glossary

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Casein: A dairy-based protein used in the fining process. Casein is particularly effective at clarifying cloudy or off-colored white wines.

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Fining: A technique for clarifying wine using agents such as bentonite (powdered clay), isinglass (fish bladder), casein (milk protein), gelatin or egg whites, which combine with sediment particles and cause them to settle to the bottom, where they can be easily removed.

Kosher Wine: Wine made according to Jewish dietary laws (the kashrut) and certified by rabbinical authorities. Only observant orthodox Jews can handle kosher wine during the winemaking process, including tasks such as racking and drawing samples from barrels. Common fining agents forbidden in the production of kosher wine include casein and isinglass, though the use of egg whites is permitted.

Isinglass: A protein derived from the bladders of sturgeon and other fish and used in the fining process. The protein binds with excess tannins, pulling them from overly harsh wines.

Gelatin: The same active gel found in Jell-O, this animal product is used in the fining process to bind with excess tannins so that they may be removed during filtration.

Bentonite: A clay compound used in the fining process of white wines. The clay binds with solids that might otherwise cause a white wine to become cloudy, removing them from the wine, although some molecules that would contribute to the wine's flavor profile are also removed in the process.

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