Definition - What does Structure mean?
Structure, in the context of wine, describes the components that form the foundation, or backbone, of a wine. Acidity, tannins, alcohol content and residual sugars are the main elements that contribute to a wine's structure.
The blending of these components will either complement or overpower each other. Wines with a strong, discernable structure age well and are most suitable for cellaring.
WineFrog explains Structure
- Acidity contributes to the shape of a wine. Wines with high acidity tend to be bold and tight, while low acidity causes wines to have less shape and a flatter taste.
- Tannins are associated with a wine’s texture, or how a wine feels in the mouth. Large amounts of tannins produce a dryer wine. A low tannin content creates a softer and rounder wine in the mouth.
- Alcohol levels also contribute to the texture and body. The more full-bodied a wine is, the higher the alcohol content.
- Sweetness in a wine is the result of residual sugars. The level of residual sugars contributes to the body of a wine. Sweeter wines have a higher amount of residual sugars than dry wines. However, some dry-tasting wines can have deceptively high amounts of these sugars. The sugars can be disguised by certain levels of acids and tannins.