Boozy Basics: Wine Terminology For Dummies

Are you a true wine connoisseur? Then you wouldn’t probably need this write up. But are you a pretentious wine connoisseur like me? Then you probably need this listicle, in case you want to know what the actual hell these guys are saying at all these blingy wine tasting events! Go ahead and give it a read to realise you probably had it all wrong.

Backward: No, that doesn’t mean bad or unsophisticated wine, it actually describes wines that are high in alcohol content and tannins. A backward wine may actually be able to knock you out.

Bouquet: Don’t make weird guesses, it stands for the overall smell a wine gives off after being served in a glass. So the aroma that hits you the moment they pour the wine out is the bouquet.

Complex: It’s bad in everyday life, but it’s actually a positive terminology in the magical land of wine. A complex wine is one that has many different flavours and aromas in one.

Earthy: Earthy wines represent the terroir (French term for earth or soil) in which it was grown, in terms of taste, quality and aroma. So if you are an expert in wines, you can just take a sip of an earthy wine and predict accurately where it is from.

Finish: It’s the word that deals with the amount of time it takes for the flavours of the wine to fade from your taste buds after you take a sip.

Lean: A wine that has very little or pretty much no fruity notes. Due to their high acidity, lean wines tend to be sharper, causing the mouth to pucker when sipped.

Tannic: In the simplest terms, a tannic wine has a dry mouthfeel. It has something to do with tannins, which is quite a broad term for occurring polyphenol found in plants. So let’s just say dry mouthfeel.

Supple: For some weird reason, this word makes me uncomfortable, but it’s a pretty crucial term for wine connoisseurs. It refers to a wine that has the right balance between fruit flavours and tannic structure. A supple wine is a good wine.

Flinty: If the wine denotes flavour/aromatic characteristics of metal or steel, it’s flinty. This was new for us too. We didn’t know that wines could be metal-y.