E

Early Harvest
A wine that is made from grapes that are picked early, when their acids are still high and their sugar content low.
Earthy
A tasting descriptor used for aromas and flavors that are reminiscent of the forest floor, soil, mushrooms, or dried leaves.
Edelfäule
German for botrytis.
Effeuillage
French word for leaf removal. A technique that improves the exposure of the grapes to the sun.
Égrappage
French word for de-stemming. The removal of stems (stalks) from the bunches before fermentation.
Einzellage
German for single vineyard.
Eiswein
German for ice wine. A dessert wine that is made from frozen, overripe grapes.
Elegant
A tasting descriptor for a wine that is very well balanced and presents finesse rather than power.
Elegante
Italian word for elegant. A tasting term for a wine that presents distinctive balance. Another word to describe such a wine is “delicato”.
Élevage
French word for the handling of the wines before they are bottled.
En primeur
A method of commercialization in which the wine is sold before it has been bottled.
En vaso
Spanish word for “head training” (Gobelet). An ancient method of vine training that involves no wires or other type of support, and the result is a goblet shaped vine typical of the Mediterranean countries.
Encépagement
The French term used for the range of grape varieties planted on a vineyard or used in the blend of a wine.
Enology
American English spelling of oenology, the science of wine production.
Enoteca
A wine shop or wine bar in Italian.
Entonnage (or Encuvage)
French word for vatting.
Entrée de gamme
The most basic wine of the selection offered by a winery.
Equilibrato
Italian word for balanced. Great wines have to be balanced in order to be great. Balance is an impression of harmony between the components of a wine’s – acid, sugar, tannin and alcohol content.
Éraflage (or égrappage)
French word for destemming.
Erzeugerabfüllung
German for “bottled by the producer”.
Esters
They are volatile chemical compounds derived formally from an oxoacid, and a hydroxyl compound (such as an alcohol or phenol) and they are responsible for much of the aroma and bouquet found in wines. Swirling the glass of volatizes the esters and, therefore, the nose is enhanced. Some examples are Butyl butyrate (pineapple), Ethyl acetate (nail polish remover, model paint, model airplane glue) and Isobutyl acetate (cherry, raspberry, strawberry).
Ethanol
The main alcohol found in wines. It is the product of the conversion of sugars by yeasts during the alcoholic fermentation.
Ethyl acetate
CH3COOCH2CH3. The ester of ethanol and acetic acid that gives to wine a smell of nail polish remover. Its contribution to wine quality is considered negative.
Ethyl Alcohol
Ethanol. Alcohol produced from the interaction of natural grape sugars and yeast during the fermentation process.
Etichetta
Italian word for label.
Expressiveness
Also known as typicity. Wines with this characteristic express the attributes (climate, soils and winemaking techniques) of the “terroir” of the area where they are produced. This also can convey the type of grape from which they are made.
Extended maceration
The practice of leaving the must in contact with the cap (pips and skins – and stalks, if not de-stemmed) to extract larger amounts of tannins and color components.
Extra-dry
One of the levels of sweetness/dryness for Champagne (or other sparkling wines). It varies from quite dry to off-dry (from a minimum of 12 to a maximum of 20 grams of sugar).
Extract
Also known as “dry extract”. It refers to the solid compounds in wines (tannins for example).
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