Louis Dressner Selections - Wine Importer

Allocation: why you should put your orders in early.

A.O.C: acronym for Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée. This is the French certification granted to certain French geographical indications for wines. The concept of the A.O.C system is to guarantee the consumer they are purchasing a product that could not come from anywhere else but the given region. Not to be confused with Age of Conan, "the most savage online game ever".

A.V.N: Not to be confused with the Adult Video News awards, A.V.N in fact stands for Association des Vins Naturels, an association of vignerons that make, you guessed it, natural wine.

Carbonic Maceration: During carbonic maceration, an anaerobic environment is created by pumping carbon dioxide into a sealed container filled with whole grape clusters. The carbon dioxide gas permeates through the grape skins and begins to stimulate fermentation at an intracellular level. The entire process takes place inside each single, intact berry. The resulting wine is generally fruitier, with brighter coloring and less tannins than conventionally produced wines. Preferred wines of Parisian and an ever increasing amount of American hipsters.

Clos: Originally, this refereed to a vineyard isolated and enclosed by a wall. Nowadays it refers to any isolated vineyard, whether it be walls, woods or simply a sight far removed from any neighboring vines.

Collage/fining: the process where a substance (fining agent) is added to the wine to create an adsorbent, enzymatic or ionic bond with the suspended particles, making them a larger molecule that can precipitate out of the wine easier and quicker.

Débourbage: The process of allowing white wine must to settle prior to racking off the wine, thereby reducing the need for fining or filtration.

Dégorgement: Part of the process of making sparkling wine. At this stage the bottle is opened after the neck has been frozen. Out flies a plug of frozen wine, containing the dead yeast from the second fermentation which occurs in bottle. The wine is then topped up - dosage - and resealed.

D.O.C/D.O.C.G: Acronym for Denominazione di Origine Controllata and Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita. Italy's equivalent of the A.O.C system in France, except in the case of D.O.C.G's they are GUARANTEED by the government as being authentic, and sport little purple seals at the top of the bottles. D.O.C's on the other hand? Who knows if they're really from where they say they are...

Glou-Glou: An exceptionally easy to drink wine. For further elaboration follow this link.

I.G.T: Indicazione Geografica Tipica is the second of four classifications of wine recognized by the government of Italy. Created to recognize the unusually high quality of the class of wines known as Super Tuscans, IGT wines are labeled with the locality of their creation, but do not meet the requirements of the stricter DOC or DOCG designations.

Jeebus: A get together of wine geeks in which the geeks congregate with their most prized bottles. Some jeebuses lean towards being dangerously geeky, where geeks will take notes on each others' wines instead of sitting back and enjoying themselves in the presence of great (geeky) company, food and wine. Most of the time though, it's an excuse for geeks to be amongst geeks, drink a lot and have a great time.

Lieu-Dit: a small piece of land which has a traditional vineyard name assigned to it. In most cases, this means that a lieu-dit is smaller than an Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC)

Lies/Lees: deposits of dead yeast or residual yeast and other particles that precipitate, or are carried by the action of "fining", to the bottom of a vat of wine after fermentation and aging. Some lees are just plain gross, and superficial winemakers will often throw them out, only keeping the fine lees.

Malolactic Fermentation: Malolactic fermentation occurs when lactic acid bacteria metabolize malic acid and produce lactic acid and carbon dioxide. This is carried out either as an intentional procedure in which specially cultivated strains of such bacteria are introduced into the maturing wine, or it can happen by chance if uncultivated lactic acid bacteria are present.

Must: freshly pressed fruit juice (usually grape juice) that contains the skins, seeds, and stems of the fruit.

Natural Wine: a term with no legitimate definition that everyone uses all the time! While the debate rages on between people that need to absolutely categorize everything (mostly based in Paris, New York City and San Francisco), most would agree that natural wine is a wine that reflects a terroir, a varietal, a vintage and the individual who made the wine, and that natural wine would be a wine where no mechanical or chemical intervention was made to alter, modify or nullify the four factors just listed. Someone will probably disagree with this definition and blog about it.

Peasant: a person who works the natural resources of their habitat.

Pigeage: stomping of grapes in open fermentation tanks. Once fermentation begins, the grape skins are pushed to the surface by carbon dioxide gases released in the fermentation process. This layer of skins and other solids is known as the cap. As the skins are the source of the tannins, the cap needs to be mixed through the liquid each day, or "punched," which traditionally is done by stomping through the vat.

Remontage: drawing the wine from the bottom of the vat and pump it to the top, above the skins.

Schnook: Joe Dressner gives us an indepth look at schnook life.

Soutirage/Racking: the process of siphoning the wine off the lees into a new, clean barrel.

Spoofulation: All angles of spoof.

Terroir: A french term that denotes the special characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place bestowed upon particular varieties. Probably the most used word on this site.

Vigneron: A concept so baffling no word exists for it in English; a vigneron is both a wine-grower AND a wine-maker. At the same time.

Vin De France: designation for table wine from France that has been in use since 2010, when it started to replace the former Vin de Table category. Vins de France may indicate grape variety and vintage on the label, but are not labeled by region or appellation, only as coming from France.