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.

Fan or bush
branch

The visual sign hung outside a Heuriger or Buschenschank wine tavern that is open.

Fasslrutschen
traditional custom of sliding down the side of the barrel

The traditional custom of Fasslrutschen, or climbing up one broad side and sliding down the other broad side, occurs in the Stift Klosterneuburg monastery on 15 November each year, to celebrate the Name day of the Lower Austrian Patron Saint St. Leopold.

fat

Tasting description for plump, alcoholic wines, that lack supportive acidity and freshness, and without any defined taste.

fat, broad

Tasting description for an ample and broad, sometimes weighty wine, lacking gustatory finesse.

fault

A wine fault is defined as being caused by external factors that have a negative influence on the wine. Often uncleanliness or mistakes in wine-making operations can be the cause. Other faults include cork taint, mustiness, hydrogen sulphur, volatile acidity, premature aging and oxidation, taste of wet cardboard, astringency and medicinal note, amongst others. We generally regard a fault caused by micro organisms as a wine disease.

faulty
unclean

Wines that are faulty and that have developed for the worse, mostly as a result of chemical influences or after contact with external or foreign matter.

Federal Inspection Number

The Federal Inspection Number is given to all Austrian Qualitätsweine (quality wines) following a chemical analysis and a sensory tasting (by a tasting commission). It is recognisable on the label with its letter and number combination, for example, N 12345/10.

Federal Inspection Number

This number distinguishes Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) and Prädikatswein (high quality sweet wine), and is awarded following the positive result of a chemical analysis and a sensory tasting (by a qualified tasting commission). The number is recognisable on the wine label as a combination of letters and numbers, such as N 12345/10.

Federal Inspection Number

The Federal Inspection Number is given to all Austrian Qualitätsweine (quality wines) following a chemical analysis and a sensory tasting (by a tasting commission). It is recognisable on the label with its letter and number combination, for example, N 12345/10.

Federal wine inspectors

Officials used by the Federal wine supervisory body for inspections during the harvest, especially with high quality or sweet wines.

Federspiel
Qualitätswein (quality wine) category in the Wachau winegrowing region

Federspiel refers to one of the three Qualitätswein categories in the Wachau winegrowing region, in this case for an unchaptalized wine of at least 11.5% alcohol by volume, but no more than 12.5%. The name ‘Federspiel‘ derives from falconary, a sport enjoyed for many centuries by the local landowning aristocracy (such as the Kuenrings). See also Steinfeder and Smaragd.

feminine
female

The subjective term for a wine, and an association to the female sex, for example in blended red wines, such as Zweigelt and Merlot.

fermentation

The alcoholic fermentation converts the available sugars in the grape must into alcohol and carbon dioxide, with brewer's yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as its catalyst. During this process, heat is produced, along with carbon gases, that need to be released. (Grape must + yeasts = alcohol + carbon dioxide + heat).

fermentation
microbiological decomposition of organic matter

The alcoholic fermentation converts the available sugars in the grape must into alcohol and carbon dioxide, with brewer's yeasts (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) as its catalyst. During this process, heat is produced, along with carbon gases, that need to be released. (Grape must + yeasts = alcohol + carbon dioxide + heat).

fermentation arrest
interrupting or arresting the process of fermentation

The deliberate or accidental interruption of the fermentation, that leaves the wine with a natural residual sugar content.

fermentation on the skins

A process of (red) wine fermentation, when the must interact with the grape skins during fermentation, resulting in added colour and tannins.

fermentation tank

The fermentation of wine usually occurs in stainless steel tanks, open top vats, oak casks and barrels, and earlier in cement vats or in glass carboys.

fermented dry
the sugars in the must have (virtually) all been converted into alcohol

The sugars in the must have (virtually) all been converted into alcohol, and the term is common for dry wines, where the taste of residual sugar is not noticable.

fermention vessel
vat or vessel for red wine fermentation

Generally, red wine ferments on the skins in vessels constructed of stainless steel or oak. These fermentation vessels are often equipped with temperature control regulators and technical aids (pumping over, punching down the cap, stirring elements, gas circulation), to keep the must moist and to achieve desired extraction of colour and tannin.

film-forming yeasts
wild yeasts

A wild yeast film that develops on the surface of the wine, if the vat or vessel is not completely full, and results in a sherry-like aroma and oxidation.