Wine Glossary Terms: C
- Cabernet Franc
- Red wine grape used for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon. It is an earlier-maturing red wine, due to its lower level of tannins.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- One of the primary grape varieties and successfully grown in many countries. Cabernet Sauvignon is often called the king of red wines.
- The protective metal or plastic sheath over the cork and neck of a wine bottle. The capsule keeps the cork from drying out and admitting air into the bottle.
- A storage area for wine, not necessarily underground. A cellar is the best area to keep wines for aging. Ideal conditions are darkness, controlled cool temperature, and high humidity. Bottles should be stored on their sides to keep the corks from drying out.
- Only 75 miles northeast of Paris, the region has over 300 villages and produces the best-known sparkling wines in the world. Only wines produced here can legally be called Champagne.
- The process of adding sugar to the fermenting wine to raise the final alcohol level. Often used in France to raise low alcohol levels by 1 to 2 percent. Because the sugar is converted to alcohol, it does not add sweetness to the finished wine.
- This grape is grown in many wine regions around the world. It is responsible for the great white wines from the Burgundy region of France. Chardonnay ranges from medium to full-bodied and is frequently aged in oak barrels to enhance its flavor.
- charmat process
- The process of producing sparkling wines in tanks rather than bottles. Often used to mass-produce inexpensive sparkling wines.
- Said of a wine that has a full, almost thick mouthfeel. Zinfandels are often described as chewy.
- This terms is what the England calls red wines from the Bordeaux in France.
- The opposite of clear or brilliant. Possibly the result of sediment being stirred up during transportation.
- Overly sweet, and lacking the correct amount of acidity to give the wine balance.
- White, red, and rose wines have their own spectrum from light to dark. It is the contact between the grape skins and the juice that give a wine its color. During the wine-making process, the longer the juice is in contact with the skins, the more color will be imparted to the wine. A pink or rose wine is made from red grapes but is only allowed brief contact with the skins.
- A descriptive term for a multifaceted, multi-layered wine that continues to reveal different flavors as you drink it. A complex wine, because it is so fascinating, has an almost magical ability to draw the wine drinker in.
- An exceptional but hard-to-find white wine from Northern Rhone region in France. The single grape variety used in Condrieu is viognier. Condrieu is a full-body white wine, rich in alcohol, but with a strong flavor and round in the mouth. Condrieu exhales apricot, pear and almond aromas.
- Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin
- Originally founded in 1703 as the Ordre de la Boisson (Order of the Drink), and resurrected under its current name in 1934, the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (translatable as Brotherhood of Knights of Wine-Tasting Cups) is an exclusive club of Burgundy wine enthusiasts. It is headquartered in the twelfth-century Chateau du Clos de Vougeot in the Côte d'Or region of France. It maintains chapters (called Sous-Commanderies) worldwide, but because of its Gallic origins its name and many of its ceremonial titles are always rendered in French.
The most important annual event of the Confrérie is the tasting of Burgundy wines at the Chateau du Clos de Vougeot, where those deemed superior by a jury of tasters are awarded the title of "Tastevinage."
- corkage fee
- A sometimes small but usually ridiculously high fee a restaurant will charge if you bring your own bottle of wine to their restaurant. Its been getting more reasonable but be aware of it. Typically its anywhere from $10 and up to bring your own bottle. I suppose they're justified in charging a fee but of these fancy places charge damn near the cost of the bottle! Call ahead and ask if you're concerned.
- A wine that is "corked" or smells "corky" is when the seal of the wine bottle's cork is broken. When this happens, certain molds can grow and the aromas from the mold creates a 'wet newspaper' smell in the wine. Musty, sweaty shoes, cardboard are frequently used adjectives as well. Also, if air is introduced through the cork, it can oxidize the wine within the bottle also turning the wine. Either way, don't worry if you accidentally drink it - it won't hurt you. Detecting "corked" wines depends on your sensitivity to it. Within some big California reds, the levels of cork taint are so small, most of us will drink through the bottle without ever knowing there was taint. A wine that is "corked" does NOT mean it has bits of actual cork floating in it. That is simply sediment in the wine - decant the wine to filter this off. That too won't hurt you if you happen to drink it as well.
- A wine with a lively acidity level. A French Chablis, a Sancerre, or a light California Sauvignon Blanc will have the characteristics of a crisp, refreshing wine.
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