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Wine Terminology


Glossary terms

Abboccato (It.)

Medium sweet.

Particularly used for Orvieto, which can be dry (secco) or abboccato. See also 'amabile', 'dolce'.

Abocado (Sp.)

Medium sweet.

See also 'dulce', 'seco'.

Abocado (Sp.)

Medium sweet.

See also 'dulce', 'seco'.

AC, AOC

Short for appellation controlee, part of the French system that classifies wines according to their geographical origin.

Each AC has a set of rules defining the region of production, permitted grape varieties and yields, and sometimes alcohol and sugar levels. For some ACs, a tasting panel must approve wines before they are sold. The system provides a guarantee of authenticity for the consumer while protecting the producer from competition. See also 'Vin de Pays', 'VDQS', 'Vin de table'.

Acetaldehyde

Chemical substance formed by the partial oxidation of alcohol.

Normally considered a fault if it can be detected on the nose, though it is an essential part of the aroma of deliberately oxidised styles such as Fino Sherry and other flor wines.

Acetaldehyde

Chemical substance formed by the partial oxidation of alcohol.

Normally considered a fault if it can be detected on the nose, though it is an essential part of the aroma of deliberately oxidised styles such as Fino Sherry and other flor wines.

Acetic

Tasting term.

Indicates an undesirable vinegary smell.

Acetic acid

Chemical substance formed by the oxidation of alcohol.

It is present in all wines in small quantities as part of the volatile acidity. In excess it is considered a fault (see acetic). See also 'ethyl acetate'.

Acidity

One of the basic flavours which can be detected by the tongue and an essential component of all wine.

 Contributes to the fresh crispness of white wines. Over-high acidity can make a wine taste tart, while low acidity wines can be flabby.

Acids

Essential component of all wines.

Several different acids are found in grapes and wine. Grapes are one of the few fruits to contain tartaric acid,the major wine acid and the most important source of acidity in wine. Smaller amounts of malic acid, citric acid and lactic acid can also be found, as can acetic acid. See also 'volatile acidity'.

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Glossary terms