PAWLING, N.Y. -- Being a great dinner guest means joining in enjoyable conversation with friends and family over good food and drink. To be the hit of any party, bring a bottle of wine and help guests unwrap the drink's flavor and characteristics like a pro with expert sommelier terms and descriptors.
Understanding wine's complexity and what makes up its different flavors, colors and tastes not only offers enjoyable dinner conversations but can also aid in the selection process. "Everybody knows the basics between red, white and rosé, but few people can tell the difference between a wine's maturity texture and balance," said Louie Ingles of Pawling's Wineology. "Showing off this knowledge is sure to impress your dinner guests."
Below are five terms that Ingles believes wine drinker should be able to understand and share:
Tannin: The dryness that a red wine can impart to your tongue or inner cheeks is called the wine's tannin. Some grape types produce wine that tends to be more tannic, while others do not. To take it a step further, wine tasters use the words "puckering" and "astringent" to describe a highly tannic wine.
Body: The weight or how heavy wine feels in your mouth is the basis of the wine's body. Think of light-bodied wine as roughly equivalent to water, medium-bodied wine to skim milk and full-bodied wine to a rich, mouth-filling glass of whole milk.
Finish: This is a measurement to describe the flavor that lingers in your mouth after tasting wine. Also known as the “aftertaste,” a wine’s finish is considered the most important way to determine its quality.
Length: This term is based on the amount of time that a wine’s finish remains in your mouth after you’ve swallowed it. Lengths can be short or long, quick or lingering.
Balance: Another highly important factor in determining a wine's taste, balance refers to all of a vintage's individual elements -- alcohol, acidity, fruitiness, sweetness, and tannins -- in harmony with one another.
For more information about wine or to find the perfect bottle, visit the experts at Wineology in Pawling or call 845-855-8463.