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Contact of the must or wine with its grape skins in order to extract colouring and components of extract and aroma. It is generally used in the production of red wines.


Applies to wines that taste too strongly of oak. The term is derived from the typical aromas of wines from Madeira, which have a high degree of oxidation. With the exception of some special wines, it is a serious defect. The term is also applied to highly oxidised wines, which smell of wood although they have never been in contact with it.


Spanish term for fermented grape skins. Also refers to lees.


A wine bottle with a capacity of one and a half litres. It is more appropriate for lengthy wine preservation than the normal 3/4 litre bottle.


Spanish word for a plot of land planted with vines.

Malic acid

An organic acid with a harsh taste found in must and sometimes in wine too, particularly when made from unripe grapes. It is attacked by lactic bacteria and is transformed into softer lactic acid during malolactic fermentation. The presence of malic acid is detected by a peculiar smell, which is reminiscent of the smell of green apples.

Malolactic fermentation

Transformation of malic acid into lactic acid through the action of certain bacteria. This is a practically indispensable process in quality red wines, since it is the process by which they become smooth.


Literally, "stained". A term describing white wine that is slightly pink in colour due to having been stored in tanks that previously contained red wine.


A fortified wine similar to fino, made exclusively in Sanlúcar de Barrameda (Cádiz) by means of biological ageing and using the system of criaderas and soleras. Manzanilla pasada is the name given to very old manzanillas.


Literally, "dizzy". See Fatigado.


When used to describe a wine, the term defines an intermediate process between elaboration and ageing, although at times it is confused with the latter. (RIPENING) Biological process occurring in the grape whereby a number of acid substances are transformed into sugars, the grape skins take on their colour, etc.


A term used to describe a full-bodied wine that is chewy on the palate.


Alien olfactory component in some wines, which is reminiscent of certain types of pharmacopoeia and is generally caused by uncontrolled oxidising processes. Synonyms: a medicina, medicinal.


English name for sweet wine produced in the western Andalusian denominations of origin by adding Pedro Ximénez to an oloroso wine.


Chemical compound with a very unpleasant putrid smell which is produced in wines with a high sulphur content when the sulphur reacts with ethyl alcohol.


In wine-tasting, this is the term used to define an unpleasant tactile sensation in the passage of some wines through the mouth.

Methyl alcohol

Also called wood alcohol or wood spirit. Obtained for industrial applications by the dry distillation of wood, it is very toxic and its presence in wine in amounts greater than 0.5 grams per litre is forbidden. Synonym: metanol.


Wine malady caused by a destructive yeast that forms on the surface of the wine and resulting in clouding and a bad smell, as some of its components decompose.


A type of wine made from a blend of grape must with wine alcohol. Some are considered to be liquor wines.


Red wine with abundant colour but faded tones due to its lack of acidity.


Spanish term for the wire that holds the cork and/or cap in place in a bottle of sparkling wine.


Generally microscopic fungus that grows under certain conditions of humidity, temperature and aeration. A defect in wine caused by grapes which have been attacked by fungi (botrytis, mildew, etc.) or as a result of having been in mouldy containers.


Taste or aroma of a wine arising from the use of mouldy bunches of grapes during production, or because they have been in dirty containers contaminated with mould. Sometimes, a cork in poor condition or of poor quality causes the problem.


Fresh grape juice that has not begun fermentation. In Jerez and some other areas, mosto, the name used in Spain for must, is applied to wines which are fermented but have not been subjected to the ageing process. Mosto flor or mosto yema is free-run juice flowing from grapes crushed by their own weight without any mechanical pressing. Mosto primera or primeras is the must extracted through light pressure. Mosto segunda or segundas is the juice extracted by firmer pressure. Mosto de prensa or prensas is the last part of the liquid retained by the grape skins, which is extracted by applying maximum pressure. Mosto a la piquera is liquid extracted by means of a wine press. Mosto al deslío is recently fermented wine that is separated from its sediment (lees).

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