Trying to understand more about the wine world? Let’s start by learning how to describe wine—here are common ways to describe a wine’s taste!
When thinking about and trying to understand wine, we often talk about aromas and textures. These features can help us pinpoint wines of interest and narrow our focus on wines we know we’ll love. To delineate which wines will thrill you and which will deter you, peruse our guide to some of the most common ways to describe a wine’s taste. Once you can pinpoint it, you’ll be better suited to figuring out your favorites!
Synonyms: Fruit-Forward, Jammy, Flamboyant, Ripe
This is one of the most common words used to describe a wine’s texture—for reds or whites. As the synonyms list shows, you might also hear this generally as “fruit-forward.” A juicy wine doesn’t necessarily mean sweet, but it doesn’t typically fall in the realm of a dry wine, which is why people commonly partner juicy with sweetness. Simply put, juicy describes a wine with dominant flavors in the sweet fruit realm: raspberry, cherry, baked apple, ripe peach, and other similar fruits.
When you finish off a sip of wine, you may notice a “tartness” to it. This is a common finish on wines with higher acidity. So those juicy fruits and wines from above can also turn tart as they finish off. It’s not necessarily going to make you purse your lips, but some of the tingling in premium light wines can last for a few seconds.
Dry is a word that is very commonly used to describe red wines. So, on the spectrum of sweetness, dry is at the very opposite end. A bone-dry wine will imply there is no residual sugar and those tannins really kicking your taste buds into that “dehydrated” feeling. Most red wines fall into the dry category, but really, any wine that ranges from no residual sugar to about a gram per serving is considered dry.
Synonyms: Creamy, Smooth, Velvety, Soft
We actually use this description quite a bit when it comes to Chardonnays—specifically oaked vs. unoaked. To understand how this wine will feel in your mouth, think about the sensation on your tongue after you’ve eaten really buttery popcorn. The buttery feel of wine won’t stick on your tongue in the same way, but you’ll get a similar cream-like texture that hits the middle of your tongue.
Hopefully, this look into a few of the most common ways to describe a wine’s taste will help you feel like even more of a wine expert. When you’re trying to investigate the various textures of different wines, take a look at Wines ’Til Sold Out. Our high-end red wine showcases plenty of the above descriptors, and so do our beautiful white wines. Peruse our site and see what you’re missing!