If you’ve never been to a wine tasting before, you may be intimidated by it. There are several words and phrases used to describe the taste, texture, and sensation of wine, and you can’t possibly be expected to know all of them right out of the gate. Whether you want to better understand what those around you are talking about or contribute to the dialogue, here are three terms you may hear at your first tasting.
Basic Wine Terms to Know
After swirling their glass, you may hear someone say that a wine has good legs. Legs refer to the droplets of wine that cling to the sides of the glass and trickle down. A wine’s legs don’t offer much insight into the quality of the wine; however, there’s a little information to be gleaned. The speed of a droplet’s trickle provides clues to the alcohol content. A slow trickle indicates higher alcohol content, although sweet wine with sugar in it can produce the same effect.
This term refers to the oral sensations, like velvety or rough, that enthusiasts experience when sipping a glass. Components in the wine, such as acidity, can make it feel sharp, whereas tannins can be rougher on the palate. This often encompasses the weight, or body, of the wine. For example, champagne or other sparkling wines may be described as having a lively mouthfeel due to the bubbles. Wine sweetened with sugar will often be described as having a thicker or fuller mouthfeel.
This term means there are components of the aromas and flavors that are reminiscent of earth, like soil and vegetation. Some of these aromas or tastes include mushrooms, autumn leaves, and dirt. Wines that are known to exhibit these earthy qualities are merlot, pinot noir, and Chablis.
If you’re new to wine tasting or want to learn more about this beloved beverage, stop by Oeno Winemaking in Kailua, HI. This one-of-a-kind winery does more than pour bottles for you to try; they offer you the opportunity to make your own. They’re passionate about wine and eager to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with guests. Join their Signature Wine Club online to expand your palate, or call (808) 236-6366 to RSVP for a wine tasting.