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This glossary covers most of the wine term vocabulary in A Wine Journey. For a more detailed glossary of wine terms see the glossary on the Wine Trail Traveler site.

Brix: A scale for measuring the sugar content. The winemaker can convert the Brix level into potential alcohol. A reading of 20 Brix will create a wine around 11% alcohol. A quick way to do the math mentally is to multiply the Brix by 0.55. This will give an approximate potential alcohol level.

calcium carbonate: CaCO3 A winemaker will add calcium carbonate to a juice or must if it is too acedic.

carboy: A vessel often made of glass or plastic that is used to age wine. Home winemakers often will use three, five and six gallon carboys for home winemakers.

cold soak: Allowing certain grape varieties to soak in cold temperatures for a number of days prior to fermentation.

crush: A process where gentle pressure breaks the skin of a grape and releases the contents.

demijohn: A vessel used for aging wine. Similiar to carboy.

destem: Removing the stems from grapes

fermentation: The process where yeast converts sugar into alcohol

filter: A winemaker filters a wine to remove particles and help make the wine clearer. Often filtering is done before bottling the wine.
fine: A process whereby a substance is added to the wine to clarify the wine. The substance has particles in the wine adhere to it. They then fall to the bottom of the container. The result is ultimately a clear wine without sediment. Some winemakers do not fine wines because the process can remove aromas and flavors the winemaker wants in the wine.

maceration: A winemaking process where grape skins are combined with the juice. This gives the color to red wine and intensifies the flavor.

malolactic fermentation: A secondary fermentation whereby malic acid which is harsh is converted to lactic acid which is softer.

MOG: Abbreviation for “materials other than grapes.”

must: A mixture of skins, pulp, seeds and juice

pomace: The grape skins, seeds and jacks after the grape or must is pressed.

potassium metabisulfite: Used by winemakers to inhibit bacteria growth. It is also used in higher doses to sanitize equipment.

press: A winemaking process where the winemaker uses a wine press to extract the juice or wine from the grapes or must.

rack: Moving wine from one container (barrel, stainless steel tank, carboy, etc.) to another. Winemakers rack a wine to eliminate the solid particles that have fallen to the bottom of the container during fermentation and aging. Once the wine is racked the original containers are cleaned and reused. Racking a wine may eliminate the need to fine and/or filter a wine.

refractrometer: An instrument used to determine the sugar level in grapes. Small enough to take to the vineyard to analyze the sugar leve, the reading is in degree Brix.

Sommelier: wine consultant in a restaurant

TA (Total Acidity): Is a measure of a wine’s total acidity. The range is 0.0% to 1.0%. A desireable result is 0.6% for red wines and a bit higher for white wines. As a wine’s TA nears 1.0% the wine becomes sour and too tart for most people. As the TA nears 0.0% the wine will taste flat. Wines with low TA are susceptible to spoilage.

terroir: the effect of the combination of soil, weather, and climate on grapes in a given area

vintage: The year the grapes are harvested.

viticulture: The study of growing grapes.                        (410) 402-0217            Privacy Policy

Copyright: Terry and Kathy Sullivan 2012