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Wine Terms - Taste

Appley -
Refers to smell or aroma of a wine, usually carrying additional modifiers. "Ripe apples" describes a full, fruity, clean smell associated with some styles of Chardonnay wine. "Fresh apples" does the same for some types of Riesling. "Green apple", however, is almost always reserved for wines made from barely ripe or underipe grapes. "Stale apples" applies almost exclusively to flawed wine exhibiting first stage oxidation.
Berrylike -
Equates with the ripe, sweet, fruity quality of blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and cherries. The aroma and taste of red wines, particularly Zinfandel, are often partly described with this adjective.
Big -
High in alcohol.
Bitter -
One of the four basic tastes. A major source of bitterness is the tannin content of a wine. Some grapes - (Gewurztraminer, Muscat) - have a distinct bitter edge to their flavor. If the bitter component dominates in the aroma or taste of a wine it is considered a fault. Sweet dessert wines may have an enhanced bitter component that complements the other flavors making for a successful overall taste balance.
Briary -
Denotes a wine having an aggressive, prickly taste best described as peppery. Sometimes combined with the adjective brawny to characterize a young red wine with high alcohol and tannin content.
Buttery -
Having an aroma of butter or butterscotch.
Chewy -
Refers to a high total tannic component of a wine. Figuratively, one cannot swallow this wine without chewing first.
Citrusy -
Describes aroma and flavor reminiscent of citrus fruits. Most common is a perception of grapefruit content. Most often detected in white wines made from grapes grown in cooler regions of California or other countries.
Creamy -
Refers to "silk-like" taste component of wines subjected to malolactic fermentation as opposed to the "tart/crisp" taste component of the same wine lacking the treatment. Almost a synonym for "buttery". Opposite of "crisp".
Crisp -
Wine has definite but pleasing tartness, acidity. Generally used to describe white wines only, especially those of Muscadet de Sevres et Maine from the Loire region of France.
Fat -
Full-bodied.
Flabby -
Not enough acid.
Finish -
The wine’s aftertaste.
Fruity -
The fruit the wine is made from (the grape) or another fruit flavor is perceptible.
Hard -
Too tannic.
Light -
Light-bodied.
Oaky -
Can taste the oak imparted from aging in an oak barrel.
Soft -
Not too tannic.

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