Glossary of Wine Terms

  • Agrafa [Fr.] – metal fastener intended to ensure the corks of sparkling wines against the pressure of carbon dioxide; it is mostly called “wire cage” in professional terminology now.

    Alcoholic fermentation [Lat.] – biochemical decomposition of sugar through enzymes produced by yeasts in the environment with limited oxygen concentration causing production of ethanol and carbon dioxide as by-products; antioxidants are substances that extend the food durability and protect them against damage caused by oxidation. Oxidation of food is noticeable through changes in color, nature, scent, or quality of product.

    Antocyanins [Gr.] – red, blue and purple pigments mostly present in apple skin or outer layers of pulp of blue-variety grapes. 

    AOC [Fr.] – Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée is designation of check-up of origin and quality of wine used in France; it constitutes 28% of the total wine production. 

    Assimilation [Lat.] – process by which organisms accept substances and energy from outside environment and convert them into substance of their bodies Assemblage [Fr.] – mixture of base wines which cuvee consists of 

  • Barrique [Fr.] – wooden barrel which contains 225 liters in which wine is fermented or ripen for certain time of period 

    Beaujolais [Fr.] – is a red wine made from Gamay variety produced in Beaujolais. 

    Bentonite – soil showing very good absorption properties used in the wine making process for binding  of thermo-labile proteins and fostering clarification of wines; it supports sedimentation of dregs 

    Botrytis cinerea [lat.] – noble filamentous fungus which metabolises on the surface of ripening wine grapes and influences the must quality, mainly that of Tokaj varieties 

  • Carbonic maceration [Fr.] – technique in which whole grapes are fermented in closed tanks under the pressure of carbon dioxide; it is applied to produce light red wines with a pleasant taste of grapes and fresh fruity aroma Cadastral acre– old Hungarian square measure of fathom system used in vineyards (0.5754 ha) 

    Casein – fining agent bearing positive electric charge used to remove oxidized wine tastes and aromas 

    Certification of wine – includes check-up of data in vineyard region, chemical analysis of wine, sensory-based evaluation of wine and verification that specification pertained to wine according to a special regulation is complied with. In Slovakia, in line with the new Act, certification shall apply to all wines with protected designation of origin, wines with protected geographic designation and Tokaj wines. Certification procedure of wines with protected geographic designation shall be carried out by a control authority or organizations authorized theretofore by the Ministry before they are rolled out in the market. The organizations must prove their authorization by accreditation certificate. 

    Claret [Fr.] – red (in some cased also rosé) wine made from blue must varieties without fermentation 

    Clarification of wine removing of instable substances of multifarious nature from wine which could worsen the sensory quality of the wine (clarity, color, or stability of taste of it) in the ripening process;  it is done through agents or in a mechanical way 

    Classic method – technique of top-quality sparkling wines during which the secondary fermentation occurs in bottles; it is called méthode champenoise in France

    Coupage [Fr.] – blending of two or more types of wine 

    Cuvée [Fr.] – mixture of base wine and liquer de tirage prepared to secondary fermentation; designation of sparkling wine 

  • De-alcoholised wine – beverage whose alcohol content is, through distillation, reduced to 0.5% of vol. or less; sugar, grape must, or thickened grape must not containing more than 60 g.l-1 of residual sugar can be used to add other taste in it

    Degorgeage [Fr.] – removing of dregs from crown seal of sparkling wine bottles which remained there after the seal was released Differentiation [Lat.] – the act or process of differentiating which is one of the fundamental principles of development of an organism 

    DOCG [It.] – Denominazione Di Origine Controllata e Garantita is the highest level of controlled designation of origin and quality of Italian wines Druhotné kvasenie – Secondary fermentation – wine disease caused by yeasts; c.f. secondary fermentation 

    D.S.C. [Lat.] – Districtus Slovakia Controllatus is the highest degree of controlled designation of origin and quality of Slovak wines. Such wines shall be certified pursuant to Section 25 of the new Act on Viticulture and Viniculture (valid since August 2009). Dýchanie – Breathing – c.f. respiration 

  • Ennobling – section dealing with improving plants and animals in favor of man 

    Essence [Lat.] – fluid share of mashed honeysuckles containing 40 – 60% of sugar and 5% vol. of ethanol 

    Extract [Lat.] – summary of stable substances of grape wine consisting of sugar and substances of non-sugar nature

  • Falling off – falling off of flowers from the grapevine flower bunches linked to genetic predisposition of an organism

    Fermentation – c.f. alcoholic fermentation

    Fermentation of milk and apples – biochemical process whereby germs change “hard” malic acid to “softer” lactic acid and carbon dioxide 

    Fertilization [Lat.] – fertilization; sexual fusion

    Fretting – partial part of the fermentation process of red wine making when grape must come into contact with skin of grinded berries 

    Full body wine – attribute characterizing full-body, distinctive, or even  „tiring“ wine 

    Full wine – wine characterized by rich variety-related aroma, harmonic proportions of the individual components (in case of red wines essentially acids and tanning agents) creating balanced taste and giving a pleasant impression 

  • Göncs barrel [Hung.] – oak or acacia barrel which contains 225 liters used during the production of Tokaj wine 

    Grafted grapevine – grafting component with its own root system 

  • Honeysuckles [arab.] – shriveled grapes most often attacked by noble mold Botrytis cinerea which contain 40 – 60% of sugar. Sugar content means concentration of sugar in grape or fruit must. It is matched by a special measuring device. In Slovakia, sugar content is most often expressed in degrees of standardized measuring device:  “Normalizovaný muštomer [°NM]. The value of its scale indicates how many kilograms of sugar is contained in 100 liters of must.

    Champenoise [Fr.] – c.f. classic chaptalisation method [Fr.] – adding beet sugar to unfermented grape with the aim to increase the alcohol content and improve the overall wine stability; the method was named after French chemist Antoine Chaptal who proposed to lower the wine acidity through adding sugar in it 

    Charmat method – mass-production method for producing bulk quantities of common types of sparkling wines in closed tanks through secondary fermentation 

  • Introduction [Lat.] – introducing foreign varieties or types in a new vine-growing area
  • List of registered varieties – list of varieties of all kinds which have stood breeding tests and  are allowed to be reproduced 

    Low-alcohol wine – beverage produced as de-alcoholised wine or through blending of de-alcoholised wine (cf. amendment to Act which comes into force in the Slovak Republic in August 2009) 

  • Malic acid – it can be found in must and above-ground organs of grapevine; it is less stable than tartaric acid, it quickly oxidizes in the course of excessive overripening of grapes 

    Marc – grape residue containing bunches, skin, seeds and quite a small amount of sugar and non-leached aromatic substances 

    Millésime [Fr.] – vintage sparkling wine from the Champagne region  which has to ripen for at least 3 years after its fermentation in bottles has been completed 

    Mixing of wines – blending of wines of identical or different varieties of similar nature which is to result in wine showing desired qualities

    Must – fresh extracted grape or fruit juice 

  • Newly ennobled variety – new ennobled variety

  • Peak – archaic name for vineyard  

    Peronosphora – vine grape disease caused by fungi coming from the North America attacking leaves, flowers, grapes and “tree rings” of vine grape; peronosphora (Plasmopara viticola) most often occurs  in hot and humid weather 

    Picking tub – wooden container intended for harvesting wine grapes

    Pigment – an amount of green (chlorophylls), yellow (flavonolds and red (anthocyanins) colouring agents which can be found in grapes 

    Phenophase of grapevine [Gr.] –periodical phenomenon of annual vegetation cycle of grapevine whose course depends on climatic factors 

    Phylogenese – evolution; historical development of species 

    Phylloxera [Gr.] – disease of grapevine caused by Phylloxera vastatrix; it destroyed most of the vineyards in Europe in the 19th century 

    Preserving agents – substances that extend the food durability; they protect them against damage caused by the activities of microorganisms Crossbreed – hybrid combining genetic factors of parents having different hereditary structures; offspring having genotypes of different parents

    Pressing device – grape crushing device

    Production batch – precisely declared amount of wine which was produced under identical conditions, has identical chemical composition, identical sensory qualities and is, as a rule, stored in a single container. It is marked with capital letter “L” and particular number.

  • Quality wine – designation of quality of wine with protected designation of origin in case the wine is made from the grapes whose natural sugar content is at least 16 °NM, the maximum yield of grapes did not exceed 18,000 kg/ha, the actual  minimum alcohol content is  9.5% vol. and meets qualitative requirements in compliance with special regulation. Wine can be capitalized to 22 °NM for white wines and 24 °NM for red ones in accordance with the special regulation. 

    Quality wine with attribute – designation of quality of wine with protected designation of origin. Grapes used to produce the quality wine with attribute must be certified by the control institute pursuant to the regulations contained in the Regulation as they were hitherto valid. Wine must not be enriched and chemically preserved except when sulfur dioxide is used. It must concurrently meet all qualitative requirements set forth in special regulation. The maximum yield of grapes per hectare cannot exceed 13,000 kg/ha. 

  • Racking of wine – separation of wine body from settled dregs; Strapina  – bunches constitutes 2 – 5% of bunch weight; it consists of main peduncle, side peduncles, little peduncles and little pillows which the grapes are attached to 

    Reductive wine – wine produced by air-activity-minimizing technology

    Regional wine – designation of wine with protected geographic designation if the grape which the wine was made from has reached the sugar content of at least 15 °NM and the maximum yield of grapes did not exceed 18,000 kg/ha. The actual minimum alcohol content is at least 8.5% vol. and meets quantitative requirements in compliance with special regulation. 

    Regionalisation – deployment of grapevine varieties taking into cognizance suitability of conditions of particular grape cultivating 

    Remuage [Fr.] – “ridding” of sediment created during secondary fermentation which has resided in the neck of the bottle; the sediment is then removed through dreg removal

    Rendita  – Annuity (rendita) [It.] – interest bearing loan rate regardless of exchange rate profit or loss in sale

    Reserve [Fr.] – in Slovakia (in compliance with Regulation no. 402 of 2007) it is designation of white wines which were laying on yeasts during the production for at least 1 month, in wooden barrels for 3 months, in bottles 6 months, and were released to the market not earlier than 18 months after the harvest date of the grape which they were produced from. Designation for red wines whose grapes were being fermented after having been harvested at least 21 days and the wine was maturing in wooden barrels at least 6 months and subsequently in bottles for 6 months. This wine is introduced in the market not earlier than 24 months after the harvest date of the grape. 

    Respiration [Lat.] – breathing, exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the internal and outside environment of the organism 

    Resistance [Lat.] – resistance of plants against diseases or other external factors

    Rmut  – Mashed grapes – grinded grapes which must will be extracted from

    Rosé [Fr.] – rosé wine made from must and blue varieties after a short fermentation 

  • Secondary bouquet –– set of aromatic and flavouring substances which are originated during the alcoholic fermentation process 

    Secondary fermentation – alcoholic fermentation of base wine which sparkling wine is produced from 

    Sedimentation – settling of firm particles (yeasts sediments) in liquid (wine)

    Sommelier [Fr.] – expert in beverages, in gastronomy being primarily been focused on wine and noble spirits; when venoms were popular sommelier was risking his life when degustating wine and guaranteed high-quality wine selection; at present, sommelier cares for wine´s life in top restaurants 

    Sour wine – wine with higher acidity; higher concentration of acids cause that taster has spiky or even bitter taste of wine 

    Sparkling wine – wine produced based on secondary fermentation which can occur in bottles (method traditional), in tanks (method charmet), or in an transverse manner (méthode transvals)

    Spontaneous flowage – must that has spontaneously released from grinded grapes. It contains the highest share of sugar and least share of tanning agents 

    State control number; abbr. In Slovak: ŠKČ (Štátne kontrolné číslo) – is assigned to Slovak wines based on the outcome of certification – c.f. certification 

  • Tartaric acid – important acid which can be found in must and all grapevine organs; in combination with calcium it creates insoluble calcium tartrate which is less soluble in water solutions than potassium hydrogen tartrate

    Tokaj wine – yellow wine produced from Tokaj varieties (Furmint, Lipovina and Muškát žltý) through oxidation technology

    Transversal method [Fr.] – modified method of sparking bottled wine production

  • Wine aeration – adding of carbon dioxide to wines from bombs prior to bottling

    Wine stone – crystals of potassium hydrogen tartar are formed in young wines after fermentation is completed or during wine maturing; wine stone solubility is influenced by wine temperature, pH and ethanol content

    Wine with protected designation of origin (PDO) – is exclusively produced from wine grown in vineyard areas in the territory of Slovakia; the grapes belong to varieties registered in the List of Certified Varieties. Harvesting of grapes and their bottling were carried out in the same or closely neighboring geographical unit (vineyard region) in the territory of the Slovak Republic. The grapes which the wind was produced of reached sugar content of at least 16 °NM whereas the maximum yield of grapes did not exceed 18,000 kg/ha. It meets qualitative requirements in compliance with the special regulation and was granted protection of origin designation. It must comply with all conditions of specification which were set forth. Designation of this type of wine includes name of bigger or smaller geographical unit which the wine comes from. The name of such unit can be mentioned as an adjective before the term “wine“. Upon meeting stipulated conditions, the etiquette of wine with protected designation of origin can also include the traditional designation which the domestic consumers are accustomed to, which designations are a decisive wine quality indicators; regional wines, quality wines, Quality wine with attribute (kabinett, late harvest, grapes selection, berry selection, raisins selection, nobly rotten raisin selection, ice wine, straw wine, winegrower’s sparkling wine, and sekt V.O.).

    Wine with protected geographic designation – is exclusively produced in vineyard areas registered in the territory of the Slovak Republic whereas the grape varieties indicated for its production shall be registered in the List of Certified Varieties. Harvesting of grapes and wine making and bottling shall be carried out in Slovak vineyard region. The grapes which the wine was produced of reached sugar content of at least 13 °NM and the maximum yield of grapes did not exceed 20,000 kg/ha. The designation of wine mentions name of region (Slovak vineyard region), but cannot further state designation of smaller geographical unit (such as vineyard region and the like); it can also be mentioned as an adjective before the word “wine“ and the term “regional wine“ can also be used to designate it. 

    Wine without geographic indication – new designation of the original stable wine category in Slovakia (the table wine category remained valid until 1 September 2009);  its production must adhere to the requirements set forth in Council Regulation (EC) No 479/2008 n the common organization of the market in wine.

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