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Wine Glossary 'A'

All A B C D E F G H I L M N O P R S T U V Y

Accessible, Approachable
When wine flavours are harmonious, a wine that is ready to drink.
Acetic Acid
The acid that gives vinegar its characteristic taste. Small amounts are normal in wine; larger amounts give wine a vinegar-like character.
Acidity
Gives wine its crispness. Grapes have two primary acids: tartartic and malic. In South Africa, winemakers are allowed to add acid.
Aftertaste
The lingering flavours of a wine; its persistence. A long aftertaste is a good characteristic.
Alcohol
Produced when yeasts ferment the sugars in the grape. Alcohol gives an impression of fullness, richness and, at higher levels, sweetness. Also a preservative, helping keep wines in good condition. Measured by volume of the total liquid.
Alluvial
Soil that contains clay, silt, sand or gravel deposited by running water is alluvial. Grapes grown in mostly sandy and stony alluvial soil produce wines with more concentrated fruit flavours.
Aroma
The fragrance of the wine when sniffed.
Astringent
A mouth-puckering sensation associated with high tannin (and sometimes acid).
Attack
Initial sensations on palate or nose.