Tasting Terms (Page 3)

How to talk about wine

Phylloxera

An American plant parasite (insect) that attacks European grapevine stock; American grape species have evolved natural defenses against phylloxera...

Effervescent / Effervescence

Wines which are carbonated and bubbly. Bubbles are typically seen collecting in the glass, and a tingle or spritz may be felt on the tongue when...

Pétillant (AKA Pétillante / Petillant)

French word meaning sparkling, bubbly or fizzy. Petillant wines range from slightly sparkling often collecting a few dozen or more bubbles on...

Noble Rot (Boytrytis)

A fungus that affects plants, specifically grapes — in fact the name botrys means “grapes”, and -itis means “disease” in Greek. The fungus removes...

Vendages Tardives (VT)

Late harvest method used to create dessert wines where grapes are left on the vines until they start to dehydrate which in turn concentrates...

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...

Must

Freshly-pressed grape juice which still contains seeds, skin, and stems.

Vinification

The process of turning grapes into a bottle of wine.

Brettanomyces (AKA “Brett” or “Dekerra”)

The yeast genus, “Brettanomyces” which does not form spores which can responsible for the complex and aged characteristics of some red wines...

Wine

Fermented juice made from the berries of the grapevine.

Anthocyanins

Pigments found in the grape skin which are responsible for the red-to-blue color of grapes.

ABC “Anything But Chardonnay” Movement

Public effort to move away from the well-known varietal, Chardonnay to lesser-known, but possibly more enjoyable, varietals which offer different...

Zucchero

Italian for sugar. Zuccheraggio means residual sugar.

Zinfandel

One of California’s most well-known grapes. It actually grows in very few places outside California. Zinfandel has a thick mouthfeel and strong...

Zero Dosage

Dosage is the mixture of sugar, wine and sometimes brandy that is added back to Methode Champenoise wines to create the sparkle through secondary...

Zesty

A wine that’s invigorating.

Young

A wine which is not yet mature (its character is not fully developed). Some wines can be served young and some wines are better left to age.

Yield

The amount of grapes harvested in a particular year.

Yeast

A living microscopic organism discovered by Louis Pasteur in 1857. Louis Pasteur realized that fermentation was caused by yeast. It is responsible...

Yarra Valley

Located Northeast of Melbourne, Australia, this small growing region is best known for Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Yakima Valley

This wine region is in the south central part of Washington State and was the first designated AVA in the Northwestern region. It is the subsection...

Xylem

The woody, centre portion of a vine trunk, arm or cane.

Xarel-Lo

This medium-low quality white wine grape variety is grown in Spain and is one of 3 varieties used to make sparkling wine. It is usually used...

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