As we write our posts we sometimes run across words that we need to look up the definition of, or words we may want to give the definition of. Rather than just links to wikipedia, this page will also have an abbreviated definition. This will educate us and our readers without having to stray to far from our blog.
Acid – All wine has some acid in it and it is an important component in the flavor and how the wine feels in your mouth. White wine tends to have more acid than red wine and that is why they often feel crisp. At a simple level, not enough acid can make a wine taste flat while too much acid can make it taste sour. The acid level in wine depends on the climate and the winemaker and how they process the wine. Generally a cooler climate wine will have more acid than a hot climate wine. They wine could also go through a malolactic fermentation where the malic acid is converted to lactic acid or the winemaker could just add some acid. A good article to read for more information can be found at The Alchemist Wine Perspective.
Bonarda – Grown mostly in Argentina and in California (as Charbono). In Italy it is sometimes confused with Dolcetto.
Cahors – A region in France who’s wines are at least 70% Malbec (called Cot locally).
Charbono – A little known grape apparently the same as Bonarda in Argentina.
Crianza – In Spain they have labeling laws to indicate how a bottle of wine was aged or stored. For a red Crianza the wine must have been aged two years and stored in oak for six months.
Lees – All the dead little yeast bodies at the bottom of the tank or barrel. Sometimes called Sur Lie.
Malolactic Fermentation – A process applied to white wines and some reds to convert the malic accid in the wine to lactic acid for a smoother feel in the mouth. A great explanation can be found at the triangle Vino web site.
Must – What you have when the grapes are first crushed and before the alcohol has gone above about eight or nine percent. The liquids and solids.
Racking – This is when the wine is moved from one container to another leaving the lees or sediment behind. It is part of the process to clarify the wine so you don’t have a lot of sediment in the bottle when you go to dink the wine.