Wine Glossary P

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

Palo Cortado: A rare style of dry sherry which is the result of the incomplete development of the flor, this sherry starts life as neither Fino nor Amontillado that eventually develops a character best described as in between an Amontillado and an Oloroso.

Pasteurization: The process of sterilization by means of heating. This process was named after Louis Pasteur and is used to protect products such as wine and milk against bacterial spoilage before bottling through heating.

PH: A chemical measurement of acidity or alkalinity of a certain substance. This measurement is used by some wineries as a measurement of the grape’s ripeness in relation to acidity. The higher the pH of the grape, the weaker its acid. Low pH wines usually taste acidic and crisp while wines with high pH levels are more vulnerable to bacterial growth. A pH level that ranges between 3.0 to 3.4 is desirable for white wines, while pH levels at 3.3 to 3.6 is best for red wines.

Peak: A subjective term for the time where wine tastes at its best.

Perfumed: Term used to describe the strong, sweet and floral aromas imbibed by some white wines.

Phylloxera: These are tiny aphids or root lice that attack the roots of Vitis vinifera.

Physiological ripeness: This term refers to the ripening of substances other than sugar in the grapes, such as tannins. Grapes harvested that are not physiologically ripe will usually give off a green, harsh character to the ensuing wine. Its onset is indicated by the change in color of the pips of the grapes from green to yellow.

Potent: Strong and powerful.

Press Wine: The term for the juice that is extracted under pressure. It is obtained after pressing for white wines and after fermentation for the reds. Press wines usually have more flavor and aroma. They also come with a deeper color and have often more tannins than free-run grape juice.

Private Reserve: This term was once used signify excellent quality among wine producers. It usually stands for the best wines that a winery produced. But then its lack of a legal definition left many wineries to use it instead as a spin-off for rather ordinary wines.

Produced And Bottled By: A mark on wine labels that signifies that at least 75 percent of the grapes used in the wine is crushed, fermented and bottled by the winery indicated.

Pruny: A term used to describe a wine having the flavor of overripe, dried-out grapes.

Puckery: Term that describes highly tannic and very dry tasting wines.

Pungent: Term used to describe a wine having a powerful and assertive smell that is due to the wine’s high level of volatile acidity.