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Wine Tasting Descriptors (21 - 35)


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Mocha
Mocha is coffee flavored with chocolate. Many rich red wines, particularly those with a significant amount of oak aging, can get these wine descriptions. These flavors can be partially from the grapes themselves and partially from the oak aging. Very common in Bordeaux wines, particularly those from the Right Bank with a significant proportion of Merlot.
Monolithic
A big wine, but lacking flavor complexity. Usually a big, slightly clumsy, inelegant wine which is full-bodied, with big flavor, but not much complexity.
Opulent
"Ostentatiously rich and luxuriant or lavish", opulent is often used similarly to lush and unctuous. It is used to describe very rich, lush, fat and round wines that coat the palate with layers of flavor.
Pain grille
Literally "grilled bread" or "toast", this aroma can be found in many wines. It is one of the wine descriptions used to describe a wine with a smokey, toasted bread aroma or flavor. Again, this can sometimes come from the wine itself or can be imparted to the wine by the oak aging as the insides of oak barrels are variably toasted prior to use.
Quince
Quince is a fruit, related to apples and pears, that is often used to make jam, jelly and pudding.
Refined
Refined wine is pure, elegant and without blemish. A regal wine which does not have rough edges or imperfections.
Reglisse
The French term for licorice root (black licorice), the aroma and flavors of which can often be found in red wines.
Rich
Concentrated and dense with flavor, as opposed to thin, watery or bland.
Silky
A wine description of the wine's texture, being fine and like silk. The opposite of rough or rustic.
Smoke
All sorts of smoke-like aromas can be found in wines. Some of this can be caused by the oak aging the wine receives but some wines have it on its own. For example, some wines made of Syrah are described as having a smokey bacon aroma.
Stone
Smelling or tasting stones in a wine is not uncommon. This is one of the common wine descriptions for a wine with stone-like mineral flavors. Some tasters will go as far as to describe the type of stone, such as granite, slate, chalk, or flint.
Torrefaction
Torrefaction is the process of roasting as is used in roasting coffee beans. The process produces typical aromas that we associate with roasted coffee and chocolate-like aromas. Wines with significant roasted qualities are sometimes described as exhibiting torrefaction.
Unctuous
"Having a greasy or soapy feel" literally, this is used to describe wines that have a very rich, creamy texture in the mouth that coats the palate.
Vanillin
Vanillin is the name for a fragrant compound that is the principle component of vanilla. So why don't we just say a wine smells of vanilla? Well, you can, but people tend to say vanillin to indicate that the aroma or flavor came from another source. French oak barrels are a common source of a bit of a vanillin aroma and flavor.
Velvety
Like silky, these are wine descriptions for the texture or mouthfeel of a wine. Although they are often used interchangeably, some would argue that a velvety wine is a bit more coarse than a silky wine, silky being the epitome of the most elegant, fine and refined wines.
Level 21