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If you’ve ever picked up a bottle of wine, read the description, and felt like you were reading a foreign language, you’re not alone. Lots of people don’t ‘speak wine,’ at least, not at first. If you want to know how to read the language of wines, you’ll need a good starter vocabulary. Here are a few wine terms everyone should know.

Body

When people talk about a wine’s body, they’re referring to how much you sense the weight of the wine in your mouth. Strong flavors and high alcohol content produce a larger body, since you feel these most on your palate. A full-bodied wine makes a bigger impact on your taste buds, so choose accordingly.

Dry

Dry wines are wines that aren’t sweet. If you want a wine that is not sweet, opt for a dry wine or an off-dry wine, which is a little sweeter than a fully sweet wine.

Fruit-forward

This is another way of saying that the predominant flavors of the wine are fruity ones. Not all wines are fruity in their flavouring–it depends on several factors including the region where it’s made. Some of the regions known for their fruit-forward wines include California, Australia, and Southern Italy.

Earthy

If you’re not a fan of sweet wines, earthy ones may be just right. The term ‘earthy’ refers to wines that have a savoury flavor. Instead of tasting fruit, you’ll be apt to taste anything from clove and spices to chalk or even bitter chocolate. The subtlety of the flavoring can completely change the way the wine tastes, so you may want to try a few different earthy wines to see if you can find one you love.

Tannin

You may have heard of tannins in tea, but the word is equally important when it comes to wine. Tannin helps make up the taste and body of red wine, giving it a bitter, astringent taste. The tannin actually gives red wine a different mouth feel than white wine, causing a slightly prickly sensation on the roof of the mouth which can often be mistaken for dryness.

To further your wine education, visit Vin Bon today and try some different wines for yourself.

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