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   Vineyard & Winery Management Magazine


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Robert Mondavi Wines
Beringer Vineyards
Sutter Home Winery
Sterling Vineyards
Goosecross Cellars



Wine Definitions and Terms:

Aroma: All-purpose word for the smell of a wine, which may vary in type (fruity, floral, spicy) and in strength. Aroma is used in the general sense and is usually positive.

Astringent: The sensation of a wine that leaves a puckery feel in the mouth and seems to dry out the palate. Tannins, from the grapes and oak barrels, contribute to astringency.

Austere: Characteristic of wines that are lean in body and high in acidity but overall on the pleasant side. Usually white wines are likely to be austere in style.

Balanced: When all of the wine's components (fruit, acidity, tannin, oak, sweetness) exist in a harmonious way, the wine is said to be balanced.

Berrylike: Common aroma description for wines with a fairly distinct fruit character such as cherries, blackberries, and black currants.

Body: The relative weight of the wine or it's viscosity. Ranges from thin to light, to medium, to full-bodied. How wine clings to the sides of a glass when you swirl it is an indication of its body.

Bouquet: The odors developed through the aging process as distinguished from the fruity/spicy aroma of the grape.

Complex: Describes both aromas and flavors, and the existence of several facets simultaneously.

Crisp: Leaves you with a lip-smacking impression similar to tart. Usually the result of high acidity.

Dry: Basically - the opposite of sweet.

Earthy: Exists in varying degrees, from a subtle aroma of dusty weediness to a pungent aroma of mushrooms and truffles.

Floral: Aromas similar to flowers in full bloom are said to be floral.

Grassy: A fresh, lively aroma reminiscent of freshly cut grass, usually considered pleasant.

Herbal: Collective term for aromas hinting of dried herbs such as sage, dill and mint.

Nose: The combination of all odors, aroma, bouquet, oak, etc., detected by the olfactory sense.

Oak: The aroma derived directly from oak barrel aging and usually described as vanilla-like.

Smoky: An aroma derived mostly from fired oak barrels and often perceived as toasty or roasted.

Spicy: Characteristically spicy, suggesting cloves, cinnamon and pepper.

Supple: A soft smooth style without being heavy in body.

Yeasty: An aroma similar to fresh baked bread (highly desirable in sparkling wines and Champagne

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