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Appellation Controlee: official French designation which guarantees the area from which a wine has come, the method by which and grapes with which, it has been made.



Short for appellation controlee, part of the French system that classifies wines according to their geographical origin. Each AC has a set of rules defining the region of production, permitted grape varieties and yields, and sometimes alcohol and sugar levels. The system provides a guarantee of authenticity for the consumer while protecting the producer from competition.



Chemical substance formed by the partial oxidation of alcohol. Normally considered a fault if it can be detected on the nose, though it is an essential part of the aroma of deliberately oxidised styles such as Fino Sherry and other flor wines.

Acetic acid


Chemical substance formed by the oxidation of alcohol. It is present in all wines in small quantities as part of the volatile acidity. In excess it is considered a fault (see acetic). See also thyl acetate

Acetic Tasting


An undesirable vinegary smell.

Acid / Acidity


1. Essential component of wine which preserves it, enlivens and shapes its flavours and helps prolog its aftertaste.
2.Acid, as a tasting term an its own, describes an unacceptably high level of acidity



One of the basic flavours which can be detected by the tongue and an essential component of all wine. Contributes to the fresh crispness of white wines. Over-high acidity can make a wine taste tart, while low acidity wines can be flabby.



Essential component of all wines. Several different acids are found in grapes and wine. Grapes are one of the few fruits to contain tartaric acid,the major wine acid and the most important source of acidity in wine. Smaller amounts of malic acid, citric acid and lactic acid can also be found, as can acetic acid. See also olatile acidity



Sensation left in the mouth after wine is swallowed. A long aftertaste is a sign of a complex, high-quality wine. See also 'length'.



Complex process of change which take place in wine over time. Simple wines require little ageing and can generally be enjoyed within a few months of the harvest. More complex wines will typically improve progressively over time, reaching a peak after several years or even decades, and then begin to decline.

Aggressive Tasting


A wine with high or excessive acidity or tannin. Wines that are aggressive in their youth may improve with ageing.

Alcohol content


Amount of alcohol present in wine, normally expressed as percentage by volume (% vol. On the label). A wine at 12 % vol. Therefore contains 120ml of alcohol per litre of wine. Most table wines fall between 9% and 15%. Fortified wines such as Port and Sherry are around 20%. Spirits are usually bottled at 40-43%.

Alcohol (or ethanol)


Compound formed by the fermentation of sugar. Responsible for the intoxicating effect of wine, but also essential for adequate body and mouth feel.



Class of chemical compounds, formed by the partial oxidation of alcohols and sometimes found in wine. The most usual is acetaldehyde.

American oak


Species of oak much used to make barrels for ageing wine. It is cheaper than French oak and generally considered inferior.



Study and identification of grape varieties.

Appellation controlee



Apple, appley


Lively fruity acidity of a young white, while bruised apple taste can indicate oxidation, in reds or whites.

Approved Viticultural Areas (AVAs)


US appellation system, defining regions entitled to a geographical designation for their wines.



The smells of a wine, particularly those deriving from the grape and fermentation. See also 'bouquet'.



wine with a positive, agreeable smell. Also, a class of grapes (e.g. the Muscat family) which are particularly fragrant.

Ascorbic acid


Vitamin C. Sometimes added to white wines as a preservative.



A sharp bitterness. Usually a fault, a wine may become less astringent with ageing.



A lack of richness or sweetness.



Process whereby dead yeast cells break down, to give a biscuity flavour. Found especially in Champagne and other quality sparkling wines.



Fermentation vat, where the pumping over process is performed automatically, using the pressure of carbon dioxide gas generated during fermentation. Now largely replaced by the rotary fermenter.

Legislatie Publicatii Legaturi Dictionar
Asociatia Producatorilor si Exportatorilor de Vinuri




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