Wine Definitions and Terms:
Aroma: All-purpose word for the smell of a wine, which may vary in type (fruity, floral, spicy) and in strength. Aroma is used in the general sense and is usually positive.
Astringent: The sensation of a wine that leaves a puckery feel in the mouth and seems to dry out the palate. Tannins, from the grapes and oak barrels, contribute to astringency.
Austere: Characteristic of wines that are lean in body and high in acidity but overall on the pleasant side. Usually white wines are likely to be austere in style.
Balanced: When all of the wine's components (fruit, acidity, tannin, oak, sweetness) exist in a harmonious way, the wine is said to be balanced.
Berrylike: Common aroma description for wines with a fairly distinct fruit character such as cherries, blackberries, and black currants.
Body: The relative weight of the wine or it's viscosity. Ranges from thin to light, to medium, to full-bodied. How wine clings to the sides of a glass when you swirl it is an indication of its body.
Bouquet: The odors developed through the aging process as distinguished from the fruity/spicy aroma of the grape.
Complex: Describes both aromas and flavors, and the existence of several facets simultaneously.
Crisp: Leaves you with a lip-smacking impression similar to tart. Usually the result of high acidity.
Dry: Basically - the opposite of sweet.
Earthy: Exists in varying degrees, from a subtle aroma of dusty weediness to a pungent aroma of mushrooms and truffles.
Floral: Aromas similar to flowers in full bloom are said to be floral.
Grassy: A fresh, lively aroma reminiscent of freshly cut grass, usually considered pleasant.
Herbal: Collective term for aromas hinting of dried herbs such as sage, dill and mint.
Nose: The combination of all odors, aroma, bouquet, oak, etc., detected by the olfactory sense.
Oak: The aroma derived directly from oak barrel aging and usually described as vanilla-like.
Smoky: An aroma derived mostly from fired oak barrels and often perceived as toasty or roasted.
Spicy: Characteristically spicy, suggesting cloves, cinnamon and pepper.
Supple: A soft smooth style without being heavy in body.
Yeasty: An aroma similar to fresh baked bread (highly desirable in sparkling wines and Champagne
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