What Does It Mean for a Wine to Be Balanced?

Fotolia_274137_MAs the person who writes the tasting notes that accompany the wines featured by Vinesse, I’m constantly aware of the language used in those mini-stories.

No, by “language,” I do not mean bad words. I’m talking about the descriptive words that help to differentiate one wine from another. While possibly similar, no two wines are identical. Until we’ve had the opportunity to taste a wine, all we have to describe it are words.

With that as a prelude, let’s move on to today’s FAQ…

QUESTION: I’ve noticed that the word “balanced” comes up quite often in descriptions of wine. What, exactly, does it mean for a wine to be balanced?

ANSWER: There are numerous components to a wine, some of which are determined by Mother Nature, and some of which are impacted by the winemaker.

Among these are the degree of acidity, the level of alcohol, the tannin, the impressions of fruit, the aromas and flavors imparted by oak barrels, and so on.

Everything from when the grapes are harvested to how they’re fermented to what type and age of oak barrels are used plays a role in the finished product.

When all of those elements come together harmoniously in the bottle and, ultimately, in your wine glass — with no single element dominating — the wine is said to be balanced.

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Posted in Wine FAQ
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