WINE WORDS (A - G)
For a more complete listing, go to Wikipedia
ACID - A compound present in all grapes and an essential component of wine that preserves it, enlivens and shapes its flavors and helps prolong its aftertaste. There are four major kinds of acids found in wine: tartaric, malic, lactic, and citric. Acid is identifiable by the crisp, sharp character it imparts to wine. Acid is a leading factor in
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.
ALCOHOL - The end product of fermentation. Technically, ethyl alcohol, which results from the reaction of natural grape sugars and yeast.
AOC - Appellation d'Origine Controlee, a French term for a legally designated wine region such as
APPELLATION - An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the wine grapes were grown. Examples are Yakima Valley AVA, Columbia Valley AVA, and Horse Heaven Hills AVA.
AROMA - A scent that is a component of the bouquet or nose. For example, cherry is an aromatic component of a fruity bouquet.
AVA - American Viticultural Area, a legally designated American wine region approved by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
BODY - The impression of weight or fullness on the palate; usually the result of a combination of glycerin, alcohol, and sugar. Commonly expressed as full, medium-weight, or light bodied.
BOUQUET - The smell that a wine develops after it has been bottled and aged. Most appropriate for mature wines that have developed complex flavors beyond basic young fruit and oak aromas.
BRIX - A measurement of sugar content of grapes indicating the degree of the grapes ripeness (i.e. sugar level) at harvest. Most table wine grapes are harvested between 21 and 25 Brix.
CLONE - A group of vines originating from a single, individual plant.
CRU - A French term for ranking a wine's inherent quality; i.e., cru bourgeois, cru classe, premier cru, grand cru.
DOURO - A river in Portugal as well as the wine region famous for producing Port wines.
ENOLOGY - From the greek word for wine oinos. The art of making wine. The study of wine and winemaking. Also spelled as oenology.