Glossary: T - U

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Table wine

This term can be applied to any wine that is not sparkling or fortified but is often used to denote regional wines of moderate quality in the old world.

 

Tafelwein
A lower classification for German wines. These rarely get exported out of the European Union.

 

Talento

An Italian term for sparkling wine made from the traditional method.

 

Tannin  
A chemical compound, naturally occurring in wine, that gives the drinker the impression of astringency. This component in necessary, when in balance with other elements such as alcohol and acidity. With white wines, we wan no tannin (or at least very little) and with red wines we want the appropriate amount that is typical to that wine from that region.    

 

Tartaric Acid  
This is a naturally occurring acid found in grapes and the corresponding wine. If you have ever seen some fine sediment in a bottle of white wine (especially if you leave it in an ice bucket too long) its probably tartaric crystals.

 

Taurasi

A red wine appellation (DOCG) in Campania, Italy, based on the Aglianico grape. These wines tend to be tannic in their youth, but can develop into beautiful offerings with time. 

 

Tawny Port
A style of fortified wine from the Oporto region in Portugal. Of the two main styles of port, ruby and tawny, the tawny is aged “oxidatively” for an extended period, leaving the wine with toasted caramel, coffee and mocha aromas and flavors. Conversely, the ruby style will have less ageing, and you will smell and taste much more fresh and ripe fruit in comparison to the tawny style.

 

TCA

2,4,6-trichloroanisole is the chemical compound responsible for the wine fault we identify as “corked”.

 

Tears

A winetasting term used to describe the viscosity of the wine as it runs down the side of the glass. This is a direct correlation to alcohol and residual sugar and has little to do with quality.

 

Terroir  
A French term for the quality convergence of climate, soil, vintage quality and winemaker acumen as told by the finished product in the bottle. 

 

Tinto

A Spanish term for red wine.

 

Trocken
German term for 'dry'.

 

Trockenbeerenauslese (Germany, Austria)
A “pradikat” level in the German and Austrian classification system. This wine has been harvested late and dried, leaving miniscule yields and almost no wine in most vintages. This wine is very hard to make and very rare, with a price tag to match.

Tuscany

A wine region in Italy that is inextricably intertwined with not only fine wine, but gastronomy as a whole. The Etruscans ruled this area before the Roman Empire, and they were notorious for their love of food an drink. That history is on display as one travels through the region, as there are seemingly countless amounts of amazing wine producers and villages to explore. Sangiovese is king here, as the grape shows its most prolific expressions in the communes of Chianti Classico and Brunello di Montalcino. Bordeaux grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot thrive in the balmy Mediterranean climate, and blends of Bordeaux and Tuscan grapes are not uncommon. The moniker "Super Tuscan" is still thrown around in the wine world, referring to the aforementioned blends that come from the region.

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UC Davis

The University of California – Davis is the bastion of viticultural training in the United States, having educated a great majority of American wine industry professionals.

 

Ullage  
This term refers to the level of the wine, as evident by the view of the volume left in the bottle, after a period of ageing. As time passes, a slight amount of liquid is lost to evaporation and the level that it settles at is known as the ullage.  

 

Umami  
A Japanese term meaning "the essence of deliciousness". It describes a fifth sense of flavor enjoyment; along with bitter, sour, sweet, salty; rendering and intense flavor experience with a food or beverage product.