A list of wine making definitions

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Senior Member
Jan 4, 2008
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I got this some time ago, not sure from where. Perhaps one of the senior winemakers on here can check it for correctness and please let me know if there is something that should be changed. Some of the definitions are 'duh' -no brainers, but others I found to be very heplful as a beginner, so I thought I would share it.

Acidity-One of the most important characteristics of wine: obtaining the correct acidity is all-important.
Acetification-Turning to vinegar.
Aerobic Fermentation-A fermentation conducted in the presence of air. Usually the first part of the fermentation process.
Aging -Allowing the wine to set for a better, smoother flavor.
Alcohol -In wine, ethyl alcohol.
Ammonium Phosphate-A popular yeast nutrient.
Ammonium Sulfate -Another popular yeast nutrient.
Anaerobic Fermentation-A fermentation from which air is excluded; the second part of the fermentation process.
Aperitif -A wine taken before a meal to induce good appetite.
Aroma -The smell or bouquet of a wine.
Bentonite -A diatomaceous earth or clay used as a wine fining or clarifier.
Body -The fullness of a wine.
Bouquet -The smell of a wine.
Campden tablets -Useful in winemaking for various sterilization or purification purposes. They supply sulfur dioxide in convenient form.
Carbon dioxide -The colorless, odorless gas given off by a fermenting liquor.
Clarifier -Anything that helps to clear the wine.
Concentrate -The juice of white or red wine grapes concentrated and sold in tins or packs.
Country wines -Wines made from fruit or ingredients other than the grape.
Carboy -A 5 gallon glass water jar used in fermenting and storing wines.
Dessert wines -Strong, full bodied and full flavored wines drunk at the end of a meal with the dessert course.
Dry -A wine is said to be dry when all the sugar in it has been used up by the fermentation.
Enzyme -Protein catalysts used in winemaking and brewing to promote structural breakdown or changes in ingredients. Pectin destroying enzymes are particularly useful in preventing jellification or cloudiness in fruit wines.
Fermenting -The process brought about by yeast acting upon sugar to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide.
Fermentation trap (or air-lock) -A little gadget used to protect the fermentation from infection by the vinegar fly. Also called a bubbler.
Filtration -Clarifying a wine by the use of a filter, using powders, papers, or pads.
Final gravity -The specific gravity when fermentation has finished.
Fining -Removing suspended solids from a cloudy wine by adding wine finings.
Flogger -A wooden tool for banging corks into bottles.
Fortification -Increasing the strength of wine beyond that possible by natural fermentation by adding spirit.
Gravity -An abbreviation of specific gravity, a scale used to measure the density of a liquid or, in winemaking used to gage, its sugar content.
Hydrometer -An instrument for measuring the weight (or sugar content) of a liquid.
Hydrometer Jar -The jar in which a hydrometer is floated for a reading to be taken.
Initial Gravity -The specific gravity at the outset of fermentation.
Lees -The deposit of yeast and solids formed during fermentation.
Magnesium sulfate -A yeast nutrient.
Metabisulphite -Widely used chemical for sterilization or preservation of wines.
Must -The pulp or combination of basic ingredients from which a wine is made.
Nutrient -Nitrogenous matter added to the liquor to boost the action of the yeast, yeast food.
Oxidation -When wine darkens and goes brown on contact with air.
Pectic enzyme -A preparation used to destroy the pectin, or clouding agent, in a wine or must.
Pectin -A substance which makes jams set - and causes hazes in fruit wines.
Potassium metabisulphite -A sterilizing chemical.
Potassium phosphate -A yeast nutrient.
Proof -Proof spirit contains 57.1 percent alcohol. 70 deg. proof really means 70 per cent of proof spirit. Thus ordinary proprietary bottles of spirit will contain only 40 per cent alcohol by volume. In the U.S. proof is 50 per cent alcohol by volume.
Racking -Siphoning the wine off the lees to clear and stabilize it.
Social wines -Wines meant to be drunk socially and not necessarily with food. Not usually completely dry.
Stable -A wine is said to be stable when there is no danger of further fermentation.
Sticking -When fermentation stops prematurely, before enough sugar has been converted.
Stopper -A cork or polythene bottle closure with a projecting cap.
Straining -Removing solids after a pulp fermentation.
Strength -In the case of wine, usually quoted as per cent alcohol by volume.
Tannin -The substance which lends wine it's astringenc and gives it keeping qualities.
Titration -A method of determining acidity.
Ullage -The air space between the surface of the wine and the bottom of the cork or bung.
Vinegar -Wine which has gone wrong.
Vitamin B1 -A useful yeast nutrient.
Yeast -The real wine maker.

Happy Winemaking!!!
p.s. I have this in word document form if anyone would like it emailed to them just let me know. Otherwise you can just copy and paste from the forum here to a word document.
Last edited:
hi bein bein : my husband and i are new to wine making,that list would be very helpful to have around, if you could e-mail it to me it would be great, thanks again. my e-mail is [email protected] thanks again.

cindilynn:D :D

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