A Glossary of Wine Tasting Terms

 

Balance

The proper blending of the various elements found in a wine including acidity, alcohol, tannins and sweetness. Another way of thinking of this is as the harmonious relationship between acids, alcohol, fruit, tannins, and the other natural elements present in wine.

Body

The extract of fruit and alcoholic strength which together give an impression of weight in the mouth. Another way to think of this is the sensation of texture a wine has in your mouth. Examples of wines having a "full" body are Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Syrah, Zinfandel, and some white Chardonnays. "Delicate" body is often found in Sauvignon Blanc, Chenin Blanc, or Semillon.

Bouquet

The collection of flowery and fruity smells that come from the alcohols and acids in a wine. The combination of these smells are said to be directly attributable to a wine's maturity in the bottle and particularly noticeable after a bottle of wine has been opened for some time (often described as herbal, fruity, acidic, etc.). This is also referred to as "nose."

Fruity

A ripe fruit-like (plums, apples, peaches, pineapple, lemon, etc.) taste, aroma or bouquet.

Tart

Often used to describe older wines which have lost their fruit but still retain significant levels of tannin and acidity.

 

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