As a follow up to our previous Blog, “The Secrets Behind Wine Descriptions” we will explore the complicated and vastly confusing world of wine terminology. We learned in our original blog that speaking like a wine pro doesn’t have to be as difficult as one would image. Using imagery words and paying attention to your senses; even the wine novice can begin to feel like a wine connoisseur. For a second lesson in wine culture we will take a closer look at the top 10 wine terms used amongst the pros when wine tasting.
1. Body - This term is thrown around quite often amongst winos. Common wine folks will confuse body as a visual experience; when in reality body refers to how the wine feels in your mouth. When a wine is described as “full bodied” or “heavy body” it means the wine has a full robust flavor that sits heavily on your tongue. A Lighter bodied wine feels thin and airy on your tastebuds while a medium bodied wine has full flavor without being heavy.
2. Bouquet - When you hear someone comment on the bouquet of a wine, they are referring to the overall smell of the wine. The bouquet is the smell of a wine that develops as a result to the aging process.
3. Drip Dickey - We have all seen that circular item that comes stock with every wine essentials kit. Many of us stare with wonder as what we are supposed to do with it! This little device called a drip dickey is used around the neck of the bottle to catch any stray drips while pouring.
4. Finish - The finish is essentially the aftertaste that remains in your mouth after you swallow the wine. The finish describes the overall length of the aftertaste and the allure of its flavors. Generally speaking, the more body the wine has the longer the finish.
5. Legs - We have all seen the infamous wine swirl. There are many reasons for this swirl, to let the wine breath, to open up the wine, to release the flavors, and to see the legs! The wine that drips down the glass after the swirl is referred to as the legs. The thinner the wine the quicker the legs will re-enter the glass. The higher the alcohol content of the wine, the thinner the legs.
6. Nose - Where there are legs there must be a nose! The nose of the wine is a fancy way to say the scent or the aroma of the wine. Most wine experts will experience the nose of the wine directly after the swirl. This allows the true aromas of the wine to be released.
7. Reserve - This is a term given to wines of the highest quality. These are the rare and expensive wines.
8. Tannins - We all hear the word tannins being thrown around while wine tasting. Tannins are naturally occurring substances found in grape skins, seeds, and stems. Tannins are associated with the bitterness tasted in wine. They can also be attributed to the bold flavors in red wines.
9. Wine Transparency - Don’t be fooled by this term, it has nothing to do with the appearance of the wine. The transparency of wine refers to the wines ability to clearly and accurately portray its true flavors.
10. Vintage - Vintage refers to the year in which the grapes were harvested.