Thursday, July 8, 2010

Introduction to Wine: Basic Style 5

This is the last post of the series: Introduction to Wine
Introduction to Wine: Basic Types
Introduction to Wine: Basic Style I
Introduction to Wine: Basic Style 2
Introduction to Wine: Basic Style 3
Introduction to Wine: Basic Style 4

Last but not the least, body of the wine.  Body describes the density and concentration of the wine.  A wine that has less sugar, less alcohol, less tannin, and etc would have less body.  In a tasting, body can be determined by the general feeling, heaviness, and concentration of the wine in the mouth.  As a generally rule (but not always), body of the wine has a positive correlation to alcohol level.

Light Bodied: Wines light in body are usually refreshing and easy to drink, almost like grape juice with vodka (a lot of grape juice and very little vodka).  A pale red wine such as Beaujolais would be light bodied, or German Riesling for white wine.  Wine produced from grapes grown in colder environment tend to fall into this category.  Grapes do not product much sugar and as result the wines are lower in alcohol.

Medium Bodied: The will will feel richer and more substantial. This may be because of the grapes used or because the wine may have been in oak barrels, thereby giving an extra texture to the wine.  Examples of medium-bodied wine are white Burgundy from France or red Merlot from Chile.

Full Bodied: The Wine will be powerful and will seem more concentrated and heavy. This is usually due to the ripeness of the grape and for some wines the use of oak.  Examples of full-bodied wines are oaked Chardonnay from California and Shiraz from Australia.  In fact, a lot of Australian and New Zealand wines come in full-bodied style due to their climates.

Some sweet wines, although low in alcohol, can be pretty full-bodied, because it has high concentration of sugar.

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