Knowing the basics wine characteristics will help you to develop your palate and find favorites. You will definitely have a better chance of getting what you love. A wine bar and restaurant says that classifying wines by their fundamental traits is the best way of learning about your taste.
Sweetness – This is also known as the level of dryness. Human perception of taste begins at the tip of the tongue. The very first impression of a wine is how sweet it is. To taste sweet, you must focus your attention on the taste buds on the tip of your tongue. If your taste buds are tingling, it indicates sweetness.
Acidity – Tart and zesty are the acidity in food and drink. Tasting acidity is usually confused with the taste of higher alcohol. It is indeed common for wines grown in cooler vintages to have higher acidity. These feel lighter weight since they come across as “spritzy”. If you like one that is more rich and round, choose those with less acidity. Characteristics of an acidic wine include feeling gravelly when you rub your tongue to the roof of your mouth and feeling like you can gleek. Your mouth also feels wet or it seems like you just bit into an apple.
Tannin – This is often the misunderstood characteristic because it is confused with the level of dryness. Tannin dries your mouth. Tannin in wine means having phenolic compounds that add bitterness to a wine. Phenolics are found in the seeds and skins of wine grapes. Also, it can be added to a wine with the use of aging in wood. Tannin tastes like herbs and is usually described astringent. It adds complexity, balance and structure to the wine. Most importantly, this will make the beverage last longer.
Fruit – Wines are characterized mainly by their main fruit flavors. Experts highly emphasized that tasting for fruit flavors will help you better define your preferences. For example, those with strawberry notes lead into a different set of varietal wines as compared to those that taste like blackberries. Moreover, the level of fruitiness can lead to different growing regions. Red wine is made of red fruits like raspberry or dark fruits like blueberry and blackberry. White wine, on the other hand, is often made of peach and yellow apple or lemon and lime.
Body – This is the result of many factors like wine variety, alcohol level, vintage, where it is from, and how it is made. This is a snapshot of the wine’s overall impression.