Important Wine Terms and What they Mean



Tuesday December 3, 2019 Author: Adrian Categories:



Wine terms can become intimidating to those who are just beginning their journey with wines. There are a variety of important terms that will help you understand what others are saying, especially when they are describing their experience with the wine. These terms will help you confidently express your opinion at wine tastings and with others who enjoy wine.

  • Acidity – Acids found in wines such as lactic, malic, tartaric and citric acids result in wines that are highly acidic, zesty and tart.
  • Aroma – The term Aroma is used to explain the scent of the wine.
  • Aeration – Added air to the wine makes the perfume become more aromatic and captivating.
  • Angular – Wines that are described as angular are lean and the taste tends to affect your palette in the same three places every time.
  • Austere – Wines that are highly acidic and have slight fruit notes, lack balance and charm. This is a term used when you experience tasting an unfriendly wine.
  • Aftertaste – The term Aftertaste is used when you drink a wine that leaves a long aftertaste, end note or finish. A long, enjoyable aftertaste is an important component of wine.
  • Barnyard – If a wine has a harsh aroma that resembles the smell of a barnyard, this term is used by the person who has smelled the wine and inhaled this aroma.
  • Balance – This term is used when all elements that create the wine are equally balanced.
  • Chewy – This term is used by wine drinkers that experience a wine that has a lot of texture, tannins and concentration. It leaves tannins behind after you drink it which cause you to chew in order to remove the tannins.
  • Corked – Term used for wine that has a musty smell of wet newspaper caused by a cork polluted with a chemical compound called TCA.
  • Dense – This is a wine that is full-bodied and has a heavier concentrated flavor.
  • Esters – The aromas perceived in wine created by the reaction of acids and alcohol.
  • Field blend – Grapes that are harvested together from a vineyard with several different varieties to make a single wine.
  • Flinty – White wines that are very dry and leave a steel-like aftertaste in your mouth.
  • Fleshy – A wine that contains a lot of body, similar to a fleshy fruit, like a plum.
  • Grand Vin – The term is typically seen with red Bordeaux indicating a chateau’s best wine.
  • Tannin – Tannins are considered the backbone of wine and are actually removed from the stems and grape skins. Tannins are the most important component for the wine to have a long life. Ripe tannins have a positive effect in your mouth, while tannins that are not ripe will make the aftertaste hard and dry.

Take this new knowledge and get creative when selecting wine for a meal or even creating cocktails with wine. These important terms will help you express your experience with each glass of wine you taste. Using these terms will show that you are familiar with wines and the unique vocabulary used by wine enthusiasts.


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