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wine tasting terms and what they mean

Wine Tasting Terms and What They Mean

Don’t want to feel lost on your next wine tour? Here are six basic terms that will help you understand what you’re drinking and tasting.

Acidity

When someone is talking about the ‘acidity’ of wine, they’re referring to the fresh, tart and somewhat sour attributes of the wine and how they work with the tannins to create a well-rounded taste.

Sweet

Sweetness in wine is reflective of a grape’s sugar content and is contrasted to dryness. Very dry wine is produced from early picked low-sugar grapes, while sweet wines are made from late picked high-sugar grapes.

Oak

Many red and some white wines are aged in oak barrels. Depending on the length of time, some red wines can come across with undertones of smoke, spice, tobacco or leather in red wine, while whites may exude vanilla, caramel, butter or spice.

Body

You’ve probably heard someone refer to wine as, ‘light, medium or full body.’ They’re talking about the weight of the wine on their tongue. A common comparison is the way skim milk, whole milk and cream feel in your mouth.

Minerality

Also referred to as ‘crispness,’ minerality represents a certain presence in wine that tastes like minerals such as stones, chalk or metals.

Tannins

Speaking of tannins…. Tannins in wine come from grape skins and seeds in the wine making process. Tannins have the effect of leaving your mouth and cheeks dry. Very tannic wines do well with rich foods as they help cut though the fat and the food helps mellow those tannins.

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