A glossary list of some of the jargon associated with the wine world. This list will be added to as I introduce more terms in the blog posts.
acidity: pH level of a wine. Acidity is registered on the sides of the tongue, and by a salivary response.
body: the physical weight and ‘texture’ of the wine as it feels in the mouth.
core: if you tilt the glass with a small amount of wine in it, the core is the deeper colour in the centre of the body of liquid. It may be different in colour to the rim of the liquid.
driven: a term used to mean a particular flavour, or set of flavours, dominates a wine.
finish: the aftertaste of a wine. After you swallow, residual chemicals continue to stimulate olfactory and taste sensors. A ‘long finish’ is an indication of a wine’s quality.
floral: as it sounds. Smelling (or tasting, though this is less common) of flowers.
gradient: a difference in colour between the core and the rim. May be long, short, or non-existent.
herbaceous: adjective used to describe a herby, grassy, or vegetable-like quality to wine. Can be used in terms of the aroma, the taste and the finish.
nose: the aroma of the wine. Can change over time in the glass, and can be different in different shaped glasses.
palate: broadly speaking the taste of the wine. The term also includes the acidity, sweetness, and tannins in a wine, and the degrees to which these qualities might be present. Also incorporates the body.
rim: the edge of the liquid as a glass, containing a small amount of wine, is tilted. As opposed to the core.
sediment: for red wines – solid particles (e.g. from minute quantities of grape skins, stalks etc) that settle out of the wine. Generally increases with age.
spritz: for some white wines – bubbles of carbon dioxide just under the surface of the wine. Noticeable when first poured. Can give clues to the winemaking process when tasting a wine blind.
sweetness: strictly, the level of residual sugar in a wine.
tannin: chemicals (polyphenols) present in grape skins and stalks that are present in (some) red wines. In high concentrations they can impart a bitterness to the wine. Tannins also interact with the skin of the tongue and cheek to induce a ‘drying’ or ‘puckering’ sensation.
vegetal: an adjective to mean reminiscent of vegetables.