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How To Talk About Wine Like an Expert

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Expand your wine vocabulary and sound like a regular connoisseur.

Have you ever wanted to impress your friends by ordering a great bottle of wine at dinner? That’s hard to do if the words on the wine list or the description made by the waiter sounds like alien gibberish.

Here are the most common wine adjectives and what they mean.


Bright

 

 

This has nothing to do with the color or light emitting from the wine. A “bright” wine is acidic and makes your mouth water.

 

Buttery

 

 

Nope, they didn’t melt butter in the wine. A “buttery” wine will feel oily on your tongue, have a flat taste, and be much less acidic than a “bright” wine.

 

Chewy

 

 

This is not referencing wine-flavored bubble gum. A “chewy” wine is so dry that when it hits your tongue, you have to use lots of saliva to re-wet your mouth.

 

Dense

 

 

It’s not like drinking a milkshake. A “dense” wine is always red and full of flavor.

 

Flabby

 

 

You don’t call a wine that hasn’t worked out in a few months flabby. A “flabby” wine has absolutely no acidity. This is an insult, so only use it if the wine is terrible!

 

Flamboyant

 

 

This wine really is stylish and enthusiastic. A “flamboyant” wine has a lot of fruit flavor. Girls love flamboyant wines.

 

Juicy

 

 

This is another description that is self-explanatory. A “juicy” wine tastes like grape juice. Its not dry or bright.

 

Oaked

 

 

No, no, not yoked. An “oaked” wine is the exact opposite of a juicy wine. The wine will have flavors of baking spices, like vanilla.

 

Opulent

 

 

This wine won’t be taking you to Paris to stay in a five-star hotel. However, tasting it will give you a similar experience. An “opulent” wine is rich in flavor and smooth on your tongue.

 

Refined

 

 

Not a reference to your wine’s table manners. A “refined” wine is very simple. It has no fruit flavor, high acidity, and tastes better 60 years after it got in the bottle than fresh off the vine.

 

Tight

 

 

Is this wine the opposite of flabby? Kind of. A “tight” wine needs to breathe because all of the flavor and acidity feels stuffed inside the bottle. It’s hard to drink because it’s so dry. Stick this wine in a decanter, pronto.

 

Toasty

 

 

The wine isn’t snuggled up in a blanket. A “toasty” wine is similar to an oaked wine in texture, but it has a caramel taste.

 

Unoaked

 

 

Self-explanatory. An “unoaked” wine is zesty and lemony, unlike its oaked counterpart. Drink this wine with shrimp, alfredo, or both.

 

Velvety

 

 

It’s not a Juicy Couture track suit. A “velvety” wine is like drinking melted chocolate. It has a rich flavor and feels smooth on your tongue.

 

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