Acid/acidity – Terms such as “crisp,” “tart,” “lively,” and “refreshing” are used to describe wines that have a good balance of acidity.
Astringent/astringency – Is associated with high levels of tannin. Tannin will usually decrease with age. A little big of astringency is to be expected in robust, rich, full-bodied red wines.
Body – Describes how a wine feels in your mouth, its weight and fullness. Refers to a combination of the wine’s alcohol, sugar and glycerin content.
Brut – A term that refers to a very dry sparkling wine.
Carbonic Maceration – Refers to a process where whole bunches of grapes are placed in a tank with carbon dioxide. The weight breaks the skin of the grapes at the bottom, thus beginning fermentation at an intracellular level. The resulting wines have less acidity and are light and fruity, and are best consumed young.
Clarity – Refers to the cloudiness or sediment in a wine.
Fortified – A method in which the alcoholic content has been increased 17% to 21%. Used in the production of Sherries and Ports.
Late Harvest – Refers to how ripe the grapes were at harvest time and may, but not necessarily, have been harvested with Botrytis (a beneficial mold that develops on grapes under certain environmental conditions, concentrating and intensifying both sugar and flavor). Late harvest wines are usually sweet and may be high in alcohol. Late harvest wines are best enjoyed after the main course as a dessert wine.