Ten key wine words - WineUncorked: Wine Reviews and Tips

One key word can often convey a whole host of meanings and nuances. Using such words can shorten conversations and allow you to get quickly to the heart of the matter without getting bogged down and sounding like a thesaurus. The wine world has a whole host of such key words, or 'jargon', and they are useful to know if you want to partipate in a wine course or read a specialist wine book or website.

Out of the hundreds of these specialist terms there are just ten that can allow you to get by in most vinous situations. So here they are - explained to you in an easily understood way - which is what wineuncorked.co.uk is all about.


Vintage

Vintage wines are made from grapes grown and harvested in a specific single year. So on a wine label you'll see the vintage shown as a year, say 2019. 

 

Acid/acidity

Acidity gives wines a sharp and fresh taste and balances out the flavours of tannins. It can taste like lemons in a wine.

 

Aroma/aromatic

Aromas are the components of the wine's smell, also known as its bouquet or nose. An aromatic wine has lots of aromas.

 

Astringent/grip

An astringent wine makes your mouth feel dry, possibly chalky. Astringency is caused by tannins. Tannins are found in the grape skins and grape pips and this gets transferred to the final wine.

 

Balance

Describes the relationship between the wine's characteristics. A well-balanced wine has no single dominant characteristic.

 

Complex

A complex wine has many different flavours and aromas.

 

Finish/length

Finish is the final flavour of the wine in the mouth while length is how long the flavour of the wine lingers in the mouth. 

 

Flinty

Wines which have mineral flavours are said to taste flinty. Mineral flavours can taste salty, or likened to the taste of hard tap water that contains a lot of calcium or chalk. It is also said that sucking on a pebble or on a 50p piece will give the same effect but as we don't often do this then it might be easier to think of the odd taste you get in your mouth when you have a sore throat - not the nicest thought but then minerality is hard to pin down.

 

Body

Body is how heavy and thick the wine feels in the mouth. Light-bodied wines feel thin and insubstantial, full-bodied wines feel rich and thick.

 

Old World/New World

The Old World are the wine producing areas of Europe such as France, Italy and Germany, while the New World are the winemaking areas outside Europe, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States.

 

So now you are ready to join a wine appreciation course! If you want even more wine words then go to the AZ section on wineuncorked.co.uk

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