6 Common Wine Descriptions and What They Mean


When you’re new to the world of wine, buying a bottle different to your usual can be daunting. With labels that say things like ‘complex’ and ‘dry’, it can be hard to know exactly what they mean, and what the wine will taste like when you drink them.

To help with this, we have had a look at some of the most commonly used descriptors on wine bottles and what they mean.

Crisp – usually used to describe white wines. The crispness of a wine is caused by acidity, so a crisp wine will be dry and acidic.

Dry – a ‘dry’ wine is one that has no residual sugar left over from the fermentation process – so these wines are not sweet.

Finish – basically, this is the aftertaste that a wine leaves after you drink it.

Soft – this is a wine that doesn’t have too many tannins present - see our blog on tannins (link) to find out more about what tannins are.

Complex – this means that the taste of the wine changes from when you taste it to when you swallow it.

Dense – means that there are lots of flavours in the wine.

Whilst there are many more words that are used to describe words, here are just a few of the most common ones. Are there any that we missed that you would like to see? Tell us below in the comments!