Words of wines

Click on a letter to show definitions:

A.O.C - (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée). Created in 1935 and administrated by the professionals within the framework of the French National Institute for the Labels of Origin (I.N.A.O), A.O.C labels guarantee the origin, th authenticity and the quality of the product. It exists in France for more than 400 A.O.C wines.
A.O.C DECREE - Each A.O.C has its own decree, based on the "local, loyal and constant customs". This decree specifies the delimited areas, the classified parcels of land, the authorized grape varieties, the cultural practices in force and the analytical data required to claim to the A.O.C.
A.O.V.D.Q.S - (Appellation d'Origine Vin Délimité de Qualité Supérieure). Created in 1945, the Label of Origin Delimited Wine of Higher Quality is an intermediate category between "Vins de Pays" (category of wine produced in a specific region) and A.O.C wines. It represents 1% of French wine production.
ACIDITY - Generic term which qualifies the fresh taste of a wine and contributes to its balance. Acidity comes from various acids such as malic, tartaric, lactic and citiric.
AGING - Evolution of the wine after the bottling.
AGITATION OF THE LEES - Operation that consists in agitating the fermentation lees (contained in a tank or in a barrel) to put them again in suspension and to favour autolysis.
ALCOHOL - Main constituent of the wine after water. It comes from the fermentation of sugars by yeasts.
ALCOHOL CONTENT - Percentage of alcohol (ethanol) contained in a wine.
ALCOHOL CONTENT - Amount of alcohol expressed as a percentage of the volume (eg.12.5% vol.)
ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION - Transformation into alcohol of the sugars contained in the grape must thanks to the action of yeasts. The fermentation produces lots of compounds that intervene in the quality of wines as well as heat and carbon dioxide.
AMMONITE CLAYS - Big snail-shaped fossils often found in the "kimmeridgien" (white soils).
AMPELOGRAPHY - Science studying the various species of the vine.
AMPLE - Term used for a mouthfilling wine that develops an important retro-olfaction.
ANNUAL PRECIPITATION - Average measure of water brought to the plant by the climate.
ANTHOCYANINS - Mauve or red pigments contained in the grape skin which give the colour to the grapes and the wine.
APPROVAL - Compulsory procedure set up by the French National Institute for the Labels of Origin (I.N.A.O) and that permits the delivery each year of the A.O.C label to wines which are presented by wine growers.
AROMAS - Tasting term refering to the smells of a wine. A distinction is made between the term "aroma" (employed for young wines) and the term "bouquet" (for more developed wines). There are three types of aromas: - primary aromas(aromas of grapes) - secondary aromas (due to fermentation) - tertiary aromas (due to aging).
AROMATIC - An aromatic wine expresses good sensations (in the nose).
AROMATIC COMPOUNDS - Odorous constituents of wine perceived by the nose (olfaction) or by the mouth (retro-olfaction).
ASSOCIATION OF DEFENCE - Organization that groups together the wine growers of a same appellation. The association proposes for its vineyards the maximum yields, the authorization of the grape harvest as well as articles of the vineyard decree.
ASTRINGENT - Term used for a rough and dry wine. For red wines, the astringency is due to grape or wood tannins. For white wines aged in barrels it is only due to wood tannin.
ATTACK - Term used for the first impression in the mouth, mainly on the palate. It has to be clean but without aggressiveness.
AUTHORIZATION OF THE GRAPE HARVEST - Date authorizing the beginning of the grape harvest according to the maturity observed in the vines. It is decided by the professionals within the framework of the wine union. Wine growers who want to start the harvest before this official date need a special authorization delivered by the I.N.A.O services.
AUTOLYSIS - Technical term which refers to the decomposition of dead yeasts and to the dissolving of some constituents in the wine after the end of fermentation.