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Wine Glossary
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During fermentation, the steeping of the grape skins and solids in the wine, where alcohol acts as a solvent to extract color, tannin and aroma from the skins.

Malolactic fermentation
The process in which lactic acid converts malic acid, resulting wines are soft in style, sometimes taste 'buttery.'

These are fortfied wines from the western tip of Sicily. As with Sherry and Madeira the flavor comes from oxidation. The various quality levels for Marsala are Fine - the lowest level, 1 year of aging and 17% alcohol; Superiore - 2 years of aging and 18% alcohol; Superiore Riserva - 4 years of aging; Vergine - This is the higest quality, it cannot have concentrated must added, and must be aged in wood for a minimum of 5 years and Vergine Riserva - These wines are dry and somewhat austere, they are aged in wood for a minimum of 10 years and usually served as an aperitif.

Medoc(pronounced may-doc)
Red wine district within the Bordeaux region of France

Merlot (pronounced mer-low')
One of the great red varieties of Bordeaux. Also produces fine red wines in California, Chile, Australia, Argentina and in many other regions. They tend to age a little faster in the bottle, making the wine somewhat faster to attain drinkability in your cellar.

Methode Champenoise
The method by which real Champagne gets its bubbles, i.e. the secondary fermentation takes place within the bottle.

Méthode Champenoise
French term, developed in the Champagne region, used to describe sparkling wine made via the classic methode of secondary fermentation taking place naturally in the individual bottle.

French term used to describe sparkling wine made by the Charmat Method - a method where sparkling wine is made in bulk in sealed tanks and then bottled under pressure.

More than deeply colored; lacking brightness, turbid and sometimes a bit swampy. Mainly a fault of red wines.

The unfermented juice of grapes extracted by crushing or pressing; grape juice in the cask or vat before it is converted into wine.

A tasting term to describe a stale smell, sometimes dissipates with airing the wine, sometimes the result of a bad cork.

Having an off-putting moldy or mildewy smell. The result of a wine being made from moldy grapes, stored in improperly cleaned tanks and barrels, or contaminated by a poor cork.

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