wine glossary n-q

N – Q Homemade Wine Glossary

1. Non-Vintage
Refers to those Champagnes whose Cuvee contains wine from a previous vintage

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2. Nutrient

See Yeast Nutrient

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1. Oak
The most popular wood for constructing barrels. Oak imparts flavors and tannin to wines during the barrel aging process; home winemakers can also accomplish this by using oak chips or powder.

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2. Oaking
The process of immersing oak chips, shavings, or particles into a wine during fermentation to simulate having aged the wine in an oak barrel or keg.

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3. Oaky
Used to describe wines with oak flavors. These often result from aging wine in oak barrels, but sometimes artificial oak flavor is added, particularly to Chardonnay.

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4. Off flavors
Undesirable odors perceived by the mouth.

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5. Off odors
Undesirable odors perceived by the nose from a variety of possible sources.

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6. Off-dry
Term for wines that are neither fully sweet not dry.

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7. Oxidation
Process whereby grape juice or wine constituents react with oxygen, resulting in undesirable odor and flavor chang

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8. Oxidized
Describes wine that has been exposed too long to air and taken on a brownish color, losing its freshness and perhaps beginning to smell and taste like Sherry or old apples.

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1. Pectic enzyme
An enzyme that helps break down pectin present in the fruit being fermented. Without Pectic Enzyme, it would be virtually impossible to break down the naturally occurring pectin resulting in a wine that looks hazy. Pectic Enzyme also serves as a juice extractor. Pectin is found in the cellular walls of fruit. Pectic Enzyme helps break down the cellular walls, increasing the amount of juice extracted from the fruit. Also known as Petolytic Enzyme and Pectolase.

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2. Pectin
A substance that makes jams gel. Fermenting fruit pulps with high pectin content, such as apples, should be treated with pectic enzyme, especially if the pulp is boiled to extract the fruit flavor (boiling releases the pectin).

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3. Petrol
Aromas or flavors reminiscent of gasoline.

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4. pH
A chemical measurement of acidity or alkalinity; the higher the pH the weaker the acid. PH is used by some wineries as a measurement of ripeness in relation to acidity. Low pH wines taste tart and crisp; higher pH wines are more susceptible to bacterial growth. A range of 3.0 to 3.4 is desirable for white wines, while 3.3 to 3.6 is best for reds.

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5. pH Strips
A small strip of treated paper used in winemaking for checking the acid level of a juice.
Also called Litmus Paper.

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6. Pinot Noir
A grape used to make red wine. Wines made from it often taste like berries.

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7. Pomace
The solid residue left after pressing fruit, made up of skins and seeds.

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8. Port
A fortified dessert wine made in several styles.

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9. Potassium bitartrate
Harmless crystals that sometimes precipitate in bottled wine, but which are normally removed by cold-stabilization. Made of the same compounds as Cream of Tartar.

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10. Potassium Metabisulfite
One of two compounds which may be used to sanitize winemaking equipment and utensiles (the other being sodium metabisulfite). Potassium metabisulfite is the active ingredient in Campden tablets. Its action, in water, inhibits harmful bacteria through the release of sulfur dioxide, a powerful antiseptic. It can be used for sanitizing equipment and the must from which wine is to be made. For equipment, a 1% solution (10 grams disolved in 1 liter of water) is sufficient for washing and rinsing. After using the solution, the equipment should not again be rinsed. For sanitizing the must, a 10% solution is made (100 grams dissolved in 1 liter of water). Three milliliters of this 10% solution added to a U.S. gallon of must will add approximately 45 ppm of sulfur dioxide (SO2) to the must. One should wait at least 12 hours after sanitizing the must before adding the yeast. Both bottles of solution (1% and 10%) should be clearly labled as to strength and active compound to prevent disasterous mistakes, and both may be stored in a cool place for up to one year without effecting potency.

Also see Campden Tablet and Sodium Metabisulfite.

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11. Potassium Sorbate
One of the many different types of stabilization agents used to inhibit the yeast and put them into hibernation. It is highly recommended you add a stabilization agent to every wine before bottling it; regardless what the recipe says. It’s just good practice.

Also see Sodium Benzoate and Wine Stabilizer.

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12. Potential Alcohol
The potential amount of alcohol that can be expected from a given must based on its measured specific gravity using a hydometer.

Also see Balling, Brix and Specific Gravity.

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13. Primary Fermentation
A rapid fermentation that occurs during the first 3 to 7 days of the winemaking process, after the yeast is added. Typically, 70% to 100% of the fermentation activity occurs during this short period.

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14. Primary fermentor
A large open food grade container used for primary fermentation.

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15. Puckery
The tactile sensation of highly tannic wines.

See also astringent.

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