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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

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

Definition: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.


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.


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.


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), including Prädikatsweine, 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.

Definition: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.


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

Definition: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).


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
Definition: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
Definition: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
Definition: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
Definition: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.

filter pad taste
Definition:taste of wet cardboard

A wet cardboard or filter pad taste that often derives from insufficient rinsing of the sheet filters. A wine fault that usually passes.

filtration, to filter
Definition:wine-making operation with must and wine to remove unwanted particles

The following types of filters are common; depth or sheet filtration, kieselguhr, membrane or cartridge filters, rotary drum vacuum filter, pressure leaf filter, centrifugation, cross flow or tangential filtration.

fine lees

After the first racking of the wine, or removing the wine from the gross lees and sediment, high quality wine is often left to rest on the fine lees, and with regular lees stirring (Bâtonnage), the wine becomes fuller and creamier.


Describes a wine that is delicate, subtle with balance.

Definition:fining is a wine-making operation

Fining or clarification is the process of removing the heat-unstable proteins from the wine, to avoid clouds, hazes or other deposits to develop later in the bottle. The most common fining agent is bentonite.

Definition:the wine-making operation of clarifying or stabilising the must or wine

According to the wine law, producers are permitted to use the fining agents. These are removed from the wine at the end of the process, and well known methods are bentonite fining, egg white fining and gelatine fining.

fining, clarification

The removal of the deposits or sediment from the wine, either by static or mechanical means, and is also described as fining.

Definition:aftertaste, finale

A tasting term that refers to the aftertaste of the wine in the mouth, or the last impression of the wine, also known as persistence or length.

first crop
Definition:the first crop of a young vineyard

The first crop of a young vineyard, normally in the third year of cultivation.

First growth or cru wine
Definition:high quality wine
first wine of a new vineyard

The first wine from the first crop of a new vineyard.

flash pasteurisation

Method used to sterilise grape juice, and a seldom procedure for wine.


describes an empty, rather dull wine.


The description for a flat, rather unspectacular wine that lacks acidity.

Definition:colour and flavour compounds

The groups of colour and flavours that belong to the polyphenols.


Denotes a full-bodied, opulent wine.

flint, flintstone
Definition:mineral aroma

The description of an aroma in a wine, that is reminiscent of two flintstones being vigorously rubbed against each other, giving off this mineral aroma.


Floral or petal-like aromas.


The wine has a floral or pleasant aroma of a flower.

Definition:the flowering period of the growing season

The period of pollination, and the stage before the grapes begin to grow. In Austria, this usually occurs in June.

flowering of the vine
Definition:start of fertilisation

Refers to the sexual reproduction of the vine, after which the berry fruit, or grapes begin to grow. The flowering period in Austria usually occurs in June.

Flying Winemaker
Definition:travelling winemaker and consultant

The English term for a winemaker that flies to different wineries or regions to make or consult on winemaking.

foreign taste

Unclean, not adequate taste.

Definition:(spirit) added

Wine, where brandy is added (fortified), is known as being fortified (e.g. Port).

fortified wine
Definition:Usually sweet wines, that have a higher alcohol content following fortification.
fortified wine

The common English term for fortified wines, such as port, sherry, madeira and so on.

Definition:wine aroma

Individual and unmistakeable musky aroma of native American and inter-specific hybrid wine varieties, reminiscent of wet dog and forest floor.

free run juice

Refers to must that flows from the mash without active pressing.

free run juice

The first, free run must, that flows without active pressing.


Young and lively wine, with delicate carbon dioxide and a vibrant taste.

Definition:sparkling wine, from the French vin pétillant

Italian description for a sparkling wine with at least 1.0 bar and a maximum of 1.5 bar (pressure).

frosty taste
Definition:wine fault

Undesired aroma of ice sweets, or lecithin, and is a wine fault when unripe grapes freeze.


Fructose (fruit sugar) and glucose (grape sugar) are both found in wine and must.


Tasting term usually referring to the primary fruit aromas in wine.

fruit sweetness

The sweetness of a wine based on high extract values and maturity is often perceived differently than analytical tests.

fruit texture
Definition:fruit taste

Often with high quality wine, there is an intense fruit taste on the palate, followed by a pleasant, textured aftertaste, that literally melts in the mouth.

fruit wine

Beverage similar to wine, made from fermented apple or pear must, and called Most in Austria.

Fruiting variety
Definition:the grape variety of a grafted vine

The fruiting variety is the vine that grows above ground and is grafted onto a rootstock variety, that is resistant to Phylloxera. The fruiting variety ultimately defines the variety and produces the fruit.


Aroma and flavours that refer to the grape or fruit variety. We differentiate between pipfruit, stone fruit, berries, citrus fruit, tropical fruit, dried fruit and cooked fruit (compote).

full of core, robust

Describes a full-bodied, opulent wine with supportive, balanced acidity.


A well-rounded, opulent wine.


A rich and powerful wine.


A full-bodied, opulent wine, rich in extract and/or alcohol.


Powerful wine with an opulent body.


Chemical pesticide employed against fungal diseases, such as downy mildew, powdery mildew and botrytis.

Definition:late ripening white wine variety

Furmint is predominantly planted in the Tokaji winegrowing region in Hungary, but it is also a niche product in the free town of Rust in Burgenland. Specialists produce dry quality white to honey-like dessert wines from this late-ripening variety.

fusel oils / fusel alcohol
Definition:by products of the alcoholic fermentation

Fusel oils or alcohols are by products of the alcoholic fermentation, and are often considered poor quality products. It is a popular belief that fusel alcohols contribute to the 'hangover' the next day, as the body requires a long time breaking them down.