Welcome to Vino Vocab, it is a selection of words in the Wine World. It is for your own information and knowledge and also to teach others.

v           Alcohol content-The alcoholic strength of a wine or any alcoholic beverage depends on the amount of alcohol it contains, expressed as a percentage of the total volume of the wine. For natural wines, this is in the 8-15% range.

v           Alcoholic-Describes wines with too much alcohol and which taste uncharacteristically “heavy or hot” as a result.

v           Allier-Department of central France, just north of the Auvergne whose oak is in great demand for barrel making.

v           Aloxe-Corton-A famous wine –producing village of the Cote d’Or, in France’s Burgundy region. Located in the Northern Part of the Cote de Beaune district, Aloxe- Corton is unusual in that red and white wines are almost equally celebrated, although the best of these- from Grand Cru vineyards- do not carry the name Aloxe at all and all are labeled Corton Charlemagne, Corton, Corton Clos du Roi, Corton Bresandes, etc. All the red wines must come exclusively from Pinot Noir, the whites from Chardonnay. The red Cortons of great years are probably the best, certainly the longest –lived wines of Cote de Beaune, they are magnificent Burgundies of wonderful breed and texture, silky, well balanced, and fine. The white Corton-Charlemagne is fully the equal of the best wines of Meersault and Puligny- Montrachet. Wines marketed as Aloxe-Corton are delicate and attractive, but lighter in body and quicker to mature than those from Corton itself.

v           Alsace– An ancient French province, bordering the Rhine, north of Switzerland and comprising Haut -Rhin and Bas- Rhin. The vineyards, which are about 20 miles west of the Rhine, extend for about 70 miles along the lower slopes of the Vosges Mountains from Strasbourg on the north past Colmar to Mulhouse; they are among the most beautiful in the world, and the small vineyard towns are exceedingly picturesque. About 80% of Alsace’s acreage is planted with four varieties-Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, Sylvaner and Pinot Blanc. Other varieties included Pinot Gris, Muscat and Chasselas. In 1983, the appellation Alsace Grand Cru was officially established for wines that come from 25 specific lieux-dits, or vineyard sites, whose names may appear on a label. Only wines made from Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Gris, or Muscat are eligible for grand cru status. Two designations were officially recognized in 1983- Vendange Tardive and Selection de Grains Nobles. The appellation Cremant d’Alsace is used for sparkling wine produced in the methode champenoise. The wines of Alsace will be found in tall green bottles. Alsace wines are, in fact, completely dry, intense flavored, and more assertive.

v           Angular-The combination of hard, often tart- edged flavors and tactile impressions given by many young dry wines. Angular wines are the opposite of round, soft, or supple.

v           Alto Adige- The upper portion of the Adige River Basin, the northernmost part of Italy, forming the modern province of Bolzano and extending to the present Austrian frontier.

v           American Oak-With a stronger and sweeter scent than most European oak is in demand for maturing certain wines; for example Rioja.

v           Anthocyanins- Substances in the skin of black grapes, which produce the vivid purple color in young wines.

v           Aperitif- A legal classification for wines having not less than 15% alcohol by volume; vermouth is the best example. However, latest fashion is any wine enjoyed before a meal, regardless of alcohol level.

v           Appley-‘ Ripe Apples’ suggests a full fruity, open smell characteristic of some Chardonnay. ‘Fresh apples’ aromas come from wines made from barely ripe or under ripe grapes. And, should you encounter a wine with the aroma of  ‘stale apples’ you are probably smelling a flawed wine exhibiting the first stage of oxidation.

v           Aroma- Traditionally defined as the smell that wine acquires from the grapes and from fermentation, now it more commonly means the wine’s smell, including changes that occurred in the bottle. One assesses the intensity of aroma and also describes its character with virtually any adjective that fits, ranging, for example, from apply to raisiny and fresh to tired. 

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