Body - Wine Tasting Term

Wine tasters often talk about the mouth feel or the body of a wine. Just what is the body of a wine and how do you describe it?

Really, when you talk about a wine's body or mouth feel, you are describing how thick or thin, how oily or watery it feels in your mouth. Your tongue and mouth can sense all sorts of textures. Think how a milkshake seems different than water, how a ginger ale seems different from cough syrup. All of these are liquids, but all have different bodies.

Most people have tasted milk and cream so this is a good comparison you can understand. When wine tasters say "light/thin body" they usually mean something very watery - like 1% or 2% milk. There's a bit of substance there - you're drinking wine, after all, not water - but it is very light.

The next level is "medium body". This is more like regular milk. There's a bit of substance there, but it's not really thick, it's just tangible.

Finally, for thick wines like port or sauternes, there is the "full body". This is more like cream, where there is really something swirling around in your mouth.

The best way to learn more about wine body is to TRY different wines! Get a light Riesling for the light wine, a buttery Chardonnay for the middle, and a nice port for the heavy. Try them all side by side and see how they differ!

Wine Glossary Main Listing
B Glossary Words

All content on the WineIntro website is personally written by author and wine enthusiast Lisa Shea. WineIntro explores the delicious variety and beautiful history which makes up our world of wine! Lisa loves supporting local wineries and encouraging people to drink whatever they like. We all have different taste buds, and that makes our world wonderful. Always drink responsibly.