Younger wines have an aroma, while older wines have a bouquet - think of the scent of a single flower versus a mixed bunch. Some wines are more aromatic than others.
A wine where none of the main components - tannin, acid, sweetness and alcohol - stands out. Harmony!
Usually oak, used for ageing wine, particularly red wine.
Bitter - Astringent - Tannic
Black tea is also high in tannins. Tannin in wine can make your mouth feel dry - when you feel your lips are sticking to your mouth! Terms such as dry or rough mean the same thing.
A wine made from more than one grape variety.
The feeling of wine in the mouth. Wine can be either full, medium or light-bodied. Think about the mouth-sensation of still versus sparkling water.
Breathing & Aeration
Exposing wine to a little oxygen - letting it breathe - softens a wine.
French term meaning "dry" (not sweet) used for champagne and sparkling wines.
The adding sugar to wine before or during fermentation (to increase the alcohol level). Chaptalization is illegal in some regions, and highly controlled in others.
An old-fashioned English term which refers to red wine from Bordeaux.
A wine which is not (yet) very aromatic. Mostly associated with young wines and bottles that have just been opened.
Closure Bottled wine has traditionally been sealed with cork. Screwcaps do not automatically suggest inferior wine.
A wine that gives a perception of being multi -layered in terms of flavours and aromas. Like a dish made with multiple spices
A disease associated with the cork, which brings off-aromas (and flavours). Smells like wet cardboard!
A term associated with the Champagne region: a blended wine.
French term meaning a “half-dry” (ie somewhat sweet) sparkling wine.
The opposite of sweet.
A wine with savoury aromas and flavours reminiscent of earthy scents, such as forest floor or mushrooms.
Easy going, accessible
Straightforward as opposed to complex. More sourdough than olive ciabatta.
The process of converting grape sugars to alcohol by the addition of yeast.
Clearing wine of any unwanted particles with the addition of egg whites or gelatin (among other things). Not vegan friendly!
The impression of textures and flavors in the mouth after swallowing. The more they linger, the longer the "length" of the wine.
Wines with dominant scents and flavours of fresh fruit - from white peach to blackberry!