Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine

Onctuosite

A full, mellow, rich wine.

Oak

A type of wood used for making wine barrels. The wine may sit in these barrels after fermentation for a period of time. Oak treatment can impart...

Oxidized

Flavour term to describe a wine the state of a wine when it has been exposed to too much oxygen. During oxidation, wines lose their original...

Oxidation

The chemical reaction which occurs when wine has been exposed to too much oxygen. It changes the stability, flavour and colour of the wine....

OWC

Original Wooden Case. The wooden box the wine is shipped in.

Over Cropped

A vine that carries more crop than it can ripen. Vines that aren’t pruned enough tend to set too much crop. Wine produced from fruit of an over...

Orvieto

An ancient town in Umbria, Italy that produces a dry white wine.

Organic

Grapes grown without the aid of chemical-based fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides.

Ordinaire

From the French for ordinary this term is used as “vin ordinaire” which means any common wine of everyday quality. Some people think that Ordinaire...

Optima

German grape variety used primarily in blends but is also sometimes used on its own.

Oloroso

Spanish word for ‘fragrant’. It is also one of two categories of Sherry, that are typically dark and full-bodied.

Oidium

French name for the fungal vine disease “Downey mildew.”

Off-Dry

Not quite a dry wine; refers to a very slightly sweet wine where the residual sugar is only faintly perceptible.

Off

If a wine is not showing its true character, or is flawed or spoiled in some way, it is said to be “off.”

Octave

A small barrel with a capacity varying between 54.5 litres and 81.8 litres (in general 63.6 litres).

Obovoid

One of the six main shapes of a wine grape. The obovoid shape looks like a cross between an oval and a pear shape. The other 5 wine grape shapes...

Oily

Describes the vaguely fat, slippery sensation on the palate caused by a wine with the combination of high glycerin and slightly low acid content....

Overripe

An overripe grape is left to dry in the sun beyond usual ripeness. The intent is that it gets a desirable “raisiny” quality and a higher concentration...

Open-Up

A wine that develops unsuspected flavour characteristics after being poured into a glass. This phenomenon is referred to as “open-up”. Conversely,...

Oaky

The taste or aroma of fresh oak. When a wine, especially a red, is “oaked” just right, the “nose” will carry a bare whiff of vanilla aroma. Sometimes,...

Opening-Up

A wine that develops unsuspected flavour characteristics after being poured into a glass. This phenomenon is referred to as “opening-up”. Conversely,...

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