What are tannins?
Do you know why does deep-brew black tea create a drying sensation in your mouth? Tannin is the "culprit". Tannin is a naturally occurring polyphenol commonly found in grape skins, grape seeds and oak. With respect to wines, tannin adds both bitterness and astringency, but also contributes to their complexity. Firstly, tannin is proved to be an essential to the age-worthy characteristic of wines. In addition, scientific research confirmed that wine tannin was good for health due to its property of resisting oxidation.
What is body?
"Body" is a word typically used in wine tasting and it describes he texture or weight of a wine in the mouth. It is constituted by a bunch of components in wines including alcohol, extract, glycerol and acid. The differences between full-bodied wines and the light-bodied ones are obvious. Full-bodies wines have a rich, complex and well-rounded flavour that retains in the mouth. However, the flavour of light-bodied wines are more subtle and watery. Full-bodied red wines include Cabernet and French Bordeaux while typical full-bodied wines consist of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
What is acidity?
What is the perfect match for French Fries? Champagne. The principle behind is the balance between the acidity in wines and the fat and salt in French Fries. The term "acidity" is another word widely used in wine tasting. It refers to the fresh, tart and sour properties of the wines. Besides, acids are the main preservatives in wines, especially whites. Wines with higher acidity usually age better than those with low one.
What is complexity?
Wine lovers always say that complexity is a requisite of extraordinary wines. What does it mean by complexity of wines? Does it mean that it is complicated and hard to understand? Definitely not. Simply put, wines with complexity are multi-dimensional. Unlike simple wines that are only straightforward and fruity, complex wines have much more else, for example, savory, earthy, mineral or spicy layers. These layers add complexity to the wines.
What is finish?
When we taste wine, the last perception is the finish. The finish is a term used to describe the final flavor or textural feeling left on your palate after swallowing or splitting the wine. That is why words that we normally use to describe flavor and texture of wines are also applicable in describing the finish. They include spicy, minerality, harsh, sweet, etc.
What is sweetness/ dryness?
Sweetness is a key element in wine tasting and winemaking. Winemakers often intentionally control the level of sweetness in wines. According to wine tech, there is a sophisticated classification of level of sweetness in wines. Wines below 1% sweetness are generally deemed dry. On the other hand, those below 3% sweetness are considered "off-dry" or semi-sweet. Lastly, the threshold sweetness of dessert wines is about 7 - 9% sweetness. Remember that in a dry wine, you will still taste fruits (such as pineapple, mango), the wine just won’t taste sweet, like fruit juice.
What is balance?
In the wine world, everybody is fond of finding well-balanced wines. What does it actually mean by balance in wines? It seems to be an abstract term. In short, balance refers to the relationship among the five key components that construct a bottle of wine. The components consist of acid, alcohol, sugar, tannin and water. When these elements exist in proper ratio to each other in a bottle of wine, this bottle can be told to be well-balanced.
What is the difference between Old World & New World wine?
Geographic is the most fundamental distinction between Old World and New World wines. "Old World" relates to Europe's traditional wine-growing regions such as France and Spain, whereas "New World" relates to all else, such as Australia and America.
New World wine regions' climates are often warmer, leading to riper, more alcoholic, full-bodied, and fruit-forward wines. Often these wines are made in a style that is oaky and heavily extracted. On the other hand, old world wines are comparatively lighter-bodies, displaying more herbaceousness, minerality and earthiness.
What is the right wine serving temperature?
The perfect serving temperatures vary a lot among different kinds of wines. For red wines, the best drinking temperature is between 12°C and 18°C. Besides, red wine should be sealed properly and decanted for at least half to an hour before serving. On the other side, the perfect serving temperature for white wines is from 8°C to 12°C. White wines should be keep chilled for their optimal taste. At last, the right drinking temperatures for Champagne are from 6 to 10°C and for dessert wines are from 6 to 8°C respectively.
To decant or not to decant?
Decanter is an instrument seemingly designed for the serving of red wines. The process of pouring red wine into the decanter is believed to useful in allowing it to oxidize, softening its flavor and releasing its aromas. Letting red wine to decant is especially important for some young red wines with high level of tannin. Although the term "decant" seems to be exclusive for red wines, a selection of white wines may need some time to "breathe" as well. In fact, no matter red or white, most wines will improve with some aeration before serving.