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GENERAL WINE TERMS

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Term Definition
Balanced

Tasting term, used to indicate a wine in which all the elements (fruit, acidity, tannin, etc.) are in harmony.

Balthazar

Champagne bottle of 12 litres, equal to 16 normal (750ml) bottles.

Barrel

Vessel used for ageing, and sometimes fermenting. There are many different shapes and sizes, but the most popular are the barrique of 225 litres and the hogshead of around 300 litres. Nearly always made of oak. New barrels impart an oaky flavour to the wine whereas old ones simply allow a controlled oxidation.

Barrique

Usually referred to as French barrel of 225 litres.

Baum

Scale used to measure the sugar in grape juice. Approximates to the potential alcohol, therefore a juice of 12 Baum will yield a wine of around 12% vol. if fermented to dryness.

Beerenauslese

German quality white wine category, meaning 'selected grapes'. Individual berries, usually botrytis affected, are cut from the bunches. Minimum must weights are laid down according to variety and region. Sweet, luscious wines.

Beery

Tasting term indicating the malty smell or taste of beer, usually considered a fault in wine.

Bentonite

Clay often used in fining wine, particularly white. The bentonite removes protein, helping to ensure a perfectly clear wine in bottle.

Bereich

German term, wine-growing district, comprising a group of sites which produce wines of similar character. The Bereich may be further subdivided into individual Grosslagen.

Bianco

Italian term for white.

Big

Tasting term used to indicate a powerful wine with plenty of fruit and structure and possibly high alcohol.

Bite

Tasting term used to indicate a powerful initial sensation of acidity or tannin, which grabs attention immediately the wine is tasted.

Bitter

One of the four basic flavors which can be detected by the tongue. Bitterness is a fault in excess, but is normally balanced by fruit and sweetness.

Blackcurrant

Tasting term used to indicate the often pungent aroma of blackcurrant fruit and leaf, particularly in wines of Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Blanc

French term for white.

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