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Wine Glossary: P

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

Peak - Being a very subjective issue of when the taste of a wine is at its best.

Perfumed - Distinct quality referring to the usually sweet and floral aromas of some white wines.

Petillant - Lightly sparkling, or crackling, possibly only realized as a slight prickly sensation on the tongue.

Petite Sirah - A red grape variety, most widely grown in California, not to be confused with the true Syrah of the Rhone Valley of France.

pH - A measure of the intensity of acid a wine contains; the lower the pH the more acidic the wine.

Phylloxera - Tiny aphids or root lice that attack Vitis vinifera roots and can devastate entire vineyards.

Pinot Blanc - White wine grape variety usually producing a favorable dry, medium-body white wine not unlike Chardonnay, that can be drank young.

Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio - French and Italian names respectively for the same white grape, known to produce flavorful, dry, crisp white wines, sometimes with a light musky overtone well-suited to accompany seafood and fish.

Pinot Meunier - Red wine grapes originating from the Champagne region of France and used for blending with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to add a certain fruitiness to champagne. Recently the Pinot Meunier varietal is being grown and marketed in Oregon.

Pinot Noir - Highly regarded, noble red grape variety originally from Burgundy, proven to produce some of the best velvety, voluptuous red wines to be had.

Pomace - The residue from the grapes used to make a wine - the skins, seeds, pulp, and stems left in the fermenting vat or cask after wine making, and one of the necessary ingredients used in the distillation of French marc and Italian grappa.

Private Reserve - Denotes quaility and along with 'Reserve', once stood for the best wines a winery produced, however, many wineries have diluted the true quality seal behind this term by using similar tags such as Proprietor's Reserve for rather ordinary wines.

Pruney - The flavor of overripe, sun-dried grapes that can add an unfavorable pungency to wines; not unlike the taste of dried prunes. Can add complexity in the right small doses.

Puckery - Describes the mouth's reaction to highly tannic and very dry wines.

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