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KWS Wine Glossary

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Nutty
Describes nutlike aromas that develop in certain wines, for example Madeira and Sherry.
Oaky
Aroma and flavor imparted from aging wine in oak barrels. Characterized by smokiness, vanilla, clove or other spices. Should be balanced and not overly pronounced.
Off-dry
Not quite dry, indicates a slightly sweet wine.
Old Vine
While not strictly regulated, the term old vine generally refers to wines over 40 years old. Usually smaller yielding vines, more concentrated fruit that in turn produces a more complex wines. Some wines can come from a 100 year old vine, however it can also come from younger vines.
Olfactory Epithelium
A patch of nerves endings located in the retronasal passage that connects the nose to the mouth. During inhaling this nerve captures aromas and flavors and transmits them to the olfactory bulb in the brain. Humans can distinguish thousands of unique aromas.
Open
Revealing full character.
Organic Wine
Usually refers to wines produced from grapes grown without the use of synthesized fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides. Sulfur is still used in the fermentation process, but in minimal amounts. There are no universal laws for organically produced wines.
Oxidized
Brownish in color, lacks freshness, flat, stale or sherrylike aroma and flavor. Usually the result of over exposure to air.
Palate
Different sections of taste in the mouth. As the wine travels through the mouth, it first contacts the front palate, then the middle palate and finally the back palate, all which can process different tastes, such as sweet, sour and bitter.
Petillant
A light sparkle.
Phylloxera
Tiny root lice that attack vitis vinifera (type of grape wine is made of) roots, eventually killing the vine.
Pip
Another term for grape seeds.
Private Reserve
Winemaker's term for their top cuvee, often produced from selected vineyards.
Rich
Full, opulent flavor, body and aroma.
Ripe
Mature, fully ripe fruit.
Riserva
Italian term indication that the wine has been aged for an extra period of time prior to release.
Robust
Full-bodied, powerful, heady
Rose
French for 'pink wine,' roses range in color from muted pink-orange to day-glo pink. These wines are made from red grapes, colored through limited exposure to skin.
Rough
Harsh edges, biting, unpleasant associated with elevated levels of tannins.
Round
Smooth and well-developed flavor, without tannic or rough edges.
Silky
Smooth, sinuous textures and finish.
Smoky
Aroma and flavor sometimes associated with oak aging in charred barrels.
Soft
May refer to wines low in acid, gentle fruit, easy drinking and delicate wines.
Sour
Acidic or vinegary
Sparkling
Wines with bubbles created by trapped carbon dioxide gas, either natural or injected.
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Wine 101