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

Chénin blanc

The versatile “Pinot de la Loire” produces some fine wine in Valais. Like the Chasselas, it provides a neutral canvas for the winemaker’s art and terroir. Originating in the Loire valley of France, it has no relation or similarity to Pinot blanc.

Riesling

A classic German white variety, Riesling (or Petit Rhin) is rare in Valais but does produce good results on the favorable schistose soils around Sion.

Humagne Blanche

Only planted in Valais today, Humagne blanche* is another of the very old Swiss grapes, probably brought in by the Romans. Having a high iron content, and supposedly health-giving properties, this wine was decreed a “health wine” (Krankenwein) for centuries. The old written documents in which this wine is referred to as vinum hum-anum date from the 12th and 14th Centuries. It’s also called Kinderbettenwein or baby crib wine. I’ll bet those kids didn’t have much to cry about.

*no relation to the Humagne Rouge

Cabernet will rape you and pinot noir seduces you. ... Cabernet will throw you down and rip your clothes off, and pinot noir subtly convinces you to take them off yourself.

Old French Saying

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