Glossary of Wine Terms
PEPPERY — Describes the aroma of black pepper found in many red wines.
PERFUMED — Highly fragrant; aromatic.
pH — Measure of hydrogen ions, indicating the level of acidity in a wine-the lower the pH, the higher the acid level.
PHYLLOXERA — Plant louse that feeds on vine roots and was responsible for the near destruction of Europe’s vineyards in the late nineteenth century. Since then, virtually all European vines have been grafted onto native American roots, which are tougher and until recently thought phylloxera-resistant. Currently vast vineyards in California have varying degrees of phylloxera and are being replanted with more resilient root stocks.
PLUMMY — Describes a wine having the taste or aroma of ripe plums.
POMACE — Grape residue after pressing, consisting of skins, stems, and seeds.
POURRITURE NOBLE — French for “noble rot.” See Botrytis cinerea.
PRESS WINE — That part of the wine produced from the final pressing of the grapes, as contrasted with free run, which, as the name implies, runs freely without pressing, Richer in tannin and extracts, the press wine is sometimes added back to the free run.
PROPRIETARY — Name or brand that a producer uses exclusively for his or her own wines, e.g. Rubicon, Opus One, etc.
PRUNEY — Describes the taste or smell of wines flawed by overripe grapes.