Getting a ‘Feel’ for Wine


Wine enjoyment isn’t just about drinking or just identifying specific flavors.

If you really want to experience wine to its fullest, take a medium-sized sip, hold it in your mouth for about 10 seconds, and “chew” on it a bit, just as you would a piece of meat.

Once you’ve done that, think about the following seven characteristics. You may want to take a separate sip to assess each characteristic individually.

  1. Body

This is mostly a reflection of the alcohol content. A wine with a lot of alcohol is considered “full-bodied,” while a wine with low alcohol is called “light-bodied.”

  1. Weight

Some wines feel “heavier” in your mouth — full, bigger, more substantial. Others are light and refreshing. It’s kind of like the difference between milk and water.

  1. Depth

A wine is said to have depth if it does not taste flat or one-dimensional.

  1. Texture

How does it feel inside your mouth? Would you describe it as soft… firm… course?

  1. Complexity

Are there a variety of different subtle flavors, or just a few bold ones? It can be like the difference between a jazz trio and a symphony orchestra.

  1. Varietal Correctness

Does it run true to its form? This is a bit like judging a dog show: A dachshund is supposed to look like a dachshund, and a Merlot is supposed to taste like Merlot.

  1. Length

Swallow the wine (if you’re at home), or spit it out (if you’re at a wine tasting and need to be aware of your intake). Do you still taste the wine in your mouth after it’s gone? For how long? Is it a pleasant after-flavor on unpleasant? Answering these questions will give you a sense of the wine’s finish or length.


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Posted in Wine Buzz
2 comments on “Getting a ‘Feel’ for Wine
  1. Help – I’ve been trying to get a hold of customer service for three days via phone or email and no one will answer. What should do???

    • Robert Johnson says:

      Hi Shari,
      Apologies for the delay. Our phone systems were experiencing a small issue, however everything is up and running. We’re available M-F from 7am-4pm PST. Cheers!

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