This is a series of two articles where we introduce some of the wine most common terms, in a simple way. We hope you enjoy it and learn something new.
Horizontal tasting: Tasting wines from different wineries (typically from the same region) that were produced in a specific year.
Jammy: A term used to describe red wines with a cooked fruit flavor.
Magnum: Is an oversize bottle that is the equivalent of two standard-size (750ml) bottles.
Minerality: Similar to a wine’s earthiness, a wine with strong minerality tastes of the earth, though minerality typically refers to the flavor of stones rather than dirt. This term is used more often to describe white wines, though it can be used to describe reds as well.
Oaked: Both white and red wines can be matured in oak barrels (or with oak chips). Oaked wines are sometimes described as having notes of vanilla, cloves, butter, or caramel.
Oxidation: A reaction that occurs when wine is overexposed to oxygen, which causes it to lose brightness in both color and flavor.
Sediment: Solid particles that settle in the bottom of a bottle of wine. While sediment is gritty and unpleasant to consume, it’s not a flaw, and is actually a sign of a minimally processed wine.
Tannins: Bitter compounds in the skin and seeds of grapes that give red wine structure. (White wines have little to no tannins as they’re typically not fermented on the skins.) While some tannins are desirable, overly tannic wines can cause a drying sensation in your mouth.
Terroir: Terroir refers to how a growing region affects wine’s flavor.
Varietal: A single variety of grape.
Vertical tasting: A tasting where guests try the same wine (from the same winery) that was made from multiple vintages. Vintage: A vintage wine means it is made from grapes that were all (or mostly) produced in a single year. A nonvintage wine comes from grapes that were harvested over two or more years. Champagne is typically nonvintage (or NV) for consistency’s sake.