The Basics of Wine Terminology : A Guide for Beginners

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The world of wine can seem daunting to newcomers, with its own language and specific terms. But don't worry, we're here to help you decipher this wine jargon. Here's a simple glossary of terms commonly used in the world of wine.

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Tannin : Tannin is a substance found in the skins, seeds and stems of grapes, as well as in the wood of oak barrels. It gives the wine a sensation of astringency on the palate, often described as a slight dryness or roughness. Red wines generally have more tannin than white wines.

Varietal : The varietal refers to the grape variety from which the wine is made. For example, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are all different grape varieties. Each variety brings its own aromas, flavours and characteristics to the wine.

Vintage : The vintage indicates the year in which the grapes used to produce the wine were harvested. Weather conditions in a given year can have a significant impact on the quality and character of the wine, making the vintage important to wine lovers.

Terroir: Terroir refers to the set of geographical, geological, and climatic conditions of a wine region that influence grape growth. This includes soil, climate, altitude, and sun exposure. Terroir contributes to the distinctive characteristics of a wine, such as its taste, aroma, and structure.

Winemaking (Vinification) : Winemaking is the process of transforming grape must into wine. This includes steps such as fermentation, clarification, aging, and bottling. Winemaking can vary depending on the type of wine and the preferences of the winemaker.

Tasting: Wine tasting involves the visual, olfactory, and gustatory evaluation of the wine. This includes examining the color, perceiving aromas and flavours, as well as appreciating the structure and balance of the wine in the mouth.

By understanding these basic terms, you'll be better equipped to explore the fascinating world of wine and fully appreciate its many nuances and subtleties. So, to your glasses, and to your health!

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