Piedmont Wine Lexicon - T

drinking temperature

Wines have an optimal drinking temperature at which they taste best. This varies from wine to wine. It is therefore one of the tasks of wine experts and tasters to determine the optimal drinking temperature when tasting wines.

The temperature control for wine is much more complex than for coffee or cola, where the principles that coffee only hot and cola tastes really good only cold. Because the wine is a highly complex and sensitive drink with many different reacting ingredients. The range of the optimal temperature for most wines is only around two degrees Celsius. The temperature of wines is measured with a wine thermometer or with cuffs. In general, cool drinking temperatures emphasize the acidity, tannins and bitter substances, while warmer temperatures emphasize the ingredients of heavy wines, the aroma and smell of a wine bring to bear. Red wines should therefore be enjoyed at warmer temperatures, white wines and especially sparkling wines, on the other hand, taste better at cooler temperatures.

The optimal temperature range for sparkling wines is 5 - 7 degrees, for light, fruity and tangy white wines 8 - 10 degrees, for more spicy white wines at 10 - 12 degrees and for semi-dry white wines or those with a strong proportion of residual sweetness at 12-14 degrees. With red wines, the fruity and very young thirst quenchers are tasted at 12-14 degrees, with young and light red wines the optimal drinking temperature is 14-16 degrees, while medium-bodied red wines require temperatures of 16-18 degrees. Rich and heavy quality wines, on the other hand, only offer full development of their qualities at a temperature of 18 degrees. In terms of the optimal drinking temperature, rosé wines lie between the extremes of white wine and red wine.

Traditional rules of thumb such as red wines at room temperature and white wines from the refrigerator are too coarse and also out of date. On the one hand, the room temperature used to be around 18 degrees due to the not yet fully developed heating technology, while refrigerators, on the other hand, did not yet produce the same cooling as is the case today. If white wines are drunk too cold, they lose their aroma, while they taste sour when drunk too warm. Red wines, on the other hand, become oily and bitter when drunk too cold and burned when drunk too warm and scratchy in the throat. For this reason, the pouring amount should be rather moderate in hot temperatures so that the red wine does not heat up excessively. From a drinking temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, even the richest red wine begins to lose its taste.


We speak of a dry wine with a residual sugar content of up to 4 g / l.If the acid content is at least 2 grams per liter lower than the sugar content, the residual sugar content in a dry wine can also be up to 9 g / l. For sparkling wines, a different rating is made because the sweet taste is weakened by the carbonic acid. A dry sparkling wine can therefore contain a residual sugar content of 17 to 32 g / l. Occasionally the definitions can vary regionally.

Dry extract

The dry extract (also total extract) of a wine is composed of all substances and substances that remain in the wine after distillation. Water, volatile acids and ethanol are not included in the dry extract, which has a proportion of 17 to 30 g / l in wines. So far, around 8000 substances have been identified using the methods of metabolonics. The largest proportion of the substances in the total extract has not yet been recognized. About 50 of the substances are dominant. These give the wine its character, its color, its structure, its aroma, its meatball and its shelf life. The total extract of a wine depends on the precipitation, terroir, grape variety, exposure to the sun, the amount of grapes and the vine. If a certain substance occurs in unusual amounts, this can be an indication of a wine fault. Good tasters are able to identify several substances in the dry extract.

Table grapes

Table grapes are grapes intended for consumption as fruit. They must not be used as a basis for the wine. Compared to grapes intended for wine, table grapes that ripen earlier are sweeter, have little or no seeds, and have delicate peel.

Table wine, French Vin de Table, Italian Vino di tavola, Spanish Vino de Mesa,

Category of EU wine law for the lowest quality level of wines; Wine from all wine-growing countries in the EU can be marketed under this name. Wines from one of the German areas in which the production of table wine is permitted may bear the designation German table wine. The German table wine regions are: Rhine-Moselle, Upper Rhine, Neckar, Bavaria and Albrechtsburg. Table wine must have a minimum must weight of 44-50 ° Oe and at least 8.5% vol.% Actual total alcohol, but no more than 15%.


astringent and hard; Term used to describe wines whose taste is characterized by distinctive tannins. Many red wines are tannic in their youth, but become softer and more harmonious with increasing maturity.


Tannins, tannic acids, a type of polyphenols; they are among the ingredients of wine that have the greatest influence on taste. Tannins occur in the wood, in the leaves and in the fruits of numerous plants, in the case of grapes in the berry skins, the seeds and the stems, and have the task of protecting the plant tissue from rot and pests. From a chemical point of view, they consist of various mixtures of compounds in which polyhydric alcohols or sugars (especially glucose) are esterified with phenol carboxylic acids.

Taste: tannins react strongly with high molecular weight proteins, they form compounds with them and precipitate protein solutions; Because of this so-called tanning effect, they are used as tanning agents in leather production. In terms of taste, they have an astringent effect, whereby their quality mainly depends on the degree of their polymerization - the astringent effect decreases with increasing molecule size. The molecular weight of the wine tannins increases five-fold to eight-fold compared to young wines with a longer ripening period; they then have a rounder taste and almost sweet.If the molecules become so large that they can no longer remain in solution, they settle in the bottle as a so-called depot

Extraction: The water-soluble tannins pass from the berry skins into the must or wine during pressing and during winemaking. Since white wines usually have no or only short maceration times, their tannin content is on average only 10-15% of that of red wines. Tannins are dissolved, i.e. extracted from the plant cells, through heat, as in the case of mash heating, or through the alcohol produced, as in the case of mash fermentation. Since the seeds and stalks of grapes often contain unwanted, hard and unripe or "green" tasting tannins, the most careful processing possible (destemming, pressing) and low mechanical stress is usually important. Gentle stripping of the grapes alone can reduce the tannin content by up to 20% compared to wine made from grapes that have not been stripped.

Maturation: When the wine is stored in wooden barrels, tannins change in two ways. The atmospheric oxygen penetrating through the barrel staves leads to partial oxidation and polymerization, which means that red wines with a high tannin content in particular can be filled and marketed. If the wines mature in barrels made of new wood, e.g. barriques, tannins are released from the oak wood. They often have more pleasant taste properties than grape tannins and appear riper, rounder and more velvety even in young wine.


also called Tinta Roriz in Portugal, is probably the best Spanish red wine grape variety. Tempranillo is cultivated on around 85,000 hectares of vineyards, in Portugal, where it is one of the classic basic grapes for port wine production, on 10,000 hectares. The origin of the grape variety has not been clarified, but some ampelographers suspect that it comes from Pinot Noir, the early-ripening Tempranillo unfolds best on barren, calcareous clay soils and is ideal for barrel expansion. Tempranillo is the main variety of the Spanish DO and DOCa.wines Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Catalayud, Cigales, Conca de Barberá, Coster del Segre, LMancha, Penedés, Somontano, Toro, Valdepenas, and Vinos de Madrid.


tactile impression of the wine on the palate; Term of the wine language, which is used especially for red wines. In contrast to the structure, with which mainly firmness and volume are addressed, the texture describes, so to speak, the "surface quality" of the wine in contact with the tongue. be rough, velvety or silky and is significantly influenced by the tannin content and the type of tannins.


Complexity combined with sustainability in aroma and taste; Term of wine address for wines that repeatedly show new aroma and taste facets when tasted over a longer period of time.


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