Body?! What does that wine word mean?
Do you want to know what on earth those wine people are talking about when they say a wine has a lot of body?
You've come to the right wine place to never feel like a fool again and better yet, soon you will be using these wine words to find more delicious wines out there. I’ve got you covered.
OK so first up, how on earth do I know what I am talking about? I’m Dini Vino! I’ve worked in the wine biz for twenty years, teaching wine to celebrities and even British royalty, so I am going to guide you to feel confident and enjoy your wine as much as possible.
One way I can do that is to help clear up confusion and stress about any wine words that have never really made sense to you. So if there are wine phrases that you want explanations for, just write them in the comments now and I’d be happy to help!
One word I thought we could start with is Body. Like my body? How does a wine have a body? And why do we care?
The job of wine words is to help us make finer distinctions between wines so we can find more of what we like. So one thing that varies a lot in wines is the weight of the wine. You might like to think of the body as the heaviness or lightness of a wine. Heavier is fuller body, lighter is lower body.
Now before you say, how will I know? …think about it. How does skim milk feel in your mouth compared to a milkshake? Lighter? Something that is more like water has low body and something that is more like a milkshake has high or full body – it kind of fills up your mouth and feels heavier. Body.
Now here comes the cool part – once you know which of these you prefer, you have a cheat sheet to finding more wines you like!!! Isn’t that awesome?!
Do you want an easy way to find more wines that you will love and a way to get even more enjoyment out of the wines you taste? Simple – start to taste what the body of a wine is and then you can describe more of what you like.
A wine’s body comes mainly from the alcohol in the wine. There are a few other things that contribute to the body like sugar, tannins and glycerine but for now let’s focus on the biggest contributor – alcohol. This is the key to a major insider tip to decoding wine. Because unlike almost everything else about wine – body is so easy to find. Every bottle has it written right here on the label!
So now if you want an easy guide to knowing the body of a wine, just look at the % on the label – a low body wine is somewhere around 8%, medium around 12% and high is anything 13.5%+. Now I can already hear my wine geek friends complaining – “it is not that simple” but really it can be. So don’t overcomplicate it.
If you aren’t sure what kind of body you like – go do a taste test! Pick a grape variety and try 2 bottles that have different alcohol levels and see for yourself. A lighter French Syrah around 12% versus an Australian Shiraz around 15% is a perfect comparison. Which do you prefer? The fuller body at 15% - great, now look for more wines around that level and you might find some wines you will love!
Of course, body isn’t the only factor in that equation. So to learn more about the other key components, subscribe to my mailing list and comment below with what you found from your taste test so I can continue to help you! I will invite you to my next online wine tasting where we can taste wine together live and you can ask me all your questions. Sign up here. Cheers!