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Winemaking Terms - Sweet Reserve to Texture

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

 Sweet Reserve:

 

A sample of the original juice from which a wine is made, used to sweeten the finished wine after fermenting to dryness and stabilized. The sweet reserve is either refrigerated or frozen until needed. When making a sweet reserve from whole fruit, such as strawberries, peaches, or plums, the fruit must be crushed and pressed and the juice stood in a tall, clear, glass bottle in a refrigerator until the juice separates (i.e. pulp sediment settles to the bottom of the bottle). The clear juice is very carefully racked off the sediment and stored for the reserve. The sediment can be lightly pressed through a double layer of sanitized muslin cloth and the liquid obtained allowed to separate out again, with the clear juice again removed and stored with the sweet reserve. The advantage of using a sweet reserve to sweeten a stabilized dry wine is the it adds sweetness, fresh flavor, and natural aroma to the wine. It may also improve the color of the finished wine somewhat.

 

Sweetness:

 

A taste sensation most commonly associated in wines with sugars (glucose and fructose), glycerol, ethanol, and 2,3-butanediol (the latter in trace amounts). While the threshold for detecting sweetness (as sugars) is about 1% by weight, the threshold for classifying a wine as sweet is usually 2% by weight (specific gravity of 1.008) for a wine with 12% alcohol by volume. Sweetness does appear to soften some flavor components and blend with others to enhance their recognition. A wine with poor fruit flavor as a dry wine may possess more recognizable fruitiness when sweetened.

 

Table Wine:

 

A still wine, usually light to medium in body, dry to semi-dry, low to moderate in alcohol (10% to 13% by volume), and often served with meals. Also called dinner wine.

 

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Tannin:

 

Tannic acid, essential for good aging qualities and balance, gives most wines their "zest" or "bite." Tannin is found naturally in the stems, skins and pips (seeds) of most red and dark fruit such as grapes, elderberries, sloes, apples, and plums, but also in pear skins, oak leaves, and dark tea leaves. Most grains, roots and flowers used in winemaking lack any or sufficient tannin, so must be supplemented with grape tannin or tannin from another source. Wines containing too much tannin can be ameliorated by adding a little sugar or glycerine, fined with gelatine, or blended with another, softer wine.

 

Tannisol Tablets:

 

Proprietary product that contains potassium metabisulfite, ascorbic acid and tannin in premeasured amounts. The ascorbic acid is supposedly used to increase the effectiveness of sulfite (SO2). Actually, research has shown that SO2 protects wine better without ascorbic acid present. Use only as directed by the manufacturer.

 

Tartaric Acid:

 

  A reddish acid found in grapes and several other fruit.

 

Taste:

 

A sensory perception almost totally localized on the tongue. Although there is some dispute over this, we most often perceive only four basic tastes -- sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness. The latter is seldom encountered in wines. The flavors perceived in wines are most often integrations of both odor and taste and can be often be altered by pinching the nose tightly and sipping the wine. Still, the loss of odors through evaporation can affect taste by concentrating a certain characteristic, such as sourness of certain acids.

 

Texture:

 

The impression on the palate delivered by dense, intense, and full-bodied wines.


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Source: Jack Keller

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