Wine Wednesday: Tasteful terms explained at Tucannon Cellars - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wine Wednesday: Tasteful terms explained at Tucannon Cellars

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BENTON CITY, WA - If you've ever been to a dinner party, a tasting room, or have wine snobs in your inner circles, you've probably heard some terms you weren't familiar with and didn't bother to stop and ask for clarification.

So, for this Wine Wednesday, Reporter Rex Carlin enlisted the help of Tucannon Cellars' Ethen Warren to help clarify what some of these unique wine terms really mean.

Ethen starts us off with a word that floats around tasting rooms all the time, but might not be totally clear to everyone that passes through local wineries: "tannins".

"All the consumer needs to know is that the tannin is a reference to how bitter or dry the wine may be on the finish, so the astringence overall on the wine," Warren said. "That's the best way to put it. It's basically just the little dry factor in a red or even white wine sometimes."

Next up we have "legs", which in a general sense can compare alcohol content between different wines once they're poured into glasses.

In wine industry terms, legs are interesting because they provide a visual for how much alcohol is in your glass.

"It's the separation of alcohol and water. Water's going to be a little more dense and heavy, whereas alcohol's going to be lighter and try to always formulate up on the top," said Warren. "And that's where you're going to get your streaks. It's the concentrated alcohol forming between the grooves of what would be the water compound."

And finally, there's a sentence that nobody - not industry professionals, avid wine enthusiasts, or casual consumers - wants to hear: "This bottle is corked".

"The term 'corked' basically indicates there was some kind of failure within that cork," Warren explained. "Whether that was just initially a flaw in the cork because it had a tear or a groove in it when it was inserted into the bottle, or whether or not it developed some kind of bacteria in the process."

No matter what stage of the process the bottle is corked doesn't really matter to the consumer, because a corked bottle of wine can ruin your night no matter how the damage is done.

Warren says that when you taste corked wine it will be extremely obvious, so there's no real guessing. He says you'll know without a doubt that your wine is corked.

But he says it's not common for Tucannon...less than 1% of their bottles of wine end up corked.