Speaking the lingo - Part 4

Speaking the lingo - Part 4

24th Mar 2010

The final part of our four part guide to wine language!


Excessive levels of alcohol in wine produce warm to burning sensations on the palate.


Hot climate or vintage character: uber-ripe, stewed fruit character which can be sickly to drink.



An important measure of quality in wines. People often discuss the length of a wine in terms of the length across the palate, and the length on the finish. Length across the palate refers to the length of time for which a wines flavour continues to hold your attention whilst you explore the wine in your mouth. The length of the finish is simply how long those impressions last after you have swallowed (or spat out) the wine.




General term for a wines smell; (see aroma in part 1).




The numerous smells associated with wines that have been fermented or aged in oak barrels: Vanilla, toast, cedar etc.




A wine fault, prolonged contact with oxygen causes the wine to be come flat and stale.




A wine with high levels of acidity verging on unpleasant.




Refers to the texture of a wine, wines with low acidity and tannin levels are often described as having a soft texture.




Tannins are polyphenolic compounds found in the pips, skins and stalks of grapes. They are vitally important if a wine is intended to age, as they act as a natural preservative. The tannins give structure to the wine, an example of a tannic red wine would be Barolo from Italy.




Lacking in flavour and body.




A wine with a coarse texture.




A specific grape variety.




The measurement of the volume of wine produced from a given area of vines, or from the weight of the fruit.










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