Acidity
Gives wine essential crispness and zing. Natural component of grapes in the form of tartaric, malic or citric acid.

Alcohol
Affects the weight, character and strength of a wine. Has a certain sweetness, giving richness and warmth. Is the product of fermentation of grape sugar by yeast.

Aroma
The smell of wine derived from the grape.

Astringent
A dry, mouth-puckering effect caused by high tannin content.

Body
The weight of wine in the mouth due to its alcoholic content, extract and geographical origin.

Bouquet
The pleasant and characteristic smell of wine, traditionally defined as coming from the aging of the wine.

Brightness
A fresh, lively character in the aroma, flavor and mouthfeel.

Clean
Absence of foreign and unpleasant odor and taste.

Complex
Many faceted smell and taste, the hallmark of a well developed fine wine.

Corked
An off, oxidized musty smell caused by a problem with the wine’s cork

Crisp
A desirable feature in white wines: firm, refreshing with positive acidity

Deep
Deep colored, deep bouquet, depth of flavor – opposite to superficial –indicating underlying richness, layers of flavor.

Dry
Not sweet – absence of residual sugar

Finish
The feel and flavor left in the mouth after swallowing.

Fruity
Attractive quality derived from good ripe grapes.

Hearty
Robust, zestful, warm, alcoholic.

Herbaceous
Between grass-like, and flowery. Pleasant, open, fresh, appealing; usually found in young white wines.

Leathery
Reds rich with tannins

Length
The duration of a wine’s finish.

Light
A low degree of alcohol and acidity.

Mature
All its constituent elements in harmony from appropriate aging.

Medium–Dry
Containing some residual sugar, but not dry enough to be drunk before or during a meal.

Mellow
Soft, mature – no rough edges.

Nose
The broadest term for the bouquet, aroma, smell of wine.

Oak
An important factor, particularly in relation to fine wines. Oak barrels import an oaky, spicy, cinnamon taste and smell desirable in moderation.

Olfactory
To do with the sense of smell and its perception.

Oxidized
Flat, stale, off-taste due to exposure to air

Persistence
Length of flavor and bouquet

Ripe
Rich, warm fruit flavors from fully mature grapes.

Round
Full, soft rich, without harshness.

Spicy
Rich, spice-like aroma and flavor

Supple
Easy to taste and sense, soft texture.

Sweet
A wine with high sugar content

Tannin
An essential preservative derived from grape skins during fermentation

Vanilla
Distinctive aroma derived from oak.

Varietal
A specific grape variety.

Wood
Distinct and desirable odor derived from aging in oak barrels.

Youthful
A positive, attractive feature; fresh with youthful acidity

Zest
A lively, crisply flavored wine