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Wine Dictionary Terms: A Wine Glossary to Learn Wine Terminology: Wine Terms - F


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Fermentation
Originally, "to boil without heat." The process, carried on by yeast growth in grape juice or other sugar solutions, by which sugar is transformed into ethyl alcohol and CO2. The CO2 bubbles out of solution, giving the appearance of boiling without heat. Through fermentation, grape juice (containing sugar) is transformed into wine, which contains alcohol where the sugar originally was. Most of the other constituents of the original grape juice are essentially unchanged by the process of fermentation.

Filtration
The act of passing a wine through some tightly bound matrix in order to force the liquid to pass through while keeping the suspended solids behind. The purpose of filtration is simply to clarify the liquid -- to remove sediment or suspended solid particles from the wine. The matrix may be a tightly woven cloth, paper, polymer, or some tightly packed insoluble powder such as diatomaceous earth. In previous decades, asbestos was used as a filter medium but now that it is known to cause a health hazard, asbestos is no longer used.

Fine Champagne
A term used on the labels of, not Champagne sparkling wine at all, but Cognac brandy! Fine champagne Cognac is Cognac blended from the best "champagne" regions (Petite Champagne and Grande Champagne) of Cognac.

Finesse
Tasting term which means just about what you'd expect it to mean, that the wine is so perfectly balanced that nothing sticks out. All components balance each other in a way which makes the whole thing even more smooth, understated and perfect.

Finger Lakes
The best known wine region of New York State. The lakes are of glacial origin, having been gouged out of the plain by slow moving glacial ice. As often happens with glaciers, the resultant shape of the lakes is long, thin and parallel to each other. The Finger Lakes is a truly beautiful wine region, right in our own country.

Finish
The last impression left in the mouth by the taste of a wine.

Fino
One of the two primary types of sherry produced inSpain. Usually denotes a winery's lightest and driest sherry.

Flinty
Tasting term used to describe wine with a hard, austere, dry and crisp or sharp mouthfeel. Often used for a clean white wine such as Chablis which has a bouquet and taste reminiscent of flint struck by steel.

Flowery
Tasting term for wine with an exceptionally aromatic character reminiscent of fresh garden flowers.

Fortified wine
Any wine to which brandy has been added in order to raise the alcohol content and improve stability. High alcohol dessert wines such as Port, Madeira, Malaga and sweet Sherries are normally fortified during fermentation in order to stop the fermentation while the wine is still sweet. The higher alcohol stops yeast action so that the wine will remain stable even though it may be quite sweet.

Fruity
Tasting term for wine which has retained the fresh flavor of the grapes used in its fermentation.

Fume Blanc
A name that has come to be synonymous with Sauvignon Blanc table wine. The best ones are dry but there are some nice Fume Blancs which are sweet. See Pouilly Fume.