|Back to Back Issues Page|
The 9 words you need to describe wine mouthfeel|Wine Tasting Tips #14
January 31, 2019
The 9 words you need to describe wine mouthfeel
If you thought describing wine aromas was challenging, hang on, mouthfeel is even more challenging. Why? Mouthfeel is one of the most complex sensations to describe in wine. There are not a lot of reference standards wine experts can agree on and verbal descriptions are often elusive.
In this issue
Let's learn from Tannat WinesTannat wine, the flagship red wine of the Uruguayan wine industry, is a good model to study for mouthfeel. Its principal mouthfeel attribute is astringent. Reading the scientific definition of astringency does not entice you to experience such a sensation while drinking wine. It goes as “the complex of sensations due to shrinking, drawing or puckering of the epithelium as a result of exposure to substances such as alums or tannins” (ASTM, 2004).
Leticia Vidal and colleagues attempted to capture the key words that would best describe Tannat wine astringency.
Secondly, this Uruguyan research team used sensory evaluation techniques to better characterize Tannat wine mouthfeel.
Results showed few differences among the wines on the perceived intensity of astringency, more differences were noted at the start of the perception after sipping and on the duration of the perception.
So what are the 9 words that you need to describe Tannat wine mouthfeel?
These words only described wine astringency, this physical reaction occurring in the mouth and caused by wines rich in tannins. Wine tannins are extracted from the grape skin and dry the mouth by reducing the effect of the saliva lubrification mechanism, and making your cheeks pucker.
My 3 Wine Tasting TipsWine Tasting Tip #1:How do you recover quickly from a persistent astringency? I use a fruit pectin diluted in water; its thickness and viscosity helps moisturize the mouth mucosa. Any pectin sold for thickening jams will do. In Vidal’s work, panelists were using stirred plain yogurt. Don’t forget to rinse your mouth with water before tasting another wine.
Wine Tasting Tip #2: What if I don’t know what astringency is? Here is a recipe to prepare a reference to experience this sensation: alum solution (5 g/L alum).
Wine Tasting Tips #3: Are there other mouthfeel sensations? Yes there are more than 9 words to describe mouthfeel. Gawel and collaborators created a red wine mouthfeel wheel including 53 terms. However these terms also comprise aroma and taste descriptors.
References used in this issueSensory characterization of the astringency of commercial Uruguayan Tannat wines
ASTM (2004). Standard definitions of terms relating to sensory evaluation of materials and products. Annual book of ASTM standards. Philadelphia: American Society for Testing and Materials.
InnoVinum now operates winearomawheel.comEffective January 1, 2019, InnoVinum LLC manages Dr. Noble's Wine Aroma Wheel operations. This is a new chapter in our journey to help YOU handle every wine tasting experience with confidence.
I have been working with Ann for many years and we agreed that my company, InnoVinum LLC, will take over her business once she fully retired. I am very grateful of our partnership of 18 years and I am committed to respect her vision to provide simple tools and instructions to help wine tasters appreciate the wonderful complexity of wine aromas and flavors. Here is the article I wrote about the wine aroma wheel creation .
Meet your Wine Tasting CoachI was asked to share more about my professional path and experience training wine tasters. This is what I wrote in this updated article.
Share the Love and Stay in TouchThank you for your time.
If you liked this issue of Wine Tasting Tips, don't forget to forward it to your friends, family and colleagues.
If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, don't spare a minute and Subscribe Today
Comments? Ideas? Feedback?
I'd love to hear from you. Just reply to this e-zine and tell me what you think! or
E-mail me and share your thoughts
Are you on social media?Find me on Facebook and Twitter.
|Back to Back Issues Page|