We’ve all been there: you’re all dressed up at a cocktail party, at a game night with friends, or just kicking back and watching the Bachelor with a nice glass of wine. Usually, you do not give much thought to how the wine tastes, because you are just grateful that after a long day you have some in your hand and are surrounded by good company (or good TV).
When with friends or after a long day, any wine may sound good, but there are differences between one bottle versus another. The wine at your cocktail party will most likely not be the same as the wine at your girl’s night or Bachelor marathon party.
So, what is this difference? What do people mean when they say one wine is “piquant,” while another is “earthy”? Here is a list of some of the more common words that describe wine.
You can probably guess what this word means. If a wine has a nice aroma, the wine has a sweet, fruit-like scent. Every wine has a certain degree of aroma, from heavily aromatic to more subdued. For a fruitier taste, try Chardonnay, Merlot, or Pinot Grigio.
A solid wine with a good, balanced taste. This wine is a slam dunk if paired with a good steak or burger. Try Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.
Body has to do with the weight of the wine, regarding the balance of sugar and alcohol content. Good body, good wine.
The worst thing that could happen — a rotten cork that gives the wine a flat taste and an unpleasant odor. It’s not a feature of the wine, but rather a way to describe that air has entered the wine and spoiled it.
Wine is considered earthy when there is still a slight taste the soil of the vineyard from which the wine was produced. This could be a negative attribute for some when the earthy tones are too overpowering. But, again, good wines master the essence of balance, and some vineyards can drop the ball on this one. Try an aged Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon.
#SpoonTip: Get to know your wines better by talking to wine store owners.
Throw this word around at a cocktail party and you will be the classiest person there. This describes a wine that is of high quality and has an objectively good balance.
A luscious wine is one that has a good acidity balance. It leaves your mouth wet and lingering with a sweet, juicy taste.
Oaky wines have smoky and toasty flavors, which are two flavors that go great together. Try a California Chardonnay.
Smooth wine has a silky and polished taste. It does not leave a dry, rough taste in the mouth. Perfect for a romantic dinner. Try a Chardonnay.
This kind of wine is dry and crisp, leaving a tart taste in the mouth. Crisp like an autumn day, tart like an apple pie. Try Sauvignon Blanc.
A rich, bold and silky wine with a nice balance of acidity and an lavish taste. For the classiest of wine drinkers.
A healthy, strong, and young wine. Grab a bottle of vigorous wine for a fun night out on the town.