A B C D E F H L M N O P R S T V W Y

A

Acidity

(n.) The tart or sharp flavors naturally found in wine, which balances the sweet or bitter components.

Aeration

(n.) The deliberate addition of oxygen to round out and soften a wine.

Aging

(v.) Holding wine in barrels, tubs or bottles under certain conditions after fermentation to develop complex flavors.

Alcohol by volume (ABV)

(n.) The amount of alcohol in a wine after fermentation. Noted on the bottle as a percentage.

American Viticultural Area (AVA)

(n.) A designated wine grape-growing region in the United States distinguishable by geographic features, with boundaries defined by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB).

Aroma

(n.) The smell of wine, derived from the grapes (different than bouquet)

B

Bitter

(adj.) A taste sensation often caused by tannins.

Blend

(n.) A wine created by mixing varietals to create interesting flavors.

Body

(n.) The “weight” of wine on your palate or the perceived thickness of a sip. It’s affected by the wine’s alcohol content, sugar levels and dissolved solids. To better understand the difference in body, think about different types of milk and how they feel in your mouth, from skim milk to whole milk.

Bouquet

(n.) Refers to the complex smells derived from the aging of wine.

Brix (°Bx)

(n.) The measurement for sugar levels in wine grapes; helps winemakers determine the amount of alcohol wine will have after fermentation.

C

Complex

(adj.) A wine exhibiting numerous aromas, nuances and flavors

D

Decant

(v.) The act of exposing wine to oxygen before drinking it.

Dry

(adj.) Describes a wine that doesn’t contain significant grape sugar; the opposite of sweet (Note: A wine can be dry and still taste fruity.)

E

Earthy

(adj.) An odor or flavor reminiscent of soil or things that grow in it such as moss or truffles.

Enology

(n.) The science of wine and winemaking (sometimes spelled “oenology”).

Estate Bottled

(adj.) A wine made from grapes entirely produced from vineyards owned or controlled by the winery. Both winery and vineyard must be located within the boundaries of the labeled viticultural area. All steps of the winemaking process must be done on premise.

F

Fermentation

(n.) The process during which yeast converts natural sugars into alcohol.

Finish

(n.) The lingering impressions, tastes and flavors that remain or evolve after you swallow a sip of wine; aftertaste.

Fortified

(adj.) Wines that have additional alcohol added after fermentation.

Fruit Wine

(n.) Wine made from fruit other than grapes. (Examples include peach, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry, cherry and many more.)

H

Herbaceous

(adj.) Denotes smells and flavors of fresh herbs (e.g., oregano, basil, rosemary, etc.).

Hot

(adj.) A description for wine that is high in alcohol.

Hybrid

(n.) Genetic crossing of two or more grape varietals.

L

Lees

(n.) Sediment consisting of dead yeast cells, grape pulp, seed and other grape matter that accumulates during fermentation

M

Malolactic Fermentation

(n.) A secondary fermentation in which the tartness of malic acid in wine is changed into a smooth, lactic sensation. Wines described as “buttery” or “creamy” have gone through malolactic fermentation.

Mead

(n.) Wine made by fermenting honey.

Minerality

(adj.) This is a fairly ambiguous term used to describe smells and flavors that remind you of the sea (think crunchy sea salt or oysters), the sidewalk after it rains, or even chalk.

Mouthfeel

(n.) The physical sensation you feel when the wine is in your mouth, some examples include smooth or velvety.

Must

(n.) Unfermented grape juice including seeds, skins, and stems.

N

Nose

(n.) The aromas or smell of a wine, which influence its flavor. In mature or complex wines, it may be referred to as the “bouquet.”

O

Oxidation

(n.) Occurs when wine exposed to air undergoes a chemical change, often described as vinegary.

P

Phylloxera

(n.) Microscopic aphid-like insects that live on and eat the roots of grapevines. An epidemic that nearly destroyed French vineyards in the late 1800s.

Prune

(v.) Annual trimming of grapevines from the previous years’ harvest. Occurs in late winter when vines are dormant.

R

Red Wine

(n.) A wine produced from dark-colored grapes. These wines can range in color from purple to deep red.

Residual Sugar

(n.) The natural sugars in wine left over from the grape following fermentation, often abbreviated as RS.

Rosé

(n.) A wine made from red grapes but only fermented with the grape skins for a limited time, which results in its signature pink color. Sometimes called a “blush.”

S

Sommelier

(n.) Formally trained and educated wine professional who specializes in all aspects of wine services, pairings and storage.

Sparkling Wine

(n.) Wine bottled with enough carbon dioxide to make the drink bubbly or fizzy.

Structure

(n.) The main components of a wine that are evaluated when tasting. (Examples: fruit, sugar alcohol, acid, tannin, body)

Sweet

(adj.) Wines with residual sugars that make them sweet to taste.

T

Tannins

(n.) Natural, bitter compounds found in wine, tea and cacao. They can have a drying sensation on the palate. Wines high in tannins are described as “tannic.” Generally, red wines are more tannic than white wines.

Terroir

(n.) The French term for “earth;” used to describe the natural environment where wine grapes were grown, including the soil, the land and the climate. It affects the taste of the wine.

V

Varietal

(n.) A specific type of grape. There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of different grape varietals grown around the world. Missouri vintners primarily grow hybrid and Native American varietals that can handle the demanding weather of our region. An example of a Missouri varietal is Norton.

Veraison

(n.) Beginning stage of the ripening of the grapes. During this lifecycle stage both their color and appearance change.

Vintage

(n.) The year the wine grapes were harvested. It’s printed on the bottle.

Viticulture

(n.) The study of grape growing.

W

Weight

(adj.) Similar to “body”, the sensation when a wine feels thick or rich on the palate.

White Wine

(n.) A pale yellow to golden-colored wine that is often fermented without the grape skins.

Y

Yield

(n.) The productivity of a vineyard.

Young

(adj.) A wine that is usually bottled and sold within a year of its vintage. Wines meant to be enjoyed “young” are noted for their fresh and crisp flavors. 90% of wines are made to be consumed within a year of bottling.

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