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Wine Glossary: A


While tasting wine across Washington state, here are some terms you may come across:

Oaky - a wine that has characteristics caused by the oak barrel or cask in which it was aged. Oaky can also be described as toasty, vanilla, cedary, dill or sandalwood.

Oenology - The science and study of wine and winemaking. Also spelled enology.

Off-dry - a very slightly sweet wine where the residual sugar is barely perceptible.

Off-flavors - flavors being somewhat off for the particular type of wine.

Oily - wine with a slippery feel on the palate that comes from low acid and high glycerin in the wine. Some Chardonnays and late harvest sweet wines exhibit an oily character.

Overripe - wine grapes that have been left on the vine to dry in the sun to develop a desirable raisin-like character. Used to make some styles of Zinfandel and specialty wines.

Oxidized - Wine that has been overexposed to air and turned a brown color. Oxidized wines have a flat, stale or sherry-like aroma and flavor.










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