10 May Terms That Are Used To Describe Wines
Many people use various wine descriptors and terms to describe different wines. Descriptors are essentially words that most aptly describe the wine you have tasted. When you are buying wines, these words help you select the type of wine you prefer and be clear about what you like and don’t like about it.
Some wines may be best described perfectly by more than one descriptor or term. For example, a particular wine could have an intense flavour as well as crispness.
Here is a list of few common descriptors and terms that are used to describe wines…
- Aroma Or Bouquet – Bouquet refers to the distinct smell you get from aged wines. A few aromas that are typically associated with wines include flowers, fruits, grass, earth, herbs, butterscotch, vanilla, tobacco, mocha toast, and chocolate.
- The Body – The weight of the wine that you feel in your mouth when you sip it is attributable mainly to its alcohol content. Wines are generally classified as light-bodied, full-bodied or medium-bodied.
- Crispness – Only wines with refreshing acidity have a crisp feel to them. Fermentation is also essential for the taste factor in white wines. White wines that contain a high amount of acidity have a much fresher feel to them.
- Dry – In wine terms, dry is the exact opposite of sweet. Wine is either classified as dry, off-dry (which is semi-sweet) or merely sweet.
- Finish – This is the wine’s aftertaste and the taste it leaves at the back of your throat. You can easily distinguish different flavors like fruitiness or spiciness in excellent wines.
- The Intensity of Flavour – This determines the power of the wine (whether it is strong or weak). The intensity of the wine plays a significant role when you pair it with food.
- Fruity – Wines that have fruity aromas and flavours don’t necessarily imply their sweetness. The fruitiness is something that can be smelt rather than tasted. However, we “smell it” in our mouth through the retronasal passage.
- Oaky – The toasty and oaky flavour in wines is generally a result of them being stored in oak barrels, which is either before fermentation or after.
- Soft – Many wines have feel that is much smoother than crispier. These wines usually have low amounts of acidity.
- Tannic – This descriptor is used to describe red wines that are firm and leave the mouth feeling dry. Tannins, by themselves, are bitter. However, the ones in wines are less bitter. You can describe red wines as soft, firm or astringent based on the amount and nature of the tannin used.
- Rich – This term is typically used for oak-aged or full-bodied wines. The structure of these wines is dense and opulent and has mouth-coating flavours.
- Spicy – This is probably the most natural & straightforward descriptor. You could say this whenever you feel even a bit of heat or spice, with hints of nutmeg or ginger.
- Mineral – These wines do not have any ripe fruit characteristics. Their distinct tang generally identifies them along with high acidity levels.
- Zesty – Young Semillons or dry Rieslings have high level of acidity and fit into this category. They have a zestier feel to them.
- Elegant – Fine & focused wine is an elegant wine. It shows its complexity and has the right level of acidity.
- Savoury – When a high level of acidity overpowers the fruit, the wine is distinguished as savoury. Southern French Reds and Rieslings are excellent examples of savoury wines.
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