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Glossary

Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Q

QbA or Qualitätswein bestimmter Anbaugebiete - The largest category of German wine that basically includes the lower quality wines that meet Qualitätswein standards. These wines must come from one of Germany.s 13 wine regions and should also reach a minimum level of ripeness. QbA wines may be enriched with added sugar.

QmP or Qualitätswein mit Prädikat - Literally, a quality wine with distinction. Germany.s category of superior wines. A designation of wines based on the level of ripeness of the grapes used in the wine. The grapes must also be picked as specified by law and the wines cannot have any sugar added to them. The six levels of QmP wines, beginning with the earliest harvest time, and ending with the latest, are Kabinett, Spätlese, Auslese, Beerenauslese, Eiswein, and Trockenbeerenauslese.

Qualitätswein - German for "quality wine." A broad category encompassing the majority of German wine. It includes QmP and QbA wines. In Austria, it is the category between Landwein and Prädikatswein.

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R

Racking - The practice of moving wine by hose from one container to another, leaving sediment behind. For aeration or clarification.

Remuage - In sparkling wine production, a tedious process where each individual bottle is rotated and tilted very slightly over time so that the yeast is loosened and settles into the neck of the bottle. Machines with computerized pallets have been designed to perform in days what takes around 8 weeks to do by hand in the traditional manner.

Rias Baixas - Wine-producing region in Galicia, in northwestern Spain. The language of Galicia is Gallego. Rias refers to the inlets made by the Atlantic into the coastline and Baixas (Bi-shas) is among the rias.

Ripasso ("re-passed") - In northeast Italy.s Veneto region, a traditional method of winemaking where fresh, young Valpolicella wine is placed in contact with the used lees and unpressed skins of Amarone wines after their fermentation. This process activates a second fermentation, imparting some of the sweet, raisiny character into the young wine and adds alcohol content as well. *see also: Amarone.

Rustic - Describes wines made by old-fashioned methods, or tasting like wines made in an earlier era. Can be a positive quality in distinctive wines that require aging. Can also be a negative quality when used to describe a young, earthy wine that should be fresh and fruity.

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S

Salmanazar - An oversized bottle holding 9 liters, the equivalent of 12 regular bottles.

Spatlase - Literally "late harvest," Spatlase is the second level of the German QmP classification system. Wines of this designation often have a touch of sweetness but are balanced by acidity.

Structure - The interaction of elements such as acid, tannin, glycerin, alcohol and body as it relates to a wine's texture and mouthfeel. Usually preceded by a modifier, as in "firm structure" or "lacking in structure."

Sur Lie - Wines aged sur lie (French for "on the lees") are kept in contact with the dead yeast cells and are not racked or otherwise filtered. This is mainly done for whites, to enrich them (it is a normal part of fermenting red wine, and so is not noted). Originated in Burgundy, with Chardonnay. Popular in Muscadet, Alsace, Germany (Riesling and Pinot Gris) and California. Adds complexity to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc; can occasionally be overdone and lead to a yeasty flavor that is off-putting.

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T

Tannins - Compounds that contribute to a wine.s structure, mouthfeel, and astringency. Tannins in wine are derived from grape skins, seeds, and stems. The more contact the juice has with these elements, the more tannic the wine will be. Fining and filtration later in the process can reduce the presence of tannin in the finished product.

Tartaric Acid - The principal acid in wine.

Tastevin - In French, it literally means .wine taster.. A tastevin is used by the wine maker and cellarman to monitor the maturation of a wine. The bright, centre dome spreads the wine across the shallow bowl of the tastevin to reveal the color and provide a "core to rim" comparison. This lets the wine maker know how the wine is progressing and maturing.

Terroir - The overall environment within which a given grape variety grows. Derived from the French word for Earth, "terre."

Transfer Method - In sparkling wine production, a method in which riddling and disgorging are not used. Instead, the sparkling wine is transferred to a pressurized tank where it is filtered, removing the yeasty sediment. Like the traditional method, a dosage is added to the wine, which is then bottled again.

Trocken - the German word for "dry" and indicates (surprise) dry wine.

Trockenbeerenauslese -Not to be confused with Trocken, the German word for "dry" that also appears on wine labels, these wines are made from .selected dried berries. that are picked late in the season after they become fully infected with noble rot. The skin has cracked and the water has partially evaporated, leaving behind more concentrated. Wine from these berries is golden and honeyed, high in alcohol and lusciously sweet. The best quality Trockenbeerenauslese is balanced by acidity and thus avoids being cloyingly sweet.

Typicity - A wine tasting term derived from the French word, typicité. The English word is typicality. It is a somewhat subjective idea, but is important to wine judges and professional buyers. Typicity refers to a wine.s quality of being typical to its geographic region, grape variety and vintage year.

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V

Varietal - A varietal is a wine named for the dominant grape variety from which it is made although other grape varieties may be present in the wine. The term varietal is often misused to refer to grape or vine variety. For example, Regusci Cabernet Sauvignon is a varietal label. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant grape variety in the wine.

Variety - Refers to a vine.s distinct type within one species of the genus vitis. Different vine varieties produce different and specific grape varieties, and the two are used interchangeably. The word varietal is commonly misused in place of variety. Commonly known grape and vine varieties are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Vinification - The practical art of transforming grapes into wine. It is synonymous with wine making.

Vintner.s Quality Alliance (VQA) - Canada.s controlled appellation system.

Viscosity - The quality of being viscous, the extent to which a solution resists flow or movement. When tasters refer to a wine.s body, they are in part evaluating a wine.s viscosity. Sweet wines are more viscous than dry wines because they have higher sugar content. Alcohol is more viscous than water, and consequently, wines with higher alcohol content are more viscous than those with less alcohol. Viscosity is related to the formation of "legs," or "tears," in a wine glass only so far as it correlates to the alcohol and sugar content of a wine.

Viticulture - The science of growing grapes.

Vitis Vinifera - Classic European wine-making species of grape. Examples include Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. There are many other species of grapes such as Vitis labrusca, a North American grape species such as Concord, used mainly for New York state wines.

Volatile (or volatile acidity) - Describes an excessive and undesirable amount of acidity, which gives a wine a slightly sour, vinegary edge. At very low levels (0.1 percent), it is largely undetectable. At higher levels it is considered a major defect.

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W

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X

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Y

Yeast - Micro-organisms that produce the enzymes which convert sugar to alcohol. Yeast is necessary for the fermentation of grape juice into wine.

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Z

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