Bibbidi Bobbidi Booze: Your Guide to Wine Terminology

April 2, 2019

If you’re a wine connoisseur, you probably know wine terminology like the back of your hand. But if you’re a novice who’s acquainting yourself with the intricacies of wine, this guide will come in handy.

 

Have you faced embarrassment while ordering wine at a dinner date? It’s easy to get bogged down by all the jargon about wines that’s thrown at you by the waiter. If you have little to no knowledge about the tastes, kinds, and varieties of wines, it’s highly likely that all of it sounded like gibberish to you.

While it may be just a burgundy-colored drink in a glass for you, for real wine-lovers, it’s a passion!

In order to develop a distinct taste for certain kinds of wines, you need to intimate yourself with a variety of brands.

Wine tasting can be an overwhelming experience at first. The diction used to describe its subtle variations needs to measure up to the exquisiteness of the drink. This is why we’ve compiled a list of wine terminology to help you out.

 

Acid

Have you noticed that wine leaves a strong aftertaste that lingers on your tongue long after you’ve gulped down a sip? That’s because of its acidity. This brings out the unique flavor of a wine. Lactic acid, citric acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid constitute the acidity of a particular wine.

 

Aftertaste

This describes the flavor that stays on the palate after drinking some wine. The aftertaste largely depends on the parts of your tongue that the sip crossed over. The sides of your tongue make up the salty region, whereas closer to the tip lies the sweet region. The sour region is towards the back and the bitter region is the farthest part of the tongue.

 

Balance

As the name suggests, this refers to the blending of different flavors in a drink. The better the different parts of the wine blend together, the better the balance.

 

Body

The body covers the overall experience a wine offers. The residual sugars in a wine that constitute the fullness of the drink leave the strongest aftertaste on the palate. Wines can be light-, medium-, or full-bodied; these variations suggest how strong is the flavor is. A light-bodied sample will have fewer flavors, whereas a full-bodied brand like Cabernet Sauvignon is known by the burst of tannins in the mouth.

 

Buttery

If the drink resembles butter in taste and fragrance, like Chardonnay, it’s called buttery, and has a richness that other wines won’t.

 

Complexity

How well and how much the flavors balance in the body of the wine defines its complexity.

 

Crisp

A drink that tastes sharp and tangy on the tongue due to high acidity and a strong fruity flavor is crisp.

 

 

Decanting

This is an important part of the wine-serving process. The drink is kept in a decanter so that it breathes before it is tasted. Through aeration, the strong aromas will soften and the flavors will become pleasant to taste.

 

Dry

A sugarless wine is described as dry.

 

Earthy

Aromas of the soil in complex red wines can be characterized as earthy. Pinot Noir and Cabernet are a few examples of such wines.

 

Floral

Flavors that have the taste and smell of flowers can be found in white wines.

 

Fruity

If the drink is infused with fruity essence, it’ll leave such flavors on the palate.

 

Grassy

Some wines have a unique scent of grass in them. They even taste like grass on the palate, such as Sauvignon Blanc.

 

Legs

In order to determine the quantity of alcohol in a wine, the glass is swirled and the droplets running down the sides after are noted. These droplets are called the legs.

 

Nose

As the term suggests, this refers to the fragrances wafting to your nose while drinking a wine.

 

Oaky

Vintage wines that were stored in oak barrels turn out to have an oaky flavor. Oak chardonnays are one of them.

 

Oxidized

Airing your wine for too long after opening it can bleach its color. An oxidized wine refers to a bottle which has lost most of its flare by being left open.

 

 

Vintage

You must have heard the saying wine only gets better with age. Vintage wines are made from grapes that were harvested a long time ago.

 

Do you feel equipped with enough linguistic tools to make a well-informed choice of wine next time?

Artisan Excursions takes groups of tourists out on wine tasting tours in Solvang and your knowledge of wine will come in handy there! Try one of our wine tour packages for wineries in Solvang next time you visit.

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