--- Harmony among all the taste and odor components of a wine, i.e.,
acid, sugar, alcohol and extract.
--- Description of a farmyard smell and, although it can be picked
up from unclean barrels or winemaking conditions, it is also naturally
inherent in some wines/grapes and can be a distinguishing characteristic.
Also excessively earthy.
--- A wooden container, generally made of oak, used for the storage,
aging, shipping and occasionally fermenting of wines. The most common-sized
barrel holds 55 gallons.
FERMENTED --- Wines that are fermented in small wooden
casks, as opposed to large tanks. Advocates believe it leads to
greater harmony in a wine, especially a more natural balance between
oak and wine.
--- Describes the intense aroma and/or flavor reminiscent of any
of a wide variety of berries-raspberries, blackberries, cranberries,
strawberries and cherries; common in red wines.
--- Full-bodied, intense, powerful wines; a wine of weight proportions,
including alcoholic content and grape extracts.
--- One of the four basic elements of taste (with sour, salt, and
sweet). Stems, seeds, and tannins from other sources can contribute
to a bitterness in the aftertaste of a wine, and some grapes, notably
Gewürztraminer and Muscat, have slight elements of bitterness as
part of their natural flavor.
CURRANT --- Distinctive smell of red wines, notably Cabernet
Sauvignon and Merlot, varying in intensity from faint to very rich.
DE BLANCS --- French term for sparkling or white wine
made entirely from white grapes.
DE NOIRS --- French term for sparkling or white wine
made from black grapes. Pressing the grapes quickly allows the juice
to separate from the skins before it can be colored with the pigment.
--- Substance; fullness; weight. See full-bodied.
CINEREA --- Beneficial mold that forms on the skin of
ripe grapes under alternating conditions of moist and dry heat,
causing the grape to shrivel and retain a high concentration of
sugar. Essential for some sweet white wines. See Botrytis
101: The Story of the Noble Rot.
--- The smell of a wine developed with bottle aging, essentially
the result of the interaction among alcohol, acids, fruit, oak and
--- Describes particularly full-bodied, tannic wines.
The practice of uncorking a bottle a half-hour or more before serving,
or of decanting it (see decanting), or of simply pouring
it into a glass ten minutes or so before consumption, in order to
introduce air into the oxygen-starved wine. Allowing the wine to
"breathe" may "improve" it by releasing flavor complexities and
toning down angularities. Applied almost exclusively to red wines.
--- "Brett" for short, refers to a spoilage
organism of the yeast genus that gives wine a barnyardy aroma and
distinctive "stink." For while low levels of the contaminant
can render a wine more interesting and complex, higher levels most
certainly spoil it, overriding its character and terroir. A hotly
debated question for winemakers and wine drinkers alike is concerning
how much Brettanomyces (or Dekkera, a similar organism) can be present
before spoilage occurs or whether it is altogether undesirable.
After all, certain people abhor "Bretty" wines for their
aromas that have been described as wet wool, band-aid and droppings
of all kinds.
--- Woodsy; stemmy; earthy.
--- Describes clear, unclouded wines.
--- Measurement used to determine the sugar content of grapes and
unfermented grape juice. An aid in determining the degree of ripeness.
Most table wine grapes are picked at between 20 and 25 degrees Brix.
--- Describes the color of a wine that has matured beyond the point
of improvement and is in an advanced state of oxidation.
--- French term describing the driest of Champagnes or other sparkling
wines (although in rare instances there are some sparkling wines
made with no sugar added at all, and thus are absolutely "bone dry").
Sugar content in brut wines is generally between .8 and 1.2 percent.
In the U.S., the term is sometimes used a bit freely to suggest
relative dryness of a sparkling wine, even when the sugar content
might suggest otherwise. Top-quality sparkling wines adhere to the
standard (and all French sparkling wines do so by law).
BREAK --- Term used to describe the unfurling of the
grape buds on the vine.
PROCESS --- Mass-production method for sparkling wines
wherein the secondary fermentation, which transforms still wines
into sparkling wines, takes place in large tanks rather than individual
Plug used to stopper the bungholes in barrels or casks used for
aging wine. Traditionally wooden, now the bung can be plastic or