A-Z of Wine
A light-hearted overview of wine...
Acidity a necessary component taste of wine to ensure it tastes lively and fresh. A wine with insufficient acidity can be referred to as 'flabby'.
Balance a well-balanced wine has good levels of alcohol, fruit, tannin and, especially in whites, acidity.
Corked when a wine is 'off' and it smells musty.
Dry the opposite of sweet; wines that contain little sugar.
Elegant a well-rounded, balanced wine.
Finish the aftertaste in your mouth; ﬁne wines have a longer ﬁnish (also called length).
Grape-variety the type of vine plant used, e.g. Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay.
Herbaceous wine with a distinctive, herbal aroma.
Intensity a wine that has depth, and is extreme in degree, strength or effect.
Jammy the flavour of intense, ripe fruit.
Know-all someone who thinks that they're a real buff.
Legs where wine 'sticks' and runs down the inside of a glass.
MW Master of Wine: a qualiﬁcation from the Institute of Masters of Wine. There are just over 260 MWs worldwide.
Nose also called bouquet; this is the smell of the wine.
Oaky the flavour of a wine when it's taken on the taste from the barrel in which it was aged.
Perfumed the aroma of fragrant white wines.
Quaffing the act of consuming an easily drinkable wine.
Round when a wine is well-balanced in the mouth.
Sommelier the wine expert in a restaurant.
Tannin the bitter taste mainly detected in red wine, originating from the skins, pips and stalks of the grapes.
Ullage the distance between the wine and the cork in an upright bottle.
Vintage the year the grapes were grown.
Woody when there's too much oak in a wine.
Xenophobia don't be afraid to try different wines produced around the world.
Young when a wine is underdeveloped and hasn't reached its full potential.
Zinfandel a Californian grape; perfect barbecue wine.