The Language of Wine


Wine terminology can be overwhelming.

Here are a few of the most commonly used words and a brief overview on the "language of wine."

*Acidity - often describes the level of perceived "sharpness" of a wine and a determining factor in how balanced the wine may be.

*Balance - the level of harmony in the various elements of wine such as fruit, acidity, tannins, etc. How "balanced" a wine tastes is very individualized. 

*Blend - when two or more grape varieties are combined after the fermentation process is complete.

*Body - used to describe the "weight" or overall feel of the wine in your mouth. Ex. light, medium, full.

*Breathe - letting wine "breathe" is simply introducing air to the wine, thus opening up the flavors.

*Hollow - describes a wine that does not have body or depth.

*Nose - how a wine smells, the aromas.

*Varietal - the opposite of a blend, a varietal is made of only one type of grape and named after that grape.

These are just a few of the many popular terms you may hear when wine tasting. The "language of wine" is used to not only describe different flavors and aromas but also the processes used to make the wine, the grapes, the harvest, and many other aspects of the world of wine. ■