The organism responsible for changing alcohol into acetic acid (vinegar). Develops on the surface of wine if it is subjected to prolonged exposure to oxygen.
The sharp, agreeable tang of wine caused by tartaric, malic or citric acids. Acetic acid gives a vinegary taste to the wine. Too much acidity leaves the wine having a sharp taste, too little acid leaves a wine flat.
Describes the flavour an alcoholic beverage leaves in the mouth after is has been swallowed.
The agave is a plant (similar to a cactus) that is grown in Mexico. There are different vareities but the Blue Agave is most often used for Tequila. It takes roughly 8-10 years until it reaches maturity. The heart of the plant (or 'pineapple') is roughly chopped, then steamed in an oven for up to 24 hours. This concentrates the sweet sap and turns the starch into sugar. The juice is then extracted and fermented for two days. Generally Tequilas are better when 100% agave is used in the production, however many tequila's are 51% agave and 49% sugar.
National beverage of Scandinavian countries made from either potato or grain spirit flavoured mainly with caraway seeds and other botanicals.
On its own is a volatile, colourless liquid with an ethereal odour. Called ethyl alcohol or ethanol, it is the best-known member of the alcohol family and the principle alcohol found in all alcoholic beverages. For alcoholic beverages it starts by being the byproduct of fermenting a sugar-laden liquid.
"Most widely used expression of alcoholic strength or content; adopted by European countries and Canada. A measure of the percentage of pure alcohol in a given volume of wine, beer, spirit, cider or cooler on a scale of 0% (pure water) to 100% (pure alcohol).
The American proof system will take the figure and divide by two calling it x proof. See proof."
Any potable liquid containing .5% to 99.9% ethyl alcohol by volume.
A measurement of the amount of alcohol in a given alcoholic beverage. See 'proof' and 'alcohol by volume'.
Flavour elements produced in the distillation of alcohol.
Known as the original beer style. Ales are classified by the yeasts that rise to the top of the fermenting vessel at the end of fermentation. Typically ales will be lower in carbonation, slightly richer and served warmer than lagers.
Prototype of the modern still; used by the Arabs for the production of Kohl; name used for the pot still in European countries.
A modified "continuous" still used in the production of armagnac.
By law, blends must contain at least 20% of straight whiskey. If a blend contains at least 51% of a certain straight whiskey, it may be called blended bourbon, corn whiskey, or rye, according to the predominant grain.
A dry to medium-dry Spanish sherry. A fino sherry which has been further aged after the elimination of the flor so that is develops a dry nutty flavour along with a slightly deeper colour.
A broad term referring to any beverage taken before a meal to stimulate the appetite.
The heart of the French Wine Laws, it refers to the 'origins' a wine may claim to come from, and therefore, the wine's authenticity. An appellation may be as small as one tiny vineyard like Chateau Grillet, or a village like Pommard, or it may cover parts of a large area like Bordeaux. Many countries have adopted this system whether as AVA (Approved Viticultural Areas) in United States or VQA (Vintners Quality Alliance) in Canada or the DO (Denominación de Origen) in Spain. Also referred to as delimited areas or demarcated regions.
Government-enforced safeguard of the origin and standard of the finest French wines. Wines are placed into four categories, of which Appellation Controlee is the highest quality. For each appellation, the regulations or 'laws' define the precise vineyard area determined according to soil and aspect, the permitted grape varieties, maximum yields and the minimum alcohol level of the wine. They often cover vineyard and cellar practices, too. Annual compulsory tastings ensure that the wine reaches the required standard. Also applied to some spirits and fortified wines such as cognac and armagnac, some vermouth, and the calvados.
Another word for smell; usually describing the part of the smell of a wine derived from the grape varietal, whether distinct or merely vinous.
A descriptive term for the smell and flavour of particularly fragrant and spicey white wines. The wines merely reflect the grape's varietal character. The two most distinctive varietals are Muscat and Gewürztraminer.
The mouth-puckering feeling from a wine high in tannin and/or acidity. A tactile sensation.
The means of measuring pressure in sparkling wines. One atmosphere equals 15 lbs of pressure per square inch. Champagne is about 5-6 atmospheres.