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Wine Glossary: H

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

Hard - High acidity or tannin content that creates a mouth puckering effect. Often descriptive of young red wines suitable for aging.

Harmonious - All elements, the fruit, acid, and tannin, in perfect balance.

Harsh - Very astringent wines, usually with a high alcohol component and excessive tannin, often display this rough, rustic taste characteristic.

Heady - Descriptive of full-bodied, high alcohol wines.

Herbaceous - Wines having green, grassy, herblike taste and aroma. Often characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Merlot grapes. Usually associated with the grape variety as mentioned, not the climate or soil.

Hermitage - Considered one of the best wines produced in the Rhone, usually red and made from Syrah grapes. It is told that a white was also produced by a Crusader who returned from the Holy Land coveting Syrah vine stock and declaring that he would war no more, it was time to plant a vineyard and his would be hermitage.

Hollow - Describes a wine that is lacking in flavor, that has a first taste - nothing in the middle - and a short finish, that lacks depth at mid-palate. Can be caused by grapes from improperly pruned vines.

Honeyed - A term, most usually used to describe the cohesive sweetness of late-harvest Riesling or mature Sauternes.

Hot - Term used for high alcohol, sometimes unbalanced wines that tend to burn with "heat" on the finish, giving a prickly, sensation of heat on the palate. Can be acceptable in Port-style wines

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