Matt Harris (Wine Expert) gives expert video advice on: What does 'vintage' mean?; What is dry wine?; What does 'Vin de Pays' mean? and more...
What does 'viticulture' mean?
Viticulture is the actual growing of the wines and the grapes. So, viticulture is the agricultural side of the wine making process.
What does 'vinification' mean?
Vinification is what actually happens to the grape when it arrives at the winery from the pressing right through to the actual wine making process itself.
What does 'vintage' mean?
Vintage is quite simply the year that the wine comes from. Therefore the actual grapes would be grown in 2007 and so it is a 2007 vintage wine. It might not necessarily be the year the wine was released in, but is the year the grapes were grown in.
What is a blend?
A blend is a wine that can be made from more than one grape variety, and that could be a white wine or red wine. The blending can happen at any time during the wine making process.
What is dry wine?
A dry wine is a wine where most of the residual sugars are turned into alcohol making sure that the wine doesn't have too much sweetness left in it.
What is off-dry wine?
Off-dry wine is a wine where the fermentation process might be ended a little bit earlier, so as to leave a small amount of residual sugar in the wine, obviously making it that little bit sweeter and so off-dry.
What is an aromatic wine?
An aromatic wine is a wine where the emphasis is more on the perfume, aroma of the wine and floral nuances rather than on power, spice or heaviness.
What is a flight?
A flight of wine is usually used in terminology of wine tasting. So, you taste a flight of wines. Rather than just trying a few glasses of one bottle, you try a range of different wines. That is called a flight of wines.
What is table wine?
Table wine, or vin de table, is the most basic wine at the lowest end of the wine governing body spectrum. But, 'table wine' also counts for wines that don't fit in with the governing body's rules. Therefore, you sometimes get table wines which actually are very very good quality.
What does 'Vin de Pays' mean?
Vin de Pays is a governing body of an are of French wine production. Vin de Pays covers large swathes of France, so there are Vins de Pays from various parts of France. It's basically to say that it's a step up of quality level from “Vin de Table”.
What does 'Appellation (AOC)' mean?
Appellation Controlee is the highest level of wine production in France. And it's used by the French wine governing body to control the quality of wine from certain areas. Therefore, you will have Appellation Sancerre Controlee, I mean it's sometimes known as "AC", and other countries have other ways of calling their Appellation Controlee, it's "DOC", or "DOCG", etc., etc.
What does 'WSET' mean?
WSET is the UK's wine educational body. WSET stands for the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, and people in the wine trade, as well as people who just want to learn and love wine, can do various courses with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust.
What does 'terroir' mean?
Terroir basically stands for a wine that comes from a certain place. The terroir is the land the vines are grown in, and the little micro-climate that surrounds the vineyards. It's an all-encompassing word, particularly used in France, to say where a wine comes from.
What is tannin?
Tannin is something that is contained within the stems and the skins and in the pips of the grape, and it's something that gives the actual structure of the wine. It's found, obviously, more readily in the red wines and it's what gives the wine a grip, so you'll feel it in the jowls of the mouth, it's what makes the young wines stick to your cheeks, to the gums of your mouth.
What is a lot number?
A lot number is in regard to auctioning wine. When you go to an auction you will actually bid for a lot number that will contain one or more bottles of a certain wine.
What is fortified wine?
In wine terminology, ‘fortified wine' is where a wine is made in the normal fermentation process turning the sugars into alcohol, but then that process is stopped, or arrested by the addition of grape spirit, with the stronger alcohol killing the fermentation.
What is sherry?
In wine terminology, sherry is the name of a wine that comes from a specific region in Spain, namely Jerez and comes in a variety of forms from dry to sweet.
What is port?
In wine terminology, Port is a specific name for fortified wine that comes from Portugal, to be precise.