6 Words Used To Describe Wine

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The True Meaning of the 6 Words Used To Define Wine

How will you describe your favorite wine? Complex, buttery, elegant or fruity, spicy, earthy or something else?

Multiple terms like these are used to describe the texture and taste of a wine. These terms enable the wine connoisseur to describe and distinguish between different types of wine. However, while wine connoisseurs know the true meaning behind these terms most wine enthusiasts tend to use the same loosely. They do so while keeping in mind the popular meaning of the wine terms, which they may have picked up from their peers, family members, and even the web.

While some of the wine terminologies like fruity and spicy are self-explanatory, there are other terms such as aftertaste, oxidised, hybrid that are more complex and harder to decipher. Then there are terms that refer to something and mean something else. Every bottle of wine will be associated with one or more terminology that helps classify and define the uniqueness of that alcoholic drink.

If you are a lover of this “Drink of Gods” and want to understand more about the unique lingo associated with the drink then you need to read more about the language of wine tasting. Armed with this knowledge you will be able to confidently have conversations over a glass of wine with your friends, family members, co-workers, and even strangers.

Here are 6 wine terms and what they really mean in the wine world -


A wine is referred to as creamy because as the name suggests it will feel and taste similar to a luxurious dairy product. When it comes to Champagne, the term creamy here signified the yeastiness. Wines that undergo the process of Malolactic Fermentation have a creamier texture as it softens the level of acidity in the wines.


Wines that are sweet leave a sensation of sugar on the tip of the tongue, which has taste buds that cater to this very taste. Most wines cannot be classified as sweet since they are more on the dry side. Cheaper or bargain wines often come with different degrees of sweetness. These wines are popular with people who have just begun to indulge in wine. Completely sweet wines are elusive and rare since it is very hard to produce them.


A wine writer uses the word dense when he wants to bottle up his lengthy descriptions of wine flavours and characteristics into one simple word. Dense is used to describe bold red wines such as cabernet sauvignon, Côtes du Rhône, and Brunello di Montalcino but usually isn’t taken as a confident tone in other wines because it implies that wine is restricted in some way.


When a flavor of wine reminds you of earth particularly the soil then it is termed as earthy. This is a term that is often used to describe red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Grenache, and more. Look for earthy wines when next you are on the lookout for red wine gifts.


Unlike a bold wine, an elegant wine is a lighter, leaner, and tarter version. These notes are refined and elegant and hence, termed that way. In some cases, elegant wine also refers to the balance of aged wine. Elegant wines will have a mature aroma and have a softer and velvety texture. A quintessential example of an elegant wine is the Domaine Serene Yamhill Cuvée Pinot Noir.


Acidity is regarded as a sharp impression on contact, causing salivation almost instantly. A bottle of wine is usually tarter than most beverages because of the high acidity of the fresh grapes.

Novices frequently find wines too sour for their desire as acidity invariably seems reinforced on the first sip. But the acidic turn of wine dissolves as one continues to drink.

Many descriptors are used to define the flavour and appeal of a bottle of wine. Knowledge of these wine terms will help you confidently navigate the world of wines and attend wine tastings with ease. Impress your boss or colleagues with your newfound knowledge about wine language and choose the perfect wine and make recommendations at your next dinner smoothly.

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