Too Much Wine Too Little Time

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Wine Terms

Appellation: The geographical term to identify where grapes for a wine were grown.

Aroma: A term for the smell of a wine, generally applied to younger wines, while Bouquet is the term used to describe more aged wines.

Barrique: The name for a French 225 litre Bordeaux style barrel.

Bouquet: A tasting term for the complex aromas of an aged wine. This term is generally not applied to young wines.

Brix: The measure of sugar in the grapes.

Brut: The term for the driest Champagne.

Bung: A stopper used to seal a bottle or barrel. Also a term used for corks.

Capsule: The plastic or foil that covers the cork and part of the neck of a wine bottle.

Corked: A wine whose quality is tainted by an off-flavor from the cork. It can smell moldy, or like damp cardboard, and will sometimes have a bitter taste. About 3% of all wines worldwide are affected by cork taint.

Cuvee: A term used to refer to a specific blend or batch means “vat” or “tank”.

Decanting: A process where wine is poured from the bottle into special carafe to allow the wine to breathe and sediment to seperate.

Extra Dry: Champagne that is less dry than Bruts.

Fermentation: The conversion of grape sugars to alcohol by yeast.

Finish: A term used when tasting to describe the lingering aftertaste after a wine has been swallowed.

Gamay: Is the red grape used in making Beaujolais wines.

Grape juice: The free-run or pressed juice from grapes. This juice is unfermented and is known as “must.”

Halbtrocken: Is a German term meaning semi dry.

Hard: A term for wine that contains too tannins and therefore is unpleasant. Hard wines can take a long time to mature.

Lees: Sediment that occurs during and after wine fermentation, consisting of grape seeds, dead yeast and other solids. Wine is separated from the lees by a process called racking.

Malolactic Fermentation: Is a bacterial process that changes tart malic acid to the softer latic acid. The process is used in both red and white wines depending on the style.

Must: Unfermented grape juice, including, skins, seeds and stalks.

Nose: A term used to describe the aroma and bouquet of wine.

Oak chips: Small pieces of oak wood used in place of oak barrels for fermenting and/or ageing wine.

Palate: A tasting term for the feel and taste of a wine in the mouth.

Phylloxera: A microscopic underground insect that kills grape vines by attacking their roots.

Pulp: The fleshy part of the grape tha contains most of the sugar, acids, and water in the grape juice.

Racking: The process of drawing wine off the sediment, such as lees, after fermentation and moving it into another vessel.

Reserve: The term given to wine that indicates it is of higher quality than usual.

Residual sugar: The level of sugar that remains unfermented in a wine.

Sulfites: Compounds (typically: potassium metabisulfite or sodium metabisulfite) which occur naturally, and can be added to wine to prevent oxidation and microbial spoilage.

Tartaric acid: The most important acid found in grapes

Thief: A tubular instrument used for removing wine samples from a cask or barrel.

Ullage: A term for the headspace, or unfilled space in a wine bottle, barrel, or tank.

Varietal: The term for a wine made from a single grape, which is usually listed on the label.

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Wine facts and information

How much white zinfandel is consumed in this country? Too much!
(oops, that might not be a fact!)

How many gallons of wine were lost in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake? 30 Million.

What was the primary fruit crop in Napa Valley during the 1940′s?

When was phylloxera first discovered in California?
August 19,1873.

Did you know that 20 million acres are planted to grapes worldwide?

The wreck of the Titanic holds one of the oldest wine cellars in the world (little tough to get to). The depth of the wreck has not affected most of the wine which is still intact (good luck).

The organic chemical compunds in wine are considered more complex than blood serum.

Cork was developed and used as a bottle closure in the late 17th century.

Almost 80% of the wine grape crop in the United States is produced in California.

Rose bushes you see planted at the end of rows of grape vines, are used to act as early detection for infestation of diseases and insects such as aphids.

Every state in the US has at least one commercial winery.

The first known vintage produced in California was in 1782.

Long Islands first winery was started in 1973 by the Hargraves.

Every wine contains a certain amount of sulfites. A natural by-product of fermentation.

It takes an average of 100 days between a vine’s flowering and the harvest.

86% of a bottle of wine is water.

The average age of French Oak trees harvested for wine barrels is 170 years. Only 20 of the 400 oak species are used for making oak barrels. Only about 5% of the oak tree is suitable for making the high grade barrels.

Over 160 countries import California wines.

Only 35% of all French wines are worthy of A.O.C, designation.