Swiss Wine Regions

Glossary of T

T budding

A technique that permits grafting of different grape varieties onto existing rootstock in a vineyard.

T.B.A.

An abbreviation for the German wine Trockenbeerenauslese.

Table wine

Generally any wine that is not a sparkling wine or a fortified wine. In the US these wines must also be between 7% and 14% alcohol by volume.

Tannin

Compound in wines that gives a bitter, dry, or puckery feeling in the mouth.

Tart

A tasting term describing a wine high in acidity. Often displayed by young, unripe wines.

Tartaric acid

It lowers the pH of fermenting must preventing undesirable bacteria, and acts as a preservative after fermentation, and adds tartness to the finished wine.

Tartrates

Harmless potassium bitartrate crystals that may form (often on the cork) from the tartaric acid naturally present in wine.

Tasting flight

Refers to a selection of wines, usually between three and eight glasses, but sometimes as many as fifty, presented for the purpose of sampling and comparison.

Tears

See legs.

Terroir

French for soil, the physical and geographical characteristics of a particular vineyard site that give the resultant wine its unique properties.

Texture

A tasting term for the mouthfeel of wine on the palate.

Thief

A tubular instrument for removing a sample from a cask or barrel. Also called a pipe.

Thin

Lacking in body, depth and flavor.

Toast

The charcoal that is burned into the inside of wine casks. To toast refers to that process. It also refers to the practice of drinking an alcohol beverage along with wishing good health or other good fortune.

Toasty

Describes a flavour derived from oak. Also a character that develops in some sparkling wines.

Transparency

The ability of a wine to clearly portray all unique aspects of its flavor-fruit, floral, and mineral notes. The opposite would be a wine in which flavors are diffused and thoroughly integrated.

Triage

The sorting of the grapes.

Trocken

German for dry.

Trockenbeerenauslese

German for dry berry selected. A type of German wine made from vine-dried grapes. Such grapes can be so rare that it can take a skilled picker a day to gather enough for just one bottle.

Tun

A wine cask that holds approximately, two butts, or 252 U.S. gallons.

Typicity

A wine tasting term used to describe how much a wine expresses the typical characteristics of the varietal.

Glossary by Letter

  • A (21)
  • B (36)
  • C (38)
  • D (17)
  • E (8)
  • F (24)
  • G (5)
  • H (7)
  • I (4)
  • J (2)
  • K (1)
  • L (10)
  • M (25)
  • N (5)
  • O (10)
  • P (23)
  • Q (1)
  • R (13)
  • S (31)
  • T (21)
  • U (2)
  • V (22)
  • W (11)
  • Y (2)
  • Z (1)

The Wine Grapes of Switzerland

Sémillon

Hard to believe that Sémillon’s main claim to fame is its propensity to rot, but because of its soft skin Sémillon is prone to Botrytis cinerea (a.k.a. “noble rot”). The “rot” concentrates the acid and sugar in the grape, and the resulting wine can be complex, rich, sweet, and aromatic. In short: pretty damn nice. The best known of this sweet style wine is Sauternes, coming from the Sauternais region of the Graves, near Bordeaux in France.

Sémillon can also make an elegant dry white wine, but since it can be short on acidity, it is often vinified with Sauvignon blanc.

Goron de Bovernier

Goron de Bovernier is a red grape, which according to José Vouillamoz is probably a natural hybrid of Cornalin du Valais and an unknown variety. The grape gets its name from the municipality of Bovernier, in Valais. Small quantities are still found in lower Valais.

Heida

From France’s Franche-Compté region, Heida is a rarity that is grown in the high vineyards of Visperterminen (Upper Valais) with the help of the warm Foehn winds. Probably brought into Valais by the Ligurians during their retreat into the mountains.

One not only drinks the wine, one smells it, observes it, tastes it, sips it and--one talks about it.

King Edward VII

Swiss Alps, cows, wine bottle and large clock face in Bern, Switzerland

Fine Swiss Wine

Discover Switzerland’s odd grapes, small producers, and eclectic tastes