R - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

Racking

Removing the liquid from a fermentation vessel to leave behind any sediment. Wines may be racked two or three times during the winemaking process.

Racy

Wine tasting term indicating a fresh, acidic wine.

Raisin

Rich, concentrated flavours similar to those of raisins, which are dried grapes.

Rancio

Spanish term for a wine that has undergone a process of oxidation and heat treatment, resulting in a distinctive pungent aroma. Madeira is an example.

Rebouchée

French for recorked.

Recioto

Italian dessert wine made from dried grapes.

Récoltant, Récoltant-Manipulant (RM)

Wine estate which grows its own grapes and makes wine from them.

Redox

The  reduction and oxidation simultaneously occurring as wine ages. WIne is made up of a complex range of chemical compounds, some of which reduce (lose oxygen) with age, while others oxidise (gain oxygen) over time. This changes the flavour of the wnie.

Reduced

Lacking oxygen. Wine with reduced or reductive flavours can smell of rotten eggs or burnt matches.

Rehoboam

Large wine bottle with a capacity of 4.5 litres (1 Imperial gallon). Equivalent to six normal bottles.

Remontage

Pumping fermenting juice from the bottom of the vat back into the top, wetting and submerging the floating cap of grape and yeast solids. This helps to extract more colour and flavour.

Remuage

French word for riddling, part of the Champagne-making process.

Reserva, Reserve, Riserva

Originally a term for wine that had been held back from sale - kept in reserve - indicating that it had been matured for longer. The Spanish term Reserva and the Italian Riserva are controlled by regulations, but otherwise these terms mean very little. 

Reserved

Wine tasting term indicating that the wine has hints of fine aromas and flavours but is not yet mature enough to display them fully. These are wines that will improve with age.

Residual sugar

Sugar that remains in the wine after fermentation. The higher the residual sugar the sweeter the wine will be.

Resveratrol

An anti-oxidant derived from grape skins, found in red and (to a lesser extent) white wine. Believed by some people to have health benefits, though the evidence is unclear.

Retsina

Greek wine which has pine resin added during fermentation.

Rhône

Wine region in southern France

Rich

Wine tasting term indicating a wine with full, concentrated flavours.

Riddling

In the Méthode Champenoise the fizz is created by a second fermentation in the bottle. This generates a sediment, which is collected in the neck of the bottle by tipping the bottles in a series of stages until they are almost vertical. This tipping process is called riddling.

Riesling

White grape from the Rhine region in Germany which makes aromatic white wines.

Right Bank

The north-eastern bank of the Gironde which forms part of the Bordeaux region and includes areas such as Saint Emilion and Pomerol.

Ripasso

Italian term for wine which has had grape solids from a previous batch added during fermentation to increase colour and flavour.

Rioja

Wine region in northern Spain which produces red and white wines.

RM

Short for Récoltant-Manipulant.

Robust

Wine tasting term indicating a wine with concentrated flavours and lots of tannin.

Room temperature

Common advice is to serve red wine at room temperature, which is usually around 21degC. In fact red wine is better served slightly cooler, and light red wines can be best when chilled.

Rootstock

The roots of the vine, which are often a different variety of vine to the fruit-producing top part and the two are grafted together. In Europe, American rootstocks are used to combat Phylloxera, the vine aphid.

Rosado, Rosato

Spanish and Italian words for rosé wine.

Rosé

Wine made using dark-skinned grapes, but not left in contact with the grape skins for long enough to extract much of the colour. Rosé wine ranges from very subtle pink to a light red.

Rosso

Italian for red.

Rouge

French for red.

Rough

Wine tasting term indicating an astringent, tannic wine.

Round

Wine tasting term indicating wines with low acidity and soft tannins.

Ruby Cabernet

Grape variety which is a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Carignan.

Rustic

Wine tasting term which can mean rough, astringent wines but can also indicate simple, everyday country wines.

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