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Glossary

The language of wine contains a wealth of meanings that are not all too familiar, particularly the technical interpretations. The glossary describes and offers an explanation to the most common terms.

acescence
wine fault

Wine fault, that smells of vinegar (volative acidity).

acetaldehyde
group of chemical compounds known as aldehydes

Responsible for wine faults, such as oxidation, re-fermentation and acetone.

acetone
a wine fault, with a smell reminiscent of nail varnish remover
Achterl
125ml glass serving

the “Steh-Achterl” means to drink a glass of wine while standing and “Flucht-Achterl” is the last glass before reluctantly leaving.

acidity
One of the most important components of the grape, the must and the wine.

There are many different acidities, the most significant are tartaric acid and malic acid. Other important types of acidities are citric acid, acetic acid and succinic acid.

acidity

The total content of acidity in is generally between 4 and 10 g/l (the total acidity is declared on the Federal Inspection Number assessment) In extreme cases, (such as with Schilcher, Eiswein (ice wine) or Trockenbeerenauslese), this value can be higher.

aeration
decanting wine into a carafe

Rich and full-bodied wines often require agitation or aeration prior to serving. Such wines are decanted into a carafe, so that the wine has ample room to aerate and allow the aromas to develop. Pouring the wine into a glass also helps the aeration process.

aeration
the act of decanting wine into a carafe

Describes the deliberate action of decanting of wine, to agitate it and therefore accelarate the aeration process, so that it may be enjoyed earlier.

aftertaste
another term for length or finish
aggressive
biting, harsh, sharp (taste)

Usually caused by the acidity or tannins.

agraffe
small wire cage

The small wire cage that secures the cork of a Sekt or Champagne bottle. Also known as Muselet.

alcohol
Term for ethanal

Common term for ethanol. During the process of fermentation, the sugars are converted partially or completely into alcohol. We differ between alcohol by volume (as declared on the label) with potential alcohol (the theoretical value if the sugars were allowed to ferment dry) and total alcohol (the sum of available and potential alcohol).

alcohol-free wine
wine with the alcohol removed

Wine that has had the alcohol removed following the alcoholic fermentation.

alcoholic taste
Brandy-like taste

The sharp, alcoholic and brandy-like taste. Rather a negative wine description.

Aldehyd
resembles the smell of Sherry

Sherry-like smell and taste of oxidation.

allier
oak

This refers to the choice of French oak, named after the river and department in central France, this is used for constructing oak barrels (barrique).

American oak

A colloquial term for the choice of oak used for wooden barrels, made using the white oak from the United States. These barrels are distinctive for their pronounced roasted aromas and taste of coconut and vanilla.

American vines
Grape vines from North, Central and South America

A colloquial term for the non-European grapevine varieties, that originate from North, Central and South America, and do not belong to the European Vitis vinifera grape family. Common examples in Austria are Isabella, Delaware and Otello.

Ampelography
The study of vines

The scientific study of vines.

ampelography
the study of vines (ampelography)