Body, tannins, elegance … Lost in so many terms about wine? Don’t worry, we explain everything you need to know in this pocket glossary.
There are so many terms to describe wines, but what do they really mean? The dictionary is vast and complex. Learn some terms – and what they mean – and dazzle your friends the next time you have dinner and you bring Casal Garcia to the table.
Wine glossary to impress your friends
At your next dinner, whether with friends, family, or even with that special someone, impress them with this wine dictionary. We guarantee that you will sound like a real connoisseur!
You have certainly heard of the “body” of wine: it refers to the weight of the wine in the mouth, its density. So, a wine can be light, light to medium, medium, medium to full-bodied, and full-bodied.
Tannins are organic compounds found in nature, and in grapes. Specifically in the husks and seeds. In a way, all wines have tannins, some are simply less present, and may be imperceptible in rosés and whites. Tannins are responsible for the feeling of “dryness” that wines cause on the tongue.
Also called aftertaste, it is basically the final sensation left by the wine in the mouth. The “finish” of a wine can be short or long.
A wine full of tannins has a slightly rough flavor on the tongue – as, for example, when eating a very green banana. This wine is said to be astringent. When one speaks on astringency is to refer to this degree of “harshness”.
One says a wine is elegant when it is balanced, meaning, the acidity, tannins, alcohol and sugar present in the wine are in harmony and nothing stands out in an exaggerated way.
A soft wine has a slight astringency and velvety tannins, and therefore does not show any roughness on the palate. In other words, a wine with little astringency.
A vivid wine is expressive (has flavors that stand out) and has good acidity. It is the opposite of “evolved”, that is, it has passed its peak and its best time for consumption, whose aromas and flavors can give the feeling of “past”, but which is not yet spoiled.
This characteristic is more common in white wines. It is used to describe the feeling of smooth and unctuous texture of a wine. Did you think it only applied to cheese?
A complex wine has flavors and aromas that are manifested at different times during the tasting. For example, as soon as the wine touches your lips, it can give you a first sensation, but when the wine occupies your entire mouth, the aroma that stands out is another. In short, the notes can be different from those that stand out in the aftertaste.
To say that a wine “has tear” is a way of measuring its alcohol content, but not its quality. The tear of a wine is seen when drops of liquid trickle down the sides of a glass, slowly, for example, when the glass is tilted. The more alcoholic, the more tears you will have.
A velvety wine has smooth tannins, without too much acidity. The sensation it leaves in the mouth is almost as if it touched velvet: soft and fluffy.
Not all wine has needle, you know? In fact, only sparkling wines have it. Do you know what it is? We help: the “needle” is the stinging sensation on the tongue produced by sparkling wines.
Et voilá! You no longer need a sommelier to impress your date, your friends, or even that uncle who has an incredible wine cellar!
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