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Wine Lingo Defined

Come here and you’ll be able to sling the lingo with the best of them. We’ll be adding terms as we go along and if you can’t find the one you’re looking for, please email us at info@oddballgrape.com.

Malo-Lactic Fermentation: This is a secondary fermentation that usually happens on its own after the primary fermentation (which converts the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol) has finished. What’s happening is that the malic acid in the wine is converted into the softer lactic acid – what sometimes gives a wine that kind of creamy, buttery feel on the back of the palate. Even those this can occur naturally, most winemakers these days will induce the fermentation with a special culture to be sure that it finishes. When it doesn’t, carbon dioxide can build up in the bottle and make the wine taste fizzier than it should or, at worst, the bottle could pop its cork. Almost all reds go through malo-lactic fermentation or they’d be too harsh to drink. White wines, on the other hand, almost never do. The big exception is chardonnay, which sometimes gets too much ML culture and tastes way too buttery for a light crisp white.