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--- Vinegary smell caused by an excessive amount of acetic acid,
a natural element in all wines.
--- A natural component of wine, which, when present in the proper
degree, produces liveliness. Too much acid makes a wine sharp,
tart or sour; too little makes it flabby and flat. Principal acids
in wine are malic, tartaric, succinic, lactic and citric.
--- The taste left in the mouth after a wine is swallowed or,
in the case of a tasting, expectorated. The longer a pleasant
aftertaste remains in the mouth, the finer the quality of the
wine. Also known as finish.
--- Characterized by high acid and/or harsh tannin content.
--- Wine is a living thing that changes in the bottle with age.
Most wines, especially white wines, are at their best within a
few years of bottling. Some wines, however, especially high-bodied,
ultra-premium reds, improve with age because of various varietal
characteristics and winemaking techniques. Balance is all-important.
A young wine that is out of balance will almost certainly evolve
into a clumsy, out-of-balance mature wine, often with tannins
softening to reveal no fruit or dried-out fruit. How long to age
a wine is subject to debate, taste and especially storage conditions.
Color is an indicator of maturity, though you can't see the color
of red wines through the dark glass of the bottle to determine
if the purple-red of youth has mellowed to the reddish-brown of
maturity (that hint of brown signals the turning point in a quality
wine's evolution). Five years, ten years, twenty years from the
vintage date are perhaps the moments to open an expensive bottle
deemed ageworthy, in order to monitor its growth. But that practice
is only meaningful if you've held back an additional couple of
bottles so you can apply the newly-acquired knowledge of the wine's
health. Otherwise, ask the experts.
--- High in alcohol, which can cause a burning sensation and is
often described as hot.
--- Lacking roundness and depth.
--- A soluable sugar compound that produces a red
or blue pigment in grapes or other plants.
--- Designation of geographical origin of a wine.
--- The smell derived from grapes. Often used to describe the
smell of a young wine, as contrasted with bouquet, the smell of
an older wine.
--- Describes wines that make the mouth pucker, usually associated
with an excess of tannin. Not necessarily indicative of a flaw
in the wine--many red wines, for example, tend to mellow with
age, and astringency in a young red wine may indicated that it
will be long-lived.
--- The first impression of a wine upon tasting.
--- Hard; dry; lacking richness or softness.
(AMERICAN VITICULTURAL AREA) --- Regions officially designated
by the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the government
agency responsible for regulation of alcoholic beverages. Use
of an AVA on a label requires that 85 percent of the wine come
from the region named.