There are many different wine flavor factors and aromas that complete the tasting experience. We believe these characteristics can be simplified down to eight primary factors:
1. Sweetness – the amount of residual sugar in a wine, ranging from low (bone dry) to high (sweet).
2. Acidity – the amount of citric, malic, and tartaric acids in a wine, ranging from low (flat) to high (biting).
3. Tannins – the amount of phenolic compounds, drawn from skins and pips of grapes, which impart a sharp, bitter flavor to the wine.
4. Oak – the influence of compounds from the oak barrels used to age the wine.
5. Finish – the length and quality of a wine’s aftertaste, ranging from brief to endless.
6. Complexity – how the wine’s sweetness, acidity, tannins, and oak affect the wine’s overall flavor, ranging from simple to complex.
7. Body – how the wine’s components affect the intensity and richness of the wine’s overall flavor, ranging from weak to potent.
8. Balance – how all of the seven preceding factors balance out, ranging from unbalanced to well-balanced.