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Even More Practical Wine Terms

Definitions: Acetobacter: A group of bacteria that oxidatively convert wine to vinegar (ethanol into acetic acid) through an aerobic (oxygen present) fermentation. Acid blend: A generic name for any commercially available blend of acids (usually citric, tartaric, and possibly malic) sold for the acidification of homemade wines. Aeration: The process of incorporating air into to a wine, must, or juice. Usually through splashing while racking, sparging with air, or simply by stirring a container very vigorously. This is sometimes done to “blow off” undesirable aromas such as hydrogen sulfide or to give an initial dose of oxygen to a fermentation just getting under way. Bulk aging: As opposed to aging wine in its final bottles, the term “bulk aging” is used to describe aging that might be done after fermentation but before bottling. Typically for home winemakers, this maturation occurs in five-gallon carboys or small oak casks. Chillproofing: The practice of deliberately exposing one’s wines to very cold temperatures prior to bottling to, primarily, precipitate any tartrate crystals that might come out of solution later in the wine’s life. It