We’re back with more Wine Terms! You all loved our first Wine Terms IGTV and blog so much that we decided to keep it going. Here’s a list of even more of the most common wine terms we’re using at Wander + Ivy. This list is sure to make you sound like an expert at your next gathering. Enjoy!
Fortified: This is a descriptor for wines that are 15%-22% alcohol. Still wines, like your traditional table wine, are usually 10%-14% alcohol. Some examples of fortified wine include Port, Madeira, and Sherry!
Fruity: Describes the smell and the taste of wine. This is used as a descriptor commonly for reds with plum and berry flavors. Whites are less commonly referred to as fruity, but it’s still possible. Typically for reds, you’re comparing a red varietal to be either dry or fruity.
Horizontal Tasting: A type of tasting where all the varietals are from the same vintage year. Highly recommend it for a night in with friends!
Vertical Tasting: A type of tasting where all the varietals are from the same geography but a different vintage year. In this tasting you can get a unique sense for what a growing season does to a grape! Give this one a try too!
Jammy: Referring to a cooked fruit descriptor. This is often used for red wines and more of a high level industry term, so you’ll get extra street cred for using this to describe a cooked fruit forward wine.
Magnum: No, its not what you think ;). Magnum refers to a giant bottle of wine that is equivalent to two of your standard 750ml bottles. It’s a 1.5 L bottle. These bottles store pretty well and can be cellared for a lot longer. Sometimes, they’ll be signed by the wine cellar and they can be a fun piece of decor to add to your home!
Minerality: A descriptor that is similar to earthiness, however rather than a dirt earthiness, minerality refers to a stone smell and taste. The terroir of the wine generally impacts the minerality as well.
Meritage: Used to describe California wines that are a blend made with the Bordeaux varietal. Red Mertiage is a blend of two or more of the red Bordeaux varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Merlot, Petit Verdot. White Meritage is a blend of at least two of three specific white Bordeaux varieties – Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, or Muscadelle du Bordelais.
Oaked: When a wine is aged in Oak barrels or Oak chips, it is referred to as Oaked. If you have a wine that has been Oaked, flavor profiles can include caramel, butter, vanilla, clove.
Oxidation: Refers to oxygen exposure to wine. It’s not always a positive term, however some oxidation can be good for a wine. Controlled oxidation is how some of the fortified wines we discussed, like Madeira and Sherry, are made.
Sediment: The particles that you can see in your actual glass or bottom of a bottle. This is not something that is harmful, it’s simply a result of minimal processed or super aged wine. No need to be nervous if you see sediment, it likely means the particular wine went through less processing during the winemaking process. In fact, in a lot of really expensive wines you will see sediment.
Tartrates: Known as, “wine diamonds” this is a type of sediment on the bottom of the bottle or sometimes on the cork. Tartaric acid is formed with the potassium in the wine, that creates this diamond like shape. These diamonds usually occur in minimally processed or super aged wine!
There you have it, 12 additional terms to add to your wine vocab! Impress your friends with you new knowledge and stay tuned for Part 3 next week! Cheers!
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