Body: The apparent weight of a wine in your mouth (light, medium, or full)
Chewy: Mostly used to describe wines that are full bodied and full of tannins. It feels like you could literally chew the wine instead of drinking it.
Crisp: A wine with refreshing acidity with hints of bright fruit and a clean finish.
Dry: Not sweet. Describes a wine that seems to have no taste of sugar.
Earthy: A term to describe wine that has residual flavors or aromas of soil. This is mostly associated with Pinot Noirs and Cabernets.
Finish: The impression a wine leaves as you swallow it
Flavor intensity: How strong or weak a wine’s flavors are
Fruity: A wine whose aromas and flavors suggest fruit; doesn’t imply sweetness
Meritage: For best term usage, understand it as a “marriage” of wines together. It is a blended wine.
Nose: The aroma of the wine. The different scents that you pick out from smelling the wine.
Oaky: A wine that has oak flavors (smoky, toasty). Describes the smell or taste of a wine that was aged in oak barrels or casks.
Soft: A wine that has a smooth rather than crisp mouthfeel. Wine with very low acidity to it or with very few tannins.
Tannic: A red wine that is firm and leaves the mouth feeling dry
Vintage: Refers to the year that the grapes were grown and harvested.
There are MANY types of wines out there, here is a short look at some of the basic styles of Wines:
Cabernet Sauvignon: Full-bodied red wine that originated in France. Today, it’s the most popular wine variety in the world. Wines often have tastes of black cherry, back currant, coffee, tobacco, baking spices and cedar with bold tannins and a long persistent black peppery finish.
Merlot: Medium-bodied red wine that is soft and supple with tastes and aromas of blackberry, plum, current, chocolate and vanilla. It’s fruitiness is often described as “jammy” with the tastes reminiscent of plums or cherries.
Syrah (aka Shiraz): Full-bodied red wine that originated in France. Wines are full-bodied with spicy, bold fruit flavors of blueberry, plum, pepper, chocolate, tobacco and subtle tannin that drops off into a smooth finish. Australian versions (shiraz) are typically big, bold and spicy with jammy fruit and aromas of leather and black fruit.
Zinfandel (aka Primitivo): Medium-bodied red wine that originated in Croatia. Wines are spicy with fruit-forward flavors of strawberry, blackberry, 5 spice powder, and sweet tobacco with a medium length finish.
Pinot Noir: Dry light-bodied red wine that originated in France. Wines are somewhat tart, delicate wines that taste of cherry, raspberry, strawberry and cranberry. With age, flavors and aromas become more complex, developing earthy notes like mushrooms and decaying leaves.
Chardonnay: Dry full-bodied white wine that originated in France. Fruit flavors range from apple and lime in cooler climates to tropical fruits in warmer places. When oak-aged, Chardonnay will taste creamy and buttery. When barreled in stainless steel (unoaked), it often retains more mineral flavors and comes across as zesty, fresher, & lighter on the palate, with apple and citrus flavors.
Sauvignon Blanc: Dry light-bodied white wine that originated in France. Wines are zesty, fresh, crisp and aromatic typically with herbal green fruit flavors of gooseberry, honeydew melon, grapefuit, passion fruit and grass.
Pinot Gris: Dry light-bodied white wine that originated from Northern Italy and France. Wines are thirst-quenching, zesty, with flavors of lemon pith, honeydew melon, nectarine and white peach and often lighter in alcohol (12% ABV) making them ideal for outdoor dining. The Italian style (Pinot Grigio) tends to be fresh, crisp and refreshing.
Riesling: Off-dry aromatic white wine (dry styles also exist) that originated from Germany. Wines are mouth-watering, crisp, clean and fresh with a lemon-honey-like sweetness and tastes of lime, green apple, apricot, peach, beeswax and honey.The best offer pleasing mineral qualities as well.