How to Describe Wine Flavors

How to Describe Wine Flavors Kalamazoo, MI

Have you ever wondered how to describe your favorite wines?

You’re in luck. This blog post is all about how to describe wine flavors so you can impress your friends, family, and even random strangers.

There’s no reason why you can’t wow your friends at your next wine tasting with your knowledge of wine tasting descriptors. Be sure to also read our blog post on wine tasting tips for beginners.

Practice Describing Flavor

Learning how to describe wine flavors takes practice. Start off by paying more attention to the foods and beverages you consume on a daily basis and describe the tastes. You may also try comparing two different tastes, such as Coke or Pepsi. Once you feel confident describing the different tastes of foods and beverages, you’ll be better prepared to analyze wine flavors.

Attend Wine Tastings

The next time you go to a wine tasting, tag along with a friend who has more experience tasting wine. It’s considered good manners to keep your thoughts about flavor to yourself until everyone has gotten a taste. Otherwise, you may influence others who are trying to form independent opinions. This is really considered a faux pas, and can show that you are a beginner wine taster. Over time, you will learn how to taste wine and develop your palate.

It’ll be easier to determine the taste of a wine if you don’t wear strong perfume or cologne. After all, a large part of taste is influenced by smell. The more wine tastings you attend, the more confident you’ll feel in making distinctions between different wines. At our romantic boutique inn, we currently offer Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Castle Red, Merlot, and Meritage during vineyard wine tastings.

Learn Wine Tasting Vocabulary

Below, you’ll find some of the words expert wine tasters use to describe different wines. By learning what these terms mean you’ll understand what people are talking about during wine tastings. You’ll also be able to understand the descriptions on wine labels the next time you pick up a bottle of wine. While there are many words to describe wine, these will get you started.

  • Bouquet: how wine smells (fruits, flowers, vanilla, herbs, etc.)
  • Body: how powerful the overall taste is (the higher the alcohol content, the bigger the body)
  • Complexity: flavor changes as it sits in mouth
  • Finish: aftertaste in back of mouth and throat after swallowing
  • Tannic: bitter and leaves mouth feeling dry
  • Dry: opposite of sweet
  • Fruity: smells and tastes like fruit (not necessarily sweet)
  • Oaky: smoky or toasty
  • Acidity: level of tart and zesty flavor
  • Crisp: refreshing flavor with high acidity
  • Soft: smooth flavor with low acidity

While most people use the same wine tasting terms, it isn’t a strict standard. This is why you may discover fellow wine tasters using the same words as you, but in a different way. In general, you can expect others to follow the same wine tasting terminology we listed above. Remember to have fun while learning new terms. After all, you’re delving further into wine tasting experiences.

Henderson Castle is a Kalamazoo winery that also offers wine tasting events for guests and people who love wine. If you are interested in attending one of our wine tasting events, give us a call at (269) 344-1827.