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The Cooking Inn : Wine Terminology M Page Select an item from the list to go to it's site

Madeira:
A fortified wine from the island of Madeira which belongs to Portugal but is located off the west African coast. Historically famous, the wine drunk by the founding fathers of the United States to toast the signing of the Declaration of Independence is reported to have been Madeira. The very best Madeiras are made from four white grapes: sercial, verdelho, bual, and malmsey, which give the four styles of Madeira their names. Thus, starting with the driest style and moving to the sweetest, the styles of Madeira are sercial, verdelho, bual, and malmsey. Madeira's toffee-caramel-like character comes as a result of heating the wine, a process called estufagem. This is either carried out naturally (the wine is left in hot attics for up to 20 years) or the wine is placed in containers that are then heated to an average temperature of 105F for three to six months.

Malolactic Fermentation:
A natural process during which beneficial bacteria convert the malic (very tart) acid in a wine to lactic (softer tasting) acid. Malolactic fermentation can take place on its own or be prompted by the winemaker.

Merlot:
The most widely planted grape in Bordeaux, merlot, a red grape, is also grown in most of the same places as cabernet sauvignon. And in fact, the two are often blended. Because merlot in general has somewhat less tannin than cabernet sauvignon, it often feels softer on the palate. Its flavors often run to mocha and boysenberry.

Mouthfeel :
: The in-mouth impressions of wine when wine tasting, especially the tactile sensations such as "heat" from high alcohol content or "heaviness" or body due to the viscosity from high alcohol and residual sugar in the wine.

Must:
The skins, seeds and juice of crushed berries; may also contain whole berries or whole clusters. Red wines are fermented as must; white wines are pressed and fermented as juice.


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