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.

sweetening

In order to give wine its desired residual sugar content, the producer is allowed to add concentrated grape must (in the form of concentrate) or rectified concentrated grape must (RCGM) to the grape must. Austrian Landwein (land wine) and Qualitätswein (quality wine) may admittedly be sweetened by a maximum of 15 g/l, yet this is prohibited from the Kabinett quality category and above.

Sylvaner
old European quality grape variety

A natural crossing of Traminer x Österreichisch-Weiß, that now has little significance in Austria, but is widespread in Germany, where it is called Silvaner. The wines are quite neutral and soft, yet make great food wines.

Synonym
describes a word having the same or nearly the same meaning as another

Well-known synonyms in varieties are, for example, RivanerMüller Thurgau, Grauburgunder – Pinot Gris – Ruländer, Zierfandler – Spätrot, and so on.

Syrah

Syrah is at home in the south of France, in the winegrowing region of the Rhône valley, from where it then travelled the globe, arriving in Australia, where it is called Shiraz. The red wine variety became an officially classified Austrian quality grape variety in 2001. The wines display intensive and complex aromas of herbaceous elements, such as herbs, ivy and eucalyptus, along with pepper-pod spice, making them a perfect choice for maturation in small oak barrels with long-term aging potential.

table grapes
grapes that are cultivated for eating and not for winemaking
table wine

The old description for the lowest category of quality wine, that is now known as wines without geographical indication, or simply "wine". The EU clearly gives guidlines to the production of wine for this category. In Austria, Wein (previously Tafelwein) has very little signififcance on the market.

table wine
common term usually for a simple wine, served with food
tank fermentation
a method in producing sparkling wine

Also known as Méthode Charmat.

tannin
phenolics

Tannins (a type of polyphenols= include the grape skins, stems, pips and even oak that influence the taste of the wine.

tannin structure

Most significant with the firmness of red wines, which depend upon tannins on the palate. The tannin structure can be velvety, harmonious, ripe and lasting. If the tannins are underripe, the wine often appears sharp, bitter and astringent.

tar aroma

Certain, often mature red wine, will sometimes have an aroma of tar, bitumen or asphalt, or abrasion of rubber.

tartaric acid
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 succinic acid.

tartaric acid crystals

Refers to the salts of tartaric acid, that form in the shape of tartrates or crystals in the bottom of the container (either tank, barrel or bottle). These tartrates are completely colourless and odourless, and are not regarded as a wine fault. However, it is a recommendation to pour a wine that has tartrates, with care.

tartrate crystals

Refers to the salts of tartaric acid, that form in the shape of tartrates or crystals in the bottom of the container (either tank, barrel or bottle). These tartrates are completely colourless and odourless, and are not regarded as a wine fault. However, it is recommended to pour a wine that has tartrates, with care.

taste

Refers to the specific perception of the wine on the tongue, and the common term for the total impression that the wine leaves on the palate. This includes the five senses of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, as well as the temperature, surface character, density, and so on.

taste of wood (or oak)
taste impression

Aromas that originate from a new or relatively new small oak barrel. In the case of lightly toasted barrels, or large oak casks, this taste or oak or wood can be a negative description.

Tastevin

A traditional, small and very shallow silver cup used to taste a wine, yet this is now quite old fashioned and hardly used. Nowadays, the tastevin has more symbolic character and is only a visual indication of a sommelier.

tasting
Method of analysing and assessing wine, purely on the basis of using our perception of colour, aroma and taste.

There are the following types of tastings: blind tastings, vertical tastings (different vintages from one wine), commented tastings, tastings where wines are rated in a competition, a wine quiz, and so on.

tasting glass

Special wine glas with a stem, usually tulip-shaped, used when tasting wine.

Tasting room
a room within the wine estate that is designated for the tasting and sale of wine

A room within the wine estate that is designated for the tasting and sale of wine, and in Austria, these tasting rooms are often quite impressive and architecturally aesthetic.

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