Mar 6, 2012

Napa Wine Vocab

A closer view of a freshly poured Napa wine. Photo by Andrew Mager via Flickr.

Jumping into the wine scene can sometimes be a scary and intimidating thing, so here's some quick-start vocab to get you going at this weekend's 21st annual Wine Festival of Colorado Springs, featuring wines from Napa Valley!

Aging process - holding wine in barrels (usually wooden) to improve taste, and palate texture.
Tannin - part of natural makeup of grape skin, seeds and stems, cause of the bitter taste (primarily in reds). Another source is the oak in the aging barrel
Terroir - the smell, taste, and other properties wine grapes gain from their unique growing conditions, including the climate, soil, and nearby crops
Balance - when the sugar, tannins, alcohols, and other taste components of wine do not overpower each other. Some wines may be purposely imbalanced, like dessert wines
Complexity - nuances beyond what's considered when talking about balance
Body - "weight" of a wine in the mouth, ranging from light (feels like water) to heavy (more like milk)
Ullage - distance between the cork and wine when bottle is standing upright
Phylloxera - a microscopic insect that preys on grape vines; nearly destroyed the entire European wine crop in the 19th century, and hit Napa in the late 19th-20th centuries.

Even if you can't make it to any of the Wine Fest events, we hope this quick introduction will inspire you to explore the world of wine tasting on your own.

These two events still have tickets available
Fri, Mar 9, 7:00 p.m. | The Broadmoor
$65 for FAC members; $75 for non members

Colorado Spring's best date night! Come join this sell-out event, featuring over 300 wines plus culinary delights from many of our region's finest restaurants and caterers. Place your bids at the silent Wine Market auction and dance the night away. Tickets.
Sat, Mar 10, 6:30 p.m. | Garden of the Gods Club
$125 per guest

The culmination of the Festival is the Gourmet Wine Dinner and Live Auction. The evening begins with a five-course gourmet dinner, each course paired with the elegant wines of our distinguished guests, and concludes with the region’s premier live auction of rare collectible wine and wine-related lifestyle packages. Tickets.

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