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Wine Tasting Terms
Wine Tasting Terms PDF Print E-mail
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 02 November 2008 17:24


Aftertaste



After tasting, aroma and bouquet of a wine continues. An aftertaste lasting several moments is one sign of quality of a wine. Another expression for aftertaste is 'the finish'.


Argols or Crystals:



Crystals are present in white wines inside a vat or on the underside of a cork. They have separated from wines during fermentation and ageing. The principal component is potassium acid tartrate: the salt of tartaric acid.


Balance:



A wine is balanced, if its level of residual sugar, acidity, alcohol and tannins have a pleasant proportion that no one of them can obtain the palate.


Big:



Adjectives like 'big' or 'small' are common expressions for wine description. Big wine has volume, ample breath and stature. A well-balanced wine is naturally big.


Body:



"Body" is a tasting term for the "weight" of a wine on the palate. Weight results of the density and viscosity of a wine depending on alcohol, whose viscosity is higher than water's. Dissolved solids contribute to body too. Body is not related to wine quality, more important in a wine is its balance. Wines appear from light bodied to 'full bodied'.


Bouquet:



Is the smell of a wine. A bouquet is like a bunch of several flowers and for this is more than aroma.


Breathing:



Means exposing a wine to the air by uncorking a bottle before serving in order to "breath" it and blow up his perfumes. In fact the surface area is too small that the effect of any aeration or oxidation is possible. (See 'decanting')


Clean:



Describes wines with no offensive odours or tastes.


Cloudy:



Designates a wine that shows clouds or haze in the bottle caused by yeast or bacteria.


Coarse:



A wine with a rough, inelegant texture is called to be coarse.


Complex:



Used to describe the rich bouquet and variety of flavour in a fine wine.


Corky or Corked:



Wines spoiled by the odour of cork are called corked. In most cases it irrevocably imbues the wine.


Crisp:



Describes a fresh, lively wine with a good balance in acid.


Decant:



A way to serve wine by pouring it from the bottle into a 'decanter'. The most obvious reason to decant a wine is to separate the wine from sediments having formed in the bottle. They are not appetizing and giving an astringent taste. To decant is useful for the aeration and therefore helps to develop the wine's bouquet. But some authorities think, that the action of oxygen dissolves the bouquet and really, the longer a wine is not served after decanting the more its aroma will diffuse.


Delicate:



Describes a wine light of flavour, fragrance and body.


Depth:



Depth designates a fine wine with several layers of flavour.


Dry:



Is a wine that has most or all of its sugar fermented into alcohol and is now nearly without sweetness.


Earthy:



The taste that soil imparts to wine grapes and consequently to the wine.


Firm:



"Firm" is an expression of a well-balanced, tight combination between the different ingredients of a wine.


Flowery:



Flowery is the subtle taste and aroma of blossoms found in a wine.


Foxy:



The strange taste found in some North American red wines, which reminds more to an animal fir than to any other convenient flavour of wine (especially from the Concorde grape).


Fruity:



The fresh taste and aroma found in some younger wines has nothing to do with sweetness.


Full-bodied:



A wine is full bodied if it is high in alcohol bringing a sense of fullness on the palate. The viscosity of alcohol is much higher than that of water. Soluble solids from the grape play also their part in a weighty and substantial taste. (See "Body")


Geranium:



The bad taste in wine smelling like crushed geranium leaves, a reaction from lactic bacteria with sorbic acid.


Hard:



A hard wine has not aged enough to achieve a proper balance.


Herbaceous:



A herbaceous or grassy wine has the flavour and aroma of herbs.


Legs:



Streams running down inside a glass depending on alcohol, indicating the richness of a full- bodied wine.


Light bodied:



A light bodied wine is low in alcohol, texture and body. (See "Body")


Lively:



A lively wine has high acidity and a crisp, fresh flavour.


Musque:



French term meaning scenting like Muscat.


Nose:



A term used to describe the smell of a wine.


Oak:



The taste of oak is given to wine by the oak casks in which it was aged.


Piquant:



The agreeable sharp taste found in a light wine.


Robust:



This word refers to a strong and powerful wine, usually red.


Rough:



Rough is used for a not smooth or non-matured wine.


Round:



Round designates a mature, full-bodied smooth and graceful wine.


Smell:



The smell is one of the best indicators of a wine's quality. It comprises a variety of factors: the aroma, the bouquet and the nose of the wine. If there's no smell it could indicate a bad or under-aged wine.


Sour:



Describes a spoiled wine with a vinegary taste.


Sweet:



Are wines with a high level in sugar and tannins.


Symposion:



The Symposium (meaning "drinking together") in Ancient Greece, Etruria and Italy was an important social form to drink, eat and speak together, enjoying music and poetry and also sexual services.


Tart:



An overly acidic wine.


Taste:



Tasting a wine combines a variety of elements: acidity, alcohol and sugar content, tannins and other elements unique to each particular wine. Each combination of these elements produces a taste that is distinct for each wine.


Vanilla:



An aroma and flavour of vanilla is a characteristic of wines aged in oak casks.


Weighty:



Is a rich, full-bodied wine, heavy on the tongue.


Woody:



Smell of a wine aged too long in a cask or aged in a cask made with faulty wood.


Young:



Young describes a desirable characteristic in a simple wine that refers to its freshness and vitality. In complex wines, "young" refers to a wine that is not sufficiently aged.
Last Updated on Sunday, 09 November 2008 19:37
 


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