We hear lots of terms! Let us learn what they mean, but in a proper order!
Vinegary taste or smell that develops when a wine is overexposed to air.
The flavor impression the wine leaves after it is swallowed.
The action of yeast upon sugar results in its conversion to ethyl alcohol, with carbon dioxide as a by-product. Fermentation will often start naturally with yeasts on the grapes, but cultured yeasts may be added. The process generates much heat, and temperature control during alcoholic fermentation can have a significant effect on the style of wine produced. The process will cease either when all the sugar has been consumed, or more likely when the increasing alcohol content of the fermenting solution kills the yeast, or when the external temperature drops too low. It may also be arrested by adding sulphur or by fortification with spirit.
The smell of a wine, especially young wines.
A term for wines with pronounced aroma, particularly those redolent of herbs or spices.
The "puckerish" quality of high tannin content, which has the effect of drying out the mouth. Many young red wines are astringent because of tannin.
Somewhat hard, with restrained fruit and character.
Harmony among the wine's components -- fruit, acidity, tannins, alcohol; a well-balanced wine possesses the various elements in proper proportion to one another.
The weight and texture of a wine; it may be light-bodied or full-bodied. Often refers to alcohol content.
The complex of aromas that develops with age in fine wines espesialy the ones that develop inside the bottles.
Term to describe dry
Describes rich flavor and smoothness of texture, close to the oiliness and flavor of butter. Many Chardonnays are said to have buttery aromas and flavors.
Fresh, with no discernible defects.
Young, undeveloped wines that do not readily reveal their character.
Rude or harsh in flavor; clumsy or crude.
Mature, with good follow-through on the palate, satisfying mouth-feel and firm aftertaste.
Multifaceted combination of flavor and aroma elements.
Smelling of cork due to a faulty cork.
Fresh, brisk character, usually with high acidity.
Having layers of persistent flavor that gradually unfold with aeration.
Light fragrance, flavor, and body.
Elegant, refined character that sets the wine apart on its own.
Opposite of sweet; when grape sugar is completely converted to alcohol during fermantation
Lacking liveliness and proper acidity; uninteresting.
Smell or flavor reminiscent of earth. A certain earthiness can be appealing; too much makes the wine coarse.
Refined character, distinguished quality, stylish, not heavy.
Full of body and flavor.
Aftertaste; the final impression the wine leaves; it can be long or short.
Dull, lacking in liveliness; wine without sufficient acid.
How the wine tastes.
Aroma suggestive of flowers.
Descriptive of wines in which fruit is dominant in the aroma or flavor of the grapes.
Full proportion of flavor and alcohol..
Stiff, with pronounced tannins; undeveloped.
The elements of fruit, acid nad tannin in perfect balance
Rough, biting character from excessive tannin or acid.
Interweaving of subtle complexities of aroma and flavor.
Refers to wines light in alcohol but also to texture and weight, how the wine feels in the mouth. Lightness is appropriate in some wines, a defect in others.
Crisp, fresh, having vitality.
Fine wines should have a long finish, or aftertaste; see Length.
Rich, opulent, and smooth; most often said of sweet wines but also intensely fruity ones.
Fully developed, ready to drink.
Smooth and soft, with no harshness.
Wines with the smell of mold or rot, usually from grapes affected by rot or from old moldy casks used for aging.
Stale, dusty or rank aromas.
Great; of perfect balance and harmonious expression. The so-called "noble" grapes are those that produce the world's finest wines: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling (some would also include Syrah, Nebbiolo and Sangiovese).
The smell of the wine; it may have a "good nose" or an "off-nose," meaning defective odors.
Nutlike aromas that develop in certain wines, such as sherries or old white wines.
Aroma and flavor that derive from aging in oak casks or barrels. Characterized by smokiness, vanilla, clove or other spices. Should not be overly pronounced.
Revealing full character.
Flat, stale or sherrylike aroma and flavor; spoiled as the result of overexposure to air.
Full, opulent flavor, body and aroma.
Mature, fully ripe fruit.
Full-bodied, powerful, heady
Harsh edges, biting, unpleasant.
Smooth and well-developed flavor, without angularity or rough edges.
Biting acid or tannin.
Refers to finish, or aftertaste, when it ends abruptly.
Smooth, sinuous texture and finish.
Opposite of complex; straightforward.
Aroma and flavor sometimes associated with oak aging.
May refer to soft, gentle fruit in delicate wines, or to lack of acidity in wines without proper structure; used on a label occasionally to indicate low alcohol.
Sound, well structured, firm.
Sharply acidic or vinegary
Wines with bubbles created by trapped carbon dioxide gas, either natural or injected.
Having the character or aroma of spices such as clove, mint, cinnamon, or pepper.
Unyielding, closed; dumb.
Robust, powerful, big.
The way a wine is built; its composition and proportions.
An anti-oxidant used in making most wines; the fermentation process creates minute natural amounts.
Usually indicates the presence of residual sugar, retained when grape sugar is not completely converted to alcohol. Even dry wines, however, may have an aroma of sweetness, the combination of intense fruit or ripeness. Considered a flaw if not properly balanced with acidity.
A natural component found to varying degrees in the skins, seeds and stems of grapes; most prominent in red wines, where it creates a dry, puckering sensation in young reds of concentrated extract; mellows with aging and drops out of the wine to form sediment; a major component in the structure of red wines.
Dense and heavy in texture.
Lacking body and flavor.
Past its peak of flavor development; old.
A scent imparted by aging in oak.
Smooth and rich in texture.
Strong, powerful, full-bodied, forceful.
Excessive aromas of wood, common to wines aged overlong in cask or barrel.
In simple wines signifies youthful freshness; in finer wines, refers to immaturity, wines yet undeveloped.
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