Understanding Wine Terminology

Understanding Wine Terminology

During a wine tasting session, there are many terms used to describe a wine. These include the aromas, flavors and mouthfeel of a wine. It is important to know this terminology to understand a wines complexity and quality.

Acidity: A wine vocabulary acidity measures the amount of hydrogen ions present in the grape juice and is an indicator of how dry or sweet a wine will be. A low acidity is desirable as it allows a wine to keep its structure and freshness longer.

Grip: A wine’s grip refers to the firmness of its texture in the mouth. A wine with grip has tannins that make it feel solid, and can help a wine avoid seeming flabby.

Minerality: This describes aromas and flavors that are found in wines that come from vineyards with intense, rocky or mineral laden soil. This is a positive characteristic that can add complexity and depth to a wine.

Fruity: When a wine smells and tastes like fresh fruit.


Oaky: A term that describes a wines time spent in oak barrels, usually French or American. It can be a positive or negative characteristic depending on the amount of oak use.

NV/non-vintage: A wine that is not from one specific year, but made from several vintages of different grape varieties.

Terroir: The unique physical and geographical characteristics of a vineyard site that give the resulting wines their distinctive qualities. Wines from great terroir are often considered the greatest.

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