Wine Lingo

This page will give you a little terminology that wine drinkers use as descriptors for tasting wine.  It’s just the tip of the iceberg but a great place to start with the basics of “Wine Lingo”.

Aroma: A generally positive term that would describe the smell of a wine, for example, fruity, earthy, or even spicy.

Astringent: This refers to a drying sensation in the mouth that may make you pucker.  This is common in young full bodied red wines such as a Cabernet or a Zinfandel.  this is caused by a high tannin content in the wine.

Balance: A harmony and balance of a wine’s componets like acidity, tannins, sweetness, alcohol, oakiness.  Anything that is a part of the wine puzzle, does it fit.

Berrylike: Wine with distinct fruit characterisitcs both in smell and taste such as, black currents common to Cabernet Sauvignon.  Cherries in a Pinot Noir, and blackberries in a Zinfandel.

Body: This refers to the actual density and viscosity of a wine.  A wine may be described as thin, light, medium, or full bodied.  You can see this visually when a wine is swirled in a glass and then watch how the wine clings to the glass.  The percentage of alcohol determines the wine body, full=14%, medium=12%, and light would be 10%.

Bouquet: This refers to the scent a wine will develope as it has been aged.  This is not to be confused with the wines aroma.

Bright = Flinty an epiphany in your mouth

Cheesemonger – this term refers to someone who sells cheese, a specialist or purveyor of artisanal cheeses.

Complex: Dimensional, layered, structure, flavor, aroma are all terms that might come to mind when referring to a wine as complex.

Crisp: Wines high in acidity can be described as tart, and lively on the palate.

Floral: Aromas of flowers can be subltly profound in white wines such as Viogniers, Rieslings, and Gewurztraminers.  Aromas common to white wines; rose petals, carnations, jasmine, orange blossom, grapefruit.  Red wine Pinot Noir for example may have aromas of roses and violets.

Fruity: This characterisitc is one of sweetness, and richness with body coming the ripeness of the grapes.  Raspberries, apples, and apricots are      often associated in the wines description.

Intense = Juicy big, bold, forward just tastes like fruit you could bite into

Lively = Crisp the wine is refreshing, a zing, literally comes to life in your mouth

Meritage, pronounced just like “Heritage”, is a proprietary term used to denote red and white Bordeaux-style wines without infringing on the Bordeaux region’s legally protected designation of origin.  Winemakers must license the Meritage trademark from its owner, the California-based Meritage Alliance.  Member wineries are found principally in the United States, though increasingly elsewhere.Meritage, pronounced just like “Heritage”, is a proprietary term used to denote red and white Bordeaux-style wines without infringing on the Bordeaux region’s legally protected designation of origin.  Winemakers must license the Meritage trademark from its owner, the California-based Meritage Alliance.  Member wineries are found principally in the United States, though increasingly elsewhere.

Nose: All the aromas and odors from the wine combine to make up the nose of the wine.

Oakey: This aroma is from the barrel aging of a wine.  it is commonly described as a nuance of vanilla.

Rich = Subtle mellow, smooth, decadent, just easy and fulfilling

Spicy: Some wine types, Zinfandel and Shiraz in particular may have a spice like quality.  Cloves, cinnamon, black pepper, and anis are common descriptions used for wines.

Velvety = Aromatic sexy, goes down like silk, fills the room with its aroma

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