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Table Wine
A term used to describe wines of between 10 and 14 percent alcohol. In Europe, table wines are those that are not made following the regulations of their specific region. In more general terms; however, a table wine is simply one that has alcohol content between 10 and 14 percent (meaning that it is not fortified).
Taglio
Italian word for blend. The process of combining two or more grape varieties (or other factors that make the wines different from each other) after they have gone through a separate fermentation.
Tannic
A tasting descriptor for a wine that has abundant (or even excessive) tannins.
Tannico
Italian word for tannic. Wines with high tannin content and/or with unripe tannins present this characteristic.
Tannino
Italian word for tannin. Phenolic compounds that are present in grape skins (but also in the stems, pits – and in oak barrels as well). The bitter taste from wines with high tannin content is mostly felt at the back of the tongue, while the astringency is mostly felt at the gums. Tannins are one of the four compounds (sugar, acidy and alcohol are the other three) that build the structure of the wine and that will make the wine age longer. Time will tame the tannins, and a wine will taste less harsh (a long aeration may provide almost the same result).
Tannins
Phenolic compounds that are present in grape skins (but also in the stems, pits – and in oak barrels as well). The bitter taste from wines with high tannin content is mostly felt at the back of the tongue, while the astringency is mostly felt at the gums. Tannins are one of the four compounds (sugar, acidy and alcohol are the other three) that build the structure of the wine and that will make the wine age longer. Time will tame the tannins, and a wine will taste less harsh (a long aeration may provide almost the same result).
Tappo
Italian word for cork (the closure of a bottle of wine).
Tart
A wine with high levels of acidity (from unripe grapes).
Tartaric Acid
The “ripe” form of acidity in grapes that gives the wine structure and freshness. It sometimes causes white crystals to form as it precipitates out of solution (wine stones). This is not a flaw in the wine; in fact, it is a sign of ripeness and careful fermentation.
Tastevin
Small and shallow cup traditionally used by sommeliers to taste wine. It is usually made of silver.
Tears
Same as “legs”. The tracks of wine that adhere to a glass after the contents have been swirled. Some people believe that they can tell the alcohol content of a wine by seeing the number of legs (the more tears the higher the alcohol content).
Teinturier
Literally “dyer”. Grapes whose flesh and juice is red in color due to anthocyanin pigments accumulating within the pulp of the grape berry itself. Very few grape varieties have this property. The most famous example is Alicante Bouschet (known as Garnacha Tintorera in Spain) which is used first and foremost as a blending grape – when color (but also tannin) is needed.
Tenuta
Italian word for a “Wine Estate”.
Terroir
French for the combination of physical and geographical characteristics (soil, elevation, slope, orientation of the sun, etc.) of a particular vineyard site that will create the unique character of a wine.
Téte de Cuvée
The juice that comes from the very first pressing of the grapes (2,550 liters of juice from every 4,000 kg of grapes).
Texture
A tasting descriptor for the tactile sensations impaired by the wine on the palate. Also known as mouthfeel.
Thick
A tasting descriptor for wines that are ripe, rich and concentrated. They may lack in acidity, so the term is not always used with a positive meaning.
Thin
a negative tasting descriptor for a wine that is lacking flavor and body.
Threshold
the intensity above which a stimulus can be perceived and produces a response. There are two types of thresholds – Sensation (an unidentifiable sensation) and Recognition (one feels it and knows what it is).
Tinto
Spanish word for red wines. As in vino tinto (red wine).
Tipico
Italian word for typical. A wine that is easy to recognize as being produced in a certain area and/or from a specific grape variety.
Tired
A negative description of a wine that is past its prime.
Titratable acidity
A measure of the amount of total acid in a must or wine. It is expressed as its tartaric content (sulfuric acid in France). It is important to note that there is no direct relationship between titratable acidity and pH. In general, however, lower acid levels in fruit are often associated with higher pH values (and vice versa).
Toasting
The burning of the staves on the inner side of wine barrel. There are several degrees of toasting; including light, medium, medium heavy, and heavy.
Toasty
A tasting term for a wine that carries the smoky taste from being aged in new oak barrels.
Topping up
When a container has lost wine due to evaporation, it is filled up again in order to avoid contact with air and the consequent oxidation.
Tranquilo
Italian word for still. A wine that is not sparkling.
Trellis system
A structure made to support the grapevines. High Wire Cordon, Geneva Double Curtain, and Vertical Shoot Positioning are a few of the several existing types of trellis systems.
Trocken
German word for dry.
Trockenbeerenauslese
“Selected harvest of dried berries” in German. It is the highest category in the Prädikatswein category of the German wine classifications. The wines, often called “TBA”, are made from individually selected botrytized grapes. The minimum must weight requirements for Trockenbeerenauslese is (for German wines) 150 to 154 degrees Oechsle, depending on the region (wine growing zone) and grape variety.
Typical
A wine that is easy to recognize as being produced in a certain area and/or from a specific grape variety.
Typicity
Also known as expressiveness. Wines with this characteristic express the attributes (climate, soils and winemaking techniques) of the “terroir” where they are produced. This also can convey the grape variety from which the wine is made.
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