If you’re just starting out as a wine drinker there are some important terms that you should learn. It’s necessary to understand wine terms, because they help wine connoisseurs properly describe the wines they’re drinking. Wine terms are especially helpful when you’re writing tasting notes during a wine tasting. Here are some of key wine terms from Rosehill Wine Cellars.
Body: The body of a wine refers to the overall weight or viscosity of the liquid. This weighty feeling on your tongue is the result of the alcohol and sugar content of the wine itself. As you might have guessed if the wine feels ‘heavy’ it’s a full bodied wine, if it feels ‘light’ the wine is light bodied. A wine can also be medium bodied.
Finish: The finish is the aftertaste of the wine. More specifically the term refers to how long the taste of the wine remains in your mouth. High quality wines have a more lengthy complex finish than low quality wines.
Nose: The nose of a wine refers to the aroma. This is determined by swirling the wine around in your glass. Some examples of common red wine aromas or nose descriptors include red fruits, black berries, jam, barnyard, black pepper, or redcurrant. Some nose descriptors for a white wine are citrusy, fresh, orange blossom, apricot, petrol, or grassy. Of course aromas are very subjective and there are millions and millions of possible descriptors for every varietal.
Palate: This refers to the overall flavour profile of the wine in your mouth. It denotes the taste of the actual wine. Some taste descriptors include sweet, sour, or bitter.
Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel refers to the way a wine feels in your mouth. For example a wine can feel silky or rough. These descriptors are usually related to the general texture of the wine on your tongue. Another good example is hot. A hot feeling on your tongue is often the result of a wine with a high alcohol percentage.
Balance: Whether or not a wine is balanced is one of the most important elements. A wine is described as ‘well balanced’ when all of the tastes and textures of the wine work cohesively and nothing dominates. This means that the alcohol, acidity, tannins, sweetness and sometimes oak are working together, and nothing is too overwhelming or underwhelming.
Make sure to check out Rosehill Wine Cellars for all of your wine storage and wine drinking needs!