F - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

Fat

Wine tasting term referring to wines which have lots of fruit flavours but low acidity.

Fattoria

Italian word for a wine-making estate.

Federspiel

Austrian wine classification for wines with middling alcohol.

Feinherb

German term for an off-dry (slightly sweet) wine.

Feminine

Wines said to have feminine characteristics are light and well-balanced.

Fermage

French term for tenant farming. Most French agricultural land is tenant farmed.

Fermentation

Process by which yeast turns sugars in grape juice into alcohol.

Fermentazione naturale

Italian term literally meaning "natural fermentation". It refers to wines bottled before fermentation is complete so they develop a natural fizz in the bottle.

Fiasco

Traditional Chianti bottle with a straw cover.

Field blend

Vineyard planted with more than one grape variety, where all the grapes are harvested and fermented together.

Fighting varietal

Californian term for a wine made from a single grape variety sold at a price competitive with everyday blended wines.

Filtration

Removing solid impurities by passing the wine through a material with very small apertures. Some winemakers believe filtering harms the wine, so fining is used instead.

Fine lees

The dead yeast cells and and other material that collects during the fermentation. Allowing the wine to mature in contact with this material helps develop flavour. Also known just as lees, or as aging "sur lie".

Finesse

Wine tasting term for elegant wines with good balance.

Fining

Substances such as casein and isinglass are added to the fermented grape juice to help clear what at this stage is rather a cloudy liquid with suspended particles of old yeast and some grape particles. This turns the unattractive murky liquid into a wine that is clear and bright. The process is called fining, and the materials added are known as finings. The finings and solid impurities are separated from the clear wine so in fact no finings actually end up in the bottled wine. 

Finish

The final flavour of the wine in the mouth.

Fino

Dry, pale sherry.

Firm

Wine tasting term for wines which have lots of tannin.

First growth

The top-quality Bordeaux wines.

Flabby

Wines with plenty of fruit but low acidity, giving them a heavy and lifeless feel in the mouth.

Flagon

Glass wine container with a capacity of a litre or more.

Fleshy

Wine tasting term for wines that feel substantial and meaty in the mouth.

Flavonoids

Chemical compounds derived from the grape skins, flesh, stems and seeds.

Flavours

The parts of the wine's taste.

Flight

Pouring several wines at once.

Flinty

Wines which have mineral flavours.

Flor

Layer of yeast on top of the wine during fermentation.

Floral

Wine tasting term referring to wines which have aromas and flavours of flower blossom.

Flowering

Time in spring when the first flower blossoms appear on the grape vines.

Flute

Tall, narrow, stemmed glass used for sparkling wine.

Flying winemaker

Winemakers who travel to different countries to oversee production of wines.

Food-friendly

Wines which match well with food.

Football

Running joke at WineUncorked HQ relating to wines delivered by courier. On one occasion the arrival of a distinctly bottle-shaped package was greeted with the ironic: "I think it must be a football" and the name stuck.

Fortified

Wines to which brandy or other spirit has been added.

Foudre

Large oak vats used for maturing wine.

Foxy

Musky aromas and flavours often associated with the American grape Vitis Labrusca.

Forward

Wine tasting term indicating flavours that are obvious or dominating.

Four square

British term for a solid but unexciting wine.

Free-run juice

Juice that escapes from the grapes when they are stacked, and crush under their own weight, before mechanical pressing. Free-run juice is considered high quality, but only a limited amount is produced.

Fresh

Fresh wines have good acidity.

French paradox

The apparent contradiction of the French having low levels of heart disease despite high consumption of supposedly "unhealthy" foods high in saturated fats. Some researchers argue that French consumption of red wine is a contributory factor.

Frizzante

Italian term for a lightly sparkling wine.

Frizzantino

Italian term for a wine with a very gentle sparkle.

Fruit wine

Wine made from fruit other than grapes.

Fruity

Wine tasting term for wine that has lots of fruit aromas and flavours.

Full-bodied

Wines that are heavy, rich and flavourful.

Fumé blanc

Californian Sauvignon Blanc wines.

Fusel oils

A mixture of alcohols and other compounds formed as by-products of the fermentation process, which contribute to aromas and flavours.

Futures

Investing in wines before they have been made, effectively betting on how good the final wine will be.

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