There are a few people in the world that really know what they are talking about when it comes to wines, and why they are good. Most of us just pop the cork, take a sip, and make a yea or nay decision based on whether or not it appeals or repels us. But what is it that you can really say about wine? I am personally lost on this subject, which is why I did a little research. Below are some terms used to describe wines and, more importantly, what they mean.
Aroma refers to smell, and a wine’s aroma often helps determine whether or not the drinker likes it. Our senses of smell and taste are closely linked, and a pleasant wine aroma can have a positive influence on taste. Depending on the grapes used, a wine can have various aromas: fruity, floral, woodsy, citrus, etc. The best way to fully appreciate the aroma is to swirl it around in your glass for about 10 seconds. This also makes you look like you know what you are doing in tasting wine!
As with people, a wine’s body is the weight and fullness of the drink. Light bodied wines have less concentrated flavors where a heavily bodied wine has a concentrated flavor. Weight is generally referred to how the liquid feels in your mouth. Light wines have a weight like water and heavy wines feel like milk.
If a wine is dry it is without sweetness. This means the wine likely has less than 2 grams of sugar per liter. Wine that has just a hint of sweetness is called off-dry.
The vintage refers to the year in which the grapes that were used to make the wine were grown. Age is relative to the wine. Red wines seem to taste better as they age, though the year in which they were grown makes a difference as some years had weather that affected the grapes in an unfavorable way.
And there you have it, some very basic terms that will allow you to talk at least semi-intelligently about wines. Please enjoy responsibly!
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