Wine Glossary S

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

Salmanazar: A type of oversized bottle that can hold about 9 liters, the equivalent of 12 standard wine bottles.

Screwcaps: A new alternative to sealing a wine in place of cork. Cork, being of a biological material and may harbor fungal infections that can result in tainted aromas which can ruin the wine.

Skin: Part of the grape that is an essential part of red winemaking as it contains the pigments, flavonoids and tannins that impart the reds with its distinctive character, color and aroma.

Soft: Term used to describe wines with a mild acid or tannin sensation that is not harsh on the palate.

Spicy: A term used to describe wines that indicate the presence of flavors reminiscent of spices such as anise, cinnamon, cloves, mint and pepper. Such quality is often present in more complex wines.

Spinning cone: Another term used for a centrifuge.

Stabilization: The process used to stop the wine from worsening.

Stale: Wines that have lost their freshness.

Stalky: A term for wine that has a leaf- or hay-like aroma and tastes of grape stems.

Structure: The interaction of different elements such as acid, tannin, glycerin, alcohol and body of the wine in relation to its texture and feel on the palate.

Subtle: A term used to describe delicate wines with finesse or flavors that are understated rather than full-blown.

Sugar ripeness: Term for a certain sugar concentration that is sufficient for alcoholic fermentation and meets the demands of the winemaker.

Sulfur: An important element in winemaking, with a wide variety of uses, often as part of the compound sulfur dioxide. It may be used as a disinfectant in between vintages, and may also be added to must and finished wines as an antibacterial agent to prevent spoilage. It may also be used as a method of terminating the fermentation of grapes.

Supple: A term that describes the texture of wine, mostly with reds, in relation to tannin, body and oak.

Sur Lie: A French term for wines that are aged while keeping in contact with the dead yeast cells and are not racked or otherwise filtered. It is done in order to add extra richness and flavor to the wine.

Sweet: A term pertaining to the sugar level in finished wine.

Synthetic closure: Another term for the plastic cork which is used to prevent cork taint.