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.

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.

tasty wines
refers to highly aromatic wines

Such as Gelber Muskateller (Muscat), Muskat-Ottonel, Sauvignon Blanc, Traminer and so on.

TBA
the short description for Trockenbeerenauslese
TCA
trichloroanisole

A wine fault that displays an undesirable mouldy, musty smell and taste. The cause is the presence of trichloroanisole (TCA), and we differentiate between the classic (unmistakable) cork taint, and a subtle taste of cork, and the latter often suppresses the fruit of the wine and can be difficult to detect.

tears
church windows

The colloquial term for church windows, or the legs of a wine with high extract, that develop on the inside surface of the wine glass.

teinturier wine
colour intensifier

A red wine variety that is blended with other red wines just for its colour benefit, in Austria a common example would be the Blauburger.

temperature

Temperature plays a central role in the vinification (temperature of the fermentation), in the storage of wine (wine cellar temperature) and particularly in the restaurants. The pleasure of enjoying a wine is defined by the serving temperature and correct drinking temperature of the wine.

temperature control
used to control the fermentation
terraces

If the slope incline is too steep for standard vine cultivation, then terraces are built, known as terrace viticulture. Small parcels were traditionally constructed with dry-stone alling and stone steps, and this is still a common feature in the Wachau.

terroir
the combination of several factors, above all the soil structure, vineyard site and microclimate, as well as origin, vineyard management, vinification and so on



Tertiärbukett
Positive and pleasant aromatic impression that originally derive from the grapes

"The various aroma components, ranging from floral, fruity, spicy and so on, are listed in the aroma wheel. Both the bouquet in the nose and the retronasal aroma perception at the back of the throat, often described in English as the flavour.
We sub-divide the aromas into three categories, the primary, secondary and tertiary aromas or bouquet. Primary aromas refer to the fruit flavour components found in the grape, and which upon tasting, are recognisable with aromas present in the finished wine. We speak of wine-like or grapey aromas, and often you can recognise the character of the grape variety from a particular scent of berries, fruit, petals or flower, for example the intense rose petal aroma in Traminer. The secondary aromas come from the winery, and are aromatic components that derive from grape handling, fermentation and the maturation of the wine. You can even refer to the smell of fermentation, or detect wine faults (such as too much sulphur dioxide) yet the more desirable aromas include roasting or toasting and vanilla from oak barrel aging. The tertiary aromas are those that develop with bottle aging, a typical example being the development of the petrol note with maturing Riesling. Again, wine faults may also be included, the most common being cork taint."

tertiary aromas
Positive and pleasant aromatic impression that originally derive from the grapes

"The various aroma components, ranging from floral, fruity, spicy and so on, are listed in the aroma wheel. Both the bouquet in the nose and the retronasal aroma perception at the back of the throat, often described in English as the flavour.
We sub-divide the aromas into three categories, the primary, secondary and tertiary aromas or bouquet. Primary aromas refer to the fruit flavour components found in the grape, and which upon tasting, are recognisable with aromas present in the finished wine. We speak of wine-like or grapey aromas, and often you can recognise the character of the grape variety from a particular scent of berries, fruit, petals or flower, for example the intense rose petal aroma in Traminer. The secondary aromas come from the winery, and are aromatic components that derive from grape handling, fermentation and the maturation of the wine. You can even refer to the smell of fermentation, or detect wine faults (such as too much sulphur dioxide) yet the more desirable aromas include roasting or toasting and vanilla from oak barrel aging. The tertiary aromas are those that develop with bottle aging, a typical example being the development of the petrol note with maturing Riesling. Again, wine faults may also be included, the most common being cork taint."

texture
a sensory term for a wine that describes a tactile impression on the palate

Surface character.

the flowering of the vine
flowering

The flowering of the vine prior to the development of the grapes.

The French Paradox
examination regarding the positive health benefits of drinking red wine

The French Paradox was a massive medical experiment in the 1990s, that concluded that regular and moderate consumption of red wine, particularly in the south of France, drastically reduces the death rate of cardiovascular disease.

Thermenregion
winegrowing region

Here, 2.181 hectares of vineyards lie at the edge of the Vienna Woods. In the northern section, fruit driven, yet full-bodied white wine dominates with the indigenous varietiesZierfandler and Rotgipfler. Read more

 

Thermenwinzer
the name of a vintner association

Leading producers in the Thermenregion represent their local and indigenous varietal specialities in an exemplary manner.

thin
light

A light-bodied wine that lacks extract and alcohol.

tipsy

A colloquial, jovial word for becoming "merry".

tired

A tasting description, the wine is past its best and is showing age, has lost its freshness and the acidity has decreased.

to add sulphur

Sulphur is used in the most modern types of vinification and is usually found in liquid form and added to the wine from a pressurised bottles. Sulphur can also be used in winemaking from its solid form (e.g. sulphur sticks) or as a gas or powder. If sulphur is not added to a wine, or if the wine is not sulphurized, then it would rapidly oxidise and become unpleasant to drink very quickly. Red wines generally require less sulphur compared with white or sweet wines, because their natural preservative is found in the tannins.

to bring to the right temperature

The same meaning as chambrer, the French term that describes preparing the wine to the correct termperature. (Chambre = room).


to concentrate
to draw water out of the must, must concentration

this is a wine-making operation used to increase the concentration of the must, whereby water and grape juice is drawn out of the must. In a vacuum, water begins to evapourate at 25 °C to 30 °C, without having any negative effect on the aromas of the finished wine. This form of concentration has been permitted in the EU for a number of years, and is already a practice employed in Austria as an alterative to chaptalization in red wine production. Vacuum evapouration is also a process used for the production of alcohol-free wine.

to decant (wine)
pouring wine into another vessel

Prior to serving, the wine is poured into a carafe or decanter, to remove the wine from its sediment. Should the wine not have any sediment or dregs, and only requires agitation to allow the aromas to evolve, then we call this process aeration.

to fortify
addition of alcohol

Used in the production of fortified wines, by adding brandy to arrest the fermenting grape must.

to fortify

During the production of fortified wines, a spirit is added to the fermenting must to improve its shelf life. Popular fortified wines include port, sherry, madeira and so on.

to graft

Describes the grafting of European scions onto the phylloxera resistent rootstocks by practised grafters in vine nurseries.

to impregnate
artificial impregnation or addition of carbon dioxide

The impregnation of carbon dioxide is a common and efficient practice in the production of sparkling wine. The wine label must specify, that the sparkling wine was produced using added carbon dioxide.

to make wine, to crush

Wine-making operation when the must is separated from the solid grapes or mash.

to mulch, to add mulch
agricultural work in the vineyard

Agricultural work in the vineyard, in which the soil is covered with compost and mulch (organic materials such as grass-cuttings, straw and so on). This is later worked into the soil to improve its overall condition and increase the humus content.

to neutralise (new wooden casks)
the process of neutralising a new wooden wine cask or wine container, so that it is clean before it is filled with a must or wine

This is achieved by water, steam or sterilisation. If the oak barrels are not toasted, and will eliminate the unripe "green" note (describes in German as Neuerl, or "new" taste). The same process applies to wine glasses or decanters, which are rinsed through either with water or a small measure of wine.

to press

The wine-making operation of removing the must from the solid grape material or grape pomace.

to prune
canopy management in the vineyard

Refers to canopy management, and the cutting or pruning of the overhanging (lateral) shoots.

to rack

The young wine is racked, or removed from the gross lees or yeasts.

to rack
the racking of the clear wine from the sediment in a tank or barrel

Wine-making operation of removing the clear wine from the settled sediment or lees.

to rack

Must or wine is removed from one tank or barrel, and either by means of gravity or pumping, is transferred into another. Therefore the wine is removed from its sediment, or is deliberately exposed to atmospheric oxygen (especially with red wine vinification).

to spit

It is practice to spit out the tasted wine, as opposed to swallowing it, during professional, prolonged wine tastings.

to spray (the vines)

The common term for spraying the vines with plant protective sprays (e.g. pesticides).

to sterilise

Harmful micro organisms in wine, or in the vinification equipment, are elimitated or removed.

to stop

Arresting the fermentation, to retain the natural residual sugar.

to store, storage, aging

Wine that are yet to reach their peak in maturity require storage to enable them to age. The most ideal conditions are dark, cool and not to dry cellars. Alternatively, a modern wine refrigerator will replicate these conditions.

to thin out
reducing the yield

To improve quality and reduce yield, a defined number of unripe grapes are removed in the so-called green harvest.

to tip, or prune
canopy management in the vineyard

Refers to canopy management, and the cutting or pruning of the overhanging (lateral) shoots.

Toasting

Roasted spice, that derive from maturation in oak barrels (toasting = barrel is charred with fire) and this taste is passed onto the wine during maturation. The range of toasting is from light to medium to heavy.

topography
the name of a vintner association

Association of vintners that is primarily based in the winegrowing regions of Kremstal and Kamptal in Niederösterreich. Its members developed the classification system of the single vineyards.
 

topping up

Wine in tanks or barrels evaporates, and needs to be regularly topped, or filled up, to avoid unwanted oxidation.

total acidity

The total acidity is one of the most important elements of the grape, the must and the wine. There are numerous acidities, the most common being tartaric acid and malic acid. Other important acidities include citric acid, acetic acid and succinic acid.

total alcohol
the sum of the alcohol by volume and the unfermented residual sugars of the potential alcohol

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).

total extract
the total of all non-volative solids in the wine,

The total of all non-volative solids in the wine, including sugar, colour, tannin, acidity, traces of minerals, protein, and glycerine. If the sugars were to be removed, we call this the sugar-free extract of the wine. The value is always given in grams per litre (g/l).

Traditionsweingüter
the name of a vintner association

Association of vintners that is primarily based in the winegrowing regions of Kremstal and Kamptal in Niederösterreich. Its members developed the classification system of the single vineyards.
 

Training system or form
choice of training or trellis systems in the vineyard

The choice of training system for the vines in the vineyard. The most widespread form of training system is wire training (Drahtrahmenerziehung), an offshoot being Lenz Moser's high culture (Hochkultur) training system, that replaced the once very popular bush vine cultivation.

Traisental
winegrowing region

One of Austria’s youngest winegrowing regions is also one of its smallest (815 ha). The best producers with their typically spicy Traisental DAC Grüner Veltliner and Rieslings have gained international accolades.  Read more

Traisental DAC

The designation and marketing term for regionally typical Grüner Veltliner and Riesling that is permitted from the 2007 vintage for the Klassik (classic) and Reserve categories.

Traminer
white wine variety

The Traminer is an ancient variety that has probably developed from a wild vine crossing, and is internationally widespread. There are three Traminer varieties in Austria, the Roter Traminer, Gelber Traminer and the Gewürztraminer, and at least one is cultivated in all of the winegrowing regions. The volcanic soils of the Südoststeiermark provide the optimum conditions for this aromatic variety. The wines display a pronounced range of aromas, often reminiscent of wild roses and citrus fruit. Traminer wines are usually soft and always rich in extract, with a delicate residual sugar that is in balance with a bitterness so typical of the variety. Traminer can also produce sweet wines with great aging potential.

transvasement method
a compromise of bottle and tank fermentation

In this method of sparkling wine production, the second fermentation indeed occurs in the bottle, but the removal of the lees is performed via filtration in a tank.

trocken
dry

EU wine legislation has the following regulations for dryness: up to 4 g/l residual sugar, or up to a maximum of 9 g/l if the total acidity is no more than 2 g/l below the value of the residual sugar. It is perhaps easier to remember acidity + 2 (max. 9 g/l residual sugar).

Trockenbeerenauslese
highest category of sweet wine

A berry selection of predominantly nobly sweet, largely shrunken grapes with a minimum must weight of 30° KMW.

Tronçais
choice of oak with narrow pores, used in the contruction of small oak barrels
typicity

The virtue of wines, whose aromas and flavours are typical of a certain varietal or origin character.

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