Glossary

GLOSSARY OF WINE TERMS

PID:5782536201107430019

|S|term~definition~article title or postid$post$primer$toc|E|

[S]Acetic Acid~All wines contain acetic acid (vinegar), but the amount is quite small and not perceptible. At low levels acetic acid can enhance the character of a wine, but at higher levels (over 0.1%) it becomes the dominant flavor and is considered a major flaw.[E] [S]Acidity~Natural acidty creates tartness/crispness in wine. Present in all grapes, acidity is an essential component of wine that preserves it, enlivens and shapes its flavors and helps prolong its aftertaste. There are four acids found in wine: tartaric, malic, lactic and citric.[E] [S]Acrid~Describes a wine with overly pronounced acidity as well as volatile acidity. This is often apparent in cheap red wines.[E] [S]Aeration~The process of letting a wine "breathe" in the open air, or swirling wine in a glass. It's debatable whether aerating bottled wines (mostly reds) improves their quality. Aeration can soften young, tannic wines; it can also fatigue older ones.~Decanting[E] [S]Alcohol By Volume~Unless labeled as "table wine", the law requires the alcohol level of wine be shown on the label. The actual alcohol level may vary as much as 1.5% above or below the label value. Wines labeled as "table wine" are not required to show alcohol content as long as the alcohol content does not exceed 14%.~Wine Labels[E] [S]Alcohol~Produced by yeast fermentation of the sugar in grapes. Alcohol contributes significantly to wine's body and mouthfeel, a problem for non-alcoholic wines. Wines with excessive alcohol are characterized by a burning sensation in the mouth and are referred to as hot.[E] [S]American Oak Barrels~An alternative to French Oak barrels which are much more expensive. Marked by strong vanilla, dill and cedar notes, American Oak is used primarily for aging Cabernet, Merlot and Zinfandel, for which it is the preferred oak. American Oak is less desirable, although used, for Chardonnay or Pinot Noir.[E] [S]American Viticultural Area (AVA)~A delimited, geographical grape-growing area that has officially been given appellation status by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Two examples are Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. In the United States, a wine must be 85% from grapes grown within the AVA to carry the appellation on the label.[E] [S]Ampelography~The study of the classification of grape varieties.[E] [S]Aperitif~A wine-based product to be drunk before a meal to whet one's appetite, such as Vermouth, Lillet and Dubonnet.[E] [S]Appellation D'origine Controlee (AOC)~The French system of appellations, begun in the 1930s and considered the wine world's prototype. To carry an appellation in this system, a wine must follow rules describing the area the grapes are grown in, the varieties used, the ripeness, the alcoholic strength, the vineyard yields and the methods used in growing the grapes and making the wine.[E] [S]Appellation~The area where a wine's grapes were grown, such as Bordeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin, Alexander Valley or Russian River Valley. Appellation regulations vary widely from country to country. To show an appellation on a California wine label, 85% of the grapes used to make the wine must have come from the specified area.[E] [S]Aroma~Usually refers to the particular smell of the grape variety, i.e., appley, raisiny, fresh or tired.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Assertive~Describes a wine that is upfront, aggressive or forward.[E] [S]Attractive~Describes a wine that is lighter in style, fresh and easy to drink.[E] [S]Auxerrois~Also known as Malbec or Cot, Auxerrois creates a neutral wine, fruity and soft. It is mainly grown in Luxembourg and Canada. In Alsace it is ofted blended with the Pinot Blanc grape.[E] [S]Balanced~Indicates that the fruit, acid, tannin, and wood flavors are in the right proportion. A wine is well balanced when none of those characteristics dominates. Wines not in balance may be acidic, cloying, flat or harsh.[E] [S]Barbera~Barbera is a low-tannin grape known for its tarry flavor. It is very widely planted - in California it's about equal with Merlot grape vines, while in its home in Italy it has more acerage than Sangiovese and Nebbiolo. Piedmont is especially well known for this grape. [E] [S]Barnyard~Describes a wine that smells like a barnyard. Caused by an over abundance of certain strains of yeast that occur naturally on grapes. Usually considered a negative characteristic.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Barrel Fermented~Signifies wine that has been fermented in small casks (usually 55-gallon oak barrels) instead of larger oak vessels. Advocates believe that barrel fermentation contributes greater harmony between the oak and the wine, increases body and adds complexity, texture and flavor to certain wine types.[E] [S]Big~Describes a wine that is full-bodied, rich and often a slightly higher alcohol content.[E] [S]Bin or Cask Number~A term sometimes used for special wines, as in Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, often applied to ordinary wines.[E] [S]Blanc De Blancs~"White of whites," meaning a white wine made of white grapes, such as Champagne made from Chardonnay.[E] [S]Blanc De Noirs~"White of blacks," white wine made of red or black grapes such as Champagne made from Pinot Noir or Pinot Meunier. The juice is squeezed from the grapes and fermented without skin contact. The wines usually have a pale pink hue.[E] [S]Body~The weight of wine in your mouth; commonly expressed as full-bodied, medium-bodied or medium-weight, or light-bodied.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Botrytis Cinerea~Called the "Noble Rot." A beneficial mold or fungus that attacks grapes under certain climatic conditions and causes them to shrivel, deeply concentrating the flavors, sugar and acid. Some of the most famous examples come from Sauternes (Chateau d'Yquem), Germany and Tokay.~Dessert Wine[E] [S]Brix~A measurement of the sugar content of grapes, must and wine, indicating the degree of the grapes' ripeness (meaning sugar level) at harvest. Most table-wine grapes are harvested at between 21 and 25. To get an alcohol conversion level, multiply the stated Brix by .55.[E] [S]Brut~A term used to designate a relatively dry-finished Champagne or sparkling wine, generally the driest wine made by the producer.[E] [S]Buttery~Describes a wine that has either or both a butter-like flavor or a buttery texture or mouthfeel.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Cabernet Franc~A "parent" of the Cabernet Sauvignon grape. Cabernet Franc is used in Bordeaux - added in small amounts for flavor. It is also used in the Loire Valley, where it is called Breton. Other names include Bouchy, Bouchet, Gros Bouchet and Veron. Cabernet Franc is mostly used as an additive to blend with other grapes. [E] [S]Cabernet Sauvignon~Cabernet Sauvignon wines are made from these grapes - on the vine they are red, small, and tough. The wines tend to taste like blackberries and cedar. Bordeaux uses the Cabernet Sauvignon grape, usually mixed in with Merlot. These grapes are also grown widely in California and Australia. The grape contains a lot of tannin, which leads to a good red wine when properly aged.[E] [S]Carbonic Maceration~Fermentation of whole, uncrushed grapes in a carbon dioxide atmosphere. In practice, the weight of the upper layers of grapes in a vat will break the skins of the lowest layer; the resultant wine is partly a product of carbonic maceration and partly of traditional fermentation of juice.[E] [S]Cask or Bin Number~A term sometimes used for special wines, as in Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Cask 23, often applied to ordinary wines.[E] [S]Cellared By~Means the wine was not produced at the winery where it was bottled. It usually indicates that the wine was purchased from another source.[E] [S]Chaptalization~The addition of sugar to grape juice or must prior to or during fermentation; also called sugaring. Common in northern European countries, where the cold climates may keep grapes from ripening. Illegal in southern Europe (including southern France) and California. Legal in Germany and northern France.[E] [S]Character~Describes the general personality of a wine. Sometimes used to describe a wine with top-notch distinguishing qualities.[E] [S]Chardonnay~This is a fresh, fruity grape grown in Burgundy, Champagne, California, Australia, and South Africa. Chardonnay wine tends to taste like fruits - melon, peach, etc. - and also many have an oaky flavor. It is one of the most popular and easiest to grow white grapes - it buds early, grows easily and has high ripeness levels.[E] [S]Charmat~Mass production method for sparkling wine. Indicates the wines are fermented in large stainless steel tanks and later drawn off into the bottle under pressure. Also known as the "bulk process." See also méthode champenoise.[E] [S]Chenin Blanc~This grape makes a light, fruity wine. It is planted primarily in the US and in the Loire valley of France (well known in Vouvray wine). In South Africa this grape is referred to as Steen. Also known as White Pinot (Pinot Blanco), Chenin Blanc is able to age ten years or more.[E] [S]Chewy~Describes a wine that is rich, heavy, tannic and full-bodied.[E] [S]Cinsaut~Also known (incorrectly) as Hermitage, this grape is mostly used for blending with other, stronger varieties. Cinsaut is the "parent" of pinotage. It is grown in Southern France, Lebanon, Australia and South Africa.[E] [S]Clone~A group of vines originating from a single, individual plant propagated asexually from a single source. Clones are selected for the unique qualities of the grapes and wines they yield, such as flavor, productivity and adaptability to growing conditions.[E] [S]Closed~The term describing a wine not showing its potential, usually because it is too young. Young wines often close up about 12-18 months after bottling and can remain in such a state for several years.[E] [S]Cloudy~Describes a wine that is lacking brightness and clarity. Hazy or unclear with material in suspension.[E] [S]Cold Stabilization~A clarification technique in which a wine's temperature is lowered to 32° F, causing the tartrates and other insoluble solids to precipitate and be separated.[E] [S]Colombard~These grapes end up making a wine with "tropical fruit" overtones, a light wine to go with seafood. It is used in South Africa and other countries. South Africa also uses Colombard to make brandy.[E] [S]Corked~Describes a wine that suffers from cork-taint. The taste and smell are very unpleasant. Sometimes described as being reminiscent of wet newspaper, wet dog or mildew.~Spoiled Wine[E] [S]Cortese~The primary grape for Gavi wine, this grape ripens early and makes a neutral white wine. It is grown primarily in Piedmont, Italy.[E] [S]Crisp~Describes a wine that is fresh, young and lively with good acidity.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Crush~Harvest season when the grapes are picked and crushed.[E] [S]Cult Wine~Wine produced, usually in small quanitity, which has a cult-like following. This usually results in cult-wines being expensive and difficult to find.[E] [S]Cuvee~Typically means a blend or special lot of wine. The blend may be of different grape varieties, the same variety from different vineyards or the same variety from different vintages.[E] [S]Decanting~A process for removing the sediment and/or aerating wine before drinking. Sediment removal is accomplished by carefully pouring the wine from its bottle into another container leaving the sediment in the bottle. Aeration is accomplished by rapidly pouring the wine down the side of decanter and allowing it to rest.[E] [S]Delicate~Used to describe a wine that is light to medium weight with subtle, yet exceptional characteristics.[E] [S]Demi-sec~In the language of Champagne, a term relating to sweetness. It can be misleading; although demi-sec means half-dry, demi-sec sparkling wines are usually slightly sweet to medium sweet.[E] [S]Dense~Describes a wine that has concentrated aromas on the nose and palate; desirable in young wines.[E] [S]Depth~Describes the complexity and concentration of flavors in a wine. Generally refers to a quality wine with subtle layers of flavor that go deep. Opposite of Shallow.[E] [S]Disgorgement~A step in the traditional process of sparkling wine production wherein frozen sediment is removed from the neck of the bottle.[E] [S]Domaine~A French term for a wine estate. For example Domain Chandon is where Chandon wines are made. We do not have an equivalent usage in English.[E] [S]Dosage~In bottle-fermented sparkling wines, a small amount of wine (usually sweet) that is added back to the bottle once the yeast sediment that collects in the neck of the bottle is removed.[E] [S]Drying Out~Losing fruit (or sweetness in sweet wines) to the extent that acid, alcohol or tannin dominate the taste. At this stage the wine will not improve.[E] [S]Early Harvest~Denotes a wine made from early-harvested grapes, usually lower than average in alcoholic content or sweetness.[E] [S]Earthy~Describes a wine with notes of soil or other earth related characteristics (mushroom, leaves, stone, etc.). Most common in red wines, but also present in many white wines such as white Burgundy & German Rieslings. Can be a positive or negative.[E] [S]Ehrenfelser~Created by crossing the Johannisberg Riesling grape and a Sylvaner grape clone, Ehrenfelser is extremely frost resistant. The wine it creates tastes a great deal like Riesling wine. Ehrenfelser is grown primarily in Canada.[E] [S]Enology~The science and study of winemaking. Also spelled oenology.[E] [S]Ethyl Acetate~A sweet, vinegary smell that often accompanies acetic acid. It exists to some extent in all wines and in small doses can be a plus. When it is strong and smells like nail polish, it's a defect.[E] [S]Evolution~The development of complex and desirable aromas and flavors in age worthy wine cellared under appropriate temperature conditions.[E] [S]Extract~Richness and depth of concentration of fruit in a wine. Usually a positive quality, although high extract wine can also be highly tannic.[E] [S]Extra-Dry~A Champagne term meaning the wine is one step drier than a wine labeled brut from the same producer.[E] [S]Fading~Describes a wine that is losing color, fruit or flavor, usually as a result of age.[E] [S]Fat or Flabby~Describes a wine that is lacking acidity on the palate.[E] [S]Fermentation~The process by which yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide; turns grape juice into wine.[E] [S]Field Blend~When a vineyard is planted to several different varieties and the grapes are harvested together to produce a single wine, the wine is called a field blend.[E] [S]Filtering~The process of removing particles from wine after fermentation. Most wines unless otherwise labeled are filtered for both clarity and stability.[E] [S]Fining~A technique for clarifying wine using agents such as bentonite (powdered clay), gelatin or egg whites, which combine with sediment particles and cause them to settle to the bottom, where they can be easily removed.[E] [S]Finish~The taste or flavors that linger in the mouth after the wine is swallowed. May be harsh, hot, soft, lingering, short, smooth, or nonexistent. A long finish is often indicative of a high quality wine.[E] [S]Flat~Having a minimal flavor component or a sparkling wine that has lost its bubbles.[E] [S]Flinty~Describe the aroma found in some white wines; like the smell of flint striking steel.[E] [S]Fortified~Denotes a wine whose alcohol content has been increased by the addition of brandy or neutral spirits.[E] [S]Foxy~Describes a wine with the unique musky, aggressive, and grapey character attached to native American grapes such as the Concord or Catawba.[E] [S]Fragile~An older wine, fully mature, of such age that it is declining.[E] [S]Free-run Juice~The juice that escapes after the grape skins are crushed or squeezed prior to fermentation.[E] [S]French Oak~The traditional wood for wine barrels, which supplies vanilla, cedar and sometimes butterscotch flavors. Used for red and white wines. Much more expensive than American oak, French Oak can cost more than $500 per barrel.[E] [S]Fruity~Describes a wine with any fruit-like quality referring to the aroma, palate, body, or finish, i.e., appley, berry like or pear like.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Full-Bodied~Describes a wine that fills the mouth. Opposite of thin-bodied.[E] [S]Gamay~This is the grape famous used in Beaujolais Nouveau wine, from France. It is often drunk young in as in these light fruity reds. various types of gamay are used in the US often in Blands.[E] [S]Gewurztraminer~The first part of the name literally means "spicey" in German. It has a floral taste with nutty tones. Gewurztraminer is also grown in Italy, California, Canada and Australia.[E] [S]Grande Vidure~Also known as the Carmenére grape, this grape was best known for its use in Medoc wines. While some thought this grape had been destroyed by phylloxera, cuttings were taken to Chile in the mid-nineteenth century, where phylloxera has not arrived yet. The grape is known for problems with coloure and oidium, and produces low yields.[E] [S]Green Harvest~The trimming of unripe grapes to decrease crop yields, thereby improving the concentration of the remaining bunches.[E] [S]Green~Describes a wine tasting of un-ripe fruit. Almost always a negative characteristic.[E] [S]Grenache~Grenache is most often used for rose wine, and is widely planted in France, Spain and California. It is the second most planted grape in the world. Wines made with grenache tend to be sweet and fruity, with little tannin. "Grenache" refers to Grenache Noir, the red variety, but there is also a Grenache Blanc.[E] [S]Herbaceous~Describes a wine that tastes and or smells of herbs or green plant matter.[E] [S]Hot~Describes a wine with the smell and taste of higher than normal (14%) alcohol content. Such wines can create a burning or hot sensation on the tongue.[E] [S]Jug Wine~Jug wine is wine bottled in a jug, which often has a handle. Jug wines are mass-produced from low-quality grapes and are therefore inexpensive. The first jug wines in the United States were produced by Gallo.[E] [S]Kerner~A German cross of the Riesling grape and Black Hamburg (Trollinger), Kerner is resistant to frost and does well in cooler climates. It has a sweet taste, much like a Riesling wine. The grape does well in cooler areas like Michigan, US.[E] [S]Late Harvest~Indicates a wine was made from grapes harvested later than normal and at a higher than normal sugar (Brix) level than normal. Usually associated with swwet, dessert-style wines.[E] [S]Lees~Sediment remaining in a barrel or tank during and after fermentation. Often used as in "sur lie" aging, which indicates a wine is aged "on its lees."[E] [S]Legs~The viscous droplets that form due to surface tension between the alcohol of the wine and the surface of the wine glass. They flow or ease down the sides of the glass when the wine is swirled.~Legs[E] [S]Lemberger~Also known as Blaufrankish and Limberger. Lemberger is a popular Austrian wine that is also planted heavily in Washington, US.[E] [S]Malolactic Fermentation~A secondary fermentation occurring in most wines, this natural process converts malic acid into softer lactic acid and carbon dioxide, thus reducing the wine's total acidity. Adds complexity to whites such as Chardonnay and softens reds such as Cabernet and Merlot.[E] [S]Maréchal Foch~Early ripening, this grape has very small berries in small clusters. The vines are hardy, though, and make a good range of red wines.[E] [S]Mature~Ready to drink.[E] [S]Meritage~An invented term used in the United States indicating Bordeaux-style wines. For reds, the grapes allowed are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec; for whites, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.[E] [S]Merlot~This is an early ripening grape, with gentle flavors of cherry, honey, and sometimes mint. It has less tannin than some of its red cousins. Merlot wine is a major blending component of most Bordeaux wines. It's grown in France, Italy, Australia, and in the states - California, Washington, and Long Island, NY.[E] [S]Methode Champenoise~The labor-intensive and costly process whereby wine undergoes a secondary fermentation inside the bottle, creating bubbles. All Champagne and most high-quality sparkling wine is made by this process. See also charmat.[E] [S]Mousse~A tasting term referring to how the effervescence of a sparkling wine feels in the mouth. A soft mousse is just that, soft. A harsh mousse is the opposite, perhaps like that of a carbonated soft drink.[E] [S]Mouthfeel~How a wine feels in the mouth and against the tongue.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Muller-Thurgau~The grape most widely planted in Germany, Muller-Thurgau comes as a mix of riesling and sylvaner. This is also grown in Austria, New Zealand, and the northwest section of the US. It has a floral aroma.[E] [S]Murky~Describes a wine that is lacking brightness and clarity. Turbid or swampy. Worse than cloudy.[E] [S]Muscadet~Part of the confusing-Musc-series, Muscadet or Muscadekke is one of the white grapes grown in Bordeaux. It is not related to the Muscat grape, and does have a grapey-tasting flavor. This grape is well known for its use in the Tokay wine of Australia.[E] [S]Muscadine~This is a Muscadinia grape which is a separate branch from normal vinifera grapes that most people know of. Grown almost primarily in southeastern US and in Mexico, the Muscadine is a large grape with a thick skin. Scuppernong is a type of muscadine grape. They are very hearty and grow in places that other grapes might not.[E] [S]Muscat~This is a very grapey-tasting grape that doesn't ripen easily. There are various varieties of Muscat - Muscat Blanc, Moscato (Italy), Muscat of Alexandria, and Muscadel. Moscato is the grape used for Asti Spumanti, the sparkling wine from Italy.[E] [S]Muskat Krymskii~This aromatic white wine is used in Bulgaria, the Ukraine and other eastern European countries. Other names include muskatel, misket or mishket. The wine tends to be wheat colored, and have a clean fruity bouquet.[E] [S]Must~The unfermented juice of grapes extracted by crushing or pressing; grape juice in the cask or vat before it is converted into wine.[E] [S]Musty~Describes a wine having a moldy smell.[E] [S]Nebbiolo~This is a late ripening grape that's known for being tannic, pruny, tarry and chocolaty. It is notoriously difficult to grow. Nebbiolo is grown in the Piedmont area of Italy (where it makes Barolo wine), Switzerland, California and Australia.[E] [S]New World Wines~A term that groups all those wines which come from the southern hemisphere, as well as those from North America. The U.S. and Argentina are both high volume producers, with California producing 95% of the U.S. total. Generally, new world wines are created from international grape varieties.[E] [S]Nonvintage~Wine blended from more than one vintage. This allows the vintner to keep a house style from year to year. Most Champagnes and sparkling wines are nonvintage.[E] [S]Nose~A tasting term meaning the aroma or bouquet of the wine.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Nouveau Beaujolais~A light, fruity Beaujolais red wine bottled and sold as soon as possible after harvest. Usually available on the third-Thursday of November.[E] [S]Oaky~Describes a wine with the aroma and taste of oak. Sometimes referred to as Popsicle stick.[E] [S]Off-dry~This Indicates an ever-so-slightly sweet wine in which the residual sugar is barely perceptible 0.6 percent to 1.4 percent.[E] [S]Optima~A German variety used to add sugar to other wines, this wine is not very palatable on its own.[E] [S]Ortega~A cross between Muller Thurgau, Madeleine Angevine and Gewurtztraminer. This is very flavorful and has a mangoey taste to it. It is grown in Canada.[E] [S]Oxidized~Describes a wine with a stale, tired, or burnt character; usually caused by over exposure to air.~Spoiled Wine[E] [S]Peak~The time when a wine tastes its best--very subjective.[E] [S]Peppery~Describes a wine with the taste of white or black pepper; sharper than spicy. Common in Shiraz and Zinfandel.[E] [S]Petite Sirah~This is a dark, tannic, fruity grape. It sometimes has smoky or chocolaty tones to it. It should not be confused with Sirah/Shiraz grape, which is a completely different grape. It is popular in California where it often goes into "jug wines".[E] [S]PH~PH is the measure of the degree of relative acidity versus the relative alkalinity of any liquid, on a scale of 0 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Low pH wines will taste tart and crisp, while higher pH wines are more susceptible to bacterial growth. About 3.0 to 3.4 is desirable for white wines, while about 3.3 to 3.6 is best for reds.[E] [S]Phylloxera~Tiny aphids that can devastate vineyards. The disease was widespread in both Europe and California during the late 19th century, and returned to California in the 1980s.[E] [S]Pinot Blanc~This grape has a flavour very much like Chardonnay wine. It is grown in Alsace, Italy, and Austria (where it's known as Weissburgunder). It is a mutation of the Pinot Gris grape. It's used in many Californian sparkling wines.[E] [S]Pinot Gris or Pinot grigio~This is a clone of Pinot Noir, grown in France, Germany, Austria and along the west coast of the US. It's also known as Rulander or Grauer Burgunder. It can be used to create both fine whites and roses.[E] [S]Pinot Noir~These grapes are softer and earlier ripening than Cabernet grapes, and are very sensitive to conditions. Used often in red wines, they are also used (without skins) as a white ingredient in Champagne. Pinot Noir wine is made in Burgundy, and also Australia, California, Oregon, Italy and Germany.[E] [S]Pinotage~Developed in the early 1900s and used primarly by South Africa, Pinotage is a mix between pinot noir and cinsaut. The grape makes a wine that is hearty, with a fruity and spice taste.[E] [S]Press Wine (or Pressing)~The juice extracted under pressure after pressing for white wines and after fermentation for reds. Press wine has more flavor and aroma, deeper color and often more tannins than free-run juice. Wineries often blend a portion of press wine back into the main cuvée for added backbone.[E] [S]Private Reserve~This description, along with Reserve, once stood for the best wines a winery produced. Lacking a legal definition and enforcement, for other than a few high-quality producers, it has little meaning.[E] [S]Racking~The wine-making practice of moving wine by hose from one container to another, leaving sediment behind. For aeration or clarification.[E] [S]Reduced~Commonly used to describe a wine that has not been exposed to air.[E] [S]Residual Sugar~Unfermented grape sugar in a finished wine. A technical term for the natural sugar that remains in naturally sweet wines after the conversion of fruit sugars into alcohol.[E] [S]Riesling~Not just a dessert wine-grape, riesling can produce dry crisp and fruity wine as well honeyed, musky flavours in warmer climate or when left longer on the vine. Riesling wine is native to Germany, and is also used in France, Australia, California, and many other countries . The Finger Lakes region of New York are well known for their Rieslings. Riesling is also used in the creation of Ice Wines[E] [S]Round~Describes a wine that is well-balanced in fruit, tannins and body.[E] [S]Rustic~Describes a wine whose essential character is earthy and rugged.[E] [S]Sauvignon Blanc~This grape is grown primarily in California and France. It has a grassy flavor and makes a crisp, light wine.[E] [S]Scheurebe~This is a mix between Sylvaner and Johannisberg Riesling. It is mostly planted in Germany and is used for aromatic white wines.[E] [S]Semillon~This thin-skinned grape ripens early, and is used mostly in Bordeaux, France. It has a grassy, "figgy" flavor. It is also grown in Australia and California, and is often blended with Sauvignon Blanc.[E] [S]Seyval~Seyval is an "East Coast US" wine, and is one of the most widely planted grapes east of the Rocky Mountains in the US. They have melony flavors, as well as grassy/hay overtones.[E] [S]Siegerrebe~Siegerrebe is a cross bewteen Gewurtztraminer and a normal table grape. It ripens very early, and has a high sugar content. Wines made with Siegerrebe have tastes of peach and honey.[E] [S]Smoky~Describes a wine with a subtle wood-smoke aroma.[E] [S]Soft~Describes a wine with low acid and/or tannin, or alcohol content with little impact on the palate.[E] [S]Sommelier~A restaurant employee who orders and maintains the wines sold in the restaurant and usually has extensive knowledge about wine and food pairings.[E] [S]Spicy~Describes the presence of spice flavors such as anise, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, mint, pepper, and tea. This characteristic is often present in complex wines.[E] [S]Structure~The interaction of elements such as acid, tannin, glycerin, alcohol and body as it relates to a wine's texture and mouthfeel. Usually preceded by a modifier, as in "firm structure" or "lacking in structure."[E] [S]Succulent~Describes a wine which makes the mouth water and the drinker desirous of food accompaniment.[E] [S]Supple~Describes a wine with well-balanced tannins and fruit characteristics.[E] [S]Sur Lie~Wines aged sur lie (French for "on the lees") are kept in contact with the dead yeast cells and are not racked or otherwise filtered. A routine part of red wine-making, some white wines may also be aged sur lie.[E] [S]Sweet~One of the four basic tastes. Describes the presence of residual sugar and/or glycerin. The opposite of dry.[E] [S]Sylvaner~Sylvaner was once the most widely planted grape of Alsace, France, but now only accounts for 15% (and dropping). It is also grown in Germany and Central Europe. The grape produces a pleasant, but bland, white wine. Flavors include light spice and floral ones.[E] [S]Syrah/Shiraz~This grape is grown in France and California as Syrah wine, and in Australia as Shiraz. In France, it is associated with the Rhone Valley and Hermitage red wines. Syrah tends towards a minerally, blueberry, or sometimes spicy and peppery type of flavor. Petite Sirah is an entirely different grape.[E] [S]Titratable Acid~TA is a measure of the organic acids in wine. The major acids are tartaric and malic, but all wines contain small quantities of other organic acids. Titratable acids in wine ranges from 0.4 to 1.2 grams per 100 milliliters of liquid. Grams per 100 ml is roughly equal to percent.[E] [S]Tannic~Describes a wine with harsh, mouth-drying, astringent sensation, which is not followed by mouthwatering. Present in red wines, it is usually accompanied by flavors of leather and/or tea.[E] [S]Tannin~The mouth-puckering substance--found mostly in red wines--that is derived primarily from grape skins, seeds and stems, but also from oak barrels. Tannin acts as a natural preservative that helps wine age and develop.[E] [S]Tart~Describes a wine with a sharp taste because of acidity.~Describing Taste[E] [S]Tartrates~Harmless crystals of potassium bitartrate that may form in cask or bottle (often on the bottom of the cork) from the tartaric acid naturally present in wine.[E] [S]Tempranillo~Young Temparanillo has a distinctive strawberry and cherry flavour. When aged, tends to have a plummy spiciness overlaid with hints of vanilla oak.[E] [S]Terroir~Derived from the French word for Earth, "Terre." The over all environment within which a given varietal grows. Terroir is the combination of soil, weather conditions, grapes, wine-making and anything else that contribute to the specific personality of a wine.[E] [S]Thin~Describes a wine that is lacking body and depth.[E] [S]Toasty~Describe a wine with a pleasant hint of the wooden barrel.[E] [S]Trebbiano~Tends to produce bland, vinous rather than fruity flavoured wines. Crisp, fresh and clean style at its best, but largely responsible for the one dimensional bulk wines of Italy.[E] [S]Varietal~A wine made principally from one variety of grape. In the United States a variety must comprise at least 75% of the wine to carry the variety name on the label.[E] [S]Velvety~Describes a wine having rich flavor and a silky texture. Usually an indication of an excellent tannin profile in a red wine.[E] [S]Verticals~Different vintages from the same producer. Usually applied to wine tasting. A vertical wine tasting would be one in which you tasted different vintages of the same wine from the same producer. This would demonstrate differences in crops conditions as well as aging factors.[E] [S]Vidal Blanc~Vidal is mostly grown in the northeast US, and is very hearty. It does well in late harvest sweet wines, as well as in icewines.[E] [S]Viniculture~The science or study of grape production for wine and the making of wine.[E] [S]Vintage~The stated year that a wine was made. In order to carry a vintage date in the United States, 95% of the grapes in a wine must have been harvested in the stated calendar year.[E] [S]Vintner~Translates as wine merchant, but generally indicates a wine producer/or winery proprietor.[E] [S]Viognier~This rare varietal originated in Condrieu, on the northern Rhône. It is predominantly found in the Rhône valley and California, noted for spice, floral, citrus, apricot, apple and peach flavors. It typically produces medium bodied wines with relatively high acids and fruit. Viogner can produce fairly complex wines.[E] [S]Viticultural Area~Generally used to describe a legally designated grape-growing area distinguished by geographical features, climate, soil, elevation, history and other definable boundaries. Rules vary widely from region to region.[E] [S]Viticulture~The cultivation, science and study of grapes.[E] [S]Vitis Vinifera~Classic European wine-making species of grape. Examples include Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.[E] [S]Yeast~Micro-organisms that produce the enzymes which convert sugar to alcohol. Necessary for the fermentation of grape juice into wine[E] [S]Zesty~Describes a wine that is invigorating.[E] [S]Zinfandel~Most Zinfandel grapes are grown in California, although they are thought to have originated in Southern Italy. The wines can be fruity or spicy, depending on age. The Zinfandel grape makes both Red Zinfandel (if the skins are left on) and White Zinfandel (if the skins are removed) [x]Crisp~Describes a wine that is fresh, young and lively with good acidity.~Describing Taste[y]