TANNAT Red grape variety produced in the Atlantic Pyrenees that produces a robust, but not overly heavy wine that ages well.
TANNIC Astringent character of a wine caused by its tannins.
TANNINS Substances found in the grape that provide the astringency needed for wine to age for long periods of time. The tannins also combine with the pigments in red wine, called anthocyans, and are antioxidants, which have been proven to help prevent cardiovascular disease when consumed in moderation (hence the popular notion of the “French paradox”).
TARTRATES Crystallized particles of tartaric acid found in bottles and barrels that have no negative effects on the wine. They are created by exposure to cold temperatures, which is why wines are often subjected to cold temperatures after they have been produced to avoid the creation of tartrates in the bottles.
TASTE Term that refers to all of the sensations perceived in the mouth. These are generally tactile sensations (temperature, acidity, astringency, bitterness, saltiness, sweetness), which contribute to a wine’s balance.
TASTE Tactile sensation (sugary, salty, acidic or bitter) detected by the taste buds.
TASTY Said of a wine that is fresh and fruity.
TEARS Marks left by the wine on the side of a glass when it is swirled or tilted. Their appearance is affected by the wine’s alcohol content, residual sugar (in white wines) and glycerol, which is produced during primary fermentation.
TERROIR A land area possessing distinctive physical, topographical and climatic characteristics that combine to create a unique wine that expresses those characteristics in its organoleptic features and personality.
THERMOREGULATION Technique that allows the temperature of the vats to be controlled during fermentation. Considering the impact temperature has on the metabolism of yeasts and the release of a wine’s aromas and tannins, it is clear that this technology revolutionized winemaking.
THICK Said of a wine that is deeply colored and heavy and full on the palate.
THIN Said of a wine with few tannins that lacks body and balance.
TIRED Term applied to wine that has temporarily lost its qualities (after being transported, for example) and requires rest to recover.
TOKAY Name for Pinot Gris in Alsace.
TOPPING The action of pruning the tips of the vines in the summer to diminish the growth of the foliage and thus increase the sugars and other elements in the grapes to obtain a higher quality harvest.
TOPPING Cutting the vine shoots in order to regulate and balance the vine’s growth to control productivity. Topping is one method used to keep yields low and thus increase the concentration of the grapes.
TUILÉ French word to describe the brick red color of wines that have aged. Literally, “tiled”.