Wine Glossary: A
While tasting wine across Washington state, here are some terms you may come across:
Tannic - Usually refers to a wine that is not balanced in that the tannins overpower the fruit and other components.
Tannin - A naturally occurring substance found in grape skins, seeds and stems or sometimes from oak barrels, that gives wine its astringency. Most prominent in red wines where it creates a dry, puckering mouth-feel. Tannin acts as a natural preservative that helps wine age and develop, and in the right proportion contributes to the balance of a wine, but considered a fault if present in excess.
Tartaric Acid - The prominent natural acid in wine.
Tartrates - Harmless crystals that often form on a cork, or in a bottle or cask, that are composed of potassium bitartrate from the tartaric acid naturally present in wine.
Tastevin - A small, shallow, usually polished silver cup used by wine stewards or sommeliers in a restaurant for tasting wine; originally used in the Burgundy region of France.
Terroir - French term literally meaning 'soil' or 'earth', generally referring to all the physical/environmental characteristics in and around a particular vineyard site that are imparted into a wine such climate, soil, geographical location and so on.
Thief - Syringe like instrument used for sampling wine from a cask, tank or barrel.
Thick - Dense, heavy texture.
Thin - Lacks body, depth and therefore flavor.
Tight - Generally refers to the body and structure of young wines.
Tirage - A term used in the production of Champagne or sparkling wine referring to the first bottling step in the process.
Tinny - Somewhat of a metallic aftertaste.
Toasty - Aroma and flavor imparted by oak barrel aging; similarly 'caramel', 'toffee', 'vanilla', with spicy overtones such as 'cinnamon' and 'cloves' are used as descriptors of the same.