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.

maceration
letting the must rest on the grape skins for better extraction

In order to extract sufficient colour and phenolics from the skis of black grapes, there is usually a maceration of the must before proceeding to fermentation, which according to wine style, vintage and variety, can last from a few days to many weeks.

macroclimate
climate of a specific climate zone

The term climate refers to the sum of the influences and elements of the weather, such as temperature, sunshine hours, rainfall, amongst other factors, that occur over a longer period of time, as opposed to short term or current weather patterns. We differentiate between the macroclimate (the large climatic zones), the mesoclimate (climatic influence of the individual states or regions), and the microclimate (the local cliamte in the single-vineyards or sites). Austria has three major climatic zone, these being the continental climate, the Pannonian climate and the Mediterranean climate.

maderized
a sensoric term for an over-aged wine

A sensoric term for an over-aged wine, with one or more shades of brown in colour, and with an over-developed taste indicating it is well past its best. A comparison therefore with the intentional style of Maderia, is permitted.

Magnum
bottle size format

Bottle with 1.5 litre capacity.

main harvest

Dependant upon the weather conditions, this term refers to the most important harvesting period.

malic acid
natural acidity

Malic acid is one of the principal organic acids found in wine, that is widely present in under-ripe grapes and decomposes as the grapes naturally ripen.

malolactic
refers to the malolactic fermentation (MLF), and describes the conversion of stronger malic acid naturally present in new wines to lactic acid and carbon dioxide.

Refers to the malolactic fermentation (MLF), and describes the conversion of stronger malic acid naturally present in new wines to lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The conversion is caused by naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria. Malo wines are generally softer, have a smoother texture and are more stable. On the other hand, the malolactic fermentation is avoided for the fresher style of youthful and spicy white wines.

malolactic fermentation
reduction of the malic acid

Refers to the malolactic fermentation (MLF), and describes the conversion of stronger malic acid naturally present in new wines to lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The conversion is caused by naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria. Malo wines are generally softer, have a smoother texture and are more stable. On the other hand, the malolactic fermentation is avoided for the fresher style of youthful and spicy white wines.

malolactic fermentation
second fermentation

Refers to the malolactic fermentation (MLF), and describes the conversion of stronger malic acid naturally present in new wines to lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The conversion is caused by naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria. Malo wines are generally softer, have a smoother texture and are more stable. On the other hand, the malolactic fermentation is avoided for the fresher style of youthful and spicy white wines.

Malvasier, Frühroter Veltliner

A variety that is losing significance, usually cultivated for its table grapes or for young wine or pouring wine in one of the many winegrowing regions in Niederösterreich. The wines are generally soft and mild, with delicate aromas.

marc, pomace

The mashed rest of the pressed skins, pips (perhaps also stalks) from the grapes, that is recycled in the form of compost for the vineyard or distilled to produce brandy (in Italy the grappa and in France the marc).

marc, pomace

The mashed rest of the pressed skins, pips (perhaps also stalks) from the grapes, that is recycled in the form of compost for the vineyard or distilled to produce brandy (in Italy the grappa and in France the marc).

massive

Describes a grand and powerful wine, which has high alcohol and extract.

Master of Wine

The title MW is a qualification taken over many years study, and awarded by the Institute of Masters of Wine (founded in London in 1955). The Austrian Weinakademie (wine academy) in Rust offers part of the Master of Wine educational programme.

maturation
period of maturation

The maturation of the wine following the alcoholic fermentation.

mature
mature taste

Positive description for a mature wine, referring to the developing aromas.

mature
reached its peak maturity

The wine is fully developed and mature, having reached it peak.

mature, old
very developed aroma

This can be a positive description for a desired and typical aroma of maturity, yet also a negative term for an oxidised or over developed and unharmonious old wine.

matured in wood (or oak)
taste impression

Refers to the maturation or storage in large or small wooden (oak) barrels.

maximum yield (in hectares)

The maximum permitted yield per hectare in Austria is 9,000 kg of grapes or 6,750 l of wine (67.5 hl/ha). This applies to Landwein,Qualitätswein, Prädikatswein (high quality sweet wines) and Wein (Austrian wine without specific origin) with varietal and/or vintage declaration.

mead
honey wine

Mead is the common name for honey wine.

meagre

Describes a thin wine with little extract.

medicinal

Unconventional smell or taste, reminiscent iodine or medicinal herbs.

Mediterranean climate
the Mediterranean climate prevails in the winegrowing regions of the Steiermark

The term climate refers to the sum of the influences and elements of the weather, such as temperature, sunshine hours, rainfall, amongst other factors, that occur over a longer period of time, as opposed to short term or current weather patterns. We differentiate between the macroclimate (the large climatic zones), the mesoclimate (climatic influence of the individual states or regions), and the microclimate (the local cliamte in the single-vineyards or sites). Austria has three major climatic zone, these being the continental climate, the Pannonian climate and the Mediterranean climate.

medium-dry

This term applies to wines with a maximum residual sugar content of 12 g/l, or up to 18 g/l, if the acidity is no more than 10 g/l below this value.

medium-sweet
a medium-sweet wine

If the residual sugar content is exceeds the maximum permitted value for medium-dry (halbtrocken), but lies below 45 g/l (sweet), then the wine is described as being medium-sweet (lieblich).

medium-sweet

If the residual sugar content exceeds the maximum permitted value for medium-dry (halbtrocken), but lies below 45 g/l (sweet), then the wine is described as being medium-sweet (lieblich).

membrane filter
very fine form of sieve filter

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

Merlot

International grape variety, and the product of a Cabernet crossing, that has been an officially classified Qualitätswein (quality wine) variety in Austria since 1986, and is increasing in popularity. The grape clusters are generally large with small, loose berried grapes, and the wines are deep and dark with elegant tannins and juiciness (cassis and pepper pod notes). Merlot is a popular wine for blends.

mesoclimate
the climate of a country, federal state or region

The term climate refers to the sum of the influences and elements of the weather, such as temperature, sunshine hours, rainfall, amongst other factors, that occur over a longer period of time, as opposed to short term or current weather patterns. We differentiate between the macroclimate (the large climatic zones), the mesoclimate (climatic influence of the individual states or regions), and the microclimate (the local cliamte in the single-vineyards or sites). Austria has three major climatic zone, these being the continental climate, the Pannonian climate and the Mediterranean climate.

metallic

Describes a steely, metal-like taste.

méthode champenoise
traditional method of making Champagne

The Champagne method is a term that is only permitted in the Champagne winegrowing region of France, and describes the traditional method where the second fermentation occurs in the bottle.
 

méthode rurale (rural method)
process of producing sparkling wines

Not a common practice in Austria. This process of producing sparkling wines is primarily used for low-alcohol products or those with residual sugar that come from the first fermentation (tank or bottle).

Methusalem

Large bottle format with a capacity of 6 litres.

methyl alcohol

Normally an undesired alcohol, that only occurs in wine in minute quantities.

micro-oxidation

Actually a process of micro-oxygenation, and the process of adding oxygen during (red) wine making.

microclimate

The term climate refers to the sum of the influences and elements of the weather, such as temperature, sunshine hours, rainfall, amongst other factors, that occur over a longer period of time, as opposed to short term or current weather patterns. We differentiate between the macroclimate (the large climate zones), the mesoclimate (climatic influence of the individual states or regions), and the microclimate (the local climate in the single-vineyards or sites). Austria has three major climate zones, these being the continental climate, the Pannonian climate and the Mediterranean climate.

mildew
fungal vine disease

Includes powdery mildew (oidium) and downy mildew (peronospora).

mineral soil taste

Refers to an earthy taste, often typical for the type of soil or site (minerals).

minerality
the aromatic character of a wine that reflects its particular soil type

The aromatic character of a wine that reflects its particular soil type, for example primary rock. Mineral wines generally have a slightly salty character, or aroma of flint stones. The definition of minerality is quite difficult to grasp, but is currently widely used.

Mittelburgenland
winegrowing region

Blaufränkisch is the leading grape in the Mittelburgenland winegrowing region. And the typicity of Mittelburgenland DAC wines reflects the distinctive Blaufränkisch aroma of wild berries.  Read more

Mittelburgenland DAC

Blaufränkisch, the designated regionally typical variety from Mittelburgenland, has been marketed in two quality levels since 2005. These categories are "Klassik" and "Reserve" (the latter may also declare a single-vineyard).

MLF
malolactic fermentation

Refers to the malolactic fermentation (MLF), and describes the conversion of stronger malic acid naturally present in new wines to lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The conversion is caused by naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria. Malo wines are generally softer, have a smoother texture and  are more stable. On the other hand, the malolactic fermentation is avoided for the fresher style of youthful and spicy white wines.

Morillon (Chardonnay)
Synonym for Chardonnay

Morillon is the synonym for the Chardonnay variety in the Steiermark.

mouldy
wine fault

A faulty, oxidised wine.

mouldy taste
wine fault

A wine fault that is recognisable from a dull, musty smell and taste. The most likely causes are botrytis infection of unripe grapes or a lack of hygiene during vinification.

mouldy, musty smell

An unpleasant, faulty smell, that is reminischent of mould.

mousiness

A wine fault, with a pungent smell of mouse urine.

mousse
the effervescence of bubbles with sparkling wine

The effervescence of bubbles in sparkling wine.

mousseux
the effervescence or escape of carbon dioxide with sparkling wines
mouthfeel
taste impression

The virtue of wines, which display a high alcohol and glycerine content, yet also have balanced acidity and integrated tannins.

mulled wine
warmed wine

This is a white or red wine, with added spices (cinnamon and cloves), that is heated, usually sweetened and served warm.

Müller-Thurgau, Riesling Sylvaner
white wine variety in Austria

This is an early ripening variety with softness and delicate aromas. The crossing was made by the Swiss botanist Hermann Müller from the Swiss canton of Thurgau, and is Riesling x Chasselat de Courtillier (Madeleine Royal). For many years, it was misunderstood to be the crossing of Riesling x Sylvaner, hence the name Rivaner, yet nowadays, the variety is predominantly cultivated for its use in young wines (such as the Junker or Junger Österreicher) and in cases for sweet wines.

Muscaris
PIWI variety

The crossing made by Norbert Becker (Staatliches Weinbauinstitut Freiburg) is a fungus-resistant variety. Parcels planted to this vine are found primarily in the Steiermark.

Muscat aroma

The distinctive aroma of wines from the Muscat variety of grapes.

Muscat, Gelber Muskateller
white wine variety in Austria

Gelber Muskateller (Muscat blanc à petits grains) is unfortunately still very much a rarity in Austria. This ancient and diverse member of the Muscat family can be very demanding in the vineyard and is difficult to cultivate. The grapey wine displays a distinct bouquet of muscat, citrus fruit aromas as well as herbed spice and floral notes. Due to its vibrant and juicy acidity, it is a popular choice for an aperitif wine in Austrian restaurants.

Muskat Ottonel
white wine variety

The Muskat-Ottonel is a more recent addition to the ancient Muscat family, and was cultivated from a seedling in France, and is thought to be a crossing of Chasselas and an undetermined Muscat variety. Read more

Muskateller, Muscat
white wine variety in Austria

Gelber Muskateller (Muscat blanc à petits grains) is unfortunately still very much a rarity in Austria. This ancient and diverse member of the Muscat family can be very demanding in the vineyard and is difficult to cultivate. The grapey wine displays a distinct bouquet of muscat, citrus fruit aromas as well as herbed spice and floral notes. Due to its vibrant and juicy acidity, it is a popular choice for an aperitif wine in Austrian restaurants.

must

The description used for the freshly pressed grape juice prior to fermentation.

must
freshly pressed grape juice for the vinification of wine
must heating

A process of red wine fermentation, when the must is heated to approximately 74 °C and then pressed shortly afterwards. This reduces the production time and is an efficient method of producing simple, quaffable table wines.
 

must weight
specific (sugar) weight of the must

Specific weight of the grape must that is primarily dependant on the sugar content value and in certain cases the extract. In Austria, the must  weight is measured in °KMW.

must, mash or grape pomace

Particularly the case in red wine production, this is the term for the mash or pomace of grape flesh, skins, pips and juice that is the product of destemming and crushing.

musty
unclean

Wines with a slightly unclean nose or taste are described as being musty, or masked.

mutation
a change in the key substances of the vine

Describes a change in the key substances of the vine. Grapevines can be deliberately mutated during specific breeding. Yet there is also the occurrence of natural breeding, and it often comes to mutations over a period of many decades or centuries, such as the Pinot varieties.

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