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Salmanazar

 

Bottle of 9 litres capacity equivalent to 12 normal (75cl) bottles, mainly used for Champagne.

Schloss (Ger.)

 

Castle.

Second wine

 

Second-quality wine from a property (particularly in Bordeaux), often blended from wines not considered appropriate for the first wine (or grand vin). Can represent good value for money.

Sharp

 

An acidic or bitter taste. Usually uncomplimentary.

Short

 

A wine with little aftertaste. See also length.

Silky

 

A voluptuous, smooth texture in the mouth.

Sin crianza (Sp.)

 

Without ageing. A wine that has received no barrel ageing.

Smoky

 

The smell of wood smoke on the nose. Desirable if it is not overpowering.

Soft

 

Tasting term, usually complimentary, indicating a wine with a mellow, unaggressive character. Also used to qualify fruit and tannin.

Soft

 

A wine with a mellow, unaggressive character. Also used to qualify fruit and tannin.

Solera (Sp.)

 

System by which Sherry is aged.

Spicy

 

A piquant, herby aroma or flavour, derived from the grape or from oak ageing.

Stalky

 

A woody, slightly raw taste.

Sugar

 

Essential component of grape juice, sugar is converted into alcohol by fermentation. In areas where there is insufficient natural sugar, more may be added (see 'chaptalization'). Sugar, often in the form of concentrated must, is sometimes added to wines before bottling to improve mouth feel in dry wines or to make a 'medium' style. See also 'residual sugar'.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2)

 

Preservative which is added to nearly all wines to protect them from oxidation and microbial infection. Good winemakers keep the level of SO2 at the minimum necessary to protect the wine, and its distinctive smell (similar to the smell of striking a match) should not be detected in finished wine. In some countries (notably US and Australia) the use of SO2 must be declared on the label ('Contains sulfites'). A few individuals are allergic to sulphites, but they will discover this long before they are old enough to drink wine: a bag of prepared salad contains more sulphites than a bottle of wine.

Supple

 

A soft, easy-drinking wine, with no sharp or bitter flavours.

Sur lie (Fr.)

 

On lees. The practice of ageing wine, normally white, on its lees or dead yeast cells, to give more complex flavour and protect against oxidation. Sometimes found on labels, notably in Muscadet.

Sweaty

 

A pungent, leathery aroma. Some tasters like this, but others regard it as a fault.

Sweet

 

A wine with a significant level of residual sugar, or possibly a dry wine with rich, ripe fruit giving an impression of sweetness.

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