You may have an idea of the wines you enjoy, but how do you describe them? Knowing how to use wine tasting terms the correct way will help you choose the wines you want – and avoid those you don’t. This handy glossary will help you identify the notes you love and make your wine tasting experience more enjoyable.
1. Aroma or Bouquet
The aroma refers to the smell of the wine; “bouquet” is often used when tasting older wines. Some of the aromas found in wines include herbs, flowers, grass, fruits, tobacco, and vanilla.
The “weight” of the wine in your mouth is referred to as the body. This usually correlates with the level of alcohol in the wine. You may hear wine enthusiasts classify wines as “light-bodied,” “medium-bodied,” or “full-bodied.”
In the wine world, “dry” is the opposite of sweet. When tasting wine, you can classify the wine as “dry,” “off-dry” (meaning slightly sweet), or “sweet.”
Wines with refreshing acidity are referred to as “crisp.” Acidity tends to be more of a tasting factor in white varietals than in reds.
The impression or aftertaste that wine leaves in your mouth as you swallow it is called the “finish.” In a high-quality wine, you should be able to taste the wine’s flavours – such as spiciness or oakiness – at this point.
Wines that are bursting with fruit flavours are described as “fruit-forward.” However, fruity flavours don”t always mean that the wine is sweet. The fruitiness is discovered with your nose, not your mouth.
Wines that were stored in oak barrels throughout the fermentation or aging process are often called “oaky.” Smoky, toasty flavours usually imply oakiness.
Soft wines have a smooth rather than crisp feel in the mouth, indicating low acidity.
Tannic wines are typically red varietals that feel dry after tasting them. You can describe a tannic wine as either “astringent,” “firm,” or “dry.”
10. Flavour Intensity
The flavour intensity refers to how strong or weak the wine’s flavours are. This is important to know if you plan to pair wine with food.
Have you identified your personal likings for wine? Come and visit us at St. Regis Fine Wines and Spirits in Vancouver and talk to one of our sommeliers. We will be glad to help you choose the best wine that matches your budget, preference, mood and occasion. Visit us today inside Granville Station or call 604-662-3177. See you soon!