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Term Definition
Acidity

One of the senses experienced by taste (the palate). Acidity is picked up by the sides of the tongue near the back. High acidity makes the mouth water. Lack of acidity is described as 'flabby'.

Amarone

Pronounced: Am-arr-own-ee

Full name is Amarone della Valpolicella. One of the most famous wine regions in Italy. The region is in northern Italy. Amarone is made from semi-dried grapes - making the wine more concentrated, intense, alcoholic and dense (viscous). Styles do vary depending, partly down to the extent the grapes have been dried, but also depending on whether the winemaker is making a wine in new stlye Amarone (with a purer, cherry fruit) or the old style (more port-like with aromas of chocolate, rum and leather).

Aroma

The smell of a wine. 'Aroma' tends to be used when describing the smells of young wines; 'bouquet' is usually used to describe older wines (with more developed smells).

The nose can pick up problems in wine (such as cork taint, sulphur dioxide and oxidation), how intense the wine smells, whether the wine is young or aged, as well personal perceptions of smells.

Auslese

A term for a wine made from fully ripened grapes. Auslese means 'Selected Harvest' which refers to the hand-picked selection process of the extra-ripe grapes. This wine is usually only produced in the best vintages. It is above Kabinett and Sp├Ątlese in terms of ripeness, but below Beerenauslese and Trockenbeerenauslese.

Beerenauslese

(Abbr. BA)

A term for a dessert wine made from fully ripened and botrytised grapes. Beerenauslese means 'selected harvest of berries' and refers to the botrytised grapes that have been hand-picked to produce the wine. Beerenauslese wines are only made in the very best years.

The only wines that are classified as riper are Trockenbeerenauslese.

Beli Pinot

See Pinot Blanc

Biodynamics

A branch of organic viticulture, Biodynamic cultivation began at the start of the Twentieth century based on philosophical theory. Biodynamics as it is now known took hold in the 1980s. The theory is that plants are a "middle kingdom" led by astrological forces and forces within the earth. Therefore, processes in the vineyard are directed by the movement of the moon through the twelve zodiacs. Biodynamics does not believe in the use of synthetic fertilisers, insecticides, etc.

Body

One of the more difficult terms to understand, it is used to describe the weight of a wine (made up from alcohol, tannin, sugar and fruit).

It is also referred to as the obnoxious-sounding term 'mouth feel'.

Botrytis Cinera

Pronounced: Bott-rye-tuss

Aka 'Noble Rot'.

This rot is spread by damp, humid conditions. But, with the good conditions, this can be a positive version of rot: it takes the water from ripe grapes, so the grapes shrivel like raisins, and concentrates the sugars making the wines sweet. This also adds unique flavours and makes wonderful dessert wines.

Bouquet

The smell of a wine. 'Aroma' tends to be used when describing the smells of young wines; 'bouquet' is usually used to describe older wines (with more developed smells).

The nose can pick up problems in wine (such as cork taint, sulphur dioxide and oxidation), how intense the wine smells, whether the wine is young or aged, as well personal perceptions of smells.

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