Wine Making Glossary
In this wine making glossary you will find words that you will come into contact with when you are making wine
All wines contain acetic acid, or vinegar, but usually the amount is quite small and not perceptible to smell or taste. At low levels, acetic acid can enhance the character of a wine, but higher levels of acidic acid are not desirable.
A compound present in all grapes and an essential component of wine that preserves it enlivens and shapes its flavors and helps prolong its aftertaste. There are four major kinds of acids -- tartaric, malic, lactic and citric--found in wine. Acid is identifiable by the crisp, sharp character it imparts to a wine.
This compound is used to raise the acidity of wine increasing tartness, a mixture of malic, tartaric, and citric acids. Acid test kits are used to test the acidity in wine.
A resting period occurring after the fermentation period and allows time for the wine to improve its qualities through an endless series of natural changes. This resting period is typically between 2 months to 2 years.
This is a check valve, which allows CO2 gas to escape from the container holding the fermenting, while preventing the outside air, bacteria and wild yeast from entering the container.
Any wine drunk before eating, ostensibly to induce appetite
It reduces oxidation in bottled wine when added just prior to bottling.
It is sanitary and easy to use siphon starter for transferring wine from one vessel to another.
A unit of measurement found on some wine making hydrometers that indicates the sugar level of a liquid; A balling reading of 10 means that the liquid is 10 percent sugar by weight.
Powdered cleaning agent used to clean winemaking equipment.
Iodine-based solution used to sanitize winemaking equipment.
A fine powdered clay that is used as a fining agent to clarify wine.
It is used to drain bottles after rinsing and sanitizing.
It squirts cleaning or sanitizing solution into your bottles.
This sends a concentrated spray of water into your bottles for rinsing.
A tasting term used to describe the mouth-feel of the wine. Wines are usually described as being either full, medium or light bodied.
The aroma or smell of the wine
Same as balling
Lowers the acidity of your wine
Kills bacteria and wild yeasts. Contains potassium metabisulphite
A glass or plastic vessel used for secondary fermentation and bulk aging.
Specifically designed brush for cleaning carboys. Tuft tip is bent at a 90 degree angle.
Rolling cart to simplify the moving of carboys
Attaches to carboy neck to simplify the moving of carboys
The process of removing cloudiness in the wine by fining and filtering
A Three pronged device that removes corks that were accidentally pushed inside a bottle of wine
Corks are made from the bark of cork trees or are produced synthetically and seal bottles
The process by which yeast converts sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide
A food grade plastic bucket that is used for the primary fermentation of wine created during the rapid fermentation phase.
The process of removing particles and polishing a wine before bottling
The process of clarifying wine
Fits into the neck of a carboy and attaches to a drill to mix ingredients and to degas your wine.
A floating thermometer used to monitor the temperature of your must or wine.
Found in skins of grapes, tannin adds astringency to wine. Tannin occurs naturally in red wines which are fermented in the skins, but must be added to white wines.
Gum stoppers come solid or drilled with a hole to accommodate airlocks. Ensures an airtight seal at the neck of your carboy during fermentation, stabilization, clarification and bulk aging
This device is used to measure specific gravity, potential ETOH and potential sugar of a wine sample. The hydrometer works by floating in a test jar filled with wine or must. Hydrometers are used in conjunction with thermometers, as specific gravity of a liquid depends upon its temperature.
Deposits which gather at the bottom of the fermenter during winemaking
A small strip of treated paper used in wine making for checking the acid level of a juice. Also called pH Strips.
Wine made from honey
The unfermented juice of grapes
Nitrogen, proteins and/or vitamins that are added to a must for the purpose of invigorating its fermentation
Used for constructing wood barrels and making oak chips.
Wine that has been exposed to air too long, loosing freshness and taste
A liquid that is added to crushed fruit to increase juice extraction. Also used during fermentation to eliminate pectin hazes.
The measure of acidity or alkalinity
Wine additive that inhibits bacteria, yeast growth and slows oxidation. Also used to sanitize wine making equipment
Wine stabilizer that stops fermentation
Moving wine from one vessel to another leaving the sediment behind
Unfermented grape sugar in a finished wine
A fining agent used for clarifying wine.
Used to hold oak chips, elderberries, raisins etc. added to wine. Simplifies clean-up and racking.
Substance in the skin of grapes that give wine a tart taste
The principal acid in wine
A clamp used to shut off the flow of wine through a vinyl racking or bottling tubing.
This is what a wine will slowly turn into when it is infected with a vinegar bacteria.
Used to measure a wine's alcohol content
Used to transfer wine between vessels and bottles
Wine additive that smoothes a young-tasting wine and gives it a sweeter taste.
Added to finished wine just prior to bottling
The wine thief allows the winemaker to take a small sample of wine out of a vessel for testing without disturbing the wine itself.
Food for yeast that promotes rapid starting and complete fermentation
Micro-organisms that produce the enzymes which convert sugar to alcohol