Alright, let’s take a show of hands: How many of you have ever felt completely lost when listening to a wine expert talk about a wine? They usually start with the beautiful nose, move down to the full body, and finish it of at the legs – sounds kind of like they are describing a gorgeous woman from head to toe, right?! Well, that’s why Sugarland Cellars is here to help explain some of these seemingly odd words that most wine lovers use to talk about wine. And hopefully after this short list, you’ll feel a little more comfortable talking about wine at your next social outing!
Lets start with the Nose: this is the word used to describe the overall smell of a wine once poured into a glass. It’s a combination of the aroma (the smell that comes from the particular grape variety) and the bouquet ( the smell that comes from bottle aging). So to keep it simple, when you hear someone say something like “the nose on this wine is very floral with a hint of apple” you know what they are really trying to say is “this wine smells like fruit and flowers!”
Next we’ll cover the Body: This one is really easy! When someone is describing the body of a wine they are talking about how it feels once you take a sip and it’s in your mouth. Words used to describe the body can include heavy, light, full, well rounded (this just really means “good”!), etc. All of these are simply telling you what the wine feels like when held in the mouth.
Then it’s on the the Legs: No, we’re not talking about how longs it’s been since you shaved! In wine lingo, the legs are the small (or large) lines we like to call “tears” that fall down the inside of your wine glass when the wine is swirled. Typically, the larger the legs the higher the alcohol content. So the next time you hear “this wine has some nice legs!” just remember that simply means it will pack a punch when it comes to alcohol…..so you might want to have only a glass!
Just to throw a few more in for your knowledge, let’s finish up this shot of wine knowledge by talking about what the terms Dry and the Finish. Dry is even easier that all the rest…… if someone says “this sure is a dry wine” that just means that it has very little sugar in it and will therefore not taste the least bit sweet. Some popular dry wines at our winery include our 1802 (Pinot Noir) and Trillium (Viognier). The Finish is kind of like a lingering perfume (see, there they go with the gorgeous woman again!)…. it’s how the wine continues to effect your sense of taste, smell, and overall enjoyment after the wine has been consumed.
Good luck at your next wine engagement and we hope this info helps you feel more at ease when talking wine lingo!
Sugarland Cellars is a fully operational winery located in Gatliburg, TN just outside of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Free Wine Tasting and Tours are offered daily and all wine is made on site from locally grown grapes.