' Wine Glossary - Wine Terms From A to J
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    A - J

    A - J          K - Z

    Aging: Prior to bottling, this process allows the flavors and aromas of a wine to develop and mature over time.

    Appellation: An area where grapes are grown and made into wine, such as Bordeaux (France), Sonoma (California) or Rias Baixas (Spain).

    Note: In the U. S., an appellation is a state, county, or other legal geographic area. To be labeled with a specific U.S. appellation, 75% of a wine's grapes must come from that area. To label a wine "California", State law requires 100% of the wine's grapes to be grown in California.

    Aroma: The fragrance derived from the characteristics of a wine grape.

    Balance: Harmony among wine's components - fruit, acidity, tannins and alcohol.

    Note: Balance is an indicator of quality in wine. Balance is also referred to as "integration."

    Blend: Term used to describe wine made by blending - even to a slight degree - a grape variety with other grape varieties or other vintages.

    Body: Perceived weight of the wine, sensation of fullness. The density of a wine on the palate - either light, medium, or full.

    Bouquet: A complex fragrance in the wine developed by the winemaker's influence during fermentation and aging.

    Brix: A measurement of the sugar content of grapes before they are harvested. This measurement is used to estimate the alcohol content of the resulting wine.

    Climate: Consists of temperature, moisture, sunlight and wind.

    Note: Climate is one of the most important factors in determining the quality and balance of a grape's aroma, flavor, texture and color.

    Clarity: There are three categories of clarity in wine: (1) Brilliant - absolutely free of sediment and crystal clear; (2) Clear - free of sediment, but not brilliant; and (3) Cloudy - visible sediment or a muddy appearance.

    Color: Wine color is typically described as one of three hues: red, white or rosé.

    Note: Red wines derive their color from pigment in the skins of the grapes. Factors influencing the intensity of color include grape size, variety and ripeness, as well as the type and length of fermentation technique.

    Crush: Process during which the grape berries are ripped and torn to release their pulp and juice.

    Fermentation: Process whereby yeast cells convert grape sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

    Fining: A process of clarifying the wine electromagnetically, by introducing oppositely charged materials, such as egg whites or gelatin.

    Finish: The wine's aftertaste - not only the flavors, but the length of time those flavors linger in the mouth.

    Note: A wine's finish is often described as being short versus long.

    Fruit-first: Term used to describe softer, lower acid white wines and lower tannin red wines. Also called "fruit forward."

    Grape Variety: A subspecies of Vitus Vinifera (common grape vine), such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot grapes.

    Hang Time: The length of time a grape cluster hangs on the vine.

    Hue: A particular variety of a color - its shade or tint.

    A - J           K - Z
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