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Increase Your Vocabulary with Wine Words

Wine tasting is more fun when you pick out flavors. Flavor picking is a lot like remembering adjectives or famous people’s names; they might be on the tip of your tongue but they’re hard to spit out. Despite the glee of flavor picking, it’s actually a pretty difficult skill to learn when you’re just starting down the path of wine wizardry. One of the hardest things to get past in the flavors in wine is the most obvious ‘vinus’ character (a.k.a. ’wine flavor’).
Check out the following wine words to improve the way you communicate about wine.

Increase Your Vocabulary with Wine Words


A wine that smells really intense

  • aromatic lift (white wine)
  • bold aromas (red wine)
  • tremendous nose
  • brooding
  • pungent
A wine that doesn’t smell very much

  • delicate
  • closed
  • subtle
  • soft
  • light

A wine that tastes really strong

A wine that doesn’t taste very strong

  • elegant
  • nuanced
  • airy
  • subdued
  • mellow

A wine that tastes bitter

  • tannic
  • chewy
  • muscular
  • structured
  • firm
A wine that tastes smooth

  • plush
  • round
  • velvety
  • supple
  • opulent


more wine descriptions

Learn more wine terms

Understand wine with over 120 wine descriptions.
Wine Descriptions Infographic


A wine that tastes tart

  • elegant
  • lean
  • racy
  • crisp
  • zippy
A wine that tastes earthy

  • herbaceous
  • loamy
  • forest floor
  • mossy
  • savory

stop it with your Jedi mind tricks!

The Power of Suggestion

Has this happened to you?
Someone says something like ‘carnuba wax’ when describing a Chardonnay and suddenly that’s all you can smell. Now you’ve been unwillingly transformed to your last visit to the auto detailer. How do you move past the power of suggestion?

A trick from Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser

In order to pass the rigorous blind tasting exams, Tim Gaiser has recommended sommeliers practice overcoming the power of suggestion with a visualization technique. Identify the most obvious flavor and imagine putting it on a sheet of paper. When you imagine setting the paper aside, suddenly you can smell new flavors. This powerful memory training technique is referred to as ‘the palace of memory’. You’ll be surprised how well it works when you try it yourself.

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