Basic and Common Wine Terms

Robert Louis Stevenson once said, “Wine is bottled poetry.” Some wine lovers believe that wine is a form of art created with skilled hands, intrinsic talent, and science. Wine, unlike any other drink, has a culture of its own. While many people can have access to different types of wines, there will always be that elite circle of wine enthusiasts, connoisseurs, and winemakers that understand and believe in the art that is wine.


New wine lovers can always explore and know more about wine. But it does, however, require tasting, reading, and learning more about the different characteristics of wine. Here are some recommendations for beginners.


Color – The color of the wine is a quality that can indicate the wine’s age. Whites develop a darker color with age but appear bright when young. Red wine, on the other hand, develops a brownish color when it ages. Depending on the type of wine, it can be better in quality when fresh or with a bit of years of aging.


Length – Also known as “finish,” length is measured in the after-flavor or the impression it leaves in the mouth after swallowing. It is usually the wines with longer length or finish that are good for aging.


Dry and Sweet – In terms of taste, there are many wines that are called dry or sweet. Sweet means more sugar levels while dry is the opposite with nothing beyond 0.2 percent unfermented sugar. For beginners, sweet wines are easier to taste than dry.


Body and Weight – These terms are often interchangeable. They characterize the taste and feel of the wine in one’s palate, including its alcohol content. Full-bodied wines are typically higher in alcohol content, and they might “feel” warmer in the palate. The light-bodied wines are more refreshing and contain lower alcohol content. Beginners might like light-bodied wines at first and get to explore more full-bodied wines later.


Legs – When swirling or drinking the wine, the liquid can sometimes cling on the sides or walls of the glass. Many…

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