Wine glossary

One of the sensations determining the taste of wine, due to the acids that wine naturally contains. If it is not excessive, the acidity contributes to the harmony and balance of the wine, giving it a fresh and crispy feature
It is the maturation of the wine, that may take place in wood, steel or bottle, before it is put on the market
It refers to the alcohol produced by the sugars fermentation
For some wines, this process follows grapes ripening; it consists of dehydration of the berries with the aim of concentrating the aromas and taste.
It is the perfect balance of all aspects pertaining to the body of wine (aromas, taste, etc.). A wine can be defined as harmonious when no element over-powers another from the point of impact on the palate to the finish
Feature of wines rich in tannins, mouth is dry and wine tastes hard or sharp
Activity consisting in stirring the lees periodically during wine maturation
French oak barrel, with a capacity of 225 liters. It is used to age wine and gives a characteristic aroma, allowing micro-oxygenation.
Botrytis Cinerea
Noble mold causing rotten grapes and favouring sugar concentration. It is used to obtain great body wines with complex aromas, such as straw wines or fortified wines.
Big barrel
Wooden barrel, usually oak, with a capacity of 1000 liters.
Olfactory sensations and perceptions of a wine, developing during maturation.
Wine made in the respective region, with an older winemaking tradition.
Refers to wine richness in components. A particularly consistent wine flows along the glass walls in an unsmooth way.
This term has a French origin and it refers to a special vineyard, particularly suitable for that grape variety.
Term with a French origin referring to a mix of more wines, sometimes different vintages, or grapes to obtain a unique composition. It is almost a synonym for blend or assembly and often used for Champagnes.
Static settling
This process consists of separating the lees from crushed grapes, before alcoholic fermentation begins.
Evaluation of wine characteristics based on the perception of the organoleptic properties of wine and the sensations it creates.
Mark that indicates a certain origin for a specific wine. It's proof that the wine meets the requirements in the production regulations.
Consists of separating the grapes from the stems, usually before crushing them.
Production Regulations
Set of rules that regulate the production of a specific appellation
Wines protected by specific production regulations. Regulations for DOCG are stricter than DOC.
Presence of carbon dioxide in a wine, producing big or smaller bubbles in sparkling wines. The more the bubbles are thin and persistent, the better the quality of the wine.
Aroma and taste balance in wine. A balanced wine is one in which acidity, sapidity, softness are in harmony and they are all present in equal measure.
Wine sediment during vinification, deposit of solidified vegetal material, yeasts and bacteria, settling on the bottom during winemaking.
Alcoholic fermentation
Natural biochemical reaction by yeasts that mainly transform grape sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide
Malolactic fermentation
Natural biochemical reaction by bacteria that transform malic acid , responsible in young wines for hints such as freshness, into lactic acid, which gives more mature hints. Not all wines undergo malolactic fermentation and this mainly happens for red wines.
Removal process of any suspension particles in wine.
Mouth sensations after wine has been swallowed. They allow to evaluate wine complexity, balance and age.
Pleasant acidity and taste fragrance, creating a brilliant wine that has fully developed its organoleptic properties.
Appellation indicating the geographic origin of the wine and sometimes even of the grapes.
This characteristic may refer to colour tone, wideness and deepness of the aroma or a particularly pronounced taste.
It refers to wine colour and indicates the absence of suspended substances or deposits, giving complete clearness.
Refers to wine aging potential, in a way that it maintains or improves its qualities.
Winemaking phase in which the must is in contact with grape skin.
Charmat Method
Used in the production of sparkling wines, this method refers to wine sparkling process in ermetic containers called autoclaves.
Metodo Classico
Used in the production of sparkling wines and Champagnes, which consists of a refermentation in bottle using sugars and selected yeasts.
With reference to sparkling wines, this term indicates the year in which grapes were harvested. If the vintage appears on a wine label, the wine is called vintage. Producers usually decide to use this term only for exceptionally good vintages. The term vintage is not used for non-sparkling wines.
The mineral substances determine the structure of a wine and of the flavor. It is typical of many white wines.
A wine is called soft when it leaves rounded sensations in the mouth. Softness is usually typical of mature and structured wines.
Juice obtained from crushing or pressing of the grapes and not yet fermented.
The word botrytized refers to wines produced using grapes that are attacked by Botrytis Cinerea, a noble mould concentrating wine aromas and flavours. Botrytized wines can be paired with desserts, old cheeses and dried fruit and the recommended serving temperature is 8-10°C.
Vertical succession of carbon dioxide bubbles in a glass containing sparkling wine or Champagne.
How long olfactory and taste sensations last in seconds, after swallowing a wine.
Preliminary phase of wine making process causing grape break, to obtain the juice which will be fermented into wine.
Sparkling process
Phase of foaming process making wine sparkling.
Organoleptic properties
Wine characteristics that can be perceived through senses, upon tasting. Characteristics are about the colour, smell and taste.
Last sensation of the wine that remains in the mouth after swallowing
This term indicates wines with a longer aging period than usual. On the label, it preceeds the vintage indication.
A wine is called rounded when the sensations it creates are complex, but balanced and soft at the same time.
Sensation due to the presence of mineral salts, depending on soil and climate characteristics in which grapes are grown and on winemaking practices.
Final phase of traditional method for sparkling wines. Disgorging is the act of removing the frozen plug of ice (containing spent yeast) from a bottle of Champagne or Sparkling Wine, after riddling. It takes place on a disgorging line just prior to adding dosage and the final corking of the finished bottle of champagne.
Aromas perceived during the olfactory and taste-olfactory tasting. The scents are classified in primary (deriving directly from the vinegrape), secondary (born from the fermentation of the wine), tertiary (they develop during the period of aging or aging of the wine)
Mineral salts in the wine and mainly produced by an additive (sulfur dioxide) used as an antimicrobial and antioxidant since XVIII century.
Evolution status
Wine quality linked to its evolution, with variable length depending on the type of wine. While maturing, wine becomes softer and softer. Generally speaking, a wine can be defined as immature (aging has not finished yet), young (has a balance in which hardness, fragrance and freshness are prevalent), ready (is ready to drink, but can still be improved), mature (has reached maximum balance).
Sensation that a wine leaves on the palate, deriving from all the solid substances. In red wines it is mainly determined by tannins
Sur Lie
French word indicating wine aging on yeasts lees after fermentation. It can be in bottle or another container, used as an alternative to normal bottle aging, to make rich and bodied white wines.
Taste sensation of astringency due to a high presence of tannin, a chemical substance found in all vegetal extracts, from wine to tea. Tannin can be transferred to wine by barrique wood and grapes.
Tannin is a compound present in grape lees, stems and grape seeds, as well as in barrel wood. It contributes to giving wine its colour and creates a dry astringent sensation in the mouth.
Wide concept, going beyond the definition of the land and including all factors that make a grape unique, among others: morphology of the area, sun exposure, temperature, precipitations, climate.
Blending of different grapes during wine making. When the blending is done after winemaking, by mixing the wines and not the grapes, it is called assembly.
Biochemical process of processing grapes into wine, from crushing to placing on the market
Grape variety
A specific grape varietal, characterized by the shape and colour of the grapes, of the bunch and leaves, with a specific maturation period. The wines obtained from it all have different organoleptic characteristics.
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