Enhance Your Wine Tasting Enjoyment

Wine is a wonderful beverage with many different facets. Some people only drink wine on special occasions, but if you are like me you enjoy trying as many new wines as possible as often as you can. In order to increase your enjoyment and wine drinking satisfaction there are a series of terms and techniques you should become familiar with. Wine comes in different taste, color and ingredients. Tasting more and more of wines will make you more aware of your specific taste and preferences and the specific characteristics of the different varietals. Tasting wine is a sequence of event that enhances the enjoyment of imbibing. Wine can be an intimidating subject, but becoming familiar with the following terms in regards to the taste, flavors, and ingredients of wine will break down the "snob factor" associated with wine and start you on the road to becoming a true connoisseur. The following are some basic wine words to become familiar with.


The degree to which a wine tastes sweet. Sweetness is tasted on the tongue. Residual sugar also can change the viscosity of a wine, making it richer. The impression of sweetness comes from either sugars, or alcohol, or both, and can be altered in relationship to the presence of acidity. The sweetness of the wine can be determined by the amount of fermented sugar and fruit added to it.


The next flavor tasted in wine is the feel of acidity. The acid taste can be felt to create taste and freshness in the flavor established. The taste of acidity creates freshness, crispy and zest in a balanced manner. Most of the drinkers prefer acidity taste of wine to come up with the purpose of having the wine. It helps the people to enjoy the taste and make it meaningful. The characteristic of wine differs in each kind of taste and flavor mixed. The degree to which a wine has sourness, or tartness, a taste perceived on the tongue. Derived from natural grape acids, primarily tartaric and malic, but may also include lactic and acetic from microbial action, whether intentional or otherwise. A compound present in all grapes and an essential component of wine that preserves it, enlivens and shapes its flavors and helps prolong its aftertaste. There are four major kinds of acids--tartaric, malic, lactic and citric--found in wine. Acid is identifiable by the crisp, sharp character it imparts to a wine.


Essential component of wine which gives a sense of sweetness, especially in dry wine, and contributes to body and length of finish. Can be noticed as warmth in the back of the throat. Big is a term used often to describe a wine high in alcohol, usually also heavy in body. Too much alcohol in a wine makes it hot. Its affects run from the obvious to the not so obvious. Alcohol doesn't just provide the kick it gives texture ("body"), flavor (roundness and sweetness) and vinosity (makes it smell and taste like wine) as well as providing balance and a certain chemical and physical stability to wines. The primary alcohol is known as ethyl alcohol or ethanol, but there are dozens of other so-called "higher" alcohols which though in minute quantites provide hundreds of flavors.


The fruitiness can be tasted more in wine, because it is product which extracted from rich grapey fruits. It comes in crispy, freshly and tasty flavors. Tasting term for wine which has retained the fresh flavor of the grapes used in its fermentation. Not to be confused with sweetness. A wine can be fruity and not sweet.


Related to balance; all of the in mouth basic impressions of sweet, sour, salty, bitter, along with alcohol, body, etc., but in absence of the more complex, organoleptic impressions detectable by the olfactory bulb. In other words, everything but the aroma.

The impression of weight or fullness on the palate; usually the result of a combination of glycerin, alcohol and sugar. Commonly expressed as full-bodied, medium-bodied or medium-weight, or light-bodied.

Understanding these basics will help you to figure out the style of wine that suits you best and will help you to be a much more educated consumer. Soon you will be able to taste a wine and by using these wine basics you should be able to narrow down the type of wine you are drinking without even looking at the label. Your friends will be impressed and your wine confidence will be sky high. CHEERS!

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About The Author, Jennifer De Jong
Jennifer is a long time wine lover working in the area of wine importing. She is an active board member of Women For Winesense and a budding oenophile. She is currently the wine expert in charge of http://www.vinovixenz.com.