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GLOSSARY OF WINE TERMS

Aroma: The scent of a wine. Young wines have aroma. balanced wine, will posses these components in proportion to one another.

Bouquet: The complex aromas that develop with age.

Brut: A term for dry Champagne or sparkling wine.

Buttery: Descriptor for rich flavor and smoothness of texture. Often referred to oak-aged white wines; many Chardonnay, white Burgundies. 

Cassis: A black currant flavor common in Cabernet Sauvignon. 

Chalky: Describes an extremely dry finish. 

Crisp: Describes clean acid on the finish of a white wine. 

Earthy: This describes a mineral character that can add interest to the palate. 

Finish: Final impression the wine leaves. 

Fruity: Apple, black currant, cherry, citrus, pear, peach, raspberry, strawberry; describes a wine in which the fruit is dominant. 

Full-Bodied: Full proportion of flavor and alcohol; big, fat. 

Grassy: The aroma of hay or cut grass, not unpleasant unless exaggerated. Usually found in Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. 

Honeyed: Smell or taste reminiscent of honey, characteristic of late-harvest wines affected by “noble rot.”

Legs: The viscous rivulets that runs down the side of the glass after swirling or sipping. 

Nose: The smell of the wine; a “good nose” is pleasant and inviting, an “off nose” is somewhat offensive. 

Oak: Aroma and flavor derived from aging wine in Oak casks or barrels. Oak is characterized by; smokiness, vanilla, clove and other spices. 

Oxidize: Wine that has spoiled, from over-exposure to air. 

Pepper: A component in either the nose or the palate, that smells or tastes of bell or cracked pepper. 

Smoky: Tobacco aroma or flavor that is associated with Oak aging. 

Sommelier: French for wine steward; a manager in a restaurant who has charge of wines and their service. 

Spicy: Wines that posses the distinct aroma or character of spice; clove, mint, cinnamon or pepper. 

Sulphur: An antioxidant used in making most wines. Fermentation produces minimal amounts of sulfur. 

Tannin: The skins, seeds and stems of grapes will naturally produce tannins. This is a predominant feature in red wine. Tannic wines produce a puckering or drying-out of your tongue. Tannin will mellow with age. 

Vanilla: The aroma and/or taste of vanilla beans imparted by Oak aging. 

Varietal: Refers to the distinguishing features of each grape variety. 

Velvety: Smooth and rich texture. 

Woody: Excessive aroma of wood, common in wines over-aged in casks or barrels.

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