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Collecting, Cellaring and Serving

What Wine Descriptions Actually Mean

When you're enjoying a heady drop from your wine cabinet are you often left wondering what 'heady' actually means?

If you’ve found yourself questioning the language used on the label of your favourite bottles, read on!

Here are the definitions for some of the popular wine descriptors.


Wine described as heady has an exceptionally ‘forward’ or ‘fragrant’ aroma. This means the scent is full and bold and leaps out of the glass.



Fortunately in this case, creamy does not spell the presence of diary products.

Instead this description is purely about texture, most commonly found in white and sparkling wines aged in oak barrels.



Unfortunately, being saddled with the ‘earthy’ descriptor is often considered a negative trait for wine.

It is a generic term used to describe a range of aromas and flavours that could be considered green and unpleasant.



A white wine aged in an oak barrel will often acquire a buttery, coconut taste while reds receive a hint of baking spices and vanilla.



A delicate drop will be complex, with many flavours working together to create a taste that is surprisingly not overbearing.



A wine that is not big, fruity or bold will earn the title of elegant. These wines often don’t taste their best when first released, but may be the best option for slipping into your wine cellar.


So, a liquid can be dry? If it’s a wine it can! Dry in the winemaking industry simply describes a wine that is the opposite of sweet. This is often caused by a high presence of tannins in the wine.

Speaking of which…


Tannins are the compounds in wine that leave the bitter, dry feeling in your mouth.

Red wines that contain noticeable tannic acid can ‘resolve’ when stored under the right conditions.

Posted by The Vintec Club

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The Vintec Club is the private club for owners of Vintec and Transtherm wine cellars, and the ultimate online ressource for wine enthusiasts who wish to learn more about the arts of wine collecting, cellaring and serving.
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