definition for Nearly 4,000 Wine-Related Terms/ Rev. ed. of Wine Lover’s Companion© (1995). Hauppauge, New York: Baron’s Educational Series Inc