Tasting Terms 

How to talk about wine

Souzão

A wine grape from Portugal that is used in the production of port wine. Also planted in Australia and used as a blending grape for port-style...

Stelvin© Closure

A brand name of screw caps specifically designed for wine bottles. Stelvin© closures include the bottle neck finish. https://www.amcor.com/stelvin

Sur Lie

This practice began in Burgundy with Chardonnay. When it is written on a wine that it is aged sur lie (French for “on the lees”) it means that...

Super Tuscan

A red wine from Tuscany that is not made in accordance with established DOC rules. Often a blended wine of superior quality containing Cabernet...

Sulphites/Sulfites

Amino acids that result from the breakdown of proteins during fermentation. They may also be added during the wine-making process. Some people...

Still Wines (Non-Sparkling)

Wines with no carbonation. Still wine can be red, white and rosé and have all levels of sweetness from dry (no residual sugar) to semisweet and...

Sommelier

French term for a wine steward.

Sinewy

Usually referring to a wine with not much fruitiness, but a good balance of alcohol and acidity.

Sediment

Small particles, mostly of colour, that drop out of suspension as a wine ages. Sediment is harmless and wine can still be drunk. With considerable...

Selection de Grains Noble (SGN)

Wines which are made from grapes affected by noble rot; from the French translation, “selecting the noble grapes” referring to the process of...

Syrah (Shiraz)

This is the classic red grape of the northern Rhone Valley and southern France. Inside France, it is known as Syrah, but outside France it is...

Sylvaner

A German grape usually used for blending because of its low quality.

Sulphur Dioxide/Sulfur Dioxide

A chemical compound used to kill wild yeasts, sterilize equipment and prevent oxidation. It is a naturally occurring substance in wine that in...

Subtle

A positive characteristic that describes delicate wines with finesse or flavours that are understated rather than full-blown and overt.

Sturdy

A mature wine with oak tannins that is well-balanced. It has moderate alcohol that enhances the lengthy finish.

Stemmy

Wines fermented too long with the grape stems may develop this wood-like or unripe fruit flavour.

Steely

A reference to the mouth feel and aroma of many non-oaked white wines due to their almost metallic flavour from being fermented in steel vats....

Staves

Pieces of wood made out of planks of oak split by hand and dried naturally that are used to make wine barrels or casks.

Spumante

Italian term meaning ‘foaming’ and referring to sparkling wines.

Spritzig

German term for a lightly sparkling wine.

Split

A quarter of the usual wine bottle size. A split is a single-serving bottle equal to 175 millilitres.

Spatlese

Literally means ‘late picked’ in German, this is one of the categories for Pradikate of the Q.m.P. category of German Wine Law.

Spatburgunder

The German term for Pinot Noir.

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