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Wine Terms: Demi-sec to Must

Wine Terms: Demi-sec to Must

Learn Wine Terminology:

 Demi-sec to Must defined and explained.
  • Demi-sec — french term meaning “half-dry” used to describe a sweet sparkling wine.


  • Dry — a taste sensation often attributed to tannins and causing puckering sensations in the mouth; the opposite of sweet. See wine tasting 101.


  • Earthy — an odor or flavor reminiscent of damp soil.


  • Enology — the science of wine and winemaking (see “oenology”).


  • Fermentation — the conversion of grape sugars to alcohol by yeast. See winemaking 101.


  • Fining — the addition of egg whites or gelatin (among other things) to clear the wine of unwanted particles.


  • Finish — the impression of textures and flavors lingering in the mouth after swallowing wine.


  • Flavors — odors perceived in the mouth.


  • Foxy — a term that describes the musty odor and flavor of wines made from Vitis labrusca, a common North American varietal.


  • Fruity — a tasting term for wines that exhibit strong smells and flavors of fresh fruit.


  • Full-bodied — a wine high in alcohol and flavors, often described as “big.”
  • Herbaceous — a tasting term denoting odors and flavors of fresh herbs (e.g., basil, oregano, rosemary, etc…).


  • Hot — a description for wine that is high in alcohol. See wine tasting 101.


  • Lees — sediment consisting of dead yeast cells, grape pulp, seed, and other grape matter that accumulates during fermentation.


  • Leesy — a tasting term for the rich aromas and smells that result from wine resting on its lees.


  • Length — the amount of time that flavors persist in the mouth after swallowing wine; a lingering sensation.


  • Malic acid — one of the three predominant acids in grapes. Tart-tasting malic acid occurs naturally in many fruits, including apples, cherries, plums, and tomatoes.


  • Malolactic fermentation — a secondary fermentation in which the tartness of malic acid in wine is changed into a smooth, lactic sensation. Wines described as “buttery” or “creamy” have gone through “malo.” See winemaking 101.


  • Mature — ready to drink.


  • Mouth-feel — how a wine feels on the palate; it can be rough, smooth, velvety, or furry. See wine tasting 101.


  • Must — unfermented grape juice including seeds, skins, and stems.


Understanding Dryness in Wine?

Demi-sec — french term meaning “half-dry” used to describe a sweet sparkling wine.”