Wine Styles Based on Body: Red Wine and White Wine Types Based Body
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Wine Styles Based on Body: Red Wine and White Wine Types Based Body

Wine styles or wine types can be based on a number of factors. Wine styles based on body can be classified depending on whether they are red or white wines, and on how old they are, and thus, how intense their tastes are.

Wine styles or wine types can be based on a number of factors. Wine styles based on body can be classified depending on whether they are red or white wines, and on how old they are, and thus, how intense their tastes are.

The first to consider here is what body is in wine terminology. Wine dictionaries define body as how a wine feels in the mouth upon wine tasting. This feeling is called an impression and it is determined by a wine's weight and texture in the mouth. The alcohol content and acidity also play a role in determining wine body.  

There are three wine styles based on body:

  • Light-bodied: Wine with a light body is the weakest in impression. This means the wine feels watery.
  • Medium-bodied: Wine with a medium body is not watery but also not impressive. 
  • Full-bodied: Wine with a full body is rich in taste with a flavor that stays in the mouth.

Winemaking and vintage affect the wine style or weight of wines.

Below are wines categorized under red wine and white wine, and ordered based on wine styles based on body.

Red Wine

Full-Bodied Wines

  • Barolo (heaviest)
  • Barbaresco
  • Rhone
  • Aglianico Italian wines
  • U.S. Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Best Bordeaux vintages
  • U.S. Zinfandel
  • U.S. Merlot
  • Best Burgundy vintages (lightest)

Medium-Bodied

  • Most Bordeaux vintages (heaviest)
  • Burgundy
  • U.S. Pinot Noir
  • U.S. and Italian Barbera
  • Rioja
  • Amarone-style Valpolicella (lightest)

Light-Bodied

  • Cote de Beaune Burgundy wines (heaviest)
  • Some Beaujolais
  • U.S. and Italian Dolcetto
  • Amarone-style Valpolicella
  • Many of the German red wines
  • Nouveau-style red wines from U.S. France, etc.
  • Lambrusco
  • Bardolino (lightest)

White Wine

Full-Bodied

  • Northern Rhone wines (heaviest)
  • Burgundy wines from Meursault
  • U.S. Chardonnay, oak and barrel (lightest)

Medium-Bodied

  • Burgundy wines from Saint Veran and Macon villages (heaviest)
  • U.S. Chardonnay, unoaked and French Chardonnay
  • Italian
  • U.S. Sauvignon Blanc, oak
  • Bordeaux
  • U.S. Sauvignon Blanc, unoaked
  • Southern Rhone wines
  • U.S. Pinot Blanc, oak
  • Champagne, sparkling wines
  • French Chenin Blanc from Savennieres, U.S. Chenin Blanc (lightest)

Light-Bodied

  • U.S. Pinot Blanc, unoaked, and Alsace Pinot Blanc, unoaked (heaviest)
  • U.S. and Alsatian Riesling
  • Champagne and sparkling wines, Blanc de Blanc
  • U.S. Melon de Bourgogne, French Muscadet, some U.S. Pinot Blancs
  • Riesling-grape German nonsweet wines
  • Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio
  • Sylvaner-grape German nonsweet wines
  • Italian wines from Verdicchio dei Catellidi di Jesi, Orvieto, Soave, Frascati and Galestro (lightest)

These red wine and white wine types based on body are arranged from the heaviest to lightest. Some wine styles are influenced by the origin of the grapes, or locataion of vineyards, winery processing (e.g. oaked and unoaked) and grapes.

In choosing a good wine, it is important to consider the wine style based on body. Choosing between red wine and white wine also relies on the purpose of the wine tasting or wine drinking. Food and wine combinations or matches are also based on wine types.

 Source: The New Wine Lover's Companion, Second Edition

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Comments (1)

great article thanks so much

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