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Understanding wine-speak

Acid - the tingling bite from white wines, in the right balance a good thing.

Beefy or meaty - dense, powerful, richly-flavoured red wines with a high alcohol level.

Complex - not in the sense of difficult, but having multiple complimenatry tastes which can develop over time.

Creamy - not thick but rich in taste and texture, as in a good champagne.

Crisp - dry, clean, light and satisfingly refreshing.

Fruity - an aroma and taste of particular fruits such as "peachy" Chardonnay.

Full-bodied - generous, powerful and strong-tasting, with high alcohol.

Long - a taste that lasts and can develop after you have swallowed the wine.

Nose or bouquet - aroma.

Oak - aged in oak barrels to soften the tannins and increase fruitiness - adds toastiness and complexity as well as vanilla flavours.

Soft - smooth and mellow without too much acidity in whites or of the tannin (tea like) edge in reds.

Structure - the relationship of components - acid, tannin, fruit, alcohol, sugar - nicely balanced in a well-structured wine.

Young - fresh, lively wine less than 12 months old, perhaps with a trace of fizz or petillance

Evelyn Jones...The Vintry

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