Wine Descriptions

Need to know descriptions of your favorite wines?
Check out the complete list here.

Acidity – Sharp, crisp flavor that contributes to wine freshness

Aftertaste – The taste or flavors that linger in the mouth after wine is tasted, spit or swallowed

Age/Aging – To let get older in controlled conditions to improve flavor. All wine is aged from a few weeks to a few decades.

Approachable – Easy, drinkable wine

Aromatic – A wine’s scent; a floral scent or spiciness

Attractive – A lighter style, fresh and easy to drink

Balance – The ability to producing wine blended without one grape or component upstaging another

Beefy – A term used to describe red wines, such as Cabernet Sauvignon

Big – A wine loaded with tannins and concentrated fruits

Bouquet – The scent or “nose” of the wine

Buttery – The aroma of a glass of wine

Chewy – Wine with plenty of tannins and fruits

Clean – Simple and direct, without chemical or bacterial fruit

Complex – Intense wine with undertones of a variety of flavors

Crisp – Generous acidity found in clean and fresh wines, like Chardonnay

Deep – Describes wines with a full flavor

Developed – Refers to the maturity of a wine

Dry – No trace or taste of sweetness or residual sugar

Dusty – Used to describe hot country red wines

Earthy – The smell of robust minerals

Fat – A weight and mildly clumsy wine

Finish – The taste that a wine leaves on the tongue

Flinty – Describes the fragrance or taste of some white wines, especially White Bordeaux

Freshness – A nice acidity with traces of fruit or floral

Fruity – The aroma or flavor of grapes and other fruits like black currant, apple, plum or strawberry

Fullness – The body, weight or feel of a wine

Grapy – A rare flavor of grape

Green – A light wine with an unripe, tart taste

Hard – Red wines with extra tannins, commonly found in young Reds

Heady – Used to describe a wine high in alcohol

Herbaceous – The taste and smell of herbs in wine

Honeyed – Describes ripe wines, which usually have a sweet aroma or taste of honey

Jammy – Cooked, sweetish red wines

Late Harvest – Wine made from grapes that were allowed to hang on the vine until their sugar content was very high, producing a sweet wine

Length – The flavor that lingers in the mouth after swallowing

Mouthfeel – How a wine feels in your mouth and against the tongue

Neutral – Describes a wine without any outstanding characteristics, but without any particularly bad ones either

Nutty – A delicate of hazelnut or nutmeg flavor

Oaky – Hints of mild sweet vanilla from fermentation in oak barrels

Oxidized – Wine overexposed to air

Plumy – The fruity flavor found in big reds

Prickly – A wine with a residual effect

Racy – A vivid, but light wine with acidity

Round – Describes a wine with a good balance of fruit and tannins, with good body

Short – Describes a wine that does not remain on the palate after swallowing (see “Finish”)

Silky – A well-rounded, smooth tasting residue after swallowing

Smoky – An undertone of smokiness, specifically when matured in moderately charred oak barrels

Soft – Mellow, well-balanced wine with mature tannins and low acidity

Spicy – Hints of peppermint, cinnamon in red wines and fruity with a zest in white wines

Steely – A crispy, dry metallic flavor

Supple – Matured tannins with soft textures

Sweet – Describes the richness or ripeness in a quality wine

Tannins – Adds dryness and astringency

Tart – An unripe, green wine

Toasty – The taste and smell of oak-fermented barrels

Tough – Implies excessive tannins

Vanilla – The scent of new oak

Velvety – Smooth wine where the grape blend is undetectable