L - Jargon Buster

Labrusca: A species of vine used in North America.

Lactic acid: A natural organic acid that occurs in many foods, including milk. In wine, it exists only in trace amounts unless the wine has undergone a malo-lactic secondary fermentation.

Lambrusco: Not to be confused with Labrusca (though it sometimes is). Produced in northern Italy, Lambruscos are sparkling red wines, usually sweet, light, fruity and pleasant to drink.

Late Harvest: Name given to dessert or full-bodied table wines produced from overripe grapes.

Lees: (Lees is both singular and plural). It is the sediment that settles to the bottom of a wine in a tank during processing. If primarily yeast, as from a fermentation, it is called "yeast lees;" if sediment from fining, it is called "fining lees." In any case, after it settles, lees have no further use and it is discarded.

Legs: This is a wine appreciation term referring to the colourless "tears" or liquid rivulets which form along the inside wall of a wine glass a few seconds after the wine in the glass is swirled. They usually form about an inch above the surface of the wine and slowly run down into the wine. Legs are formed more readily by higher alcohol wines than by lower -- the cause being related to alcohol content. For show-offs, remember that the higher the alcohol content, the more impressive the rivulets appear.

Limousin: (pronounced limousine and, sometimes, limo-zan). From a winemaker's point of view, Limousin is one of the major oak forest regions of central France. Limousin is also the name of the oak wood from that forest.

Loire Valley: One of France's larger wine regions located along the Loire River in west-central France. Major districts within the Loire are: Anjou, Muscadet, Touraine, Sancerre and Pouilly Fume.

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