Wine Glossary O

Tuesday, August 7th, 2007 at 12:00 am

Oak: An important source of wood for barrels used to store wines. It is the number one choice for wine barrels aside from other wood species such as cherries.

Oaky: Term that describes the aroma or taste quality that a wine gets from the oak barrels or casks where it was aged. This characteristic can be either positive or negative. Additional terms that indicate oaky as a desirable quality in wine include toasty, vanilla, cedary and smoky. Terms such as burnt, green cedar, charred, lumber and plywood best indicate its unpleasant side.

Off-dry: Description for a slightly sweet wine in which the residual sugar is barely noticeable to the taste.

Oenology: Technical term for the science behind winemaking.

Oidium: A type of fungal disease that thrives in damp conditions. It is also known as powdery mildew. This disease that affects vines may be controlled with the use of sulfur.

Old World: This term refers usually to the European nations with a long history of viticulture. This includes France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria just to name a few.

Organic Viticulture: A method of viticulture that rely less on fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals to cultivate crops for winemaking and employ more organic means.

Oxidized: Term that describes a wine that has been exposed to air for too long and has taken on a brownish color, thereby losing its freshness. Wine that has been oxidized may begin to smell and taste like Sherry or old apples.