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