Wine Dictionary. The ABCs of Tasting #1

Wine Dictionary. The ABCs of Tasting #1


(Sipping wine a word at a time)


The structure of a wine is the sum of the substances that make up the wine. The substances are divided into soft (alcohol, sugar alcohols and sugars) and hard (acids, tannins and minerals).

Adjectives used to describe a wine recall its consistency, balance and shape as if it were something physical:

Harmonious: a wine can be defined as harmonious when its components, especially sour, sweet and bitter, are proportionate and give a feeling of balance and harmony.

Body: is the consistency of a wine, which has a weight and thickness in the mouth. We feel the quotation from FISAR (Federation of Italian Sommeliers Hoteliers and Restaurateurs) states it best: “a glass of water has little or no body (just rinse) with respect to a glass of raspberry syrup, which certainly feels heavier in your mouth. When the same principle is applied to wines, they’ll be described as “light body”, “medium body” or “full body”.

Round: A full wine, mild to the tongue and with just a very small – if at all – degree of acidity, in which all the components are in balance with no single feature dominating.

Short: is defined as a wine that leaves almost no trace at all of its aromatic sensations.

Persistent: contrary to that of short wine, a persistent wine’s aroma and taste sensations linger in the mouth.