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Level 19

Wine Tasting Descriptors (11 - 20)


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Ethereal
The definition of ethereal is "extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world". This description is used to describe wines that glide over the palate with a silky, soft texture that almost feels like it is not a liquid, more like a spirit of a wine gliding over your palate. This is usually used to describe wines that have that unique and hard to find characteristic of being both intense in flavor and complex, yet at the same time paradoxically light on its feet.
Forward
A wine which is easy to understand and appreciate. As opposed to an austere or tight wine, this is a wine whose flavors are right out front for you to appreciate. Not hesitant or shy. In your face.
Grip
Great wines have grip on the palate, a sense of texture and traction that grabs your palate and gives the other flavors in the wine balance. This usually results from the wine's structure of acid and/or tannin. Without grip, a wine will feel flabby, simple or juicy.
Jammy
Like jam, a wine with big, very ripe fruit. Usually reserved for wines with an almost sweet, sticky texture of ripe fruit flavors. Sometimes used to describe a wine which does not have adequate structure to stand up to that sweet, ripe fruit.
Laser-like
This is one of the wine descriptions used to describe a wine with a vibrant, shimmering, "linear" feel to it. As opposed to an opulent or jammy wine, a laser-like wine has bright acidity and focused flavors that cut a sharp swath across your palate. Very commonly used to describe wines with pristine, intense acidic structure such as Savenniè:res, German, Austrian and Alsatian Rieslings, among others.
Layered
This is one of the subjective wine descriptions of a wine which feels like it has layers of flavor, as opposed to a simple wine which is one dimensional. A complex with with "layers" of flavor, density and extract that coat your palate.
Lush
Similar to opulent, a luxuriant wine that coats the palate with forward, pretty flavors. Not austere or closed up.
Intense
This is one of the wine descriptions used to describe a wine with flavors that stand up and make themselves known. Bold and bright flavors that hit your palate with a strong impact. This does not necessarily mean a full-bodied wine, an intense wine, whether big or lighter, is bright and powerful in the way it hits your palate.
Minerally
Minerality is the characteristic of having mineral-like flavors in the wine. Wine, after all, is grown in vines that sit in earth and can absorb things in that vineyard, such as components of rocks and minerals, which can influence the flavors of the wine. Many people would argue that for many types of wine, minerals in the aromas and or flavors is a necessity for greatness. These minerally aromas and flavors can present in many different ways, from chalk, to pencil lead, to stones, to granite, to slate, to gunflint, to petrol, to oyster shell, to salt, to gravel. All of these are somewhat related and often described as mineral flavors.
Level 20