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Article: Understanding BODY: Tasting Week - Learn to Taste Wine!

Ben Franks Tasting Week Video

Understanding BODY: Tasting Week - Learn to Taste Wine!

Welcome to Novel Wines' very special wine tasting week. Each day our wine buyer Ben will introduce you to a new element of wine tasting, covering Body, Acidity, Tannin, Sweetness, Alcohol and Balance. In today's video, Ben talks about Body.

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A good cheat to learn different 'weights' of wine is to take something familiar, such as milk, and try it in skimmed, semi-skimmed and full fat forms. Feel how it coats your mouth and how the depth of the liquid effects the flavour.

Got a question we can answer in tasting week? Email Ben at

Tasting takes practice and, over time, you'll be able to pick out the body of a wine with relative ease. As you learn where your taste lies, you can start to ask for the kind of weight of wine you like when you shop for your next bottle.

If you're looking for good examples of the different styles of wine, start with the extremes:

Light body wines include varieties like Bacchus or Sauvignon Blanc in white wine and Pinot Noir in red wines. The lighter of these tend to be from cooler climates where there's less sugars in the ripened grape and where cooler weather retains acidity well.

Full body wines include oak-aged white wines, particularly Chardonnay and Furmint, or big and tropical whites like Grillo, and oily white wines like Gewurztraminer. These wines are fuller bodied the warmer the climate they are grown in. Full bodied reds are numerous, but the fullest include varieties like Tannat, Shiraz or rarer grapes like Alicante Bouschet.