General term for any wine that is not fortified. More specifically, in the EU, a wine not entitled to any quality/regional designation (see 'QWPSR'). See also 'tafelwein', 'vin de table', 'vino da tavola', 'vino de mesa'.
Table wine. May contain wine from outside Germany, while Deutscher Tafelwein must be entirely German.
The quality and intensity of tannin in red wines. Young wines may have harsh, bitter tannins, reminiscent of stewed tea, that will mellow with age. Ideally, the tannin is well integrated and in balance with the fruit and acidity.
Group of compounds found naturally in grape skins, which contribute importantly to the structure and ageing potential of red wines. Extra tannin is sometimes added during winemaking, and oak-derived tannin comes from ageing the wine in new barrels.
Naturally occurring acid found in grapes (and almost nowhere else) and the most important acid in wine. A good level of acidity is essential for balance, the refreshing taste of crisp whites, and ageing potential in all wines. In hot regions, extra tartaric acid is added to 'correct' the acidity.
Crystals which sometimes form in wine. When this happens to white wine in bottle it is usually considered a fault, though it doesn't affect the taste and is not dangerous to health. Most wine producers treat wine before bottling to protect it against tartrate precipitation.
Red-brown, clay-limestone soil found in parts of southern Europe, and notably in Coonawarra, Australia.
French term for the notion that the complex combination of soil, climate, exposition and local tradition define the style of wine.
A wine with a harsh taste, usually as a result of high tannin content.
German and Austrian quality wine category, meaning 'selected dried berries'. Individually selected, shrivelled, over-ripe grapes are cut from the bunches. High must weights are laid down, and the resulting wines are normally lusciously sweet and rich. The best are made from the Riesling grape. See also 'QmP'.